I think it's interesting you say change DOT 4 (good fluid) every year.. As others say every event or even every track day..
I agree with you that that is overkill. I've done 3 track days now on current fluid and have no brake fluid issues on the same fluid. Will change it now, but basically, I'm going with less frequent changes from here (change with pad change).
PS, Ranger method for brake fluid is probably not helping as the hot fluid is down at the brake lines. Ranger method works because the total volume of clutch fluid in the entire system is very small and it must circulate more because the fluid gets dark quick.
With stock brakes, you have to do some additional mods if your going to pound them on a track day. Along with stainless steel brake lines, I added additional brake ducting directly to the rotors, swapped out the aluminum front brake pistons for stainless steel ones, added titanium backing plates and Castrol SRF brake fluid. I use the Carbotech XP10s for the fronts and XP8s for the rears. I've had good luck with the Brembo plain Jane rotors from Tire Rack. Tires are Nitto 05s, so they aren't the stickiest, but are well priced. I have to bleed the brakes at the end of each track day and do a total flush once a year. I'm an instructor at Road Atlanta and a former SCCA racer. I'm pretty happy with this setup. It's as good as you can get without going to bigger brakes/bigger wheels/bigger tires.
I agree that braided brake lines are a very cheap improvement. I have done this, but I didn't notice a difference.
Does a anybody change their brake fluid themselves? I have been told that I have to take the car to dealership to completely change the fluid. Is there anyway to do it myself? I hate to spend money at the dealership for something that should not be complicated and I will do frequently.
Also, the car is going to be put away for the winter soon. Am I better off to wait until spring before changing brake fluid?
To bleed my brakes I use a Motive pump to push the fluid from the master cylinder and a Motive pump to suck the fluid at the bleeder ends. I also have installed Speed Bleeders. It's quick and easy. I especially like the easy part.
Does the "Motive" tool completely bleed the brake system? I have been told that it requires a special tool (that only dealers and high end brake shops have) to get all the fluid out of the ABS unit.
It would be great if this tool does work, but based on what I have heard, it does not sound like 15-20 punds of pressure will completely flush the entire system. With most likely boiled fluid, I want to make sure that I get all of the old fluid out.
I do have speedbleeders installed. They are great and very inexpensive. I strongly recommend them to anybody that is regularly bleeding their brakes.
Yes, the Motive completely removes the fluid. If you want to get really simple, all you need is a jar with a hose, a wrench and someone to pump the brake peddle. I use the two Motives and Speed Bleeders because, one, I like to do things without having to rely on anybody else and two, I'm really anal.
You may need special equipment on a newer BMW, or something like that, but not on our cars.
I also have installed Speed Bleeders. It's quick and easy. I especially like the easy part.
Is "Speed Bleeders" the brand name? I'd like to install different bleeder nipples/tips/whatever they're called because the stock nipples are too short and when wrenching to open/close them it's hard to get a good seat on the hose and a bit of fluid leaks which makes it messier than necessary.
I hadn't come across a good option for a replacement and would appreciate suggestions. Thanks
Speed Bleeder is a brand name. It might be helpful as well to get a bleeder screw wrench. It covers more sides of the bleeder screw in order to help prevent it from getting rounded off. When you tighten the screw back, snug it up. If you tighten too hard, you might snap the thing off inside the caliper. I think the manual has a torque setting, or maybe not, anyway, I'd forget the torque settings on this project for the reasons just stated. There are loads of how to's on this and other forums on how to. Use an old cookie sheet below each caliper to catch any spills and put plenty of towels around your master cylinder to catch spills there. If brake fluid gets on your paint, bye bye to paint. The first time I bled my brakes, I looked at the fill mark on the master cylinder reservoir and thought, hey, more is better, right? Wrong. I filled that bad boy up to the top and the first time I planted my foot on the brake pedal going into the "90" at Watkins Glen, brake fluid sprayed everywhere. Thay was on a frame up restoration 1975 BMW 2002.
