Maintaining optimum pedal feel and consistency of a high performance or racing brake system is a direct result of the average and peak temperatures the brake caliper components (brake fluid, seals, pistons) are subjected to. Typically, brake discs and friction materials do the bulk of the temperature management in a Motorsport brake system, however a lot of the radiant heat is transferred into the caliper body as well. As the radiant heat has been transferred to the brake caliper - the fluid and piston seals must be cooled and an optimum running temperature must be maintained. If the caliper seals are subjected to severe demand and the proper temperatures are not maintained, the pedal feel will be directly affected, resulting in a partial or complete loss of braking power.
The demand that the caliper components are subjected to really depends on many variables, some of them are - individual application, track layout, friction material, disc thermal capacity, caliper’s fluid volume, etc…
ABOUT TEMPERATURE INDICATOR STICKERS
Monitoring the caliper body (fluid) temperatures using sensors or thermocouples is ideal. In the absence of such equipment, using caliper temperature indicator stickers is the next best alternative. They are extremely cost effective, easy to source, and will show the peak sustained temperature which the calipers have seen on the track.
Please see the below temperature ranges and installation instructions for the proper use of these contact type temperature indicator stickers.
TEMPERATURE STICKER RANGE
0~121 °C – Safe temperature (not recording on the sticker)
121~166 °C – Ideal Temperature for Track Use. We recommend effective brake cooling using natural air directed at the caliper and pads to maintain this temperature range.
188~232 °C – Calipers are running on the hot side. Seal life will be shortened. Calipers should be inspected for leakage after every event.
232~280 °C – Calipers are running too hot. Seals must be overhauled immediately and calipers should be inspected for leakage after every event. A detailed inspection or diagnosis must be performed as to why the brake system has overheated.
- Typical Caliper Seal service interval: 5,000~6,000 km or 48 hours
- High Temperature Seal service interval: 1,000~1,500 km or 8 hours
- Overheated Caliper Seal service interval: IMMEDIATE, 300~400 km, or 3 hours
TEMPERATURE STICKER PLACEMENT
Contact type caliper temperature indicator stickers should be ideally placed on the following parts of the brake caliper.
NOTE: Placing the sticker where the caliper “brand or logo” has been machined and painted may result in incorrect readings.
- Large piston of the caliper, on the bore directly.
- Nose of the caliper.
- Face of the caliper where the sticker as full contact with the caliper body.
Literature By: "Friction Specalist"
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