By Bryan Leonard, VP, Chase Bays
Deleting ABS from any car can certainly prove to be a daunting task. The ABS works with individual wheel sensors to help detect and subsequently prevent wheel lock up. While this may be perfect for a daily driven normal street car, on cars being developed for performance driving, factory ABS can sometimes cause problems. Motorsport grade ABS systems are great but generally start around $8,000 for parts alone. You can repurpose certain factory ABS systems to work as a stand alone system, but again, this can become costly.
Deleting the ABS sometimes is as simple as pulling the unit and re-plumbing the system. However, many times removing the ABS can pose major issues to the car's electrical system causing “limp mode” outcomes. This is chassis-specific and the internet can be a useful friend here.
The biggest question to ask is what are the implications of deleting my ABS? Who else with my chassis has completed this task and what issues did they face? For drifting this really allows left foot braking without ABS intervention. Keep in mind you would really need a manual brake of some sort to get the proper pedal feel. We offer an excellent solution in the Dual Piston Brake Booster Delete. This comes with our bias valve integrated, which is a critical part to fine-tune your non-ABS brake system. If you select another master cylinder solution, we would advise buying the bias valve to complete the setup.
Research your platform, see if someone makes a delete kit electronically and hydraulically. If not, ask professionals who are familiar with that platform what to do with the electronics. Next ensure that you have properly unioned the lines to their appropriate position. Trace where the front lines connect to the ABS and ensure that union is mated to the front line that leads to the master cylinder. Same with the rear lines. You or a professional will need to be comfortable with flaring. If you aren't comfortable or don't trust your work, seek professional advice. It is critical these items are flared properly. NEVER use a single flare on a braking system. Double flares are common on US cars and DIN on Euros. Japanese cars have a little of both. Identify what you have on your car for consistency.
Chase Bays offers line solutions for popular chassis including BMW E30, E36 and E46, Nissan S13 and S14, Honda Civics and Integra, Miata and more. Using the E36 as an example, lines running from front to rear including front line relocations for both the OE master cylinder and our Brake Booster Eliminator, handbrake lines and even caliper lines to complete the setup. Our lines will adapt directly to the chassis, master cylinder and calipers for the most aesthetically pleasing, leak-free, easily installed solution.
If an off-the-shelf solution isn't available or a custom solution is needed, building a hardline will most likely be the easiest method since soft lines require proper tooling to crimp. Use a proper line bender as well, some people will attempt to bend the lines by hand. After spending so much time on properly laying out your hardlines, flaring, the last thing you want is to kink the line because you didn't want to use a proper bender. Make sure you flare and add the fitting before you bend a section if that end is short. The flaring tool takes a certain amount of space. If you bend too early, you may not be able to get the fitting on.
Braking systems are super critical. You must be proficient at using these tools or seek a professional. Failure to do this, well, you know. Do your research before committing. Build a game plan, then execute.Bryan Leonard has extensive experience as a professional race car builder, driver and driver coach in series including IMSA, World Challenge, WRL, Porsche Sprint Challenge, and SRO.
By Bryan Leonard, VP, Chase Bays
The quest to build the perfect road race car is a battle that privateers and manufacturers alike have tried to conquer. Asking the right questions on the front end of this battle, will save you time and resources. Here we will outline a good jump off point for building a race car.
We will list some of the key points then explain them in a bit more detail.
- What is the cars intended use?
- What is the budget?
- Create parts list/ fabrication list. Where is the budget best spent?
- Create an execution list in chronological order.
- Test, test, test, then test more.
- What is the car's intended use? Is it autocross, track days, road racing, spirited driving? Each form of driving listed here has much different requirements to perform at the max potential. There are a few things that I would argue are non-negotiable for each one of these forms. Braking systems and suspension. Autox, you would want to decide what class you wanted to run, and build the car to suit. Track days, you would just decide how far you want to take the car. For track days I would recommend brake system, suspension, heat management, and tires. Learn how to optimize what you have before adding power. Road race cars, same as autox, find the rules and build the car accordingly. I could write an entire book on building a road race car, however for the sake of this blog, I will try to set the building blocks.
- What is the budget? This is a mission critical item. Many times people find themselves unable to finish a project because they didn't set a proper budget at the onset. No matter what your income is, your sponsorship is, or however the project is being funded, you need to set a budget. You can do this over the whole project, you can do this on a monthly basis. There are many ways to do this, but the important part is that it is executed.
- Create parts list/fabrication list. Where is the budget best spent? Now that we know what we can spend per week, per month, or whatever time frame was set, we can place the money in the right places. Having a parts list is crucial to proper project execution. This will help determine where the money is best spent and in what timeframe it can be spent. Knowing this will help create a project execution plan.
- Create an execution list in chronological order. With everything you have documented it's now time to create an execution list. This will allow you to manage the project properly rather than simply deciding on what to work on in that moment. This will also allow you to see the workflow and help you move around the project and not lose time. The biggest mistake people make is ordering a bunch of parts without seeing how they work together. Then they begin to work on the car and are forced to make compromises just to get it finished. How many times have you heard (or said) “we just have to get it done” or “you won't even be able to see it?” Those are the words of the defeated.
- Test, test, test, then test more. Find good baselines for all settings: brakes, suspension alignment, tuning etc. Then go test the car. The internet is a plethora of knowledge and misleading information (even if it's not malicious or intentional) Do your own testing, and determine what feels best for you and your project. Examples of misleading information: “it worked on my friend's car,” “this is what I did and it worked perfectly” (says the guy who is super slow and on track once a year).
I could write an entire book about building a proper race car, but I think the most important things that remain the same among all the disciplines we have listed are suspension and brakes. Consistent brakes create consistent drivers, heat management. Braking is the hardest task to master on a race track. Having good pads, good rotors and a manual brake are paramount to creating the perfect road race car. Pedal boxes and dual master setups are expensive and are not plug and play. Major modification and considerations must be made before going this route. The Chase Bays DBBE is the easy button. Proper pedal ratio, proper consistency, that manual brake feel that is so important.
Suspension is another overlooked item. Solid bushings and proper dampers can make or break a build. I would always purchase the nicest dampers your budget will allow. People who state you don't need that kind of damper for x, y, z are simply wrong and don't understand how critical they are.
Heat management, from the engine to the power steering to the driver, all racing is heat management. Oil coolers and proper radiators will help protect the investment and also allow the car to operate at the designed temps. Power steering coolers keep the steering inputs consistent, there is nothing worse than being mid-corner and having a power steering issue.
In closing, this is just a jump off point for building a road race car. There are many considerations to be made, far too much for a blog. We provide many solutions for road race cars that fix problems with brakes, engine oil/fluid cooling, power steering cooling etc. Make a plan and get your car built!Bryan Leonard has extensive experience as a professional race car builder, driver and driver coach in series including IMSA, World Challenge, WRL, Porsche Sprint Challenge, and SRO.