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post #1 of 23 Old 08-23-2009, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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AI builds : degrees of difference? or night Vs. day???

i am strategizing an American Iron buildup for the NASA series, and have a basic question or two:

platform is a 98 Cobra, with a 99 cobra motor in it
plan is to gradually gut it, suspend it, cage it, and then diet it.

goal is to drive it back and forth to the tracks for a few months - doing DE3/4, and club days, and maybe TT,
and then after a few (~4-6) months, eventually get a tow rig to haul it back and forth.
(this isn't on which i want input)

my questions involves:
when trying to decide between a suspension set up (griggs, Agent 47, maximum, steeda) how much better is one than another?????

to look at the advertisements, (to talk to company reps) some make it seem like there is a night and day difference. ad that going with someone else's package is a huge mistake.
Conversely, at least one person i spoke to, with one of the above said : "i have beaten folks with each of those other types, and i have been beaten by others with each of those, as well"


my other question is kinda parallel, but on brakes:
I have been cutting my teeth driving a CMC car, 1995 GT with cobra motor, and cobra 2 piston brakes. it has ducts, DOT-4, stainless lines, and hawk pads.
As i am now contemplating an AI buildup, my initial (newbie) thought, was "I gotta hop up the braking first"
This is true to a degree. but how far, and at what point?

the question:
to what degree are the current cobra brakes good enough? (assuming ducts, pads, lines, fluids, and perhaps rotors have all been upgraded)
or . . .
should i just opt in for some 4 piston brembos? or 6 piston willwoods, or ?the brake man's? from the begining?

i plan on running 17" rims, and not going above 13" rims

any and all thoughts/advice welcome.
thanks,
doc

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post #2 of 23 Old 08-23-2009, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docstang View Post
i am strategizing an American Iron buildup for the NASA series, and have a basic question or two:

platform is a 98 Cobra, with a 99 cobra motor in it
plan is to gradually gut it, suspend it, cage it, and then diet it.

goal is to drive it back and forth to the tracks for a few months - doing DE3/4, and club days, and maybe TT,
and then after a few (~4-6) months, eventually get a tow rig to haul it back and forth.
(this isn't on which i want input)

my questions involves:
when trying to decide between a suspension set up (griggs, Agent 47, maximum, steeda) how much better is one than another?????

to look at the advertisements, (to talk to company reps) some make it seem like there is a night and day difference. ad that going with someone else's package is a huge mistake.
Conversely, at least one person i spoke to, with one of the above said : "i have beaten folks with each of those other types, and i have been beaten by others with each of those, as well"


my other question is kinda parallel, but on brakes:
I have been cutting my teeth driving a CMC car, 1995 GT with cobra motor, and cobra 2 piston brakes. it has ducts, DOT-4, stainless lines, and hawk pads.
As i am now contemplating an AI buildup, my initial (newbie) thought, was "I gotta hop up the braking first"
This is true to a degree. but how far, and at what point?

the question:
to what degree are the current cobra brakes good enough? (assuming ducts, pads, lines, fluids, and perhaps rotors have all been upgraded)
or . . .
should i just opt in for some 4 piston brembos? or 6 piston willwoods, or ?the brake man's? from the begining?

i plan on running 17" rims, and not going above 13" rims

any and all thoughts/advice welcome.
thanks,
doc
How much track time do you already have? Would you consider yourself among the strong runners in the top level of DE's you run (e.g. the advanced group?) If not, spend your time and money on learning to drive to the limit of the stock suspension first. When you learn where the limitations of the stock suspension are, you will be better equipped to ask the questions of the suspension sellers that will get you what you need. At this level of driving (racing?) a slower car with a great driver can often easily outrun a fast car with a green driver.


