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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Anyone have experience following a complete loss of brakes.

Pads wore out, overheated fluid (Dot 400) and blued the discs.

Lotus repairs include:

New racing pads, new discs, new fluid RF600, new master cylinder, caliper rebuild (all new seals) and just learned ABS unit fried, because even after all work and bleeding of fluid, pedal was going to carpet. Therefore new ABS unit swap mandatory.
Total repair cost - 6500$ CDN.

Am I getting screwed and how could I cross check if Lotus is just slamming me? I've read a lot about people boiling their brakes and no one seems to have had this kind of extensive work done. (or at least admitted to it)

340$ of cost is for powder-coating calipers. (includes labor in total cost)
 

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I don't see how boilimg the brakes would cause all that damage. When you said pads wore out, do you mean you were riding on the metal backing?
 

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I don't see how boilimg the brakes would cause all that damage. When you said pads wore out, do you mean you were riding on the metal backing?
Just a guess

- proper pad thickness not checked prior to event
- pads wore down to nothing during the event
- excess heat from lack of pad material results in: higher fluid temps and brake disc damage

Its probably a given you could get it done cheaper not going through a dealer, not swapping OEM parts (as far as pads/rotors are concerned)
 

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There is no reason overheated brakes should have damaged the ABS unit.
Note that if you got air in the ABS somehow there is a separate procedure for bleeding it. You would still have some pedal though. I can't think of any way a bad ABS unit could cause a totally soft pedal, short of a giant fluid leak (which you would see).

To me pedal going to floor sounds like a master cylinder issue, like maybe they didn't properly bench bleed the new one.

As far as all the parts, you could have gotten a bunch of major aftermarket upgrades for that price, but sounds like it is too late now.
 

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There is no reason overheated brakes should have damaged the ABS unit.
Note that if you got air in the ABS somehow there is a separate procedure for bleeding it. You would still have some pedal though. I can't think of any way a bad ABS unit could cause a totally soft pedal, short of a giant fluid leak (which you would see).

To me pedal going to floor sounds like a master cylinder issue, like maybe they didn't properly bench bleed the new one.

As far as all the parts, you could have gotten a bunch of major aftermarket upgrades for that price, but sounds like it is too late now.
Yikes, sorry to hear about that bill:( A lot of "would'a could'a should'a" could be said here but I'll try to avoid that.

I boiled the fluid in my MINI once and the feeling of going into the brake zone after a 120MPH straight and having the pedal hit the floor is well... pretty scary.

I have no idea of your experience level, but I'll just try and help anyway.

Focus on the driver...

My number one question to ask yourself is how good is your threshold braking technique? You might be on the brakes for too long before your turn in. I had this bad habit the first year I got on track. The longer you're on the brakes the more heat is generated. You can have the best equipment in the world and if you're braking technique is terrible you'll still have problems. We had a young guy in our MINI club that had the same brakes as me and was constantly boiling fluid. I never had the problem with the same kit. HE was the problem.

Try to keep the application as short as possible while having a smooth initial squeeze and then finally easing off the pedal through the apex. You may have heard of, "squeeze 'n' ease" and maybe also that braking is like taking a dump. Not kidding. Squeeze that baby hard and taper off :crazyeyes

Next step would be to focus on the hardware side.

The factory brake fluid fill is DOT4. If you didn't flush it prior to the event that's a huge risk. DOT4 can absorb a lot of moisture over time that drops the boiling point significantly. I've made it a habit to always flush my brake fluid (I like Motul RBF600) the night before the event. The peace of mind is absolutely worth it to me. It might be overkill, but I flush with new fluid EVERY event. You can try different flushing schedules, but the feeling of safety and confidence is worth it for me considering how cheap brake fluid is.

The Elise/Exige pads are pretty thin as it is. I would change the pad as you get near 2-3mm of pad. You've got new pads now, but just keep it in mind as something to check before each day at the track.

Last thing I would do is swap the front aluminum brake caliper pistons to stainless. BOE sells them. Another item that's absolutely worth the piece of mind. The stock pistons are aluminum and transfer heat extremely well to the fluid. Stainless transfers a lot less heat. Why AP racing decided to spec aluminum brake caliper pistons for Lotus is beyond me. Borderline retarded if you asked me.

Call me crazy, but I disable ABS on the track. With all the stories of ABS problems I don't want to think about it. If I lock the wheels, it's my fault not the ABS unit's!
 

