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Brakes smoking

Old 09-21-06, 09:46 PM
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Brakes smoking

Help me out folks. I've autocross for years but have never really tracked the car or got into any situation where I needed to brake alot.

Today my rotors were red and smoke was coming off from the caliper area. I'm on new HP+ pads. So my question is, when smoke comes from the caliper, is that normal? What the heck is burning? Is it my brake fluid? Is it my brand new pads? Is it something worse?
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Old 09-22-06, 12:15 AM
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Assuming you weren't at the track or did something to seriously overheat them, you need to rebuild your calipers. At best you've got a stuck slider if it's on the rear, or it's likely a stuck piston. This would cause the pads to drag on the rotor, which generates heat and the pad will overheat, smoke and eventually burn (see link to pic below). Rebuilt calipers should fix the issue. Also, you need to make sure to have all the proper hardware installed, springs, clips and so on, this helps to keep the pads from draging, but usually don't cause the kind of draging necessary to cause the pads to smoke.

http://p4.xanga.com/49/3a/493a6f291b...5962106022.jpg
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Old 09-22-06, 11:30 AM
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rebuild kits can be bought from mazdatrix
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Old 09-22-06, 11:49 AM
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Wait, brand new brake pads, is this the first time you've used this type of pad?

Smoke from the brakes is bad news, good chance you've toasted your brake piston dustboots and possibly seals. so a rebuild is definitely in order. However, I'd be less worried about a stuck piston than the choice of pad. Never used HP+ pads, perhaps you've chosen the wrong type of pad for your sport? It's definitely suspicious with the new pads, I'd be looking there.

PaulC
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Old 09-22-06, 01:13 PM
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HP+ pads shouldn't be the problem. I've used them for track days, as has my dad on his 220whp Miata, and they did just fine, no fade, no smoking or anything else like that.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:35 PM
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I guess I'll have to take everything apart this weekend to inspect them. I was tracking the car and did about 30 minutes of heavy braking. The brakes were cherry red just like your picture. I'm embarass to say, I've own the car 6 months and haven't bother bleed the brakes, I dunno when the last owner bled them.

Last edited by Jabberwocky; 09-22-06 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 09-23-06, 08:35 AM
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Who put the pads in? If it was done in a garage/shop then most likely they used some sort of anti-squeal goo on the backings. That stuff smokes like hell. If you are not getting a soft pedal or actually seeing fluid leaking, I wouldn't be too concerned. On my old FC E prod car I used stock calipers with Hawk pads. They got so hot that the dust boots burned off and we had to bleed them every other session. They worked great.
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Old 09-24-06, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
I guess I'll have to take everything apart this weekend to inspect them. I was tracking the car and did about 30 minutes of heavy braking.
What course? One with nice tight yet short corners?

I've had glowy rotors and ROILING smoke from the pads in as little as 5 minutes of backroad playtime. Difficulty: 2500lb, 70hp car. The trick is that it was the road was just "straight" enough to get up to 50-60mph before the "baking" zones, and the corners were fairly short, so there wasn't much time for the brakes to cool off.
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Old 09-25-06, 12:50 PM
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If the car is still stoppping and the pedal isn't dropping I'd keep driving. My FB brakes used to smoke for about 10 mins after a session. It was usually the paint burning off the brake backing plates.

-Trent
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Old 09-25-06, 09:56 PM
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I took the caliper off. Looks fine, no damage or fluid leaking. Theres quite a bit of grease on the backing plate like everyone mentioned. I really should have just did the pad chang myself, but sometimes you are just too busy and it is cheap to pay someone to do it. Then I bled the brakes, the fluid was in terrible condition. Gave the car a shake down and it works fine now.
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