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Old 02-26-2009, 03:28 PM   #1
scottjua
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Default Brake Cooling Woes...: What are your DIY solutions???

I've combed the forums and IWSTI for effective DIY solutions for brake cooling with no real practical or financially viable solution. The popular answer is to dish out on either Quantum or RCE's brake cooling kits, but for anything other than a dedicated track car, those solutions and running hose through our cars is just not practical.

Even if you manage to cobble together a DIY hose solution, most of the time it needs to installed and de-installed before and after a track day. There's nothing I've seen so far that lends itself to a daily driver and weekend warrior car.

I'd love to fabricate something myself along the lines of this:







that just scooped air into the rotor, yet moved with the wheel. It SEEMS like there's enough clearance for a duct/scoop/opening that was mounted low enough to grab air and force it in on our cars... but I can't figure out how to do it on the cheap or at least effectively.

Removing the heat shields potentially will wear the bearings and ABS sensor more I assume... so I'm wonder what have you guys done?

I think getting more air into the wheel well would be effective as long as that air can get to the rotor... so there has to be SOMETHING to help direct it.

Any crafty folks come up with something that works??? My last track day saw rotor temps of 800+ degrees.
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Last edited by scottjua; 02-26-2009 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:46 PM   #2
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Hmm said something, thought better of it.

Last edited by MasterKwan; 02-26-2009 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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An option some NSX people used was scoops mounting to the lower control arms, that would direct air generally towards the wheel area. It did help on those cars, which have rather small brakes compared to their weight.

-Mike
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:31 PM   #4
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Remove the heat shields. I'm serious.

Also work on braking control. Even if you're the best braker in the world still work on it.

I have an idea on rotors I've been sitting on for a LONG LONG time (like years). We're in the middle of talking with a company that can actually (I hope) do what I want. We'll then test them. We're thinking maybe One Lap would be a good test environment.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
Remove the heat shields. I'm serious.

Also work on braking control. Even if you're the best braker in the world still work on it.

I have an idea on rotors I've been sitting on for a LONG LONG time (like years). We're in the middle of talking with a company that can actually (I hope) do what I want. We'll then test them. We're thinking maybe One Lap would be a good test environment.

Well if you need someone to test a prototype...
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:41 PM   #6
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
Remove the heat shields. I'm serious.
What about drilling a whole mess of holes in the heat shield just like the WRC brake shields?



You'd still get better cooling but would add heat protection for the stuff the shield supposedly protects.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:48 PM   #8
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the shields are meant to keep things out of the brakes, not shield anything from the heat radiating from them. Unless you are critically concerned about ingesting rocks, water, dirt, small children etc. into your brakes you can completely remove the shields with no adverse effects. Mine have been removed for years now with no issues. You will be a little more prone to melting tie rod end boots if they get REALLY hot at the track, but the boots can be wrapped with heat reflective material if that becomes a big issue.

An air defector can have some small effects as well, it should look something like the bracket for the RCE or quantum kit but with just a flap of metal sticking out where the hose attaches to the hub. Helps direct air into the hub rather than right on by. Not as good as ducting but better than nothing.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:19 PM   #9
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How much fabrication are you willing to do?
How much metal working experience do you have?

I think I've probably messed around with brake ducts more than any other person on this forum. I have some ideas on what works and what doesn't, but most require some fabrication skill.

-Duncan
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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I agree with TIC. Work on braking. I cant tell you how many people( racers also) DONT know how to really brake. Most novices( under 20 track events)...brake TOO much( overbrake) creating tons of heat. One thing I learned from Charles Espenlaub when I raced in the Panoz series was brake less( almost to the point of scarring the ship out of myself). One thing you notice is 4-7mph faster cornering speeds,...AND....less brake heat and so on. He would tell me on the radio....."get off the brakes" as I entered turn 1 and my exit speed was about 10mph faster !! Surprisingly enough the tires lasted 2 laps longer also.

The air to the center of the rotor has to be carefully channeled. We played with many designs before settling on ours for the brake ducts. When Gary Sheehan used ours for their car in 2006, they changed the ducts some to work with their larger rotors, but the shape was the same. For most tracks and HPDE/Time Attack, good pads, some decent ducts, and PROPER braking techniques will work wonders. When people call us about the ducts, I now ask "what pads are you running?"...and many say HPS, or DS2500's etc....which are "nice" street/canyon pads..but NOT track pads. You get to a point and you need a good pad and thats that.

Myles
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:21 PM   #11
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Here's my current setup.



-Duncan
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:46 PM   #12
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Interesting. You're running both the Quantum and RCE units at the same time. Any idea how much that combo decreases your rotor temps?
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:12 PM   #13
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I have some rce brake ducts with ducting - pm me if youre interested...
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:15 PM   #14
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dunk - you are the man! Those are some nice ducts - I almost missed the cf one on the bottom... Im assuming youre using that metal plate to also keep heat away from the balljoint?

Quote:
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Here's my current setup.



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Old 02-26-2009, 09:25 PM   #15
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I don't have or need ducts, not at my current power level. Pulled off the dust shields, Brembo's and decent pads. My rotors just don't get that hot. I think this relates to what RCE is saying because I used to overheat my brakes no matter how big they were or how they were ducted. I really brake so much less now than I used to.