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What he said^

I think the dealer is taking you for a ride.
 

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Just a guess

- proper pad thickness not checked prior to event
- pads wore down to nothing during the event
- excess heat from lack of pad material results in: higher fluid temps and brake disc damage

Its probably a given you could get it done cheaper not going through a dealer, not swapping OEM parts (as far as pads/rotors are concerned)

That is what I'm thinking. No way boiling the fluid requires a complete brake system replacement. I guess lesson learned for the OP.
 

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I boiled my breaks at the track last month. My local shop (not Lotus) installed new racing pads, rotors, ss lines, ss pistons, seals, and fluid. Total cost with parts and labor was around $1,300, give or take.
 

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re: Boiled fluid - busted ABS???

Sounds like total BS from local Lotus shop. They need work. :)

Let's start:

1. Pads wore out: Are there deep groves in the disk from rivets that are embedded in the pad material, holding it to the backing, scraping on disks? If not, they are not wore out enough! It is not good, but not broke.

2. Boil fluid DOT 4. Not hard to do. BTW RF600, is not that much better, especially, if you do not change it every event. Need brake ducts. Will boil fluid at AutoX all the time! Because the speeds are low and not enough air flow. Need bigger disk (heavier), thicker pad, brake fans, water jets, etc. Or just time too sool-off between runs. Only solution is premium brake fluid.

3. Blued disk! You got them up to design operating temperature! Congratulations! How blue, dark blue means you got to 750F! Are there cracks in the disk? grooves? did it fall off the wheel? Otherwise, it is OK, it is operational, even if it is purple!

4. ABS busted. ABS does not bust from overheating brake fluid. However, if you boiled it good. The system needs to be thoroughly bled. The fluid should be changed, also. Is there ABS code on your dash? What is the scan code? Otherwise, it is OK.

Sorry, poking a little fun. Lotus is ripping you off.

If your car is driveable. I work on my race car on Saturdays. Come by. We are near Vaughn mills. Give me a call 416-219-3830. WE will be able to tell you what to do.

Powder coating calipers is up to you. Paint will decrease heat conductivity and heat calipers more... Chrome plating will radiate heat away better. NASCAR calipers are chrome plated... Lots of $$$ for chrome. Powder coating is OK. High temp paint is less, same effect... Up to you!

Anton


Anyone have experience following a complete loss of brakes.

Pads wore out, overheated fluid (Dot 400) and blued the discs.

Lotus repairs include:

New racing pads, new discs, new fluid RF600, new master cylinder, caliper rebuild (all new seals) and just learned ABS unit fried, because even after all work and bleeding of fluid, pedal was going to carpet. Therefore new ABS unit swap mandatory.
Total repair cost - 6500$ CDN.

Am I getting screwed and how could I cross check if Lotus is just slamming me? I've read a lot about people boiling their brakes and no one seems to have had this kind of extensive work done. (or at least admitted to it)

340$ of cost is for powder-coating calipers. (includes labor in total cost)
 

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Anyone have experience following a complete loss of brakes.

Pads wore out, overheated fluid (Dot 400) and blued the discs.

Lotus repairs include:

New racing pads, new discs, new fluid RF600, new master cylinder, caliper rebuild (all new seals) and just learned ABS unit fried, because even after all work and bleeding of fluid, pedal was going to carpet. Therefore new ABS unit swap mandatory.
Total repair cost - 6500$ CDN.

Am I getting screwed and how could I cross check if Lotus is just slamming me? I've read a lot about people boiling their brakes and no one seems to have had this kind of extensive work done. (or at least admitted to it)

340$ of cost is for powder-coating calipers. (includes labor in total cost)
ABS portion of the brakes should not have been damaged from what you described. I would consider an independent shop that specializes in sportscars (doesn't have to be a Lotus specialist), or a shop that really understands racecars in general to help you. A place you can trust, that doesn't make a ton of $ off of a laundry list of parts, and can simply replace the pads and rotors, flush the brake system and go from there.

Hope that helps somewhat. If the car were here that would be our approach.
 

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These two items will prevent boiling fluid 100% of the time...

1) SS Caliper Pistons

2) SRF Fluid

It's basically impossible to boil the brakes with that combo... fade the pads, sure... get better pads... but no way to boil the fluid...

Hope that helps,

Phil
 
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