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Old 04-01-2009, 11:42 AM
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dual calipers

Had an idea last night. Curious what you guys think of it.

A fair amount of people seem to be converting over to disc brakes by using a fabricated caliper bracket and mounting OEM calipers. Seems like a huge improvement over drums.

Wondering how practical it would be to make that bracket larger, so you could mount two calipers on a single disc.

Maybe have to set up a larger MC, or dual MCs and its a lot of extra plumbing.

Would you get double the braking capacity? On a heavy vehicle, that could be a really good thing, and it wouldn't require larger discs that may not fit inside a given wheel.

Downside, besides the complexity, would be more unsprung weight.

Upside, compared to something like Baer or other aftermarket, is you could use inexpensive OEM calipers and pads. Probably could scrounge up some of those for next to nothing at the pick-and-pull.

What do you think? Is it a crazy idea, or would it be worth trying? Anybody seen it done before?

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Old 04-01-2009, 11:59 AM
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Hi,
The very first thing I taught of was, how would you get rid of the heat?
Rich
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:28 PM
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Thought about that myself.

I guess I don't know. I suppose some cold air ducting could help.

Not sure how close to the failure point most OEM rotors are - maybe warping would be a problem due to overheating.

Ultimately, I guess brakes work by turning movement into heat through friction, so at some point, it's going to pose a problem for the rotor material. Where that point is, I don't know.

On the other hand, if it only happens during extreme conditions, then I think I'd rather warp my rotors than hit something...

Under race conditions, its probably not a great solution, but for a driver - I don't know.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:35 PM
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Some airplanes do it. Most sporty motorcycles do it (except they generally have two discs). I've never seen 4 calipers on one circuit though.

The pressure inside of a closed system is equal everywhere. So, yes you would get 2x the braking. I believe it will also require more pedal travel.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:41 PM
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The idea is a sound one. But that's why there are two and three (four, yet?) piston calipers.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:07 PM
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Hi,
I'm thinking that by using two calipers you have reduced the cooling time/space by 1/3, leaving only 1/3 of the rotor to move the excess heat away, it would probably work if you increased the rotor size, look at the size of the airplanes rotors that use multiple calipers, I also think that the heat build up would be great enough to cause brake fading, or a fire, like I've seen on large trucks riding there breaks down one of these mountains here.
Rich
PS 6 piston calipers on a Buell.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
The idea is a sound one. But that's why there are two and three (four, yet?) piston calipers.
My dad's 1969 corvette has 4-piston calipers, so they happened a long time ago (it's all original, not rebuilt )
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:29 PM
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Happy for your dad! lol

I found kits for and ZO6 6-piston calipers, I guess I need to get out more often.
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
The idea is a sound one. But that's why there are two and three (four, yet?) piston calipers.
There are definitely cool brake solutions out there, but from what I've seen, they typically cost more than what I pay for a project car.

That's what started me thinking. Local pull-a-part charges $10/caliper. Caliper rebuild kits are generally inexpensive. If I had to make a bracket to convert to disks anyhow, the extra cost to mount a second caliper, and even a second master cylinder, would be peanuts compared to any of the aftermarket multi-piston calipers.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckucia
There are definitely cool brake solutions out there, but from what I've seen, they typically cost more than what I pay for a project car.
Excellent point. I cringe at what a good brake set-up can cost.

Usually, there are OEM upgrades available from the junkyard, i.e. swapping larger disc/calipers from another model, etc. That, w/GOOD pads and having the brake bias balanced can go a long way towards a good set-up, IMHO.

I believe that often too much is made of a rear disc conversion. Other than appearance and a slight weight difference, I see no material benefit from converting in many cases. The money and time is better spent optimizing the front disc brake system and overall balance, IMO.

I like your thinking, BTW. My earlier comment wasn't meant as a knock by any means.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:55 AM
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So, is this a current problem or something we are wondering about??

I figure if you can lock up the wheels, everything is OK.

If not, maybe some re-engineering of the system is in order.

Don't get me wrong, a hot rodder is always looking for ways to improve something or other.

That is what we do, but . . .

No need in making life tougher that is already is.

K
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:54 PM
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Good point made earlier that the pressure in a closed system is the same at every point in the system....but the fluid demand required for multiple calipers will be double (assuming similar calipers installed). This will require additional pedal movement and may possibly tax the limitations of the master.

I can see doing an additional setup, leaving the existing setup alone and addiing an additional master cylinder with a single caliper (Toyota/Mazda...something from a small car) but mount the disc to the pinion input of the axle. It would require a bit of fabrication, but having a single master going to a single caliper and the additional mechanical advantage of the axle gearing should more than make up for the size of a small rotor/caliper combination. If this type setup will work all by itself on Rockwell 2 1/2 ton axles and 44x17 inch tires, then it should work hella good as an additional help for folks who just want a bit more.

That being said, stopping the wheels usually isn't the problem...it's keeping the wheels from locking up and having the vehicle slide.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:04 AM
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If the concept is to add brake surface area while reducing cost I could see using a pair of single piston calipers with a big bore master cylinder. This could even increase rotor cooling if done correctly... figure space the calipers at the 9 and 3 clock area's giving cooling between those areas, brake fade and glazing could be reduced while the same surface area is being used from braking.

Then again, it's all in my head... real world experience might be different.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by completehavoc
If the concept is to add brake surface area while reducing cost I could see using a pair of single piston calipers with a big bore master cylinder. This could even increase rotor cooling if done correctly... figure space the calipers at the 9 and 3 clock area's giving cooling between those areas, brake fade and glazing could be reduced while the same surface area is being used from braking.
Braking is simply converting rotational energy into heat. If you increase braking power, you're increasing the ability to generate heat. If anything, adding calipers will increase chances of glazing and fade. That may or may not be a problem depending on your rotor size and brake cooling capabilities.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:46 AM
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But wouldn't cooling the area sooner before it sees heat again help?

if the brake pad area is the same 6 sq. inches on one dual piston caliper with caliper piston size at 1" and 3/4" (for even wear of the pad) you would only have the braking force of 1 3/4" pressure on the 6" pad. with no cooling during the full 6" of pad

The same 6" of pad surface being held by 2 calipers with 1" pistons each would have 2" of braking force on the same 6" of pad. with cooling between each 3" of pad...
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