Monday, June 29, 2020

Brake development

So one of the criticisms of the 818 kit is that the braking solution is... not inadequate, exactly, but wanting of some improvement. I have to give a lot of credit to my uncle, Ed Holyoke, who researched and developed the braking solution we're both going to be using on our kits. That's also his photo there to the left, which I am using with his permission.

This is the setup for the rear brakes we're looking at, on his custom bracketry. There's a massive Brembo/Cadillac caliper at the right to act as the service brake, and a little cable-actuated Wilwood unit at left for the parking/emergency brake. Both of those will squeeze a truly massive caliper, sourced from the front axle of a Subaru WRX STI.

The fronts will also get the same Caddy caliper and the same STI rotor, but there's an existing bracket solution for that upgrade. Roughly speaking, we're doubling the braking effectiveness in the front, and quadrupling it in the back.

There are a few reasons this is important:

First, the kit uses unboosted brakes. There's no vacuum assist here - all the braking is powered by the driver's leg. Second, while the donor's engine is in the front, the kit will have it in the rear; this affects the weight balance of the car significantly. While nearly all cars have much more braking at the front to deal with the additional mass at the front of the car, the kit needs help around back. Third, these kits may very well see some track use, so more braking will be better for that, including extra mass for dealing with heat.

Long story short, the idea of the kit car is to make something that will accelerate and handle at very high levels - so stopping is also going to be important. As far as bang for the buck, this solution, while not exactly cheap, is a great bargain.

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