Tag Archives: brake

Brake Caliper Information

The brake caliper is the assembly which houses the brake pads and pistons. The pistons are generally made from aluminum or chrome-plated steel.

Calipers are two types, floating or fixed. A fixed jaw is not moved with respect to the disk and therefore less tolerant disc imperfections. The use of one or more single or pairs of opposing clamping pistons on both sides of the disc, and is complex and costly a floating thickness.

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Brake Pads Information from Wikipedia

Brake pads are a part of disc used in automotive and other applications. Brake pads are steel backing plates with friction material bonded to the surface that the disc brake rotor.

Brake Pads – Function

Brake pads convert the kinetic energy of the vehicle to thermal energy through friction. Two pads are included in the caliper with their friction surfaces facing the rotor.  When the hydraulic brakes are applied, the caliper clamps or Continue reading

Winmax Japan – High Performance Brake Pads & Brake Discs

Long established Japanese manufacturer of performance brake discs and brake pads.

Winmax have a huge range of compounds for the brake discs which includes brake pads for rally, circuit, street, sports and endurance.

Winmax range of brake pads carry the name ARMA.

Brake Hoses – How They Work

The job of brake hose is to give a channel by which the fluid can act. When the brake pedal is pushed the pressure is transferred into the brake fluid which transfers the pressure tot he brake pad.

The brake hose must no leak, it must be flexible and it should not bulge.

Obviously if a brake hose leaks the pressure from the brake pedal is wasted by forcing the fluid out of the braking system instead of pushing the brake pad against the brake discs. If the leak is bad enough it will lead to all of the brake fluid escaping from the brake system resulting in no brakes.

The brake hoses must be flexible. The brake caliper moves up and down with the wheel in relation tot he body of the car. The brake hoses must be able to sustain this constant movement indefinitely while still performing its job.

Brake hoses must not bulge. As brake fluid gets hot in can make the brake lines more flexible meaning that instead of the pedal force being transmitted to the piston in the brake caliper the force is used to bulge the brake line. If the brake line is old enough and/or abused enough this can lead to a soft brake pedal.

Performance brake hoses from firms like HEL are designed never to bulge and to last the lifetime of the vehicle.

While performance brake lines are not as critical as performance brake pads they are another step in improving the capabilities of your cars brake system.

Brakes – How They Work

Car brakes and brake in general work by changing kinetic energy into heat energy. Brakes do this by rubbing two surfaces together to create heat.

In the case of a modern car’s braking system these two surfaces are the brake discs and the brake pads. When the brake pedal is pushed the brake pads squeeze the spinning brake discs to create the heat and to slow the car down.

Performance brake parts increase the performance of a standard braking system by increasing the amount of energy that can be transferred in a shorter amount of time.

In a standard braking system the brake pads are usually the weakest link. Standard brake pads can be overcome by the heat being created which leads them to give off gas which gets between the brake discs and brake pads which massively reduces the friction available.

If you have ever felt this on the road you know what a “not good” situation this is. The symptoms of the brake pads overheating is a strong brake pedal, ie not soft, but no matter how hard you press the brakes you cannot lock the tyres and/or the car does not stop any quicker.

This problem of the brake pads overheating is called brake fade and is the biggest issue in standard braking systems.

To overcome this problem of the brake pads overheating performance brake pads can be fitted. Performance brake pads are designed to be able to cope with higher temperatures than the standard brake pads and have the side benefit of being able to last longer.

The downside of performance brake pads is that they tend to cost more than normal brake pads although you may get the money back through savings in garage costs because they could last 2-3 times longer than cheap replacement brake pads.

There is another type of brake fade and this is down to the brake fluid. Brake fluid absorbs water from the atmosphere and water has a lower boiling temperature than brake fluid. As brake fluid absorbs more and more water, its boiling point reduces.

The symptom of old brake fluid is a soft brake pedal under braking. The soft pedal comes from the brake fluid compressing. While water and brake fluid are not compressible, when brake fluid boils because of a high water content, the boiling introduces bubbles into the hydraulic system which are compressible.

