Throwback Thursday: What You Need To Know About Street/Strip Brakes

When it comes to building a classic hot rod, everyone seems to focus on making power. That’s not a bad thing, but how to bring that power to a halt also needs consideration. For that reason, I thought we would focus this week’s Throwback Thursday on brakes. That’s why I thought What You Need To Know About Street/Strip Brakes would be a great article for this week’s Throwback article.

Having a lot of horsepower is a great thing for any car. It’s that power propelling your car down the track and getting a win light. However, brakes are equally important in making sure you stop safely and get back to the pits. In the original article, we took an in-depth look at several brake options for street/strip systems and the how and why, piece by piece, of the benefits a street/strip drag-brake system, can deliver to your ride in the name of safety and stopping power. To help us accomplish this, we sat down with some of the most influential names in the drag-brake market, including Moser Engineering’s Tim Irwin, Strange Engineering’s JC Cascio, and Baer’s Gabi Baer.

brake upgrade

Strange’s lightweight brakes save pounds over most OEM-style brakes. The slots in the lightweight rotors aid with heat dissipation under heavy braking by deforming as the metal expands. However, they are probably not the best choice for street use.

The original discussion covered master cylinders, rotors, calipers, and pads. Just buying the parts you feel because a buddy recommended them, might be a wise decision. Since all cars are not built identical, and the way the cars are used can vary, it’s best to look at the parts to best suit your specific ride. Case in point, using items designed for street use on the track, and vice-versa.

According to J.C. Cascio of Strange Engineering, the problem with using OE cast-iron rotors is they can experience thermal shock, “This occurs in drag racing when your brakes will typically go from being at-near ambient temperature at the starting line to red hot as you apply them after crossing the finish line. This rapid cycle of hot to cold can cause any number of problems with the rotors.

brake upgrade

Both Baer and Strange stagger its caliper-piston sizes. This ensures more even brake feel and better wear of the pads. Baer uses deep stainless-steel pistons as seen on this street 6S street caliper to minimize heat transfer to the brake fluid. Strange uses a ceramic insert to insulate the brake fluid from high heat.

The faster your trap speeds are, the greater the thermal shock. Problems occur as the rotor is rapidly heated to and often beyond its maximum designed operating temperature. Warping, cracking, and the worst-case scenario of the actual shattering of the rotor, can all occur with a cast-iron rotor that is subjected to frequent thermal shock.”

brake upgrade

The proper master cylinder must be selected based on the vehicle’s weight, estimated speed, and the rest of the brake system. Master cylinders must provide adequate fluid volume to the calipers and work with the pedal ratio of the installed brake pedal to provide the correct pedal feel or effort.

There’s a lot more in-depth information in the original article about choosing the correct braking system for your car. So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t time to find out how easy it is to get the right parts to stop your hot rod when needed.? For that reason, I selected, What You Need To Know About Street/Strip Brakes as this week’s Throwback Thursday showcase article.

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About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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