Thread: Brake question
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:35 PM
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Tommy Tommy is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Dadeville, AL
Cobra Make, Engine: Sold my EM.
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Here's what I'd do. First, I'd test the brakes in a safe place on a flat dry road by doing an emergency stop from about 35 MPH. It would help to have an assistant watch from a safe distance. My goal would be to (1) lock up the brakes and (2) confirm that the fronts locked before the rears. If I ran out of either leg strength or pedal travel before the brakes locked, I'd start evaluating the entire system. While there are many components in a brake system, it all comes down to pressure and travel at the pedal becoming pressure and travel at the calipers. The length of the pedal, diameter of MC, diameter of caliper puck and position of the pad on the rotor are just some of the things that determine how hard the pads press against the rotors and how much stopping torque the rotors apply to the wheels. There are web sites that will allow you to put all the factors in and it will tell you whether it should work.

If I could lock up the brakes but didn't like either the pedal travel or force required, I'd look at changing either the pedal ratio or the MC size. But know that nothing short of power brakes can help with both. With manual brakes you get to choose either lower leg force with longer travel or shorter travel with higher leg force.

One last observation - during an emergency stop with well configured brakes, the front brakes will do about 70% of the work. So don't skip the step about getting the front brakes to lock up first. They are the ones that you should work to get right first.
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