What makes one caliper better than than another?

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What makes one caliper better than than another?

Post by ctk30 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:53 pm

I have 5 calipers right now, two different width alcon's, and 3 matching wilwoods, all 1.75/1.88 four piston calipers. Now I wouldn't be asking this if the alcon caliper I just bought was the same as I already had but it isn't, one is for 1.25" and the other is 1.375

I believe the older style wilwood set is for 1.375 rotors, I can find these rotors off ebay for pretty reasonable prices, usually front 12.625-12.9ish in diameter. I found some red devil chromoly ones that are coated that are supposed to weight 12 pounds less also. But I'm not worried about that

What exactly makes one caliper more desirable than the other, both appear to be forged, both are older style from a cup car such as a NASCAR or ARCA car. The alcon looks nicer. They should be just as rigid as each other, obviously don't have the more distributed load of a 6 piston caliper though

I was able to find a decent deal on a dirt late model motor, and it is going to be making some pretty serious power compared to what I was originally planning.

My thought was to take the inserts from the alcon calipers, which I believe are titanium, and put them in the wilwood calipers. I'll measure the pistons first though to see if I can just put the alcon pistons in the wilwoods

The car is going to have 3, 3" ducts going to the brakes also, might add an inline blower on the top line also


Alcon caliper inserts



And the wilwood calipers, I had to take out the heat sheilds where the rotor goes to clear the rotor, heat shields from pads are still there



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Re: What makes one caliper better than than another?

Post by mystic1582 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:01 pm

The rigidity just by looking is kind of hard to tell exactly.
Are all three the same piston diameters? Because if not the area of the pistons determines the force on the pad, along with the diameter of the master cylinder.
One thing pretty important is pad selection. There are many different pad materials. Research or speak to a mfg as to what to use for the application as well as the rotor material.
Follow their guidelines for seating or braking in the rotor and pad.
Lastly I switched to Wilwood high temp brake fluid. I always thought it was just expensive because of the name. I used dot 4 for years.
I always had fade or boiling issues and often lost braking power. I kind of thought it was just how a sprint car was. lol
When i switched to the Wilwood fluid i could not believe the improvement. There are others that make quality high temp fluid as well.
I also like to pull the pads and remove the glaze after each race. It's easy to do w/rough grit sand paper.
If you are using used calipers, which i often do i like to replace the square cut seal around each piston. There is usually some crude or built up stuff
on the pistons as well. The seals when they are in good condition allow for the piston to retract and keep the pads from dragging on the rotor.

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