June '18

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48 THE SHOP JUNE 2018 Fowler says. "Why take chances with your shop's reputation?" NEW TECHNOLOGY Keeping up with today's brake technology is important. For shops, the main factor is how those advancements affect what they sell and install. "New technology is affecting the perfor- mance brakes market by introducing new brake pad compounds to improve stopping power," Mangune says. "OEMs are building bigger, heavier and more powerful vehicles, increasing the load on OEM brake systems. Hawk Performance offers many different performance street pads that will improve stopping power and effectiveness." Kellman says technological advancements keep the market from growing stale. "There are a lot of new technologies and materials being used in brake systems these days. This is very exciting for all of us interested in brakes," he says. "These mate- rials make a lot of promises right now, and hopefully they will deliver on those prom- ises in the near future. For now, most of this new technology is simply cost-prohibitive, so high-quality products using existing materials are still winning the sale in most cases." Understanding the complete brake system is a big factor, Fowler believes. "The revolution in brakes are the electronics that manage braking and stability con- trol on modern vehicles. The evolution in brakes are the dramatically improved materials used in pads and rotors, even good-old cast iron rotors that make up 99 per- cent of the market," he says. He adds that what began years ago with Anti-Lock Brakes Systems (ABS) has continued with anti-skid, stability control and even semi-autonomous and electric vehicles. "The brake system is not just connected to the brake pedal, but also to automated actuators that can apply braking to just one wheel for stability or enhanced turn-in in corners," Fowler continues. "Those actuators will put on the brakes for you in many cars if you get too close to the bumper in front of you, and the electric motors in hybrid and plug-in cars use regenerative braking (the resis- tance of the magnetic field in the electric motor) to recharge the batteries. All of this means that upgrades or modifications to the brakes have to use components that will keep the factory safety systems in place." Fowler believes the other big change has been in pad materials. "Ceramic and carbon ceramic pads can be so aggressive now that accelerated rotor wear is a real possibility. For cars used extensively on track days, we recommend swapping pads. One thing that has not changed is that more aggressive pads will make more dust and will squeal in light- duty street driving. Rotors no longer need to be drilled for pad outgassing (pad fade), but many folks still love the looks. Let the application be your guide." Hamrick agrees that technology isn't just driving the performance brake market, but the entire automotive aftermarket industry. "Wilwood has released the new Forged Dynalite Internal caliper with a Get famil- iar with what the customer's goals and expecta- tions are for their brake components. (Photo courtesy Hawk Perfor- mance) If your shop has a lift, it may make sense to invest in brake service equip- ment to sell complete brake job installations. (Photo courtesy Hawk Performance) Stop & Think Performance brake systems and components offer good looks and functionality for a variety of vehicles.

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