1) Less trail braking,
2) Brake harder for a shorter time
3) Watch when you hit the gas in/after a corner. One sign you brake too much is you get back on power early in the corner to maintain your speed. That's a sign you're braking too much speed off, on entry.
4) Crappy pads will heat the crap out of your brakes too. You have to keep them engaged longer to slow down, which just puts more heat into the rotors without buying you anything.

I believe my biggest problem was number 2 and 3.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
Remove the heat shields. I'm serious.

Also work on braking control. Even if you're the best braker in the world still work on it.

I have an idea on rotors I've been sitting on for a LONG LONG time (like years). We're in the middle of talking with a company that can actually (I hope) do what I want. We'll then test them. We're thinking maybe One Lap would be a good test environment.
+1 braking control, so overlooked.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan View Post
I don't have or need ducts, not at my current power level. Pulled off the dust shields, Brembo's and decent pads. My rotors just don't get that hot. I think this relates to what RCE is saying because I used to overheat my brakes no matter how big they were or how they were ducted. I really brake so much less now than I used to.

1) Less trail braking,
2) Brake harder for a shorter time
3) Watch when you hit the gas in/after a corner. One sign you brake too much is you get back on power early in the corner to maintain your speed. That's a sign you're braking too much speed off, on entry.
4) Crappy pads will heat the crap out of your brakes too. You have to keep them engaged longer to slow down, which just puts more heat into the rotors without buying you anything.

I believe my biggest problem was number 2 and 3.
Agree completely,

I rode as an instructor in a group 2 car last weekend for the first time. It made me remember how early I used to hit the brakes and how long I kept my foot on the pedal. I actually learned quite a bit just riding in the passenger seat.

-Duncan
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:01 PM   #18
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rather than start another thread, maybe we can keep this rolling and keep it related???

this is from my post HERE on IWSTI for people who don't go to that forum:

Update and Big question:

At my last track day, I blew a braking zone that I normally don't and felt it was a little weird. At the time I chalked it up to cold tires and just pushing a little too hard, but decided to come in to check it out anyway to see this:



So obviously, the pads delaminated and are toast... but the odd thing was I checked them before heading out visually before going, as I knew they were getting close, however on visual inspection saw at least 1/4" of pad material lef ton the passenger side and THOUGHT the driver's side was the same.

Here are the pads off the car:

The pads on the left are from the passenger side, and the pads on the right are from the driver's side (the dead ones)


Dead up close. down to the backing plate on one pad and ALMOST on the other, with that chunk coming off




Notice how the pads that were toast wore super tapered. This is why my visual inspection showed that I still had some meat left


This is the passenger side pads: Worn down to about where I expected them to really... pretty much done, but not failed and worn to the backing plates like the driver's side




So what gives??? Why would they wear like this on one side SO much differently to the other??? Also, I understand some tapering... but this seems a bit excessive.

Brake set up was the same as before: Titanium shims, these are Carbotech XP8s, and street Advan AD07 tires.

This was at the end of the day more or less, as I had run on them all day and the Saturday prior. I do always check my pads (visually) between sessions, albeit a quick check, while doing tire pressures and temp readings.

This particular day I hadn't planned on running much, and so thought with 1/4" I should be able to squeeze one last half session out of them... but I guess not. In the end I changed pads and drove home on the streeters, so it wasn't leaving me stranded or anything.

That said... when changing pads, I had no problems compressing the pistons to fit the thick street pads... If the pistons sticking might have caused this would a stuck piston not allow me to do that, or is it unrelated in how that functions??

How much of this is cooling related do you think?

by the way... I AM getting some cooling ducts... not going to bother with my own setup anymore...I just want things to not fall apart on me and if money spent on cooling is money saved elsewhere...I'm all for it.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan View Post
I don't have or need ducts, not at my current power level. Pulled off the dust shields, Brembo's and decent pads. My rotors just don't get that hot. I think this relates to what RCE is saying because I used to overheat my brakes no matter how big they were or how they were ducted. I really brake so much less now than I used to.

1) Less trail braking,
2) Brake harder for a shorter time
3) Watch when you hit the gas in/after a corner. One sign you brake too much is you get back on power early in the corner to maintain your speed. That's a sign you're braking too much speed off, on entry.
4) Crappy pads will heat the crap out of your brakes too. You have to keep them engaged longer to slow down, which just puts more heat into the rotors without buying you anything.

I believe my biggest problem was number 2 and 3.
OK, i dont want to be a jerk or one of those flammer guys...but there are some flaws with your points here.
1. less trail braking? how does that have an affect on brake temps?
2. Careful on the advice you give to people, a good amount of situations this might not be a possible/good/safe/fast way to take a corner.
3. Again, not in alot of situations. Many corners require you to get most of your braking done early and back on the gas before apex, not only is it faster this way since you are on the gas sooner but transfering wieght back to the rear after you have the car pointed in the direction you want will keep the car more stable(keeping the weight off the back is a good way to watch your ass end pass you).
4. Agreed. Pads in my experience are the most important/best brake upgrade you can buy.
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:22 AM   #20
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan View Post
I don't have or need ducts, not at my current power level. Pulled off the dust shields, Brembo's and decent pads. My rotors just don't get that hot. I think this relates to what RCE is saying because I used to overheat my brakes no matter how big they were or how they were ducted. I really brake so much less now than I used to.

