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Old 08-23-2011, 09:28 AM   #1
Arachnyd
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Brakes locking up? Recently started happening when racing?

My brakes started locking up on me. Now I hate ABS to start with, but with a car that has ABS, theres not much choice in the matter.

So what do you do when the ABS doesnt work?

I'm not sure if my car started locking up on me, or if its because my drivers skill is improving. Some of the guys I race with say if you left foot brake and go from gas to brake too fast on a lot of cars, ABS won't activate.

Is that the case with the camaro too? or is there something wrong with my car? It doesnt lock up every time, just when i'm hitting some really hard maneuvers and going from WOT to pound the brake, as well as left foot braking.

'10 Camaro SS 6spd
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:52 AM   #2
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The brakes and clutch both use the same fluid reservoir so clutch dust winds up getting into the brake fluid. With the severe usage that racing puts on the system, you're probably getting some contamination in the brake system which MAY be interfering with the ABS.

If you race a lot you might want to consider bleeding out and replacing your brake fluid before every race. Use something like Super Blue which comes in both blue and clear fluids so by alternating the color it's easy to tell when the new fluid has replaced the old.

There's also a thread on a good mod to separate the clutch and brake reservoirs so clutch dust doesn't contaminate the brake fluid.

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34085

Not a bad idea, especially if you race.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:22 AM   #3
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Can you explain how clutch dust is getting into the brake/clutch fluid? That is a sealed system. If dust in getting in, then you would have fluid spraying all over the place when under pressure.

My guess to the OP's problem is the ABS system recognizes he is on the gas and therefore it doesn't activate antilocking brakes feature and allows you to lock up the wheels. ABS is to keep you from locking up the wheels and you state you don't like it but then aren't happy with it not working and allowing the wheels to lock up. Under steady speeds and then slam on the brakes, do they lock and leave a solid skid mark or can you see where they release and lock and release in the skid marks? You may have a defect in the ABS and your dealers can run a diagnostic on it to see if anything is wrong. Also I think the Onstar app runs an ABS diagnostic every now and then, maybe push the Onstar button and ask them to run one? I have no idea what if anything they can see but I'm pretty sure it is on their app.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:54 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your responses.

I know there are contamination issues, but I can't tell you how or why. I've seen enough modified two-reservoir systems where one stays clean and the other doesnt to know its true!

I think your probably right too shu71... so does that just come up to learning how to deal with it or is there a way to tweak it/fix it?

ABS works fine in normal situations (like if I just slam on the brakes in normal driving situations)

And its true I don't like ABS, but its not predictable enough to adjust to it when racing, and thats what caused me serious issues this week. I can make adjustments, but the more unpredictability there is, the more it makes it difficult to be a good driver!

I'll swap fluids before my next race, but I'd still love to hear if anyone else is having this issue?
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:12 AM   #5
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I shouldn't have posted so quickly. I watched the video and it does make sense how it could occur and I guess if enough people are having this problem, then somehow it is occuring. And I guess at $20 for a separated system, it really isn't a huge expense since so many have found it very effective. I use a Motive Products Power Brake bleeder system to keep fluid fresh in my vehicles. I typically do it every couple years, but I think after seeing that video I too may separate the systems and do annual fluid flushes.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
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Brooks...

Separate your systems, get better fluid and flush often. I do. ABS is meant to work under "normal driving conditions". Not WOT, brake HARD, turn 90 degrees, WOT. Mine were locking up on that track event we did a few months ago. I wouldn't worry about it.

I'm with ya... I hate ABS too!
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:53 AM   #7
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BumblebeeAmigo you are running SCCA autocross, correct?

Are you running OE wheels and tires?

Your brakes are OE?

Does the ABS fail to activate in all of your runs or after a few runs when everything is hot?

What traction control mode do you use?
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:31 PM   #8
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Hmm... never seen that issue.. and my car is exclusively used as an autocross car.

