When you go around the city driving your car, you might notice modified car of the same brand and model as yours however sporting extra-large disc brake. Your best guess is that they have installed big brake kit on their car.
With big brake kit installation, a very significant decrease on the stopping distance of your car is apparent. The feel of the brake is also great as the car will respond faster on every push of your brake pedal.
But how can a big break kit helps you stop faster when all the modification you see is the enormous brake rotors inside the wheel. You will be wrong if you think those extra big brake rotors are only for show. The principle of wheel braking system is that longer the leverage, the greater the stopping power of the vehicle.
How can increased leverage of big brake kit be the key component on faster stopping of your car? Simple, if you remember your high school you will recall that the longer the lever, the bigger boulders will you be able to move. This is a basic rule of simple machines.
But a braking system is a far more complex machine than the lever. Yet as you will observe, that complex machine are only several simple machines integrated to make one big machine with many components. It might have several parts but the law of simple machine still apply no matter how simple or complex your machines are.
Even if your car comes in with a very reliable stock brake system, you might be in a situation where the break response of your stock car is no longer sufficient for your riding requirements. You might consider upgrading your braking system if you drive very fast on a very crowded street. Here a few inches decrease on the stopping distance could mean a difference between life and death if you are stopping suddenly because the car in front of you brake suddenly and block your forward path.
You might also be riding down a long and steep mountain road and you need stronger break response since you will be pressing on the pedal more often and for longer periods of time. Here, holding on to your stock brake system might no longer be effective.
You might have tried every other remedy instead of paying the one time big time big brake kit. Putting on high performance dot 4 brake fluid might give you better braking response but dot 4 brake fluid needs to be replaced much faster than the regular dot 3 and hence higher maintenance cost for your car. You might try buying a new set of brake pads androtors however aside from the greater brake response you feel and the faster breaking response, you might be surprised that the braking distance of your car remains the same. This is because the braking distance of your car is only dependent on the leverage of the brake pads on the wheel. And the braking distance can only be decreased by installing big break kit.
photo credit: jeminke on flickr