Looking to equip your ever-faster racecar with carbon-fiber front brakes? Did you know that TBM Brakes offers a spindle-mount front brake kit to go with its carbon-fiber rear brake offering?
TBM launched its carbon-fiber front brake kits a couple of years ago, and they’ve been making their way onto the front end of Pro Mods, Radial versus The World cars, and similar machines that need the stopping power or simply the peace of mind for the driver and crew.
“A lot of guys don’t know that we have these. What a lot of Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Top Alcohol guys were doing was putting our F3 calipers on the rear with our 4-inch carbon pads and whatever carbon-fiber rotors they usually run,” says TBM’s Jason Smith. “What we’ve done is develop a front kit to pair with that, that utilizes our F1 caliper that we run all of our steel spindle-mount kits with. And we’ve made bracketry to work with any kind of Strange Ultra (Part# 001-0253), Penske (Part# 001-0254 — AFCO, Menscer, Santhuff, etc.) or Funny Car-style (Part# 001-0267) spindle that will pair with whatever 10-inch rotor that they’re currently running.”
TBM does not manufacture its own carbon-carbon-fiber rotor, but does supply the pads to go with its kits. The kit includes the calipers, pads, and the mounting hardware to work on any of the three above-mention strut styles.
TBM’s F3 caliper utilizes the industry-standard 5.25-inch mount, allowing it to mount onto what Smith says is 90-percent of the brackets on a rearend, along with standard 4-inch brake pad shape — as such, TBM has you covered if you want to utilize its brake kits on all four corners of your high-speed machine.
“Carbon-fiber is kind of a limited market,” Smith admits. “With those, you have to be generating a lot of heat for them to be consistent, so it’s not something that is for everybody. It’s also pretty expensive, so it’s really catered to high-MPH applications — Funny Cars, Pro Mods, radial cars, and Top Sportsman to an extent.”
“The biggest benefit to these kits is once again stemmed around the rigidity of our calipers,” Smith goes on to explain. “Brake drag might not be critical in horsepower loss when you’re talking about Top Fuel or Pro Mods. The biggest concern for these guys is the rate they are going through carbon pads and rotors. These rotors and pads are not cheap. Bolting our calipers on the rear, a Top Alcohol Funny Car team went from changing rotors every season to every three. Because of the reduced caliper flex, the pads wear even so you can get total use out of the pad, and they’re not wearing the entire pass due to the calipers being locked up, so rotors last a lot longer.
“When looking at the front, the same is true. The typical front caliper on these platforms utilize a single piston floating-style caliper. These can tend to get bound up, causing drag issues and can also result in braking the fragile carbon pads…When this happens it can be catastrophic. Our opposing piston DR-1 caliper is a fixed mounted caliper, maintaining extreme rigidity, allowing the seals to do their job and retract the piston back when off the brakes. Resulting in a better more efficient clamping force and far less brake drag.”