Brake Upgrades

Brake Upgrades

DBA walks the walk with 4WD stopping distances.

Strangely, brake upgrades are often overlooked when it comes to 4WDs. They’re simple, cost­ effective and work extremely well to improve performance and safety, but regardless they’re often shuffled down to the bottom of the modification list of many budding 4WD enthusiasts.

DBA takes great pride in not only manufacturing quality products, but also showing how and why they work. Which is why the company decided to put one of their most straightforward brake disc upgrades to the test, on the much beloved 200 Series Toyota LandCruiser. Nothing overtly complicated, just a standardized emergency braking test from 1OOkm/h to standstill, with both an OEM brake setup, and then DBA’s disc upgrade – without changing the physical size (diameter) of the discs themselves, or the calipers.

For the sake of not only parity, but also accuracy, the tests were carried out to the standard of the German AMS test, where 10 full ABS brake stops are conducted from 1OOkm/h to Okm/h in quick succession , to measure the effectiveness of temperature over stopping power.

A V-Box data collection system was fitted, with thermocouples  attached at the rotors for collection of disc temperature. The V-Box was chosen as the data it produces  is all-encompassing , logging everything from stopping distances in metres to stopping time, brake application, vehicle speed and much more where the metal meets the meat.

Not wanting to miss any details, the 200-Series LandCruiser was first taken across the weighbridge to uncover the specific amount of unladen weight DBA was dealing with – approximately three tonnes, as it so turned out.

Then came the first test with the standard OEM brake discs and pads. The LandCruiser was subjected to 10 brake stops from 1OOkm/h to standstill, fade, progressively growing the distance to stop and utterly cooking the brakes in the process. Braking performance was quite severely compromised.

By the time the LandCruiser arrived back at the workshop to have the upgrade fitted, the OEM brakes had revealed that they were a white-hot  mess, while the brake pad material had decayed significantly  into a crumbling pile of fried charcoal. They were no longer serviceable by any means.

The DBA upgrade was then fitted to the LandCruiser, consisting of 4×4 Survival Series T3 4000 slotted discs, DS Performance brake pads and Ferodo Performance DOT5.1 brake fluid. The DBA 4000 T3 slotted DBA discs are made for tackling  more advanced braking situations particularly when hauling around heavy weight and 4WDing, and they feature DBA’s patented Kangaroo Paw vane ventilation system, which alone outperforms  straight vane rotors by up to 20 per cent via increased heat dissipation.

Once again the 200 Series ‘Cruiser completed 10 brake stops from 1OOkm/h to standstill , in quick succession.  It became immediately evident that not only was the LandCruiser pulling up consistently better, but it was  performing  increasingly well the hotter the brakes got. No brake fade was evident by the 1oth and final stop.

After the test, the team went straight for the V-Box data to solidify the seat-of-pants improvement and discovered that the DBA upgrade was able to consistently decelerate the LandCruiser at an additional 1.52 metres per second, for a total 1OOkm/h to standstill time of 4.3 seconds on average.

The DBA upgrade also shortened the stopping distance by 6.5 metres on average, and at the time that the DBA setup was at standstill, the OEM setup was still travelling at 37km/h in the unladen LandCruiser – which is where the real difference is found.

An unladen three tonne vehicle hitting a stationary object at 37km/h is not only a hetty hit, but add in extra weight like additional passengers, a boat trailer, caravan, camping gear or a hauled load, and it becomes evident why a brake upgrade is worth its weight in gold. It’s a safety improvement DBA is proud of, and it cements why DBA upgrades are used on 4WDs, heavy armoured fleets, police vehicles and military applications across the globe. So if you are serious when it comes to stopping your own road train for safety’s sake consider these options.


Brake Upgrades
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