Autobahn South is pretty hard on brakes, but not real bad. Blackhawk is much tougher on brakes IMO.
The symptoms that you describe are definitely fluid related. Ate Blue is a decent fluid but there's better for not a lot more money. Motul RBF 600 or 660 has a considerably higher boiling point and doesn't stain your reservoir. Actually if you want to be economical, the Ate Gold is the exact same stuff as the blue w/out the dye.
But honestly, changing to a different fluid is not the answer because it doesn't address the problem. Brakes have to manage heat. That's what they do. If you can reduce the heat getting to your fluid, it's a win. There's different ways to do it.
Pads are a very important part of it. First, Hawk HP Plus are not full on track pads that can handle the abuse of a Z06. You need a high heat tolerant pad to deal with the extreme amount of heat generated. Carbotechs are a good example of the required pad. The braking needed for one of these rockets is substantial. So you can't go cheap or compromise on pads. Since the energy to stop the car quadruples if you double the speed (say 50 vs. 100mph) think of how much energy is needed to stop these somewhat heavy 500hp beasts. A lot! So you can't count on basically stock components to last a long time on the track.
Cooling. So many people think big brakes are the key to better braking. Yes, but only when you've exhausted your cooling options. Just using good fluid and pads isn't enough. You have to help the brakes do their job by getting cool air to the brakes. The vented rotors can't do it all by themselves. You have to help them by shooting air at them. It can be something as simple as a plastic scoop or duct. I know friends who use shop vac attachments!
Or if you can't get the cooling routed very well (many find the scoops get torn off on curbs or off-track adventures- stay off the curbs and drive better?) you can plumb hoses to the brakes and feed the air with inexpensive fans. Check out butlerbuilt.com for lots of good air scoops and cheap fans.
Getting cool air to the brakes also helps them last longer. Sometimes adding a cooling setup can be expensive but it ends up paying for itself in the long run by saving you the cost of replacing pads and rotors less frequently.
A big part of it is also technique. You have to get used to getting on the brakes quickly and brake HARD early on in your braking. The longer you brake, the more work you are making the brakes do. A shorter, harder braking event is less work on the brakes than is a tentative effort over a long distance.
Brake fluid lines are one of the most over-emphasized "needs" for track use. You don't ABSOLUTELY need braided brake lines. Their improvement is arguable. Plus the braid hides any sort of aging or damage that may occur. They're best replaced every few years to make sure the braid doesn't abrade the hose (yes, the protective sheath actually can damage the hose itself) or if you bought cheap hoses, the hose isn't deteriorating.
I found some good information recently on an Alcon brake website. Not to mention they have some great looking and performing brakes.
Sorry about teh links to non-supporting vendors. Good tech information nonetheless! Just don't buy the brake kits if you wanna support Z06 forum vendors.....
This is a very good way of getting banned from the site on your first day!!
You were aware of the rules and ignored them anyway.
Next time you're gone....
'89 C4 Z51 ZF 6spd
Last edited by MikesZ06; 11-19-2012 at 01:09 PM.
Reason: multiple links to non site vendor
Sorry about the links like I said. I didn't ignore the rules. I removed the link to the brake kits themselves, however I felt the tech information was worthwhile to keep. Bad judgment on my part. Should have just copied and pasted the info, but that's alot of work........ Just trying to provide some good technical info and clear up some of the misinformation/misunderstanding in this thread.
Just trying to provide some good technical info and clear up some of the misinformation/misunderstanding in this thread.
...and we all appreciate the education, I'm sure. We've been waiting a long time for someone to join the site that knew something about cars.
In the future however, please provide your educational gems without links to non site vendors.
Apparently you don't disagree with anything I said, since you didn't wipe any of that out........
I like helping people and that's why I decided to post what i've learned over the years thru first-hand experience. Sorry if that rubs you the wrong way that I know a bit about "cars" (brakes) and i'm willing to share it to help people out.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.