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11 Oct 2012 | Text by Julian Kho, Photos by Dynamics Mechanic | Category: Car Technical Advice
When it comes to driving, it isn't all just about the right pedal. Brakes do play a vital role too, especially in a jammed packed island like ours.
Your tyres do play a huge role in stopping your car. While changes to different parts of the brake system may affect certain characteristics or traits of the braking behavior, using more capable and 'stickier' tyres, to most, is ultimately the only sure-fire method of decreasing stopping distances.
But using less-than-capable braking kits can cause even more of a mess. While most may think that acceleration is everything when it comes to racing or driving for that matter, your car's brakes play just as an important role as any other components in the car.
Bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to all things automotive. But when it comes to brakes, size generally does matter. That's because braking performance depends largely on how much surface area the brake pads have to bite into. As a result, larger pads and larger brake discs make for shorter stopping distances. Plus, the increased surface area allows for greater heat dissipation.
That's why installing a set of proper and reliable big brake kit (also known as BBK) is recommended for drivers who enjoy circuit racing, drifting, motorsports or even for those who just want to have an ease of mind when driving.
What is a big brake kit?
A brake kit refers to the entire set of brake kit which consists of a brake disc (also known as rotor to some), brake pads, the brake caliper, brake lines and mounting hardware.
What are some of the advantages of big brake kit?
There are several advantages to big brake kits from different brands that range from shorter stopping distances, better brake modulation, a firmer brake pedal and less brake fade in your system. More notably, your big brake kit is going to offer a better spread of heat over the cylinder to prevent damaging effects, that other standard factory installed systems suffer from.
For starters, unlike some stock brakes, where they can either be too mushy or over-sensitive, a set of BBK can deliver a good initial bite to the brakes, making sudden braking more comfortable. Providing a good brake modulation and consistent pedal feel are also part of the effects from a BBK. This helps to instil confidence in the driver, regardless on track or road, when he is travelling at high speeds.
Shorter stopping distance
One thing you would notice with these brake kits is a greater decrease in the stopping distance, as there is a greater area of contact, allowing for better brake control. Where stock brakes have a jerking feel when the brakes are slammed due to the intervention by the Anti-lock braking system (ABS), a BBK will bring your car to a total halt in a fuss-free and confident manner. Plus, due to the pad design, there is more area that comes in contact with the brake disc, giving the vehicle greater stopping power and heat displacement.
Having a larger brake disc helps increase thermal effectiveness, absorbing the heat generated under heavy braking. As most of us would already know, car brakes take the kinetic energy of your car's movement and disperse it as heat when the calipers clamp down on the brake discs. Beyond a certain temperature, your stock brakes will lose effectiveness and may even cause you to slam on the brake pedal to get the car to slow down or stop. More notably, this greatly reduces brake fade and provides consistently shorter stopping distances.
That machismo look
More impressively, all these can be achieved while giving your car that supercar look and feel without compromising on your car's performance.
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