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Thread: Lesson Learned: Keep your Brake Rotors Conditioned!

  1. #51
    Senior Member wiztecy's Avatar
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    They're the same pads, rotor size, and calipers as the lotus elise which the roadster is pushing over 1000 more lbs. They're just underspec'd for the Telsa Roadster and like Doug said once you start getting dust and crud in them you loose their braking ability.

  2. #52
    Senior Member hcsharp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goyogi View Post
    GM uses special rotors on the Volt. I gave my Volt the semiannual car wash yesterday (wow, it looks nice when washed! and found very little brake dust and a corrosion free rotor.
    http://www.propickupmag.com/gm-desig...e-wear-issues/
    I want those. I wonder if Brembo is doing something similar for the Model S.

  3. #53
    Senior Member strider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiztecy View Post
    They're the same pads, rotor size, and calipers as the lotus elise which the roadster is pushing over 1000 more lbs. They're just underspec'd for the Telsa Roadster and like Doug said once you start getting dust and crud in them you loose their braking ability.
    Well, to be fair, it's 800lbs. Also, within reason, the only reason to have larger rotors and calipers is to better dissipate heat in a repeated use scenario. With today's modern brakes you don't need massive brake components to out-brake the tires.

    That being said I think we're all still trying to figure out whether the problem is the size of the brakes or the interaction of the compound and rotor when daily driven with light use. It's definitely not the brake lines, calipers, or master cylinder. When I have a "moment" I have a rock-hard pedal, the car just doesn't slow down like I expect it to. I posted in the brake pad thread that I switched to the CarboTech's today so we'll see how they do.

    I know Tesla is planning a "brake upgrade" at some point but Idk what it's going to consist of.
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  4. #54
    Senior Member wiztecy's Avatar
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    My dodge truck had braking issues similar to the Roadster... brakes feel fine but when you really need them they just were not there. Dodge then made the rotors larger on the next generation dodges, 2nd gen to 3rd gen and added 1" to the rotor. Same calipers but a larger caliper mounting assembly to house the larger brake pads. They ran these dangerous brakes from 1994-2002 on all dodge 2500 trucks including the diesels which I have. I did the upgrade myself, put new rotors all the way around and new brakes as well. Night and day difference. The issue there was that the rotor was too small to handle the 7500lbs or mass going down the road. I can stomp on it now and braking really means I'm stopping now. This lack of braking was a pure DANGER and a threat to others on the road. How is a truck going to stop with a load in it when it can't even stop with no load? I'm a firm believer that larger pads and braking surface means you'll also stop faster. Its like Fred Flintstone stopping his wooden rock ride in a size 8 pair of shoes vs a size 10. I'd sure he'll do better off in a size 10

    I also feel 800lbs is allot over spec of a car of such a small size and weight ratio for braking. We don't even know what margin Lotus had when it designed the braking system. I don't know when you had your rotors resurfaced if you had warping on your rotors too but that just seemed odd to me. Mine were warped on the backs, where the majority of the weight is. Now given that the brakes never worked in the first place, I never had the physics of braking work with the car. Front diving down, suspension locking over the wheels, and squealing tires. Makes sense to me why the back warped... they were dragging like an ebrake trying to slow the majority of the mass down. And that was really it, with the stock OE pads it did feel I was stopping with just the eBrake. I'm sure if I removed 800lbs back there I wouldn't of had as bad of braking nor the warped rotors. I'm curious if we read the braking threads in the Lotus Elise forums if they had braking issues, if not, weight is a factor.

    Update: So I did a quick google search and people in the Elise forums complained about not being able to stop when the brakes are wet, which makes sense, but also the huge accumulation of dust from the OE pads. I do feel too much dust can play a factor in poor braking, its like micro marbles working against you. Driving for a week with the CarboTech pads I get 1/10 the amount of dust the OE pads were giving me.