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post #3 of 23 Old 08-24-2009, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docstang View Post
i plan on running 17" rims, and not going above 13" rims
Presumably you mean rotors.
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-24-2009, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
Presumably you mean rotors.
LOL!! - yes, thx

13" in RIMS would necessitate a re-gearing of the rear end

i want ot stick with : 17" rims/13" brakes

Last edited by docstang; 08-24-2009 at 02:52 PM.
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-24-2009, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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How much track time do you already have? Would you consider yourself among the strong runners in the top level of DE's you run (e.g. the advanced group?) If not, spend your time and money on learning to drive to the limit of the stock suspension first. When you learn where the limitations of the stock suspension are, you will be better equipped to ask the questions of the suspension sellers that will get you what you need. At this level of driving (racing?) a slower car with a great driver can often easily outrun a fast car with a green driver.
in 18 months, i have had ~24 days on track (with 2 more coming thursday and friday at VIR)
and on 9/11, i get to begin a club membership at carolina motorsports park,
so i will be racking up the days (18 days for my share of the group membership) even faster

I ran 1:52's and 1:53's at Road Atlanta in a CMC-1 prep'd '95 GT

in the SE we run DE-3 and DE 4 as one group, so i am not yet at the top of that broad field.

i know driver modification is #1, and am investing heavily there, (above)
but want to start moving my new car along its path.
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-24-2009, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by docstang View Post
i Conversely, at least one person i spoke to, with one of the above said : "i have beaten folks with each of those other types, and i have been beaten by others with each of those, as well"
That's probably the most honest statement I've heard about this stuff in a long time.

Many of the products offered by these companies can provide a huge increase in performance IF they are dialed in right. But untill you get to the top levels of competition, a well sorted-out setup and a good driver may be way more important than the brand you choose.

I used to run circles around a couple of guys with Griggs racing suspension when I had just factory 4-link "quadra-bind" suspension with all Steeda "G-trac" parts. It was not nesessarily because the Steeda was better. It was becasue the Steeda setup was well matched and I had it dialed-in as good as it was ever going to get.
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-25-2009, 12:18 AM
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Im also very interested in the cobra brake question cause i have cobra brakes on my 98gt and i just started turning a 99 gt into an AI car. they work good for now but an AI car, with the greater speeds and stickier tires, i think the cobras aren't quite enough. if there is an AI guy running cobra fronts i'd like to talk to him.

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post #8 of 23 Old 08-25-2009, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by loudnslow98gt View Post
Im also very interested in the cobra brake question cause i have cobra brakes on my 98gt and i just started turning a 99 gt into an AI car. they work good for now but an AI car, with the greater speeds and stickier tires, i think the cobras aren't quite enough. if there is an AI guy running cobra fronts i'd like to talk to him.
I'd say if you've got the brakes, go ahead and run 'em until you start running into their limitations. Most AI guys I know are slowly progressing from Cobra PBR calipers, to Brembos off the 2000 Cobra R ro Stoptec. I can't honestly say how much better the more expensive calipers are, having never pushed 'em to the limit on a track.

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post #9 of 23 Old 08-25-2009, 01:21 PM
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I'd say if you've got the brakes, go ahead and run 'em until you start running into their limitations.
I plan on doing this since I have 2 sets of the Baer PBR brakes. I have a set of AP 4 piston brakes for later, I am trying to fit them now and may start a new thread since I am having problems.

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post #10 of 23 Old 08-25-2009, 11:50 PM
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brakes are you number one, primary safety devise. that is the one place i wouldn't try to cut corners. i mean i run them in my HPDE 98 mustang, but the speeds arent as much as an AI car, but it is heavier than an AI car, but its on street tires. Do any AI guys run Cobra PBR's?


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post #11 of 23 Old 08-26-2009, 01:00 AM
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I know of a number of racers who have run the PBRs on an AI car and won races that way. It is not a safety issue. It is mostly a pedal feel and pad life issue. The PBRs will taper the pads much more than a fixed 4 piston caliper will. This just progressively makes the pedal feel worse and worse as the pads wear.

