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Unread 04-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #271
Sundowner
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What everyone here at Muppet Labs has been waiting for...

The Savvy/Vanco 16" Brake Upgrade Kicks Off...

Pop Quiz: You've got a Spicy Chicken Sammich and an ice-cold Dr. Pepper...what's the best thing in the world to use for a table?

A: Any part of Sasha Grey's body.
B: A pile of boxes from Savvy Offroad.
C: Suitcases full of money.
D: The corpses of your fallen enemies.

Correct Answer: A. However, Sasha doesn't have as much time to hang out with me after having left the adult film business, so I had to go with the second-best answer, which was B. Answer B implies that you are a man (or woman...no judgment) with taste and decency. If you chose C you're too greedy and should be ashamed of yourself. If you chose D, you should be even more ashamed of yourself: the corpses of your fallen enemies are always to be brutally dismembered and mailed to your non-fallen enemies to demoralize them and strike fear into their pathetic, quivering hearts. Anyway, here's answer B...




Mmmm...boxes from Savvy and a sammich on top...not quite as good as Answer A but pretty d*** close. Two notes, here: 1) I apologize for the sorry cell-phone pictures. The digital camera I borrow for Greta's updates seems to have migrated beach-wards. Also, 2) you'll note that I've again put a disposable plastic dropcloth on the floor...which does a lot to help contain the inevitable mess. It makes cleanup as easy as pulling the tape up - you do have clean-removal tape in your garage, don't you? - and tossing the whole pile in the trash. It's a three-dollar investment that's well worth the effort. I suppose we'll see how well it stands up to brake fluid.

And here is what the Cubical Brown Boxes of Happy contained: more boxes, albeit ones with highly desirable logos on them. It's like one of those Russian nesting dolls, but so much better...




...because eventually you start opening up the boxes and there aren't any more boxes inside. Instead, there's an assortment of brake parts...like - for example - a caliper that looks really surprised to find out that it's a caliper.




I don't blame it...I'd be surprised to find out that I was a brake caliper, too. In all seriousness, though, you can start to see why this setup is such a huge improvement over the stock braking. Here's a better view:




For the slower members of the class: those are twin 48mm pistons, and although they are much smaller than the single piston in the stock caliper they provide a very, very significant improvement. How? They spread and even-out the braking pressure over a larger area. Let's clarify that a bit further...

The TJ's stock braking system is actually pretty good...until you get to the calipers. From that point onwards it's a compromised assembly, albeit one that works perfectly well for stock tire sizes. If you're going to maintain stock tire sizes you can expect good performance from stock brakes. Likewise, if you increase the size of the tire you have to proportionately increase the braking capacity. This proportionate increase continues to climb with tire sizes until you reach the 35" and 37" world, at which point a reciprocity failure takes over...a failure which is magnified when you begin to crawl around off-road, or pull a trailer, or overload your rig. Simply put: 35" tires are too much for stock brakes.

[Reciprocity Failure: A breakdown in otherwise-linear relationships that occurs when one given value within the relationship begins to diverge from another given value in any non-linear fashion. More simply stated, one variable outstrips another as they both increase, or: as tires get bigger you increasingly require disproportionately larger/stronger brakes in order to stop them.]

Furthermore, 35" tires are usually too much for stock-configuration upgrades. This is not to say that straight pad and rotor upgrades aren't beneficial, because they are: the pads are better and the rotors are better and together they provide massive increases in braking performance...but pad and rotor composition can only improve your braking to a certain extent. Sooner or later, you have to go to a physically larger rotor, caliper and pad if you want better performance, and at this point the Savvy/Vanco kit begins to pull way from the typical "pad and rotor" answers to marginal braking.

And that's all there is to it: the larger rotor supports a larger caliper, and the larger caliper spreads and evens out the braking pressures over a larger area, i.e. an effectively larger brake pad. Thus, by making this modification you're basically taking advantage of the full abilities of the TJ's master cylinder and applying it in the most efficient way possible. On top of that, you're also effectively expanding the capabilities of the system through the use of upgraded and upsized parts. Speaking of upsized, here's a somewhat-larger-than-stock rotor:




If you've looked at a lot of stock TJ rotors before you'll see that this one is bigger in all the areas that count. I've included a better size comparison for the those in the class that only wake up during snack time and recess:




It's worth noting that while the 12" rotor only has 5.94 times the surface area of the Spicy Chicken Sammich it has approximately 7,900% more stopping power. The math isn't that hard to comprehend but I like to make things easy on people. To that end, remember: you can always stop for a sammich, but you cannot stop with a sammich.

Moving on: for all of you people out there that think you can slap any given 12" rotor onto your front knuckles and have it work, I'd like to you consider the following picture, which roughly translates into "F*** what you think you can do." If you're still in the "oh, I can make that s*** at home with some angle iron" camp after looking at this picture then stop reading my thread, because 1) there's no hope for you, and 2) you're bothering those of us that aren't too proud to give all due credit to those that deserve it. Also, as a rule: don't reproduce.




This is where so much of the time and money gets spent: machined/modified knuckles and caliper saddle brackets. Looking at the knuckle assembly and appreciating the quality of the work is almost as much fun as making a huge pile of gleefully-tossed-aside packing paper and torn-open-in-haste boxes. What isn't fun, however, is losing the envelope that containes the instructions and hardware. After a couple of concerned minutes we found it in the bottom of the pile.




So, what do we do after we finish fondling the parts and eating the sammich? The centerfold spread, of course...with Black Magic Pads included.




