Wednesday, January 18, 2006

3 Bells of the Forenoon Watch, and All's Clear

Nothing new to report on the baby front.

OK, whatever you're doing, stop it right now and go buy the book Master and Commander. This is some of the best literature I've ever encountered. I'm on the 5th book right now, Desolation Island, and I can plainly state that Patrick O'Brian was a master word-smith.

His stories are told in the language of the time (early 19th century), he does not dumb-down the naval speech, and there's subtext everywhere. Humor is infused, but so subtly that you can easily miss it.

If you enjoyed the movie, you'll love the books, but you'll be absolutely stunned at how subdued the movie was. The men of a 19th century warship suffered under conditions that we would consider less than sub-human, and did so willingly.

Amazing stuff, absolutely amazing.


So I went out and did some testing of my "new" brakes yesterday, and I can't wait for the weather to get good enough to re-install the Wilwoods. The brakes are still strong, but nothing compared to what I've been on for the last 9 months. Copied below is my entry on the matter at

Yesterday I put my stock calipers back on, along with a pair of lightly used Brembo rotors, Axxis Ultimate front pads, stainless lines, brass caliper-bushings, and new fluid.
Today, I went out to see what kind of difference this would make to my stopping distances. I had been told to expect these changes to make about 80% of the force of a BBK, but I can't say that I'm sold. This setup will stay on the car for the winter months, but will probably never see competition. I'd rather stay in STX and stop quickly than compete in STS and nail the cones.

Previous test data:
Avon M500 215/50WR16, SSR Comp 16x7, Wilwood 12.2" BBK: 128.5' (-0.98G)
Kumho MX 215/45YR17, SSR GT-7 17x7.5, Wilwood 12.2" BBK & Axxis Ultimate rear pads: 115.5' (-1.11G)
Today's test:
Kumho MX 215/40YR17, Kosei K1-TS 17x7, stock calipers, brass bushings, stainless lines, Axxis Ultimate front & rear pads, Brembo front rotors: 130.8' (-0.97G)

I did another pass, remembering that the second stop is generally better. It didn't hold, this time, as I only managed 133'. Granted, I had just bedded-in the pads, and was starting to feel the tiniest bit of fade, but not 15' worth.
Also, it doesn't seem that the brass bushings do anything. At all. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the Wilwoods, but the brakes feel mushy, slow to respond, and have nowhere near the bite. I'd be willing to bet these fall slightly closer to the stock setup than to a BBK in terms of stopping power.
Finally, the last thing to note is the heat: the right-front rotor was hot enough to warm my face from over 2 feet away when I got home. That ain't right.

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