'This Feature Friday is 4 of a 4-part series that gives you tips on how to prevent key air system and brake components from failing due to improper maintenance practices and how to keep your vehicle on the road and operating in good condition.
Part 4: Air Disc Brakes
The right upkeep also matters greatly to the life and performance of air disc brakes (ADB), where something as simple as selecting the wrong aftermarket replacement pad kit can have severe consequences. Choosing an overly aggressive friction can lead to stress cracks or heat cracks in the rotor, for starters – but there are also important details in kit accessories that are often overlooked.
Benchmark testing of other aftermarket pad kits in the market demonstrated a 40% reduction in pad retainer spring force (on average). A kit that comes with a weaker pad retainer spring can damage the retainer bar and/or the carrier because the pad will have more movement during brake applications and vibration, in the long term, this can lead to a damaged carrier, and potentially even break the retainer bar, which could lead to other extensive damage beyond the brake.
When it comes to shear adaptors (a pad kit component used to back brakes off/set running clearance), other aftermarket pad kit benchmark testing has shown shear adaptors shearing at 1.5-times higher torque value (on average). Adaptors that shear at higher torques run the risk of damaging your adjuster (the caliper internal mechanism); once that happens, you’re forced to replace the entire caliper. Using the wrong pad kit will void your caliper warranty since other aftermarket kit pads do not perform the same, nor do they use OEM hardware to protect the rest of the system.
There is also the importance of regular preventive maintenance and inspection practices, including checking and measuring ADB friction for thickness, checking for caliper slide-ability, and making sure caliper boots and chamber seals are intact to prevent contaminants from getting inside.
The proper maintenance practices can help keep that from happening.'
-Truckinginfo, 7/10/2019 and photo by iStock