I DID separate the clutch / brake fluid reservoirs a long time ago, I use high quality DOT 4 brake fluid (in clutch and brake systems), and have Racing brake rotors (only Item in the braking system that was replaced other than the separate fluid reservoir).
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BumblebeeAmigo View Post
Thank you both for your responses.

ABS works fine in normal situations (like if I just slam on the brakes in normal driving situations)

And its true I don't like ABS, but its not predictable enough to adjust to it when racing, and thats what caused me serious issues this week. I can make adjustments, but the more unpredictability there is, the more it makes it difficult to be a good driver!

I'll swap fluids before my next race, but I'd still love to hear if anyone else is having this issue?
Well sounds like there are plenty of variables in the equation here, but before looking for mechanical or software failures I would look closely at whats going on with your braking and throttle inputs. It sounds like your doing a lot of left foot braking out on course. There are many schools of thought on using your left foot on track, but our feeling is unless your trying to keep turbos spooled there isn't a lot of reason to use your left foot in hard braking zones, it's more of a distraction then it's worth. There are potentially some stabilizing effects on corner exit but the risks may outweigh the benefits sometimes.

Typically folks left feet are more accustomed to mashing the clutch pedal than rolling on and off the brake pedal smoothly, especially in a frenetic environment like an Autox. If you find yourself mashing the gas and immediately mashing back on the brake there is a better chance you're going to lock the fronts up then if you had been traveling at a constant speed and mashed on the brakes, as you've loaded the rear of the car with hard acceleration and now you're requesting heavy braking on the front tires which are now unloaded. Add in the tendency for folks to be pretty heavy footed with their left feet and you've got a situation where the computer should step in and apply ABS. Why that's not happening may be up for interpretation, but the situation could be avoided all together by concentrating on being smooth.

With the Camaros drivers aids turned off we've had pretty good success on track. As long as your ABS system is performing under normal circumstances on the street I would focus on technique before digging into a system which may be performing as it should. It probably wouldn't hurt to mention it to your dealer and see what they've got to say, but our feeling is you will pick up a lot of time by focusing on driving technique.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrhaus76 View Post
Separate your systems, get better fluid and flush often. I do. ABS is meant to work under "normal driving conditions". Not WOT, brake HARD, turn 90 degrees, WOT. Mine were locking up on that track event we did a few months ago. I wouldn't worry about it.
I'm with ya... I hate ABS too!
In this case it was only one specific maneuver which really called for it. I wasnít the only person having ABS lock up at the same point, and when I asked some of the more experienced guys about it, thatís what they told me, and they actually recommended ďlook on the forums for your car to see if thatís the case with the camaroĒ. I searched on here with no luck. Probably not going to separate the system since Iím running only one more event with the Camaro before I finish out with the Fiero and then hopefully enter next year with a new camaro.

Sounds like that may be the case. When I came to the forum though I didnít know if it was going to be a documented mechanical item to note, or if there was a specific factor to either remedy it or adjust to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
BumblebeeAmigo you are running SCCA autocross, correct?
Are you running OE wheels and tires?
Your brakes are OE?
Does the ABS fail to activate in all of your runs or after a few runs when everything is hot?
What traction control mode do you use?
SCCA Autocross - Running FS, so all stock brakes and suspension. Traction control completely off. I was running into the issue near the end of the course on all but my first run, so it was likely hot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 600hp-lpe View Post
Hmm... never seen that issue.. and my car is exclusively used as an autocross car.
I DID separate the clutch / brake fluid reservoirs a long time ago, I use high quality DOT 4 brake fluid (in clutch and brake systems), and have Racing brake rotors (only Item in the braking system that was replaced other than the separate fluid reservoir).
That very well could be contributing to the issue. Iíll at least run new fluid for the next event!
Quote:
Originally Posted by PfadtRacing View Post
Well sounds like there are plenty of variables in the equation here, but before looking for mechanical or software failures I would look closely at whats going on with your braking and throttle inputs. It sounds like your doing a lot of left foot braking out on course. There are many schools of thought on using your left foot on track, but our feeling is unless your trying to keep turbos spooled there isn't a lot of reason to use your left foot in hard braking zones, it's more of a distraction then it's worth. There are potentially some stabilizing effects on corner exit but the risks may outweigh the benefits sometimes.

