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Old 10-22-2019, 06:09 PM   #1
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Disc Brake Performance Improvement

I donít have any quantitative data (yet) but I am thrilled with the performance of my disc brakes after a simple enhancement.

When researching the installation of disc brakes last year I ran across a discussion on a 5er board where several had added a 2 psi check valve in the line to the brakes from the actuator. I finally got around to doing it and the improvement is significant. I feel like the lag time from pedal application has significantly decreased. When stopping before I would pre-load the brakes with a light pedal press in advance of real braking. I donít do that now and while I havenít done a full up panic stop, with normal braking and no pre-losd the trailer brakes come on without a hint of a ďHensley BumpĒ wjich I often got before due to the trailer brakes lagging the truck brakes.

Iím going to try to meke a lag measurement next week when I take the trailer out again.

Al
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:21 AM   #2
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Al,

Curious and interesting. Any chance for a link to the mfgr of the valve?

Gary
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:13 AM   #3
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Here you go. It has female threads on both ends so you will need a short brake line with male ends to connect it. I put it at the T fitting in front of the front axle.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My actuator suggested that it should be mounted above the calipers to prevent fluid backflow when brakes are released. Mine was at or slightly below the caliper level. I also noted a vacuum when I pulled the fill cap so the vent hole in the cap may have been faulty or plugged.

Al
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:54 AM   #4
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That type of valve has been used in 'hot rods' with disc brakes for years, IF the master cylinder is mounted below the caliper level. I not sure its recommended where the master cylinder/actuator is mounted above the caliper level.

Either way, make sure your pads aren't dragging after the brakes are released.
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
That type of valve has been used in 'hot rods' with disc brakes for years, IF the master cylinder is mounted below the caliper level. I not sure its recommended where the master cylinder/actuator is mounted above the caliper level.

Either way, make sure your pads aren't dragging after the brakes are released.
Thanks. Since the actuation pressure is 1600 psi, I wouldn't think 2 psi would cause much pad wear, but I'll keep an eye on it.

Al
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Old 10-24-2019, 06:51 AM   #6
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Ordered mine today. Please advise if you notice any pad drag. Post a photo of you installation if possible
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:38 AM   #7
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I know I took a picture but I can't find it. I'll take one in the next day or so.
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Old 10-26-2019, 02:57 PM   #8
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I know I took a picture but I can't find it. I'll take one in the next day or so.
Al, be aware that 2psi in the line doesn't sound like much until you do a little hydraulic theory math. 2psi of pressure on the surface area of the piston(s) in each caliper results in MUCH higher pad to disc pressure.

3.14159 times the radius squared of each piston, times the number of pistons, times 2 psi.

Could result in a significant drag. Just do some checking before your trip.

Example: (I am guessing the radius of my pistons are 1"...haven't ever measured nor researched)

3.14159 X 1 (squared, is still one) X 4 pistons X 2psi = 25.132 Pounds of pressure applied to two pads.
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Old 10-26-2019, 04:38 PM   #9
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Just following up because in re-reading your initial post I realized I had assumed the disc brake conversion had not been done. Is that correct? If not, are you running an EOH disc brake conversion?
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Old 10-26-2019, 04:54 PM   #10
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Yes, I converted to Kodiak calipers and a Hydrastar actuator last year. There was always a little lag between pedal and braking, around a second or so. I think it is now half of that, but I haven’t really measured it.

Al
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:48 PM   #11
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I did the same Kodiak conversion (single axle for me, with 11" rotor). However, I went with Tuson RV's actuator and their DirecLink Brake Controller. I have an 2008 F150 that does not have a built-in controller.

What I like about their unit is it plugs into the OBD port and reads multiple feeds, monitors brake fluid levels and I can even access transmission temps on the hand held. It also has 2 separate braking levels that you can adjust separately. One for highway speed and the other for low speed in town.

There is minimal delay in applying brakes, but not enough to bother me. Because of the single axle trailer I also upgraded the brakes on the truck. I have an upgrade from Baer brakes that gives me 15" drilled/slotted front rotors and drilled/slotted rear rotors with EBC performance pads. My F150 Limited comes with factory 22" wheels so I can run the larger rotors up front.