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post #12 of 23 Old 08-26-2009, 10:18 AM
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I've never had a problem with PBR calipers. My car is faster than most AI cars and I run on A6's. Does the pedal feel get a little weird at times, sure. If you have something better install that, but the PBRs are fine.

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post #13 of 23 Old 08-26-2009, 04:32 PM
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Doc
Since you mentioned Road Atlanta, I'll give you a point of reference with stock Cobra brakes. My car is about 3460 pounds w/driver. And I have run 1:44s with no brake issues at all. Just make sure you have new fluid and decent pads. I dont think the AI guys are far off that time, maybe 1:40-42.
Hope that helps

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post #14 of 23 Old 08-28-2009, 12:48 PM
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Stop Techs up front and cobras out back won back to back Texas region AI championships in 2004 and 2005. The car dominated both seasons but it was an all out race car with a good driver.

Use what you have now and if your times get faster then upgrade the brakes. Brake pad compounds also make a huge difference and keeping the brake system flushed and in proper working order is a must. Personally, I would skip the 2000R brakes as they tend to have rotor issues. I have seen two cars with problems this year alone with cracked or broken front rotors up front.

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post #15 of 23 Old 09-01-2009, 06:09 PM
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Baer has a 4 piston caliper coming out. They are going to offer a kit that comes with brackets, calipers & lines to bolt to the SN95 spindles. Reuse your Cobra rotors & you now have 4 piston front brakes.

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Tight packaging constraints and simplicity with ready serviceability were the focus of Baer’s design on the T4. To ensure a tidy package the T4 is limited to use on 12 to 13-inch diameter rotors.

Whether sold as part of a Baer Claw TRACK-4 brake conversion or as individual calipers for custom use, T4 units deliver big performance on a moderate budget.

T4 Features -

•The 6-bolt architecture of the T-series two-piece bodies produces an incredibly stiff caliper.
•Radial mounting configuration disperses loads evenly, makes custom adaptation (when applicable) straight forward and the servicing of pads or rotors a simple, clean and easy task.
•Stainless pad abutments which can be changed easily when changing pads also serve as anti-rattle/noise shims.
•T4 units are simple to maintain, using the same pad shape as found on 1998-2002 Chevrolet Camaro. The FMSI (Friction Materials Standards Institute which is the recognized authority on brake pad references) number for this pad shape is D749. The D749 is available in a wide cross section of pad compounds from most US pad manufactures.
•Features internal fluid transfer passages and are bolted together from the back half of the caliper. This arrangement makes the exterior of the T-series ultra clean with no externally visible crossover or bleeder.
•Since only a single bleeder, located on the inner half of the caliper is used, T4 units bleed quickly and easily.
•Available in two widths for 1.100” or 1.250” thick rotors

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post #16 of 23 Old 09-04-2009, 02:55 PM
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any word on prices?

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post #17 of 23 Old 09-10-2009, 02:49 PM
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I don't think BAER has finalized the pricing yet because the T4 is so new.
I'm hearing you should pay around $895 for caliper, braket, pads, crushwashers & hardware.

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post #18 of 23 Old 09-10-2009, 03:21 PM
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Anyone done any direct comparisons between this caliper and the Cobra R Brembos, Stoptechs, Sierras, and other common 4-pot SN95 calipers?

It's easy to make something pretty. It's entirely different to make it work well in a race enviornment. Two things that concern me are the lack of external crossovers (I'm wondering how reliable those internal passages will be, long-term -- ESPECIALLY if they're using O-rings to seal them.) The single-bleeder setup also causes some concern. that necessitates a more complex plumbing arrangement, which can make it more difficult to get all the air out of the system.

Pad changes don't look to be very track-friendly. I'f I'm going to drop a lot of coin on a race caliper, I want to be able to R&R the pads without dismounting the caliper. Doesn't look like that'll be possible with this one.

And then there's the stiffness, which is one of the main reasons you go with an uber-expensive aftermarket caliper, and what looks stiff may not necessarily be so.

