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Coping with the Extra Kilos?

by Digital Mayne Media

Disc Brake Australia’s range of upgrade brake products can help.

Every tradesperson hauling equipment, tools, and building material in their vehicle knows it – additional weight can add up quickly! The same goes for 4WDs – bull bar, rear bar, tyre swing-out, rock sliders, roof rack, and other accessories all contribute to an increased Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM). Add to that the luggage in the boot and on the roof and a bunch of people, and before you know it you have almost put an extra tonne of weight on your vehicle (always make sure not to extend the legal GVM!). If you then decide to tow along an unbraked trailer, you are looking at another three quarters of a tonne. So the vehicle’s brakes are now dealing with an extra 50%+ of weight compared to the vehicle’s tare weight that need to be stopped.

Whilst most OE-fitted brakes will do a reasonable job with the extra load, there are two aspects that will help a mechanic determine whether to recommend a brake upgrade to their customer when the vehicle comes in for a service: (a) Are the brakes technically capable of handling the extra load, and (b) considering every metre counts, would shortening the vehicle’s stopping distance be of value?

Let’s start with the latter. In theory, a GVM increase should have no impact on the stopping distance, assuming all other conditions remain unchanged and the brakes can handle the extra weight. However, in reality the load sensitivity of most tires in their typical operating range is such that the friction coefficient decreases as the load increases, meaning less friction between the tyres and the road leads to a longer stopping distance. A brake upgrade can help compensate for this. Larger brake diameters, surface design (slotted, drilled, etc.) as well as the pad friction composition all increase braking performance, which will not only help you make up for the additional metres, but can even reduce the stopping distance compared with the original equipment.

Which brings us back to point one – are the brakes currently on the vehicle capable of handling the extra weight? With higher weights, higher thermal energy is created during the braking process, which standard brakes might not be able to dissipate adequately, especially when brakes are applied over a prolonged period. The result will be brake fade and eventual brake failure.

This is where DBA has the upgrade ‘combo’ for a wide range of SUVs, utes and 4WDs. Its 4000 Series rotors offer superior braking performance under the heaviest conditions thanks to the patented Kangaroo Paw ventilation vane design, high carbon cast-iron material, Thermal Stability Profiling (TSP) treatment, and the unique thermo-graphic paint markings. 4000 Series rotors are available in various surface configurations, with the popular T3 tri-directional slots facilitating additional dust and gas dissipation.

The 4000 Series rotors are perfectly complemented by DBA’s range of Xtreme Performance brake pads. Scorched for optimal performance, this low-metallic, low copper friction material offers superior performance across the full temperature spectrum. Application-specific NVH shims and slots facilitate low noise and maximum drive comfort.

Complementing its range of 4WD and ute offerings, DBA has recently introduced an all-new range of brake calipers for direct replacement. Manufactured using state-of-the-art CNC machine and laser technology, these calipers offer the most convenient and time-efficient “bolt off, bolt on” solution for the mechanic.

To find the right upgrade parts for any vehicle, check out DBA’s electronic Part Finder at dba.com.au, contact DBA via email at [email protected], on Facebook or phone 1800 730 039.

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