TBM Brakes has become quite the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to braking systems for virtually any racing series out there, which is why we were so interested to hear about its latest components available at this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“This is our new F5 caliper that’s been redesigned,” Randy Cotteleer of TBM Brakes said. “What we’ve done here is, we’ve tried to make a caliper that is compact, lightweight, and still retains all of the rigidity. So, what you have is a low drag, really solid foundation to start with [for pro-touring and off road applications].”
Cotteleer walked us through the design process of the calipers, explaining why they make them the way they do.
“The reason why we make this the way we do with the steel center sections, and the steel center bridge, is it keeps that caliper very rigid–and that prevents it from opening it up,” Cotteleer continued. “The vast majority of aftermarket calipers are built two ways. Either they are two aluminum pieces bolted together, or they’re a mono-block caliper. The issue with an all-aluminum caliper is that by the time the caliper reaches 300 degrees under hard use, it loses about thirty percent of its strength.
“They’re prone to flexing–opening up. A lot of instances, under hard braking, the brake pedal tends to fade away–it’s actually the caliper actually opening up in most cases. By adding the steel center section in three separate places in our F5 caliper, what we effectively do is start off with a caliper that’s about six times more rigid because of the heat treated steel.”
Cotteleer said that because the steel is unaffected up-to 450 degrees, it retains its strength in almost all circumstances. It keeps pad wear even, and you don’t have to worry about having a heavier caliper, since TBM Brakes only incorporated steel where they needed it.
Cotteleer concluded by saying, “What you have is a very strong, very solid, lightweight caliper that provides massive clamping force that can be used with any brake pressure boosting technology, as well as a manual brake setup.”