I'm going to be skeptical until some race team runs these things in a HEAVY race car for a season and reports back.

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post #19 of 23 Old 09-11-2009, 08:08 AM
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Yeah, can't beat the ease of changing pads in Brembos. Once you get the wheel off the only tools you need are a small punch and something to whack it with.
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post #20 of 23 Old 09-11-2009, 10:07 AM
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Yeah, can't beat the ease of changing pads in Brembos. Once you get the wheel off the only tools you need are a small punch and something to whack it with.
You'll beed a piston retractor, too. One of the FEW drawbacks to this kind of setup.

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post #21 of 23 Old 09-11-2009, 02:42 PM
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This is the response I got from BAER. They should have this information up on their website next week. I'll post a link then.

Quote:
Dane,
He poses some very interesting points. I’m glad he asked them. They are valid concerns that are often overlooked in the decision making process when searching for a suitable brake system or caliper upgrade.

I know this is very long, but these are issues that I see come up frequently on many forums and are not typically addressed in a proper fashion by any of the other manufacturers. There is a LOT of miss-information out there regarding brake system and caliper design. Even the information found in some of the more popular books and magazines on the subject are seriously flawed. I hope this can be a tutorial for those that care to take the time to read it and not just an AD for Baer brakes, though admittedly, I did take some liberties at making some key points that separate us from our competitors. We want people to understand that we came from a Road Racing background, a very successful one at that, and we’re not just building “pretty” calipers over here in Phoenix. It’s reputation we intend to squash! We are building calipers capable of being used in competition when used with an appropriate pad and yet are civil enough for everyday use when used with a road going pad like our ceramic, DecelaPad. Are they suitable for Cup Cars or Formula One? Maybe not, but in the world of Amateur, Sportsman, Grassroot type racing we feel they are superior to any of the examples citied.

Caliper stiffness is ALWAYS our first priority in any caliper design, but there are several other important criteria as well. Several design features make the T4 and the 6P calipers superior to the others on the market in their respective price ranges and some costing much more. I’ll address each one of the concerns and questions posted on the forum in the order they were listed, below.



· Caliper finish –

Calipers are offered Powder Coated as the standard finish, but are also available Hard-coat anodized. Typically, we use the hard-coat anodized versions in Off road racing applications as they have superior wear resistance to abrasion due to the wheels mud packing, rocks, etc.. Not much of an advantage in road racing, but it does have a more purposeful look and hold’s up well to high temperatures if the system is overheated. Powder coating is quite acceptable for most uses and almost all of our competitors, and all but one of the examples cited, are powder coated as a standard finish as well.



· Internal Cross Over - A quick look at the highest end calipers being produced today will show that more and more are now internal cross over. There are far LESS things that can go wrong with this arrangement. To ease everyone’s concerns about leaking, the calipers have been tested at up to 6000 psi with no mechanical failure of the caliper bodies, and while the o-rings did fail, it was in excess of 4000 psi which is about 3 times higher than any hydraulically operated brake system is operated at. Also the internal cross over design absolutely eliminates the chance of the cross over’s being damaged from crash debris. The last time I checked, crashing was still a frequent event in road racing. The absence of the frequently necessary channels to route the tubes also adds to overall caliper stiffness (more on that later).



· Single bleeder – Since the air is pushed up simultaneously on both sides of the caliper, it bleeds faster and more efficiently than 2 bleeder calipers.



· Pad changes aren’t as fast as a quick change type of caliper design, like those typically used in endurance racing like our 6R, but there are only two bolts to get the caliper off, so it’s still a very fast process. At least as fast as one you need to remove two or more bridge bolts. Maybe faster as you don’t need to hold the other end of the fastener to loosen and tighten it.