If your brake pedal is close to the floor or if it is soft or if you need to push hard on the pedal to get meaningful retardation then your brake fluid may well need to be changed.

Brakes – Summary

Brake systems work by transforming kinetic energy into heat energy

The braking capacity of a brake system is limited to the amount of energy it can transform into heat

When the brake system is overcome with heat, brake fade occurs. This is usually down to the brake pads expelling gas or the brake fluid boiling

Upgrading brake pads to performance parts is a major improvement and regularly changing  brake fluid is also beneficial

For the ultimate increase in the heat capacity of your cars braking system a big brake kit is the answer.



Brake Pads

StrikeEngine – Links to performance brake pad manufacturers. Performance brake pads for the street and the track.


Performance Brake Pad Manufacturers

AP Racing
Carbone Lorraine
Performance Friction
RoeschTrimat Continue reading

Brake Fade Symptoms

First of all let’s recap on how brakes work, specifically disc brakes.


Disc brakes consist of brake pads and brake discs. The brake pads clamp onto the brake discs when the brake pedal is pushed. This creates friction between the brake pads and the brake discs which creates heats.


This heat is the key to how brake systems work; they convert kinetic energy to heat energy. The faster they can do this the faster your car will stop.


Brake fade happens when the heat created is too much for the brake pad to handle. All brake pads have a specific heat range in which they work well. If a brake pad is too hot or too cold they do not work properly.


Brake pad effectiveness is measured by its coefficient of friction. Companies like Ferodo will publish a graph for its brake pads which show how the coefficient of friction of the brake pad changes with temperature.


Brake fade happens when the brake pad becomes so hot it takes the brake pad outside its temperature window where it is most effective.


When brake pads overheat they emit gasses and can start to shed material onto the brake disc.


The symptoms of brake are pushing the brake pedal harder but the car does not stop any faster. In other words the stopping power loses connection with how hard you press the brake pedal.


Needless to say this is a very disconcerting feeling.


There is another type of brake fade. Whereas brake fade that is down to inappropriate brake pads the second type of brake fade is down to not properly maintaining the brake system


The second type of brake fade is related to the brake fluid in the system. Over time brake fluid absorbs water from the air and the more water it absorbs to more compressible it becomes. You can feel this compressibility as a soft/mushy brake pedal.


In the extreme, brake fade down to old brake fluid can lead to a driver push the brake pedal all the way to the floor with little increase in stopping power. Arguably, brake fade because of old brake fluid is more dangerous than brake fade due to low quality brake pads.


Fortunately there are things that can be done to a car’s braking system to massively improve the braking system to brake fade.


The most obvious step is to flush out the old brake fluid completely and refresh with the new brake fluid. This will give immediate benefits. First of all the brake pedal will fell much stronger, it will give much more resistance and the car will seem to stop with less effort.


The second step is to upgrade brake pads. The brake pads fitted to cars from the factory are designed to bring a car to a stop from high speed once, possibly twice in quick succession. After this brake fade usually starts to happen. This problem is quite easy to solve as there are many companies selling brake pads which are designed to work at higher temperatures than the original brake pads. These pads will be priced the same as what you get from a main dealer but they will far outperform the main dealer brake pads both for service life and in stopping power when hot. Brands like Ferodo and EBC make high performance brake pads for road use. Speak to your local performance car part dealer for advice on the pads which are best for you.


So in summary, brake fade is due to the braking system being asked to deal with more heat than it can handle. To raise the heat capacity of your car’s braking system new and/or uprated brake fluid should be used as well as performance orientated brake pads. Like most things, you get what you pay for, while there are cheap brake pads available their service life will not compare to performance brake pads costing 4 or 5 times as much.


With uprated brake pads and uprated/new brake fluid your car’s braking system will have a much higher heat capacity meaning you can drive your car harder before you start feeling brake fade.

