BRAKE - SQUARE 1:
Now, for the emergency brake (oops! "parking brake") setup.
The Saab integrates a mechanical parking brake in the front brake setup. It's
wrapped around the hub and clamps onto the caliper to push one side against the
rotor. That won't work with my set-up.
One has to ask oneself, "For what do I need a parking brake? To
stop the car in the event of brake failure? To ensure the car doesn't roll
on an incline?" Well, aside from the fact that parking brakes are
required by most states, one can be used to stop a vehicle in the event of
catastrophic brake failure or to keep a car parked on a hill or idling while in
neutral from moving. And, bracket racers can use a parking brake to
lock the wheels on one axle while they apply power to the other axle.
As dual brake systems have almost eliminated the need for a parking brake
since its rare for both systems to go out at once,
I decided that I want a parking brake to ensure the car doesn't move when on
an incline or at the beginning of a race. In the event of catastrophic
brake failure of both systems, bury me in my MG!
However, I must also meet Alabama guidelines concerning a parking brake:
Every motor vehicle when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes
adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold such vehicle,
including two separate means of applying the brakes, each of which shall be
effective to apply the brakes to at least two wheels and so constructed that no
part which is liable to failure shall be common to two; except, that a
motorcycle need be equipped with only one brake. All such brakes shall be
maintained in good working order and shall conform to regulations not
inconsistent with this section to be promulgated by the Director of Public
Safety. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(Acts 1927, No. 347, p. 348; Code 1940, T. 36, §35.)"
reading the law, my daughter - the lawyer - informed me that a line lock won't
work as my park brake; however, it will be a neat thing to just have for locking
down the front tires as I turn up the rear ones to get a jump on Corvettes at
traffic lights when they start believing their own press releases & think
So, I trudged off to visit some of our local street rodders (no, not the
Japanese 'buzz bomb' kids, the American muscle car guys my age!) to see what
they use. And,
there, I learned more about 'line locks.'
A 'line lock' is just a
little electrical solenoid that, when activated by a button, maintains up
to 3,000 pounds of hydraulic pressure on the chosen brakes (front or
rear). Most bracket racers place the 'line lock trigger' on the gear
shift lever where its within easy reach of their thumb for staging out of
the start lights. They also usually integrate it into the front
brakes so the rear wheels are free to start their run up without the car
not certain how I'm going to build a setup for my parking brake;
I know I'll put a line lock in the front brake system (activated by a switch on
the shifter) so I can lock them and apply power
to the rear wheels for a quick take-off. Corvettes be warned!
REAR PARK BRAKE:
But, back to the parking brake issue. Wilwood
Engineering offers what it calls a 'mechanical spot caliper' for custom
parking brake applications. Wilwood describes it as:
single piston floating Mechanical Spot Caliper is compact, lightweight and
widely used in Parking Brake, Karting, Recreational and Light Industrial
applications. Its two position, cam-actuated lever permits right or left, front
or rear mounting, and accommodates two settings for leverage adjustment. The 1.2
pound Mechanical Spot fits rotors with diameters from 6.00" to 13.00",
thickness from .25", and is supplied with pads installed. The caliper is
available black or polished."
The price is reasonable ($50-range) and they may be just what I'm looking
for. So, its on to a Wilwood representative for answers.
And, pretty informative they were. In addition to confirming that the
Wilwood spot caliper would work in conjunction with the MGB parking brake cable
A quick phone call to Summit Racing
(1-800-230-3030) got them on order.
Next is bracket construction.
December 2005: Okay,
the brackets are finished. We used a Pontiac Fiero bracket setup to
get the angle right for the Wilwood sliding calipers. Here are a
couple of photos:
Now, I've got to slide up under the car & see how they'll interact
with all the other stuff back there.