Typically folks left feet are more accustomed to mashing the clutch pedal than rolling on and off the brake pedal smoothly, especially in a frenetic environment like an Autox. If you find yourself mashing the gas and immediately mashing back on the brake there is a better chance you're going to lock the fronts up then if you had been traveling at a constant speed and mashed on the brakes, as you've loaded the rear of the car with hard acceleration and now you're requesting heavy braking on the front tires which are now unloaded. Add in the tendency for folks to be pretty heavy footed with their left feet and you've got a situation where the computer should step in and apply ABS. Why that's not happening may be up for interpretation, but the situation could be avoided all together by concentrating on being smooth.
With the Camaros drivers aids turned off we've had pretty good success on track. As long as your ABS system is performing under normal circumstances on the street I would focus on technique before digging into a system which may be performing as it should. It probably wouldn't hurt to mention it to your dealer and see what they've got to say, but our feeling is you will pick up a lot of time by focusing on driving technique.
Thanks for your input! Iím not doubting that its through driving technique, and this is actually my first ABS car. (although Iíve had ABS in trucks and DDs).

Iím not doing a lot of left foot braking. An experienced driver (runs vettes- C4 in track racing, C5 in autoX) has been coaching me on left foot braking for certain maneuvers, but for most of the courses Iím sticking to one input (brake, throttle, steering) or throttle/steering. I was left foot braking near the end of the course to (in the words of the driver working with me). It wasnít happening at the point of left foot braking but rather from left foot braking through a maneuver through the exit -> WOT -> firm brake, and I didnít know if it was related to that or not, although it locked up once during that previous maneuver but I fault myself for braking too hard (but it locked up surprisingly easily). At the other part it locked up 7 of 8 runs.

As I mentioned prior, several other ABS cars were locking up at the same point, and I just was looking for confirmation that it sounds like that could be the case (The camaro ABS may not activate when coupled with acceleration- aka gas to brake too quick/same time).

It sounds like I got the answer I was looking for, and that the proper adjustment is through driving technique and I guess just accepting it in the rare case that it is inevitable.

I think I might go get arrested. Iím going to go try and do a test in a parking lot by slamming on the brake with the left foot while giving a tiny bit of gas input and see if the brakes lockup or not. That would probably answer my question for sure if they are related!

Thanks a bunch to everyoneís feedback!
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:17 PM   #11
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I tried it, Gas and full brakes, ABS worked!

I wonder if it could be related to heat. I'm going to replace the fluid and not lose sleep over it unless it starts becoming a bigger issue.

Thank you everyone for your help
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2010 Camaro SS modified extensively. I stretched the body to make it a 4 door, but I swapped in the 3.6L DI V6 for fuel economy. Then I picked up a corvette body around the V8. I also swapped the body for a C2 Z28. (In short I traded it for three cars, a Corvette Z06r, a C2 Camaro Z28, and a Cadillac CTS Summer Performance package 3.6L DI with Aisin 6spd.)
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BumblebeeAmigo View Post
I tried it, Gas and full brakes, ABS worked!

I wonder if it could be related to heat. I'm going to replace the fluid and not lose sleep over it unless it starts becoming a bigger issue.

Thank you everyone for your help
Changing brake fluid is a good idea for veryone that runs autocross or road courses.

You did mention 'other cars' were locking up in the same area. Was there anything unusual about the course surface?
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:38 PM   #13
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Didn't seem like anything particularly unusual, except two really tight turns post straight aways meant you really heated up the brakes, and one turn was right at the finish (post finish), meaning you were going 60-0 instead of 60-20.

Supposedly its a VERY common issue with a number of ABS systems, wasnt sure if it was true with ours too!
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:31 PM   #14
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I'm still scratching my head. Do you know what your alignment specs are?
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