D2 Racing Sport

D2 Racing Sport Website

D2 Racing Sport is a Taiwanese manufacturer of performance suspension and performance brake kits.

D2 Racing Sport offers a variety of coil over suspension systems to suit many uses. Their range starts off with “Street” and climaxes in their “Racing” suspension kit which utilises remote reservoir technology.

Many D2 coil over suspension kits come with camber adjustment by way of adjustable top mounts. D2 products have proved to be very popular throughout the world both for the quality of their product and the price.

D2 use a modular system for their coil over suspension systems which greatly reduces the cost some rebuild time. Unlike many coil over suspension kit manufacturers D2 utilises a system where all the major components are separate from the main damper unit.

Although this does make D2 suspension kits heavier than kit from other companies it does mean that instead of requiring a rebuild the damper cartridges are simply replaced. If you have ever inquired about getting your TEIN suspension kit replaced you will know what we mean when we say they are not cheap to rebuild.

Another benefit of the modular system that D2 uses is that parts can easily be replaced if the unit is damaged at all. The top bottom and centre sections are all separate on a D2 suspension kit which means if you damage the bottom mount you do not need to buy a complete suspension unit, you simply replace the part that is damaged.

D2 big brake kits have been popular for many years. D2 offers probably the largest range of big brake kits on the market today, both with regards to the variety of discs sizes available and also in the number of cars that are covered by it’s application list.

Unlike most companies which use a 4 piston caliper, D2 front brake kits start with a 6 piston caliper. The greater the number of pistons the more even the pressure across the brake pad giving more effective braking.

For their 330mm and bigger kits, D2 uses 2 piece brake discs which save considerable weight versus one piece discs used by most big brake kit manufacturers for this size.

D2 brake kits come complete with all mounting hardware required to fit and the packaging and instructions are first rate.

UK Dealers: Big Brake Kits 4 U, Jap Shop


Tuning Guide


Daily Driver – Comfortable, higher performance.

Stage 1 – Chassis Braces

Stage 2 – Non Adjustable Sport Suspension

Stage 3 – Performance Brake Pads

Stage 4 – Sport Seats

Stage 5 – Performance Exhaust, Filter, ECU Remap

Stage 6 – Camshafts (N/A)

Stage 7 – Wheels & Tyres

Track Day – Peformance above comfort

Stage 1 – Chassis Braces

Stage 2 – Adjustable Suspension

Stage 2a – Wheels & Tyres

Stage 3 – Performance Brake Pads/Big Brake Kits

Stage 4 – Seats/Roll Cage

Stage 5 – Lightweight Body Panels/Aero Parts

Stage 6 – Cams/Throttle Bodies – Bigger Turbo

Fast road and track day car tuning guide. The phrase car tuning brings up all sorts of different images for different people and I think its fair to say in the eyes of Joe public it’s probably a negative image with a hint of Saxo and a dust bin exhaust.

While this image may represent a small part of the car tuning industry it isn’t necessarily negative.

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Civic Parts

Honda Civic Body Kits and Tuning Parts. Links to manufacturers of high performance parts, body kits, turbo kits, superchargers, cold air intakes, performance air filters, brake pads, discs and big brake kits, and Civic engine tuning information

see also:
K20 Engine Tuning Information
Honda Tuners Continue reading

Nissan 200SX Parts

Nissan 200SX Tuning Part Manufacturers – Nissan 200SX Tuning

Links to manufacturers of performance parts for the Nissan 200SX. Performance parts covering suspension, engine, turbo, transmission and brakes for the Nissan 200SX. When you want to tune your Nissan 200SX we are sure you can what you are looking for from the part manufacturers listed. Continue reading

Brake Lines

Brake Lines – Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines for Advanced Road and Motorsport

Links to manufacturers of braided brake lines for high performance automotive use. Braided brake lines give your brake pedal amore positive feel giving you more confidence to take your brakes to the limit. Braided brake lines are one of the most cost effective upgrades you can make to your car, Continue reading

Big Brake Kit

Big Brake Kits

Big Brake Kit Manufacturers at StrikeEngine.com – Big brake kits massively improve the stopping power of whatever they car fitted up to. Big brake kits use brake pads with a larger surface area which improves the braking power and also increases the leverage of the caliper on the discs. More braking power less pressure required on the brake pedal. Big brake kits will massively improve the driver’s confidence.  Big brake kits come with all parts required to fit including performance brake padsperformance brake discsbrake lines, brackets,calipers and in some cases fluid.

