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Brake Cylinder (Part 1) - Motorsport Tech Session

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Brake Cylinder (Part 1) - Motorsport Tech Session

Grant Loc
May 19, 2012


How are you today?

I trust this message has reached you in good spirits.

Sorry I have not been in touch with the Tech Session for quite a while now, we have been so busy supplying, developing and producing Motorsport products all over the world.

Today I want to give you some information about Master Cylinder sizes and the best way to understand what to use.

To start with you need to decide what is the best bore size to use, it is not as simple as just using any cylinder that will fit. There is the requirement of mechanical advantage to be considered. The smaller the bore diameter with the correct pedal ratio will give greater line pressure for a given effort on the brake pedal. Its this generated line pressure that pushes the disc pads against the discs/rotors. The problem is that a certain volume of brake fluid must be moved before the brakes are on, and the more worn the parts the more movement is required.

This is why regular checks and new parts are recommended.

If the master cylinder capacity is not large enough, such as when the bore diameter is too small, the pedal has to be moved too much before braking action starts. If this happens then you may not get enough travel left before the master cylinder runs out of travel. If this happens then you will require to use a slightly larger internal bore sized master cylinder.

The higher the pedal ratio the greater the pedal movement required before braking action starts. If the components are worn then more movement is required to make the brakes work efficiently. If all the parts are as new or new then less movement is needed to enable the brakes to be applied. Old and worn parts is the main reason for poor brakes.

In Motorsports you will be checking the car at regular stages and the brake components are one if not the most important areas to check.

Be sure the reservoir capacity is sufficient for the master cylinder needs and allow for pad wear. Caliper piston bores can collectively account for quite a lot of fluid and as the pads were this volume of fluid required will increase.

Having good brakes that work correctly and are efficient will deliver faster lap times.

(Part 2 Coming Very Soon)

I hope this is useful to you, I always try to make my articles easy to understand and appreciate your feed back, so please give me your feed back on the article or if you have any questions you would like me to answer. I will always do my best to give you the information you require to make your car faster and safer.

Grant Loc has been involved with Motorsports for over 15 years and the Director of obp Ltd. obp Ltd is a major player in Manufacture and Supply of Quality Race Car Products and provides most of the leading Motorsport distributors all over the World. obp manufacture Race Pedal Boxes, Handbrakes, Alloy Dry Oil Sump Tanks, etc. www.obpltd.com

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