1) Less trail braking,
2) Brake harder for a shorter time
3) Watch when you hit the gas in/after a corner. One sign you brake too much is you get back on power early in the corner to maintain your speed. That's a sign you're braking too much speed off, on entry.
4) Crappy pads will heat the crap out of your brakes too. You have to keep them engaged longer to slow down, which just puts more heat into the rotors without buying you anything.

I believe my biggest problem was number 2 and 3.
This has been bugging me. That in no way reduces brake temperatures. If anything it will heat the brakes up more because it has to absorb the same amount of energy over a shorter period of time. It will allow more time though to cool the brakes until the next braking zone.

Also, while i agree pads make a huge difference it has almost nothing to do with your reasoning. Upgraded pads work in a different heat range making them work at the temperatures you'd regularly see slowing a 3000+pound car down from 100+mph.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:02 PM   #22
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I stopped cooking my brakes 2 years ago by following my own advice. It's not going to work for everyone and you may not agree at all. It works for me and 1 through 4 are why I think it works.

You and the other guy seem to be ignoring cool down time. The longer you're on your brakes for any reason, trail braking, weak application or crappy pads, the less time you have for your brakes to cool. You can think of it like a duty cycle. For any car the brakes have a duty cycle and if you exceed it, they'll get hotter and hotter and not recover till you get off the track again. So, you goal should be to stay under the duty cycle of the brakes so, they have time to recover between braking zones.
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan View Post
I stopped cooking my brakes 2 years ago by following my own advice. It's not going to work for everyone and you may not agree at all. It works for me and 1 through 4 are why I think it works.

You and the other guy seem to be ignoring cool down time. The longer you're on your brakes for any reason, trail braking, weak application or crappy pads, the less time you have for your brakes to cool. You can think of it like a duty cycle. For any car the brakes have a duty cycle and if you exceed it, they'll get hotter and hotter and not recover till you get off the track again. So, you goal should be to stay under the duty cycle of the brakes so, they have time to recover between braking zones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Snips View Post
This has been bugging me. That in no way reduces brake temperatures. If anything it will heat the brakes up more because it has to absorb the same amount of energy over a shorter period of time. It will allow more time though to cool the brakes until the next braking zone.

Also, while i agree pads make a huge difference it has almost nothing to do with your reasoning. Upgraded pads work in a different heat range making them work at the temperatures you'd regularly see slowing a 3000+pound car down from 100+mph.
Nicer pads will obviously make the braking system more effective. But like i said, not for the reasons you neccesarily listed.

I mean no matter what pads or fluid or anything...slowing from say 100mph to 40mph has to scrub off the same amount of energy (ignoring wind resistance a few other smaller factors) so whether you do it fast, and heat the brakes up alot hotter; or slower, and heat them up less(its all about how much energy has to be absorbed in what period of time). The pads will not effect how the brakes heat up, only how they work at that heat.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Snips View Post
I mean no matter what pads or fluid or anything...slowing from say 100mph to 40mph has to scrub off the same amount of energy (ignoring wind resistance a few other smaller factors) so whether you do it fast, and heat the brakes up alot hotter; or slower, and heat them up less(its all about how much energy has to be absorbed in what period of time). The pads will not effect how the brakes heat up, only how they work at that heat.
you are ignoring time and the difference in temp...you should know that hotter brake will cool 200* much faster than a brake that is only 200* over ambient temp. Go look at the heat transfer books and data...think thermal equilibrium.
Now when you are talking a sustained 1200* for 4 seconds of braking or 1600* for 3 seconds, the later will have 1 more second of cooling air at top speed; lots of CFM (really mass of air is what counts).

The fact that .5 seconds of braking time is saved and that .5 seconds now means the same heat and a higher temp into the braking system in a shorter time.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:42 AM   #25
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Exactly, more cooling time is key. Just as an example, I have a little story...

Last season I ran the same tires and pads for the entire season. Not literally the same ones, but the same compounds. When the tires were fresh, I had zero problems with the braking system. I could brake late and hard, giving the pads plenty of time to cool between braking zones. However, during the last event of the season I was really stretching a set of tires further than I should have. They had some rubber left but they were beyond heat cycled out. Definitely less grip than a fresh street tire. Because the tires were so worn, I had to brake much earlier than I normally would to get the car slowed down, and I also had to scrub off more speed since cornering speeds were lower than normal. As a result, I had pretty significant issues with overheating the pads. I wore through them extremely quickly, and they began to overheat and crumble. Keep in mind I didn’t change anything-same tires, same pads, same cooling ducts. In fact, this was November so the ambient temp was lower than it was for most of the season. Just goes to show that compressing your braking zones has a significant impact on brake cooling. You can theorize all you want, but I’d rather rely on my personal experiences. I’m with master kwan on this one.
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