    Here's an interesting clip from the Lotus forum:
    ----------
    With the right pads, I'm not sure they can be classified as weak. However, they were designed for the 1500 lb. Elise S1 and not changed for the S2 or Exige, save for the small 4-piston Cup front brakes. Every part on these cars were designed with weight savings in mind, along with reasonable cost considerations. Lotus certainly got what they paid for when they sought out a brake system solution. That said, there are very good upgrades out there for cars that ended up heavier than the S1 and/or have engine modifications.
    ----------

    I'm happy to hear you have the CarboTech's on!
    Last edited by wiztecy; 2012-09-17 at 12:04 AM.

  5. #55
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strider View Post
    Well, to be fair, it's 800lbs. Also, within reason, the only reason to have larger rotors and calipers is to better dissipate heat in a repeated use scenario. With today's modern brakes you don't need massive brake components to out-brake the tires.
    Yes, 800 lbs. I disagree about "the only reason". IMHO the pads are so small that when they are a little bit degraded you don't have enough stopping power. If the pads were larger - and I'm not even talking about making the rotors larger - then there would be more surface area and if it weren't at 100% then it would still be sufficient.

    My S2000 has an almost identical weight to the Roadster, but the pads are much larger. And let me tell you, it stops better!
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  6. #56
    Senior Member strider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_G View Post
    Yes, 800 lbs. I disagree about "the only reason". IMHO the pads are so small that when they are a little bit degraded you don't have enough stopping power. If the pads were larger - and I'm not even talking about making the rotors larger - then there would be more surface area and if it weren't at 100% then it would still be sufficient.

    My S2000 has an almost identical weight to the Roadster, but the pads are much larger. And let me tell you, it stops better!
    Good point, I should have restricted my statement to larger rotors.
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  7. #57
    EU Model S P-37 VolkerP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_G View Post
    Tesla recommends replacing the rotors when you change pads. The two wear-in and adopt a complimentary profile, so if you just swap pads the contact area is limited at first, until the pads wear down - and that means the lifetime of the pads is reduced.
    GeorgeB mentions brake maintenance (on Model S) to avoid having to swap the rotors:

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
    As Joost said in his blog, we cover wear and tear parts, like brake pads. I don’t know how many of you have ever gone in for brake pad replacement on your car and received a phone call saying, “You drove too long on these pads and now you have to replace your rotors, too.” This increases the cost of “brake service” significantly. Candidly, we want to prevent that from happening.

    GeorgeB
    So either Model S brake maintenance has different approach than Roadsters, or the Roadster owners receive superfluous replacement parts - who pays for these?

  8. #58
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    Okay, I haven't even taken delivery of my roadster, but I had to register and reply. There are a lot of misconceptions and false statements.


    First, the subject of the thread is "conditioning" the brakes. By conditioning, it means removing the rust from the rotors. This rust will increase braking distance. The rotors rust because of infrequent use. The rotors get little use because of regen. braking and low mileage. The rust prevents the pads from creating friction.


    Second, Ederhard's comment was to do it on a wet road to reduce tire wear.


    Third, the physics of braking has been touched upon, but there are some clarifications needed. Pads clamping down on rotors takes kinetic energy and converts it to heat, thereby slowing the car down. Regen. braking takes some of the kinetic energy and converts it to electricity, also slowing the car. This leaves less of the kinetic energy that needs to be converted to heat. Therefore, there is less use of the pads and rotors.


    The issue of pad size increases the surface area so more friction can be created, decreasing stopping distance. The size of the rotor, venting, cross drilling, and slotting allow the heat to get dissipated more quickly and eliminate the gas that forms between the pad and rotor. The enemy of braking is loss of friction. The gas and heat reduce the ability of the pad to create friction. So does water on the rotors and anything else which reduces the friction (ie rust).


    The vast majority of braking is created by the front brakes. The rears are mostly along for the ride.


    Fourth, the S2000 weighs ~800 pounds more than the roadster.


    Lastly, what most people refer to as warped rotors is usually due to uneven pad deposition. Never stop or use the e-brake with hot brake components.

  9. #59
    mod squad bonnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F*OPEC View Post
    Okay, I haven't even taken delivery of my roadster, but I had to register and reply. There are a lot of misconceptions and false statements.


    First, the subject of the thread is "conditioning" the brakes. By conditioning, it means removing the rust from the rotors. This rust will increase braking distance. The rotors rust because of infrequent use. The rotors get little use because of regen. braking and low mileage. The rust prevents the pads from creating friction.


