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Old 10-05-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
td195f
 
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Sparking from Front Brakes

Anyone had an issue with being told they were throwing sparks from the front brakes while on the track?

I was at Watkins Glen Wednesday and Thursday and in the first session each day I got the meatball flag to go into the pits and was told I had sparks coming from the left front brakes. Could have been the right side also but almost all the flag stands at the Glen are looking at the left side of the car.
I was running Hawk HP PLUS pads with the stock rotors. Car is a 2013 SS 1LE that I have added the Quantum Brake Cooling Backing Plates and brake ducting to as well as Goodridge Stainless Braided Brake Hoses. There are absolutely no rub marks on the brake backing plates, duct hoses, wheels, etc. Track mechanic and I both went thru everything on Wednesday including removing and inspecting pads and could find nothing wrong. Reassembled and went out for two more sessions without incident.
Thursday morning got the same thing again, sparks from left front. Back to the garage and found nothing. This time I put the stock Brembo Brake Pads back in and did two sessions without incident. FYI, the very experienced instructor that was with me felt the Brembo Pads worked just as well as the Hawk Pads.
Any thoughts on causes of the sparks?
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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Not that it should happen but aren't the HP+ a metallic pad? I mean metal on metal at racing speeds. It stands to reason this could happen. IDK though.

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Old 10-05-2013, 01:02 PM   #3
td195f
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefighter View Post
Not that it should happen but aren't the HP+ a metallic pad? I mean metal on metal at racing speeds. It stands to reason this could happen. IDK though.

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That was a thought the mechanic and I had after finding nothing twice. Tell the corner workers it's normal and don't worry about it. We were wondering if the airflow from the cooling would blow hot metal particles from the rotors and pads under heavy braking out where it was visible. Does seem strange though. The corner workers see a lot of cars running on the track and this must have been something they don't normally see.
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2004 Silverado 3500 Dually - D'Max - Suncoast - Banks - Edge - Custom Tune by D'Max Tuner / 2006 Vintage Outlaw LQ - 48' Race Trailer
Spitzer '32 Bantam Altered Drag Car - Blown Alcohol 380 CI Small Block Chevy
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:03 PM   #4
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The brake ducts could have been picking up random particulates and heating them up. If you had sparks flying from brakes A you would have known. B it would show somewhere

As long as you checked it (assuming you know what to look for, it seems you do and brakes really arent complicated) and nothing is wrong. Check for other things wearing or running/ scrapping.

Other then that enjoy! How was Watkins glen? Was it the full track?
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #5
td195f
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPCBA View Post
The brake ducts could have been picking up random particulates and heating them up. If you had sparks flying from brakes A you would have known. B it would show somewhere

As long as you checked it (assuming you know what to look for, it seems you do and brakes really arent complicated) and nothing is wrong. Check for other things wearing or running/ scrapping.

Other then that enjoy! How was Watkins glen? Was it the full track?
Both the mechanic hired by Trackmasters (very experienced) and I (20+ years of fabricating and racing drag cars) both inspected and found no rub marks on anything.

This was my second two day school at Watkins Glen. Excellent track to run. Only NASCAR runs the short course, everybody else runs the full 3.4 mile 11 turn long course including all the driving schools. I'll have some video up on the 1LE thread when I get time to edit and post.
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2004 Silverado 3500 Dually - D'Max - Suncoast - Banks - Edge - Custom Tune by D'Max Tuner / 2006 Vintage Outlaw LQ - 48' Race Trailer
Spitzer '32 Bantam Altered Drag Car - Blown Alcohol 380 CI Small Block Chevy
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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It is a pad issue. Take a look at the Hawk Website.

http://www.hawkperformance.com/motor...cations/gt.php

Your pads are at the very bottom of the list, but you are running a on a robust chassis that is 2 tons with you in it track ready. GM has done an exellant job with the OEM pads. I consider them to be the best combination pad available for SS / 1LE / ZL1 / CTS-V brakes.

The most important bit of technical data I look for in brakes pads is Operating Temperature Range. Carbotech puts that information in the pad description.
I wouldn't head out to the Glen on anything less than a 1,350 degree rated pad.

Most people underestimate the capabilities of the 5th Gen Camaro and the 1LE is more capable than most. Give Hawk a call and discuss this with them. Insist on getting the temperature range for the pads they recommend.
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