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EL, s**t brakes, how to improve? 

 

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 Post subject: EL, s**t brakes, how to improve?
Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:49 pm 
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Got an EL, standard wheels and grippy tyres.

Got Bendix ultimate pads in, they're chewing the rotors but its worth it to get better braking than standard. Problem is, its still s**t, on some surfaces its tough to get ABS kicking in at full pedal travel.

I just bled the brakes thinking there might be air in the system, no difference to braking with new dot4 fluid.

What else can be done?
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Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:11 pm 
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spend 4k on a 4 piston setup :P

 

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Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:34 pm 
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One of your flexible hoses could be bulging. When they get old they can lose their integrity and bulge out in places. This results in a soft pedal or low braking performance as you lose pressure.

Have a REAL close look at all your hoses while someone else presses the brakes as hard as they can (engine running to get more assistance). The bulge will be very small and probably only just noticable.

New (not wrecker) lines will help even if you can't see anything (they are 10 years old after all). Braided lines are best but are not ADR compliant even though they improve the brakes and unless your racing probably don't ofer enough improvement for the extra cost.

cheers
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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:30 am 
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did you bleed all the fluid from the system *not letting the reservoir run dry. from all corners of the car, and did you lube up the sliding bushes that guide the caliper assy? (the ones under the rubber gromets) mine was nearly seized from that. and the brake fluid was stuffed too. made a big difference with the braking.
bendix are good ey, a mate and i just fitted bendix (whatever the standard ones are) to his vr commode. wow what a difference there
checked your vacuum too? brake booster might not be working properly either.

 

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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:35 am 
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later e series have pritty s**t brake setups anyway. they used a material that was too soft. as soon as it got hot, it turned like led and mushroomed at the top. happened to mine.

you wouldn;t have stock wheels by any chance and do city miles? stockies have plastic liners that keep dust and water out but trap in a lot of heat. mine towed a few floats before i got it and the front brakes where shot. still worked but just squished.

sounds like your pads might be a bit hard for the rotor maybe

 

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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:38 am 
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MacGyver wrote:
One of your flexible hoses could be bulging. When they get old they can lose their integrity and bulge out in places. This results in a soft pedal or low braking performance as you lose pressure.

Have a REAL close look at all your hoses while someone else presses the brakes as hard as they can (engine running to get more assistance). The bulge will be very small and probably only just noticable.

New (not wrecker) lines will help even if you can't see anything (they are 10 years old after all). Braided lines are best but are not ADR compliant even though they improve the brakes and unless your racing probably don't ofer enough improvement for the extra cost.

cheers
Scott


Great advice, I'll check it out!

Thanks

samftr wrote:
did you bleed all the fluid from the system *not letting the reservoir run dry. from all corners of the car, and did you lube up the sliding bushes that guide the caliper assy? (the ones under the rubber gromets) mine was nearly seized from that. and the brake fluid was stuffed too. made a big difference with the braking.
bendix are good ey, a mate and i just fitted bendix (whatever the standard ones are) to his vr commode. wow what a difference there
checked your vacuum too? brake booster might not be working properly either.


I bled it right, let the reseviour run dry and you just have to start again.

Didn't check the sliding bushes this time but I did last time when I replaced the pad's with the Bendix Ultimates. Dont get me wrong here, the brakes are eleventy billion times better with ultimates however they are still very s**t when you compare them to even modern commo's and falcons, let alone cars with good brakes like performance cars... Vacuum doesn't make a difference to the master cylinder bottoming out at full pedal travel :)
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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:52 am 
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oh sheet, if its bottoming out now, whats the seals like in each brake caliper? does it bottom out after a few pumps of the pedal?

 

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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:03 am 
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my advice would be to upgrade your brake discs...DBA slotted on the front...DBA normal on the back...and get rid of the bendix...they destroy your discs quicker. something like ferodos would work well.

 

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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:18 am 
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i agree with phantomlord upgrade your discs to cross drilled or slotted ventilated discs...
you get much better braking response...

 

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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:51 am 
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PhantomLord wrote:
my advice would be to upgrade your brake discs...DBA slotted on the front...DBA normal on the back...and get rid of the bendix...they destroy your discs quicker. something like ferodos would work well.


I had ferodo's in there before (I can't remember which model) however they were nowhere nearly as grippy as the Ultimate's - the Bendix pads made the single biggest improvement in braking of all the things I've tried. I can live with regularly replacing rotor's if I have good brakes. I was tempted to go Metal Kings but they need to warm up to have good braking, since its a road car, that would be unacceptable. The car is manual so around 50% of the regular day-day braking is done by engine compression, not the footbrake, therefore wear on the pads and rotors is much less than with an auto - I've had the single set of ultimates in there for about 30,000km now and they're not even half worn out.

I need to point out that I want my brakes to stop hard once at a time such as in an emergency, its not a racecar that needs good brakes that can absorb an endurance without fading so my thoughts were slotted rotors would do two tenths of bugger all.
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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:57 am 
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How much does the piston in the calipers move from rest position to very heavy braking? Does the caliper flex a significant amount? Would a larger diameter master cylinder and stronger brake booster help to reduce pedal travel and improve the braking?
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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:04 am 
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samftr wrote:
oh sheet, if its bottoming out now, whats the seals like in each brake caliper? does it bottom out after a few pumps of the pedal?


Its only bottoming out on some freshly bitumened very grippy surfaces. There is no brake fluid loss and the master cylinder isn't leaking, the pedal doesn't sink if you push heavily on it for a few minutes. The ABS works on most surfaces and will lock/unlock the wheels so on most surfaces the brakes are adequate, its just that I want them better.
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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:33 am 
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ive got braided lines front and rear and slotted dba's, no real improvement from stock.
full upgrade would be the go...

 

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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:33 am 
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just go to the local brake and clutch if its doing all this... the last thing you want is the pedal going to the floor. may aswell have it done the right way.

and dont get cross drilled, they dont retain heat and are pron to shatter if water or something gets thrown on them

 

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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:41 am 
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fiftyone wrote:
just go to the local brake and clutch if its doing all this... the last thing you want is the pedal going to the floor. may aswell have it done the right way.

and dont get cross drilled, they dont retain heat and are pron to shatter if water or something gets thrown on them


If I wanted to pay somebody to do it, I wouldn't have wasted everyone's time on here. Unfortunately in the past, I've had nothing but bad dealings with brake and clutch mobs, if I do anything myself I know i'll do it right all the bolts will go back in and they'll get tightened. The brakes are probably as good as they can be, I'd like them better than this and will replace the brake lines like posted above (if they're not $100 or more each!) and am looking for other suggestions/answers.

That's true about the cross drilled, its merely a wank factor for street use.
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