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Old 01-23-2014, 07:52 PM
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alum front calipers

Does reducing the 'unsprung' weight in a GM A-body have a noticeable impact on ride or handling?? I'm just curious. .I'm considering swapping my single piston iron calipers for some dual-piston aluminum calipers...

i figure dual pistons and aluminum housings will help them tolerate the abuse at the drag strip a little better :>


these are direct replacements for the DM52 GM caliper..

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/wil-140-11291-r

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Old 01-23-2014, 10:00 PM
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A large difference, if the weight loss is significant, but just exchanging the calipers won't make any handling difference.
just better braking ability.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:45 PM
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good start do it

You have to reduce the total weight significantly to be able to notice a difference ride and handling. The handling would only improve over a irregular service. The lighter wheel assembly would be better controlled by the shock and spring. For example if you have 40LB wheels, 10LB calipers and 25LBS of rotor and spindle and you reduce the calipers by 5LBS your basically going from 75lb to 70lbs. That 6% total decrease probably wont be noticeable at all. So approach it as a start. Get lighter wheels, alu hat rotors and get the weight down 35% and you will see a great improvement in transient response and road holing over irregular surfaces. I've done this on an Audi A8 and Jag IFS using Wilwood calipers, alu hat rotors and the improvement is very noticeable and a bit addicting. Look at the front suspension of a Mercedes BMW or Peugeuot there basically nothing there and what is there is aluminum. Mercedes used the sway bar as the upper control arm for what is basically the best riding Mercedes ever, the W126. Smallish spindles, alloy wheels and over all low component weight really makes a great difference.

FORCE = MASS * ACCELERATION.

Force being what you feel or the force that the shock and spring have to control.

Mass being the mass or the item accelerated or the wheel, spindle & brake assembly as a whole.

Acceleration is the energy input from the tire hitting a bump

Lets do some imprecise math for a basic illustration. So if you hit a bump and it moved the wheel upward at 2 meters per second and your wheel assembly weighs 50kg the force is 100kg. If you reduce the wheel assembly weight 6 percent then it would be 2m/sec * 47 or a force of 94kg. If you reduce the wheel assembly weight by 35% you will see a force of 65kg.

Now let say you were moving faster over that bump and it accelerated your wheel 4 m/sec then... 8 m/sec

4*50 = 200kg of force
4*47 = 188kg of force
4*32.5 = 130Kg or force.

8*50 = 400kg of force
8*47 = 376kg of force
8*32.5 = 260Kg or force.

This a gross over simplification because it ignores time (shock valving) and vectors (control arm geometry) but you can basically see as you move faster and the bump hits harder the lighter wheel assembly does better.

Simply put a lighter wheel assembly also makes your shocks more effective because they have less force to decelerate over the same time. A slower reacting wheel holds the road surface better and transmits less reactive force to the chassis. so yes...better ride and handling.

Last edited by icsamerica; 01-24-2014 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBCRMAN@aol.com View Post
A large difference, if the weight loss is significant, but just exchanging the calipers won't make any handling difference.
just better braking ability.
I'm swapping iron calipers for aluminum.. I would hope there would be a weight reduction.. my goal is better braking.. the weight reduction and (if any) ride/handling improvements are just icing on the cake
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