Big Brake Kit from K-Sport featuring 8 piston caliper

see also:
performance brake pads
performance brake discs
performance brake calipers Continue reading

Ford Escort S2 RS Turbo Tuning

S2 RS Turbo Buying Guide

The Series 2 Escort RS Turbo was not a motorsport special like the Series 1 so it’s design was developed for road use as opposed to the track. It lost the S1 4.27 final drive and the front tie bar arrangement. The Bosch Motorola engine management received some tweaks, fuel economy was improved, a one piece inlet manifold was used, a water cooled turbo was an improvement as well as an upgraded intercooler and cylinder head. The limited slip diff was softened up so it wasn’t so snatchy. The S2 used the same dampers as found on the XR3i but with uprated springs.

see also:
S1 Escort RS Turbo Tuning Guide
General Car Buying Guide
Engine Tuning Information
Ford Tuners

S2 RS Turbo Buying Guide

Braking was a major weak point of the Series 1 , on the S2 XR4i discs were used and larger drums on the rear. Girling ABS was also standard.

Colours available included diamond white Mercury Grey, Black and Radiant Red. The S2 also came with bonnet vents, XR3i colour coded rear spoiler and subtle arch extensions.

Recaros were standard but a sunroof, central locking and electric windows were not and these cost 572GBP as part on the Custom Pack.

S2 RS Turbo – Identity

The VIN can be found on the slam panel under the bonnet as well as under the carpet between the driver seat and the sill. The number should be clear and read WFOBXXGCABKJ followed by the chassis number listed on the V5 log book.

If your looking at a “90”spec S2 it should have heated front windscreen, a rear wing with curved over ends and blue and red fleck trim and also adjustable intermittent wiper speed. It also had a 2 piece centre console and a second courtesy light in the rear headlining.

Related Pages:
Directory Home

S2 RS Turbo Buying Guide

S2 RS Turbo – Brakes

260mm discs as standard but they still warp but they are cheap to replace. Worn rear drums can be diagnosed with a slack handbrake. Check the ABS with a hard stop, it should trigger, its not the most subtle but it needs to work or its an MOT failure.

S2 RS Turbo – Engine

Can sound extremely rough but they are a tough engine. If there are running problems a decent service should have it running like well. If not suspect air leaks in the intake system. Low boost pressure can point to collapsed hosesand or a weak wastegate actuator. If its accompanied by a load of bangs on overrun its probably the throttle position sensor.

As always check around the inside of the oil filler cap for white sludge. If you can see it indicates a blow head gasket. Chips of unknown origin are a recipe for an engine rebuild. Too much fuel is also bad as it washes the oil off the cylinder walls reducing lubrication. Not good.

Look out for smoke on full throttle, if its blue then the engine is on its way out.

S2 RS Turbo – Transmission

The S2 came with the B5 gearbox. The main shaft is the weakest point so listen for rumbling. The gear stick will have play in it. If you cant get a gear without forcing it the gear linkage is shot. Try and change gears quickly to check the condition if the syncro, if its grinds a lot then its on its way out. Second to third gear is particularly weak. 170bhp is the limit for the standard clutch and standard gearbox internals.

Given the age of the car there is a good chance the box has been placed. to check jack both front wheels up turn one wheel if the opposite wheels turns in the same direction it has the LSD, if it turns in the opposite direction then it doesn’t have a limited slip diff. Diesel boxes are not stronger then the RS box despite the rumours!