· Now to the most important aspect of caliper design…stiffness –

The reason you need to remove the caliper to replace the pads is that the pads don’t come out of the top of the caliper. This is due to the large radius corners at the opening in the top of the caliper. It helps resolve two key problems inherent in almost all caliper designs. It minimizes caliper flex as the result of the piston acting on the caliper body when the brakes are applied. (This is what most people think about when they think of caliper flex, and all some caliper manufacturers know exist). But, it is not the only flex the caliper is experiencing during heavy braking. It also resolves another phenomenon that happens during heavy braking. Since the calipers are only mounted on one side of the caliper, as is the case with all automotive mounting configurations; the opposite side of the caliper wants to move in the direction of the rotor rotation due to the friction of the outboard pad “pulling” the caliper with it. This action causes the caliper to distort, or “twist”. This also effects pedal firmness and modulation.



Some caliper designs incorporate elaborate, spider web type bolt in bridges at the top of the caliper to help minimize this. The bolt in bridges do a good job of minimizing caliper flex in a number of directions, but the down sides are…You still need to remove bolts to get the pads out. And, they restrict airflow, reducing the pumping efficiency of the rotors so the systems run hotter than with our design. Other companies simply run a single bolt or two from one side to the other in an effort to help minimize caliper distortion, but the design is antiquated, does little to eliminate the second condition outlined above; and STILL requires removal to change the pads.



In addition to the large radius corners, Baer also employs 6 bolts per caliper design to fasten the two halves together (6P and T4 only, 6S and 6R calipers are of the Monobloc design) compared to most competitors four bolts. More bolts equals an increase in caliper stiffness.



Additional items to consider when comparing Baer T4 and 6P calipers to our competitors –

· Piston placement and pad shape – the most efficient pad shape is one that is long and short in height, compared to a pad with the same area that is short and tall. The reason that the longer pads are preferred is simple leverage. The shorter pad height allows the pistons in the caliper to be placed as far away from the hub center as possible (read; close as possible to the rotor edge). This has the same effect as running a larger diameter rotor without the weight penalty. This is also the number one reason 6 piston calipers are typically superior to 4 piston calipers. It has nothing to do with clamping force or pad surface area.



· Pad availability – The decision to design our calipers to use the ’97 to current Corvette (6P) and ’98-’02 Camaro/Firebird (T4) is no accident. The above referenced reasons are why; a long, short in height pad shape. The other reason for going with these two pad shapes are that they are available from virtually every aftermarket pad company in the world, so whether you need a street compound or a competition compound, you are sure to find what you need.



· Manufacturing techniques and materials -Both calipers are machined from billet extrusions, not cast aluminum like a majority of the calipers in the sub $1,000.00 per caliper price range. Extrusions are basically billet bars that are forged into the rough shape of the caliper prior to machining.



· Inset dust and weather seals - Again, unlike a majority of the competitors calipers, Baer utilizes both pressure seals and wiper seals. The wiper seals are inset back into the bores to avoid being over-heated and failing. Most competitors either don’t use wiper seals at all which greatly reduces the reliability of the caliper or employ dust “boots” or seals that contact the back of the pad, which often results in the boots or seals failing when used in a competition environment.



· We are the only company that addresses pad knock back issues on rear applications that use axles with c-clip retained axles with our patent pending, VeriSlide brackets.



· The T4, 6P, 6s and 6R calipers as well as the 6PSC and 6RTT calipers are all made, 100% in the USA at our manufacturing facility in Phoenix, AZ.


Also, a quick shout out to Paul Brown, driver of the #96 AIX Mustang who won his qualifying race today at the NASA Nationals at Miller Motor Sports Park in Utah!

Ben
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post #22 of 23 Old 09-12-2009, 10:37 AM
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You'll beed a piston retractor, too. One of the FEW drawbacks to this kind of setup.
Huh? I just pry the pistons back into their bores using the old pads and leverage against the rotor.
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post #23 of 23 Old 09-14-2009, 07:53 PM
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http://www.baer.com/technical/T4and6P/index.php

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i just backed my timing down from 16 degrees to 12 degrees now car stumbles oohwe306 5.0/5.8 Engine Tech 4 09-03-2003 10:33 PM

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