COPING WITH EXTRA KILOS

Disc Brakes Australia offers a range of upgrade brake products

Whether dealing with commercially used vehicles such as vans and utes, or recreational vehicles like 4WDs and SUVs used for off-roading or towing, with all the gear involved the extra weight can add up quickly.
Disc Brake Australia (DBA) says this is where its range of upgrade brake products can help to achieve optimal braking performance.
From tradespeople hauling equipment, tools, and building material in their vehicle to 4WDers carrying bull bars, rear bars, tyre swing-outs, rock sliders, roof racks, and other accessories – it all adds up to contribute to an increased Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM).
Add to that a bunch of people plus luggage in the boot and on the roof, and before you know it you have almost put an extra tonne of weight on your vehicle (you should 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 pushing the vehicle when braking.
Overall, the brakes might be dealing with an extra 50 percent of weight, compared to the vehicle’s tare weight, that needs to be stopped.
DBA says that whilst most OE-fitted brakes will do a reasonable job with the extra load, there are two aspects that will help determine whether a brake upgrade is advisable: (a) are the current brakes technically capable of handling the extra load, and (b) considering every metre counts when trying to avoid a collision, would shortening the vehicle’s stopping distance be of value?
In the case of item (b), 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 tyres 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.
DBA says this then brings us back to point (a) – are the brakes currently on the vehicle capable of handling the extra weight?
With higher weights, DBA explains that 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. It says the result will be brake fade and eventual brake failure.
DBA says this is where it has the upgrade brake combo for a wide range of SUVs, utes and 4WDs.
It states that 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.
DBA says the 4000 Series rotors are perfectly complemented by its range of Xtreme Performance brake pads.
Scorched for optimal performance, this low-metallic, low copper friction material reportedly offers superior performance across the full temperature spectrum while 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, it says 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, DBA encourages you to check out its electronic Part Finder at www.dba.com.au

For more information, visit www.dba.com.au or contact DBA on Facebook, via email at sales@dba.com.au or via phone on 1800 730 039.