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Brake improvements?

Discussion in 'Defender 90 / 110 / 130' started by jimbo-td5, May 29, 2011.

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  1. jimbo-td5

    jimbo-td5 New Member

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    Now I know Landys never have had good brakes, but my I'm really lacking confidence in my new puma, I travel alot on the motorway and I don't have the abs option, so I'm afraid of having to emergency brake at some point and not much is going to happen! Like last week where I live is surrounded by rural lanes, I took a normal corner about 20-25 mph and a tesco van came flying the other way I braked (it had been raining) and all the wheels just locked up, squealing straight at the van, whereas the van just stopped dead like nothing had happened. I'd dread this to happen on the motorway, would better pads/disks make the stopping power better/more reliable? I know people do upgraded calipers, but surely a more powerful caliper is going to make it lock up easier?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Fur Trapper

    Fur Trapper Banned

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    ABS system is sensors type system when a tire lock up it release a little break pressure very very fast for a control stop. With out abs system you have to be a much better driver.I've driven about 20 yrs before abs came out. not saying i'm a better driver. You just have to be that much more careful thats all. Oh yes you might want to carrie some extra toilet paper and extra shorts?
     
  3. Davec

    Davec New Member

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    You're right that if the wheels are locking up, better brakes will probably make things worse, although they may give more control enabling more sensitive application.
    It sounds as if your problem is more tyre related, as well as possibly a bit of driving style. A Defender is not a GTI and should not be driven like one!
     
  4. Clanforbes

    Clanforbes New Member

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    Jimbo, what you need to do is practice cadence breaking. Cadence breaking is a technique where you apply the brakes very hard then back off a little then on again off again etc. - it is hard to do if you are in a bit of a panic, but practice it on a slippy surface (snow or mud etc.) in a safe invironment until you get the hang of it. It has helped me on a few occasions in the past.

    Cadence breaking, is basically what yer ABS does.
     
  5. jimbo-td5

    jimbo-td5 New Member

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    Ok thanks I'll try that, Im surprised actually by the tires mine are bf goodrich ATs, I thought they were the best haha, thanks for the advice guys!
     
  6. Karlos28

    Karlos28 Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could lock my wheels!
     
  7. Shifty1962

    Shifty1962 Well-Known Member

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    All ABS does is give you limited ability to steer whilst braking. It does not make the brakes any stronger or the vehicle stop more quickly. A common misconception. My Defender is ****e in the rain because the all terrain tyres I have fitted are made of hard rubber. The simple solution is to slow down when the road is wet.
     
  8. Clanforbes

    Clanforbes New Member

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    I need to dispute part of that one Shifty.

    ABS will help the vehicle stop quickly if compared to locked-up wheel. Once the wheeels lock-up they lose so much grip on the road surface than if the wheels are still turning, hence ABS will be an improvement over locked wheels...... Same effect as cadence breaking.

    Of course you are correct, the one thing we all overlooked - slow down to suit the driving conditions.
     
  9. Shifty1962

    Shifty1962 Well-Known Member

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    There is an element of fact in what you say regarding ABS measured against a locked wheel in the wet. ABS will prevent the build up of water between the tyre and road surface commonly known as aquaplaning which is a direct result of driving too fast for the conditions.

    However if you've ever tried using ABS in the mud, snow, or on ice, it is a whole different ball game. On a flat or uphill surface braking distances are actually increased. On ice your options are very limited but on mud and snow you want the wheel to lock and build up a wedge in front of the wheel to assist stopping.

    Additional to this it all changes again on the same surfaces if you are going downhill as in this case you want the wheel to keep turning in order that the effects of gravity plus momentum dont overcome the effects of the wedge.

    As in all things it is not a cure for all ills.
     
  10. lynall

    lynall Well-Known Member

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    Several time snow in vehicles with abs, discos, merc, micra, i have had trouble stopping on rough potholed roads, one in particular, but now no problem in my old non abs defender.
    Two reasons i should imagine one, im not going as fast and two, as it hasnt got low profile tyres it isnt so hard for the tyres to get grip.


    Lynall
     
  11. Clanforbes

    Clanforbes New Member

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    Nice explanation Shifty. I need to bow to your superior knowledge on that. My only real experience of ABS in a heavy braking situation was in my Volvo S40 and in dry conditions. Although the lorry I drive has ABS, I've never been in a situation where I have had to reply upon the ABS to help me, but I automatically go into cadence braking mode should a heavy foot be required on the brakes at any time, though there was one occasion during the last snows we had where doing nothing at all saved me from a head-on with a tree when I hit a patych of bad ice and a cross-wind at the same time........... Most definitely the scariest moment of my entire 58 years, I thought I'd had it.
     
  12. Shifty1962

    Shifty1962 Well-Known Member

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    You mention yet another common problem with vehicles fitted with ABS. For the ABS to work properly the pedal needs to be firmly mashed and held down otherwise the ABS assumes its no longer required and switches off thus extending the braking distance.

    Older drivers (like you and me) tend to have been taught cadence braking and naturally
    apply this technique when ever needed which can counter act the ABS. Newer drivers feel the pulsing of the ABS through the pedal and often lift off thinking something is horribly wrong oncer again confusing the ABS system.

    Just my experience of teaching advanced driving to various military and police drivers over the past 30 years.
     
  13. Karlos28

    Karlos28 Well-Known Member

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    Is the best way to increase braking power just stickier pads? I can barely lock up mine, even if I try.
     
  14. Woody3

    Woody3 Active Member

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    I find it strange that new Defenders don't have ABS as standard...any reason why they don't?
     
  15. Shifty1962

    Shifty1962 Well-Known Member

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    Makes no sense to me when other manufacturers offer ABS as standard. Might also be because a Defender is supposed to be used on a farm :D
     
  16. Shifty1962

    Shifty1962 Well-Known Member

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    You could fit sintered pads but all they do is eat your discs quicker.

    You should be able to lock the brakes quite easily on a Defender as they are designed to stop the combined weight of a heavy trailer. Mine are almost too sensitive sometimes - especially the rears when the motor is empty.

    Is your servo working properly?
     
  17. Karlos28

    Karlos28 Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, il try again later. What's the best way to check the servo? My mates 300tdi has miles better brakes with alot less pressure on the peddle.
     
  18. Shifty1962

    Shifty1962 Well-Known Member

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    With the engine not running push the brake pedal to the floor a few times until it goes stiff. Hold the brake pedal down and start the engine. If everything is in order the pedal should move further down as the vacuum builds. If it dont then it could be the servo, vacuum piping, or the vacuum pump thats not working. This would explain your weak brakes.
     
  19. Karlos28

    Karlos28 Well-Known Member

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    Sound, il give it a go later.
     
  20. Karlos28

    Karlos28 Well-Known Member

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    Pumped em up and started the engine and it moved down about an inch. I anchored on the brakes and locked the back wheels alright, no load in the back tho.
     
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