Jump to content

brake question for Mike Self


Guest Anonymous
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Anonymous

I recall once upon a time that you espoused the virtues of a stock brake set up-stock as opposed to the typical big brake upgrades most people are doing. I was going to go the big brake route but I've been doing some reading about brakes in general-The latest Roundel for example. According to the article for street and even some high performance applications stainless brake lines, better pads, and better brake fluid will improve brake performance quite a bit. Do you think that would apply even to 02 brakes? I don't race, however I will someday, if I EVER finish my car, do auto-X. I would like to keep the stock calipers mainly so I can still use my steel wheels if I choose. However, I wonder if solid rotors can match against larger vented. What are your thoughts on this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Anonymous

Some of you might disagree...but...unless you're going racing (track or--ahem--street) your stock brakes--IN GOOD CONDITION--are more than adequate. By good condition I mean good calipers (no sticky pistons etc), fresh brake fluid--the good stuff--, replace the rubber flex hoses, either with new rubber or stainless lines; good rear brake cylinders and drums (properly adjusted); a good master cylinder and most of all, good quality pads and shoes.

When new, 2002 brakes worked just fine and they will continue to do so if all the parts are in good condition. The problem is most of us tend to replace brake parts piece by piece when they break (I'm guilty too--my '73's calipers are original--they're not leaking or stuck, so I leave 'em alone!) so something in the system is always the weakest link. We replace that, then there's another weak link in line to fail.

For autocrossing, unless it's a high speed course, you'll hardly use your brakes, and certainly not enough to stress 'em.

All that being said--if you have a high hp 02 (S-14 engine, supercharger etc), live in the mountains and are hard-charging, then perhaps you need more brakes. The factory thought so when they built the Turbo--but note that the Turbo still has drum rear brakes and only slightly larger front brakes.

Also, if you just like to tinker (don't we all!) there's certainly nothing wrong with engineering larger brakes onto an '02--but just like a five speed, it falls into the category of "nice to do, but not vital for operating the machine."

So, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice. Personally, for street (and occasional drivers school) use, I'd stick with optimized stock brakes. If you want to go with vented tii rotors/calipers, fine. But you don't need any more for the street. And Mike Miller (Roundel Tech Ed) shares this belief--probably more strongly than I.

Sorry for the long post, but stoppin' is more important in the scheme of things than goin'

Cheers

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Anonymous

1) What brake fluid do you recommend?

2) are there any special considerations when it comes to changing the fluid... i.e. is there anything I should know that isn't in the Haynes manual?

Thanks very much,

Matt Barnard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Anonymous

I think everyone has a favorite brand. BMW recommends ATE--after all they are ATE parts in your brakes.

Important things to remember: get fluid with a high boiling point, and remember that all non-silicone fluids accumulate water. Water does two bad things: it boils at a much lower temp than brake fluid, causing steam, which can be compressed. That's why (at lest one reason) hot brakes lose their pedal feel. Second, of course is that the water will rust your brake's innards. So...use a fluid with a high boiling point (boiling fluid is also compressible), and--particularly if you do drivers schools or a lot of "spirited" driving--change your brake fluid often. BMW recommends annually. If you have a power bleeder (or a patient spouse/kid/significant other) it's easy to do and fluid's a lot cheaper than new brake parts...

I don't practice what I preach, but my front calipers are 30 years old with no rebuilds or stuck pistons. On the other hand, I've gone through several rear wheel cylinders and master cylinders, so go figure.

Lotsa arguements on silicone brake fluid--I've been told it's slightly compressible, so it will affect pedal feel. I don't know--any ideas out there? I do know a lot of folks with antique cars that aren't driven very much who use(me included) silicone fluid because it's not hydroscopic--it doesn't attract water so your brake innards last a lot longer--especially on cars that aren't used very much.

We've got a big experience reservior out there...others please chime in. I don't claim to have all the answers, just my 02 cents worth.

Cheers

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Anonymous

I know a couple of folks who've used silicone fluid also - from their experience, the two biggest issues with converting to silicone are getting the system COMPLETELY emptied of old fluid (unless you're replacing everything, in which case all you've gotta do after removing the old m/c, calipers wheel cylinders and hoses is to use your compressor to blow the hard lines out) and then getting the silicone fluid in without getting bubbles in it.

From what I've read, the best way to bleed a system with silicone fluid is to use a vac. pump to pull the brake fluid through from the wheel cylinder/caliper end - supposedly, once bubbles get into silicone fluid it's almost impossible to get them out.

This is "second hand" info at best - haven't switched any of my cars to silicone, so I don't have direct experience to work from.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Anonymous

I agree with Mike-

the stock setup is fine, even for track use.

The most important factor is pads- there are some truly awful pads out there, and they'll scare you pantyless. With good pads and shoes, you can stop with the best of 'em.

I tracked my car with Carbotec Blues, and never had a problem. In fact, the Volvo calipers have a LOT fewer pad choices than the stock calipers do!

Autocross won't tax the stock system- there's just not enough speed (v=e squared) and time to cause problems.

Long downhills, though, or tight road courses with short, fast straights will work them.

And if you pump up the engine, then the brakes start to work too hard.

But yeah, pads, pads, pads, and shoes- and new brake fluid- and you're in good shape.

t

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Upcoming Events

×
×
  • Create New...