Brake System Tips
I think your mag is great. It has a great variety of helpful information. However, there are the occasional errors. The first section I look at is the technical articles. In the Feb. '11 issue you ran a how-to on upgrading a brake system ("Better Braking"). Two of the photos did not have enough explanation. Photo 2 shows what appears to be red Loctite brand thread locker. While I agree with using chemical thread locker, this product requires 500 degrees of heat in both the bolt and the component to remove the fastener after curing. If you have to make a repair on the trail, good luck. Photo 4 shows a fair method for compressing the piston, but caution must be exercised when doing so. If the vehicle has ABS, a flake of rust may be forced into the control unit, causing a failure of that system. This could be a very expensive mistake. The best way to do this is to open the bleeder screw to relieve the pressure rather than pushing the fluid back to the master cylinder.
Good point on the caliper pushback, Chuck. I have to disagree on the red Loctite though, as I have used the sweet-tasting stuff for years and, while it is tough, have never had to heat anything to 500 degrees or get a breaker bar out. Maybe that's a good shootout though? Hmm, nice idea!
More Breaking Brakes
I have come to the conclusion that 4WOR is the best publication in its field. I also must take issue with some advice given in the "Better Braking" article (Feb. '11). You recommend using antiseize compound on caliper slide pins. I have learned from experience that anti-seize will expand and deform slide boots and other rubber parts that it comes in contact with. Synthetic caliper grease works but can dry up after a period of time. Dielectric grease, in my opinion, is the best option in this application. It is silicone based, will not harm rubber components, and holds up quite well to heat. I would appreciate any input you have on this subject.
The truth, Ben, is that we have never had antiseize swell and seize. But then again we don't live in your cold climes so it certainly is possible. Maybe we'll stick to dielectric grease from now on. Anyone have more input on this? Drop us a line!
Reader Rant No Whining!
Geez, I get sick of self-righteous people whining about nitpicky things. Who has time to police the magazine articles to find out who is not wearing their seatbelts, who is welding in sandals, etc.? I think personal safety is a personal choice. If one chooses not to take advantage of personal protection, then that is their choice. Maybe they will be weeded out by natural selection and as a whole the population will become smarter and we won't keep saving stupid people to continue to perpetuate stupid genes.
Once, as I was getting a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt while driving down the road in St. George, I asked the officer how he could justify writing me a ticket as a guy rode by on his motorcycle without a helmet (or seatbelt, mind you). He said, "Well, I can't" as he handed me a ticket anyway and bade me good day. Usually I do wear my seatbelt. If I would have died in a fiery crash that day I would only have myself to blame, not Dennis Boyer from Naples, Florida, for not pointing it out for me (In Box, Nov. '10), or Rick Péwé for not being a better role model. Enjoy the magazine for what it is.
Finally, I'm not whining here, but I noticed my Chevy wasn't in the SAS Chevy section of Readers' Rides in that same issue. This isn't a threat here, but I'll just keep sending pictures. LOL.
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