S2 RS Turbo – Electrics

As with every cars check every switch and knob and make sure it works. Let the car idle for a bit and see if theradiatorfans kicks in. Get the fuel pump wiring checked to make sure the fuel pump is getting the full 12volts because if its not than the engine could be running lean.

S2 RS Turbo – Interior

You have to expect some wear in here, the drivers seat bolsters are usually the worst effected. Seats can be found but the retrimming can be expensive and second hand 90 spec Recaros go for over 200GBP. Check the headlining for watermark due to the sunroof leaking also check the carpets for moisture. If they are wet then there is a good chance that the metal underneath will be rotten.

S2 RS Turbo – Bodywork

It’s an old Ford so check everywhere for rust. Sills, bulkhead, around the windscreen, floor, wings, battery tray everywhere. Especially look behind the body kit. The extra additions will trap water and rot everything they are connected to.

Panels can still be bought new but the body kit parts will need to be bought secondhand. Check panel gaps for accident damage and windows for overspray. Check the engine compartment for it’s original sealant and also the boot floor for flatness, if its creased then it will have been rear ended. If you spot any fault take into consideration the age of the car.

S2 RS Turbo – Suspension

Like any car if it feels boaty than the damper are probably shot, if there is knocking from the suspension then thebushesare probably knackered. If anything feels a miss its best to take a closer look. There are many good qualitysuspension kits on the market and uprated replacements bushes. Run our fingers between the wheel arch and the wheel to check that the wheels are sitting in the middle of the arches and that they are the same side to side. If not it points to at worst a twisted chassis and the minimum badly repaired accident damage.

S2 RS Turbo – Where to Find

Rust has claimed many of the 22,108 examples built. They can be found on EBay and in the local newspapers but they are becoming a rarer site. For more selection and a better quality selection its best to check owners clubs forums and websites. The RS Owners Club is a good place to start.


One of the most important checks when buying any car whether its a Ferrari or a FSO is to run a history check. This will check if its been stolen, written off or has outstanding finance. This check is essential. HPI UK is one of the companies that can do this for you.

S2 RS Turbo – How Much to Pay

For spares or abandoned project cars

Tidy cars with a good MOT and some service history

Excellent cars in excellent condition. Low mileage. Expect everything to be perfect as very close to new

You can eat your dinner of the underside concourse, need to wear white cotton cottons gloves to not leave grease stains in the engine compartment jobby. Basically a perfect example that is new, not just looks new. For this money the car should be showroom fresh.

S2 RS Turbo – Specs

Engine: CVH
Capacity: 1600cc
Compression: 8.2
Power: 132bhp @ 5750rpm
Torque:134lbs/ft @ 2750rpm
Turbo: Garret T3
Management: Bosch Jet Tronic
Transmission: B5 5 Speed
Clutch: 215mm
Diff: Viscous LSD
Ratios: 3.15, 1.91, 1.27, 0.95, 0.76
Final Drive: 3.82
Front Suspension: McPherson Struts
Rear Suspension: Beam, Trailing Arms, Springs
Anti Roll Bar: 24mm Front, 16mm Rear
Steering: Rack and Pinion
Front Discs: 260mm
Rear Drums: 229mm
Wheels: 15×6
Tyres: 195/50-15
0-60: 8.2seconds
Top Speed: 128mph

S2 RS Turbo Buying Guide – Insurance

It’s always worth getting an insurance quote before you get the car to avoid any nasty surprises. The links below are to pages on StrikeEngine.com where we list insurance companies specialising in high performance cars.

UK High Performance Car Insurance Brokers
Ford Specialist Insurance Brokers

Club Links
Ford Escort Owners Club
RS Owners Club


Ford Parts

Ford Performance Parts

UK Ford Performance Tuning Links – Ford Body Kits, Performance Car Part Manufacturers and Dealers, Ford Car Tuners. Induction Kits, Performance Exhausts, Brake Pads and Discs, Air Filters, Induction Kits, Used Car Buying and Ford Price Guides.

Ford Focus Manifold

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