Valuable Information: The members of the class with functional eyes will realize that the surprised calipers are still in their boxes while everything else has been taken out. Why? Because there are both right-hand and left-hand calipers, and - unless you know which is which - they're easy to mix up. The steering knuckles are side-specific as well but can only be bolted on in one configuration and thus cannot be mixed up. A caliper can usually be installed on either side, but if it is on the incorrect side it will be upside down. Thus, remember: calipers are installed with the bleed screws above the pistons...if the bleed screw is not located above the piston you will NOT be able to bleed all of the air out of the brake system.

So that's where we are, now...parts in hand, but decent camera NOT in hand. I'll try and remedy the latter issue. So with that in mind: stay tuned...tomorrow, I'll take a grinder to the unit bearings and start f****** up some metal.

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Unread 04-13-2012, 05:03 PM   #272
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Unread 04-13-2012, 05:38 PM   #273
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Once again, thoroughly entertained!

NICE KIT!!! Unfortunately, all I have at this point are the Black Magic pads. Wish I had the dough. What's the damage?
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Unread 04-13-2012, 06:23 PM   #274
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Just the Black Magic Pads/Centric rotors alone make an incredible improvement! I can't even imagine how awesome the brakes would be with this setup! Well, I could probably imagine it...." Apply brake pedal, scrape what's left of your front teeth from steering wheel"!
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Unread 04-13-2012, 07:16 PM   #275
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You have managed to out-do the normal. Usually people supply readers with plenty of info, the readers become extremely bored and loose interest in the material and just skip to the pictures and draw their own conclusion. But you sir have managed to keep your readers attention causing them to keep reading. You supply us with great info (enhasize the word GREAT), wonderful pictures all around, and entertainment. Also the pop-quizes are fairly comical. After all this is said, the conclusion is that everyone who has read your build will come back for more. I appreciate how you explain your material (technically, simply, and then for the dumb). Keep up the awesome work and I am craving a spicy chicken sammich so i'm going to go get one!
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Unread 04-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycleguy04 View Post
NICE KIT!!! Unfortunately, all I have at this point are the Black Magic pads.
I wouldn't be upset at all with only having the pads because any amount of improvement over the stock system is just that - improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cycleguy04 View Post
Wish I had the dough. What's the damage?
Pushing $1000...hard. I seriously didn't need to afford it right now but Greta wasn't safe in anything but ideal traffic conditions, and she has to be driven every day. So, there wasn't much of a choice. Besides, I like ramen noodles. Really. I do. I wouldn't lie to you about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthetj03 View Post
Just the Black Magic Pads/Centric rotors alone make an incredible improvement! I can't even imagine how awesome the brakes would be with this setup! Well, I could probably imagine it...." Apply brake pedal, scrape what's left of your front teeth from steering wheel"!
That's exactly what I'm hoping for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willman611 View Post
You have managed to out-do the normal. Usually people supply readers with plenty of info, the readers become extremely bored and loose interest in the material and just skip to the pictures and draw their own conclusion. But you sir have managed to keep your readers attention causing them to keep reading. You supply us with great info (enhasize the word GREAT), wonderful pictures all around, and entertainment. Also the pop-quizes are fairly comical. After all this is said, the conclusion is that everyone who has read your build will come back for more. I appreciate how you explain your material (technically, simply, and then for the dumb). Keep up the awesome work and I am craving a spicy chicken sammich so i'm going to go get one!
I thank you for all the compliments and am most encouraged to hear that you're enjoying the thread. I want people to be able to sit down, laugh, learn and otherwise while away an evening when they're not driving or wrenching. Thus, I try to keep my posts engaging, witty and informative...so - in the holy words of Stan Lee - "You keep reading them, and I'll keep writing them."
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Unread 04-13-2012, 08:02 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
Besides, I like ramen noodles. Really. I do. I wouldn't lie to you about this.
Oriental flavor is my favorite!
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Unread 04-13-2012, 09:13 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by bobthetj03 View Post
Oriental flavor is my favorite!
Again, your discretion and refinement show through...
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Unread 04-14-2012, 04:40 AM   #279
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Momentary Update: Brake installation to commence shortly, immediately after suitable cleaning and (hopefully) painting. Pictures on the way later tonight...
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Unread 04-14-2012, 06:37 AM   #280
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For those that are still not convinced, (not I gentle writer) please include photos of said stock braking system, and the new, high zoot, uber alles fantastic vanco system!

My build was "this close" to starting, but alas, I must render unto Caesar this year...and not a little...
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Unread 04-14-2012, 08:37 AM   #281
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oh hell yes... this is going to be Awesome!! good call on keeping the "surprised" calipers in the boxes hahah. man, I don't eat fast food but your consistant mentioning of this mystical spicy chicken sammich is tempting me to go out and find one.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 10:17 AM   #282
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Blasphemy!

How did these last two posts of anticipation fail to mention the impending shots of dear Annabelle!

Kidding...

I'm really looking forward to seeing the brake kit installed...

Really...
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Unread 04-14-2012, 01:27 PM   #283
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i didnt even know she was making an appearance!!! now im excited
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Unread 04-14-2012, 03:09 PM   #284
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And the award from most enjoyable build thread goes to...
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Unread 04-14-2012, 04:37 PM   #285
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just spent a portion of my afternoon reading through your thread from start to finish. what a fun read man - i know i dropped some fallout references in the beginning but it was fun catching all of it. especially your judgmental chicken lol

why'd you get out of directing in the adult film industry? (DUN DUN DUNNNNN)

can't wait to see more
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