When was the last time you checked your brake system? Brake pads do wear out, calipers leak, and rotors become scarred. So you must keep a close watch. You will have to repair your braking components at some point. And you have two options for replacing these parts. You can either buy the original equipment components or upgrade to a performance brake upgrade that outperforms the factory brakes. In this article we will talk about some of the most critical performance brake upgrade tips like choosing the right brake upgrade according to your driving needs, considering your tires, brake rotors, brake pads as you choose your brake upgrades because at the end the key relies on how you keep things balance as well so your brake system could work at its best.
To provide reliability, comfort, and durability over time, a braking system comprises various components that must work together with the highest level of integration and efficiency feasible.
What are the 3 main factors for braking performance?
To better understand the performance brake upgrade tips that will be discussed you must also understand the factors that affect braking performance.
- The dimensions
Size does, without a doubt, matter when it comes to braking performance. The product of three parameters determines the braking torque of a disc brake: the effective radius of the disc, the clamping force of the caliper, and the friction coefficient. The greater the braking torque, the larger the disc diameter. When the diameter of the disc is increased, the effective radius rises, and the braking torque increases while the other variables remain constant. The brake pad's size is also important.
- Lightness (or the optimum weight-to-stretch ratio)
Lightness or weight is also another factor to consider so expanding the size of the brake system as you wish is not possible, because increasing the size of the system components also increases the weight of the unsuspended masses, causing the car's overall performance to deteriorate.
- Friction material
The braking torque is affected by the friction coefficient. The material used, like the measurements, is a distinguishing characteristic. The disc's surface polish, like the substance it's made of, has an impact on the amount of friction it generates. In comparison to a regular disc, the drilled and slotted discs provide stronger grip and a faster and more effective response of the braking system from the earliest braking stages. The compound used to make the pads is not to be overlooked when it comes to friction material.
How can I improve my brake performance?
Every car on the road requires excellent braking performance. The braking system in your car is by far the most critical safety element. The capacity to stop or slow down in a fraction of a second aids in the prevention of problems and accidents. Unfortunately despite its importance it’s often neglected until issues arise.
Upgrade your OEM brakes to a higher performance brake to extend the life of your brake system and boost performance. It can increase the safety of your car by shortening the stopping distance and assisting it in functioning better in adverse situations.
When considering an efficient braking system, it's equally important to consider good heat dissipation. Because the heat generated by friction between the rotor and the pads reaches extremely high temperatures, if the system overheats, the parts will wear out more quickly, become less effective, or fail entirely.
Here are a few Performance Brake Upgrade Tips:
Tip# 1: Think about Good Heat Dissipation, and Not Just the Stopping Power
Unless your automobile is really vintage, it should have disc brakes in the front and either drum brakes or the same disc system in the back. Drum brakes are less efficient than disc brakes because they generate and maintain a lot of heat, which reduces their lifespan considerably when compared to the alternative. If you still have old drum brakes on your historic car's front axle and haven't replaced them with rotors, do it now and thank us later. It will drastically alter the way your car operates.
Modern cars, of course, have disc brakes, but some still have drum brakes on the back axle. Those looking to modify their front brakes will discover a variety of aftermarket options, but unless the car has a significant boost in engine power above the factory arrangement, simply increasing your front brakes should suffice.
The factory brakes lose efficiency after a specific temperature and load amount. If you've ever driven down a steep mountain road, you've probably seen this. You nearly need to stamp on the brake pedal to have the vehicle to slow down or stop after a while.
You might be able to acquire a rear disc conversion kit for your car if you're stuck with rear drum brakes instead of the more effective disc brakes. These kits can be used to replace your OEM drum brakes with disc brakes.
Tip #2 Choose the appropriate brake pads for your needs.
Another one of performance brake upgrade tips to think about is choosing the right brake pads. These pieces can be replaced in one of two ways. You have the option of purchasing OEM brakes or upgrading to a performance brake that outperforms factory brakes. If you're merely conducting day-to-day driving, OEM brakes are probably the best option. They absorb less dust than typical semi-metallic brake pads, provide gentler, quieter braking, and work well in both hot and cold conditions. Most performance aftermarket brake pads cause your rotors to wear out faster.
OEM parts, on the other hand, have significantly greater stopping distances and wear out more quickly than many ceramic brake pads. They can also cause your brake pedal to feel mushy. As a result, finding an OEM brake pad that quietly and efficiently meets the demands of your driving might be a tall order for people (and vehicles) that spend a lot of time on the dirt, off-roading, racing, or have any number of daring ideas for their ride. Because driving styles, usage habits, and personal preferences are as different as the vehicles on the road, this is especially true. This is when the best aftermarket brake pads will make a big difference in the performance and safety of your car.
