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Motorsport Top Tips and Information on Pedal Box Brake Balance / Bias Bar Set Up For Your Race Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Motorsport Top Tips and Information on Pedal Box Brake Balance / Bias Bar Set Up For Your Race Car

Grant Loc
December 15, 2011


Your aim is to design your brake system so you will obtain maximum braking efficiency from all four wheels. Under braking weight is transferred to the front of the vehicle so that means your front tyres and the front brakes will be required to do more of the work.

In order to allow you to fine tune your brake balance from front to rear you will require bias / balance bar. To install the bias / balance bar it is necessary to use a dual master cylinder set up.

The bias / balance bar functions quite simply by altering the fulcrum (pivot) point on the rod that connects to the push rods that operate the front and rear brake master cylinders. By moving the fulcrum point you are able to control and change the amount of relative force that is applied to each of the master cylinders. This bias / balance application when correctly installed will give you the fine tuning you require so the front brakes will lock up just before the rear brakes. This professional brake system set up is essential to be competitive in motorsports.

Another advantage of using the dual master cylinder with balance bar set up is it improves your safety by utilising two master cylinders. Even if one master cylinder or brake line fails you will still have a separate system either to the front or rear brakes in operation.

A properly designed brake pedal box that has been track tested can be purchased directly from manufacturers and will deliver top quality control and brake efficiency. The only way to get maximum effectiveness from the disc brake system is to use a bias / balance pedal system.

In some applications primarily on dirt track cars the use of a brake balance bar with dual master cylinders will allow front to rear proportioning and the use of a brake proportioning valve will allow the driver to adjust left to right side brake balance for changing track conditions.


Changing the ride height of the car changes the braking characteristics and generally will cause the brake balance to be altered.

The balance bar push rod should be adjusted so that the balance bar is perpendicular to the master cylinder push rods when the pedal is released. When the pedal is released, both push rods should be pulling against the retaining washers of the master cylinders. If the system is not adjusted correctly the push rod can advance the caliper pistons enough to cover the bleed holes in the calipers and this will cause the calipers to lock up as soon as they get hot.

The only way to adjust the brake balance / bias assembly is by changing the fulcrum point between the master cylinder push rods and the pedal. You can't adjust the brake balance proportion by changing the length of the push rods relative to each other.

Thank you for your time, I trust you enjoyed this article and found it useful.

Grant Loc has been involved with Motorsports for over 15 years and the Director of obp Ltd. obp Ltd Manufacture and Supply Race Car Products to most of the leading Motorsport distributors all over the World. obp manufacture Race Car Pedal Boxes, Handbrakes, Alloy Dry Oil Sump Tanks, Race Seat Brackets, Swirl Pots, Catch Tanks etc. www.obpltd.com

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