    Second, Ederhard's comment was to do it on a wet road to reduce tire wear.


    Third, the physics of braking has been touched upon, but there are some clarifications needed. Pads clamping down on rotors takes kinetic energy and converts it to heat, thereby slowing the car down. Regen. braking takes some of the kinetic energy and converts it to electricity, also slowing the car. This leaves less of the kinetic energy that needs to be converted to heat. Therefore, there is less use of the pads and rotors.


    The issue of pad size increases the surface area so more friction can be created, decreasing stopping distance. The size of the rotor, venting, cross drilling, and slotting allow the heat to get dissipated more quickly and eliminate the gas that forms between the pad and rotor. The enemy of braking is loss of friction. The gas and heat reduce the ability of the pad to create friction. So does water on the rotors and anything else which reduces the friction (ie rust).


    The vast majority of braking is created by the front brakes. The rears are mostly along for the ride.


    Fourth, the S2000 weighs ~800 pounds more than the roadster.


    Lastly, what most people refer to as warped rotors is usually due to uneven pad deposition. Never stop or use the e-brake with hot brake components.
    Sorry, I'm missing your point here. Did you mean to correct any advice in the thread?
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  10. #60
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F*OPEC View Post
    Okay, I haven't even taken delivery of my roadster, but I had to register and reply. There are a lot of misconceptions and false statements.
    I take issue with that statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by F*OPEC View Post
    First, the subject of the thread is "conditioning" the brakes. By conditioning, it means removing the rust from the rotors. This rust will increase braking distance. The rotors rust because of infrequent use. The rotors get little use because of regen. braking and low mileage. The rust prevents the pads from creating friction.
    Right... that was exactly the point I made at the start of the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by F*OPEC View Post
    Second, Ederhard's comment was to do it on a wet road to reduce tire wear.
    I'm not sure it will actually have that effect. You won't get as much braking force and will probably have to repeat the process more times to achieve the same result, so it might be a wash.

    Besides, any Roadster owner will tell you, the rears wear out 3X as fast as the front. So a tiny bit of extra wear on the fronts is no biggie!

    Quote Originally Posted by F*OPEC View Post
    Third, the physics of braking has been touched upon, but there are some clarifications needed. Pads clamping down on rotors takes kinetic energy and converts it to heat, thereby slowing the car down. Regen. braking takes some of the kinetic energy and converts it to electricity, also slowing the car. This leaves less of the kinetic energy that needs to be converted to heat. Therefore, there is less use of the pads and rotors.

    The issue of pad size increases the surface area so more friction can be created, decreasing stopping distance. The size of the rotor, venting, cross drilling, and slotting allow the heat to get dissipated more quickly and eliminate the gas that forms between the pad and rotor. The enemy of braking is loss of friction. The gas and heat reduce the ability of the pad to create friction. So does water on the rotors and anything else which reduces the friction (ie rust).

    The vast majority of braking is created by the front brakes. The rears are mostly along for the ride.
    Okay... all true but I don't see where the "misconceptions and false statements" fit in here.

    Quote Originally Posted by F*OPEC View Post
    Fourth, the S2000 weighs ~800 pounds more than the roadster.
    That is a false statement. According to the manufacturer's specifications, my S2000 AP1 weighs 2,756 lbs. My Roadster weighs 2,937 lbs. It weighs ~ 200 lbs LESS than the Roadster.

    Quote Originally Posted by F*OPEC View Post
    Lastly, what most people refer to as warped rotors is usually due to uneven pad deposition. Never stop or use the e-brake with hot brake components.
    True. Did that even come up in this thread???

    - - - Updated - - -

    I will make one follow-up comment. As I mentioned elsewhere I switched to Carbotech AX6 pads (as recommended by other forum members). They have much better stopping power than the stock pads, especially after they are warmed up slightly (i.e. the second time you use them).

    The other great thing about these pads is they scrub the rotors nicely. It seems that regular street use is sufficient to keep them reasonably clean, without resorting to periodic scrubbing sessions.
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