I
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:23 AM   #12
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I have observed that the integrated trailer brake controller in my Ram is apparently monitoring some buss that gives hydraulic pressure or brake pedal effort or some equivalent. Sitting still, i.e. no deceleration sensor involvement, the harder I press the brake pedal, the stronger the signal to the disc brake actuator. I just wish it was smart enough to brake the trailer with the exhaust brake level.

Al
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
I have observed that the integrated trailer brake controller in my Ram is apparently monitoring some buss that gives hydraulic pressure or brake pedal effort or some equivalent. Sitting still, i.e. no deceleration sensor involvement, the harder I press the brake pedal, the stronger the signal to the disc brake actuator. I just wish it was smart enough to brake the trailer with the exhaust brake level.

Al
I have my ITBC set to where there is NO application of brake pressure at zero miles an hour. Saves wear and tear on the actuator, IMO. The truck has hill brake assist, where the truck brakes will hold the combo still until the gas pedal it touched. No roll back or forward creep on hills.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
I did the same Kodiak conversion (single axle for me, with 11" rotor). However, I went with Tuson RV's actuator and their DirecLink Brake Controller. I have an 2008 F150 that does not have a built-in controller.



What I like about their unit is it plugs into the OBD port and reads multiple feeds, monitors brake fluid levels and I can even access transmission temps on the hand held. It also has 2 separate braking levels that you can adjust separately. One for highway speed and the other for low speed in town.



There is minimal delay in applying brakes, but not enough to bother me. Because of the single axle trailer I also upgraded the brakes on the truck. I have an upgrade from Baer brakes that gives me 15" drilled/slotted front rotors and drilled/slotted rear rotors with EBC performance pads. My F150 Limited comes with factory 22" wheels so I can run the larger rotors up front.



I


Nice upgrade to your trailer and truck brakes.

I also have the Tuson hydraulic brake actuator and the brake controller. I like them both. I donít notice any brake delay. It could be that there is a delay, I just donít notice it.

Dan
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
I have observed that the integrated trailer brake controller in my Ram is apparently monitoring some buss that gives hydraulic pressure or brake pedal effort or some equivalent. Sitting still, i.e. no deceleration sensor involvement, the harder I press the brake pedal, the stronger the signal to the disc brake actuator. I just wish it was smart enough to brake the trailer with the exhaust brake level.

Al
Al,

You wouldn't want the trailer brakes to actuate with the exhaust brake as then you'd roast them on a long descent.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:54 PM   #16
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@dznf0g: 2 psi in the line is 2/1600 of what the actuator applies on a hard stop. Also, I believe you are off by a factor of 2 since the caliper exerts the pressure of the piston against its body which is supporting the other pad.

Nevertheless I will keep an eye on pad wear and report back.

Al
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:58 PM   #17
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Ordered mine today. Please advise if you notice any pad drag. Post a photo of you installation if possible
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:11 PM   #18
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@dznf0g: 2 psi in the line is 2/1600 of what the actuator applies on a hard stop. Also, I believe you are off by a factor of 2 since the caliper exerts the pressure of the piston against its body which is supporting the other pad.

Nevertheless I will keep an eye on pad wear and report back.

Al
Dont think it works that way. The point here has nothing to do with max system pressure. It has to do with a 2 psi residual pressure in the caliper which fights the rotor runout (yes, they all have some) and bearing play from adequately pushing the piston back in its bore. This will increase drag to varying degrees. Just keep an eye on it. I'd use an infrared thermometer at each stop until you're confident the drag isn't excessive.
Better yet, jack up one wheel, pull the breakaway switch. Reinstall pin. Try and rotate the wheel assembly.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:45 PM   #19
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Al,
My example and math is for the OE fixed caliper, 4 piston system. I guess I dont know what system you have.

Now that I think about it, and relative to the hot rod application post above, I believe the OE actuator may be lower than the calipers by a small amount. I'm going to have to look into that. I do seem to recall, in the deep recesses of my mind that the Actibrake has a check valve, but.........
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:18 PM   #20
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Rich,
I have the Kodiak single piston floating calipers. I have observed little to no difference in the tendency for the TV/TT combination to roll on a slight incline when the brakes are released.

Al
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