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Old 07-17-2011, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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No brakes :)

Has anyone made their commute without having to use the brakes? I've got a pretty brutal commute in that regard. It's about 26 miles one way with 40 stops. I've almost made it with 2 brake applications. It largely dependent on luck since there are 3 downhill, and one blind corner, where the light needs to be green in order to make it. I've seen about 4% increase in mileage.

Been several months and I'm still waiting for the perfect run

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Old 07-17-2011, 10:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It is sure fun to try to make it without breaks I try but I usually have one time where I need to use them.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I haven't made any trip completely without brakes, but certainly very little. I might take this as a challenge though. I'll see if I can do that safely without being inconsiderate to other drivers!
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just remember that your brakes have to be used every now and then, or your rotors will rust and your calipers will stick (especially the floating type) and fixing them will end up costing you a lot more than the fuel you saved by not using them at all.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's not happening for me. Five lights, two stop signs, two tollbooths, one traffic circle and bundles of congestion. Both stop signs are at the bottom of hills, as are two lights. I could trade the circle and three lights for a lane reduction and four lights and a left turn- one light at the bottom of an off ramp.

Brakes are just a part of my life.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I drove nearly 300 interstate miles w/o using the brakes because if I did the caliper would stick and I'd have to stop, get out, jack the car up, remove the wheel, and pry the caliper open again. So for the decelerations too brisk for coasting I'd downshift and key off.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I haven't made any trip completely without brakes, but certainly very little. I might take this as a challenge though. I'll see if I can do that safely without being inconsiderate to other drivers!
Traffic is an issue at times for me. Fortunately I can pick the commute times on most days to avoid the "morning/evening" craziness.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm in the same situation as Fat Charlie, with a stop sign at the bottom of a hill. I have to use my brakes every time I go out.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That would be a nice dream for most of us.

Even when its not a population problem of someone triggering the light from a sidestreet, the vast majority of us probably have at least some hills to deal with that squash the perfect world!

I have a question that relates somewhat to Frank's comments.

Most typical American car nuts feel like you must be lame not to always want to upgrade a car to disc brakes. My question is this:

In theory, wouldn't it be cheaper, easier for a novice wrench for maint.; and also easier to adjust for little to no drag, a drum brake setup???

Owners of newer vehicles may not want to admit that something lower tech could as an Eco-modder be a GOOD THING!!!

A cleaner vehicle....look Maw; no brake dust all over. Should that alone be fuel for a less pollution situation?

I'm not even going to pretend like for it to go mainstream! There are too many numbskull drivers out there that need all the stopping power they can find.

My '81 CB Honda 400 has a caliper that sticks once in a while in damp situations, to where I almost can't push it physically....it takes about a 1/4 mile down the road on/off grabbing my front brakes, until it warms enough to break free. Never had to even think of that potential trouble (or expense) on the older manual brake bikes!

The car drums might be a bit heavier, but in very light vehicles used for hyper mile-ing; wouldn't the simplicity, and extreme low to no drag be worth it?????
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've already preached at some length about my preference for drums due to the things you noted. Alas, they are out of style these days. :/ You can be sure that I don't consider changing a drum car to disks an "upgrade" and I'll never do it unless it's a track racer, the vehicle gets used for towing/hauling that is too heavy for the stock drums, or maybe if I move to the mountains and the drums prove inadequate. In those situations I would attempt drum upgrades first, like cooling ducts/holes, pad material upgrades, etc.

On your Honda it will be well worth your time to pop the piston out of that caliper and dig the crap out of the groove where the seal sits. Corrosion builds up in that groove over time and presses the seal ever tighter against the bore, to the point where it sticks. I did that to fix my draggy Gold Wing brakes and I didn't even replace any seals- they looked good enough to keep in service.

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