Non-organic metallic (NOM) brake pads are found in most autos, while ceramic brake pads are the best on the market. Ceramics produce less dust and do not squeak, as well as slowing down your vehicle and wicking away heat more quickly. What's the worst that might happen? They will last longer and stop more effectively if they have these properties. Most people feel that ceramic brake pads are unreasonably expensive, however they are rarely more expensive than non-organic metallic brake pads.
Semi-metallic brake pads, on the other hand, are available in a number of compositions, so make sure you get the proper one for your driving style. The temperature range is the first thing to think about: some metallic compounds can't work unless they've been warmed up to a specific operating temperature, which may be impractical or even dangerous in street driving. Others have a wider temperature range, which helps to balance the need for both street and track stopping.
You'll need high-performance brakes if you race. Performance brakes are built to disperse heat more quickly than ordinary brakes. Shorter stopping distances aren't the only advantage of better brakes; they can also improve handling dynamics by reducing weight, which allows the suspension to react faster to road bumps. Another benefit of a big-brake upgrade is its aesthetic appeal. Drilled and slotted rotors and powder coated multi-piston calipers make a statement behind the right set of wheels.
Noise and dust are two further variables to consider with these pads, both of which can be greatly enhanced when compared to factory brake pads. A smooth or slotted rotor with performance pads is more than enough for street driving with the occasional vigorous drive on twisting country roads. A more robust kit is preferred for a track-driven automobile or race car. Racing brake pads, on the other hand, can “bite” so hard in everyday driving that they quickly wear down your rotors.
Again, the type of pad you choose is determined by how you intend to use the vehicle, but hardness is a vital factor to consider. The softer the pads, the greater the performance, but they will wear out quickly, whereas the tougher pads will deteriorate in extreme conditions.
So, the extent of your braking system upgrade is determined by a variety of circumstances, but you can obtain one even if you're on a restricted budget and don't plan on increasing your engine's power. Braking performance should be improved with a set of standard-size grooved or perforated aftermarket rotors, new pads, new hoses, and fresh fluid.
Tip #3: As you upgrade your braking system, you should also upgrade your tires.
Your car's braking performance won't be as good as it could be without a set of high-performance tires. This is another one of the performance brake upgrade tips to go by. Installing a BBK and braided brake lines on your vehicle isn't enough. To effectively transfer all that braking power to the road, you'll need the correct tyres.
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of high-performance tires with sticky compounds and tight sidewalls. Without these, your braking performance potential will be unreached. Keep in mind that your car's tires are the only connection it has to the road. Any upgrades to your car that make it go faster will be meaningless if you don't have them.
Tip #4 BBK Installation
Installing large brake kits is the finest and quickest way to improve your vehicle's braking performance. Heat takes longer to build up on larger disc surfaces, and the larger surfaces also help with faster cooling. BBK brands are also recognized for having vented and cross-drilled discs, which help to keep the engine cool. If you have a BBK fitted, brake fade will be less of an issue.
However, before purchasing a large brake upgrade kit or individual large brake parts, there is one thing you should look into. You must make certain that the kit will fit your existing wheel size. The clearance required for considerable braking improvements is frequently lacking on factory wheels. The minimum wheel size for the kit or upgraded, upsized rotor in question is usually indicated on the box or description. The diameter of the rim is measured separately from the diameter of the tire.
Check for any concerns with each key brake component, such as if the rotor and caliper are compatible with anti-lock braking systems (if your vehicle has one).Is there adequate space between the caliper and the rim's backside? If you don't have any, can you make do with spacers? Is there a better-fitting kit for your vehicle on the market?
When changing brake components, think about how each one impacts the system's gain, balance, and compliance. Braking system performance can suffer if marketing hype—or Internet wisdom is your only guidance.
Are high performance brakes worth it?
A high-performance brake pad will have good initial friction and pedal feel and be able to maintain this level of performance throughout the braking cycle. Under braking, the brakes must not “fade” or “fall on” in performance. But considering the added expense are they really worth it. Another one of performance upgrade tips is that you should not put out more money than needed.
Before going for a high performance brake ask yourself first if you really need it for a high performance brake may not work well for you most especially if you don’t need it with your driving habits.
A smooth or slotted rotor with performance pads is more than enough for street driving with the occasional spirited drive on winding country roads. A more durable package is desirable for a track-driven automobile or race car. However, racing brake pads can “bite” so hard in everyday driving that they quickly wear down your rotors.
If you do your homework, base your decisions on what the vehicle tells you, and think about how each component influences the system, you might discover that the improved system performance leads to faster lap times and helps you go to the front of the pack.