Wow. I just read through Angie’s (Xanga: sarkie12) most recent entry that John Piper has prostate cancer. Let us pray, let us pray (everywhere in every way) for this soldier of the Lord and brother in Christ!
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
-1 Corinthians 15:54-57
Remember, the victory is the Lord’s!!!
The More You Know…
Today’s Automotive Tip of the Day is about brakes. More important than going fast, stopping quickly, in as short of a distance as possible, and consistently should be of the utmost importance to any driver. Yesterday (Saturday), one of the techs at work changed my front brake pads (Ferodo DS2500 pads to be exact) and bled the brake system (using Motul RBF 600 brake fluid) with me in the car the “old school” way. This was done in preparation for my track day this Saturday at Button Willow Raceway. The last time I went to the track, I used EBC Red Stuff Ceramic front brake pads and those suckers got cooked/overheated at The Streets of Willow Springs. At the first track day I went to in March 2005, I was on the OEM Subaru 4-pot front brake pads. I’ve read many good things about the Ferodos being able to do “double duty,” that is being used both for everyday driving and track use, a tough task because of the different demands required for each. I’ve also read that Ferodos are used by actual race teams (Vermont Sports Car (www.vtcar.com) uses the DS3000 pads on their race cars and recommend the DS2500 for track use) as well; thus providing me with a little more confidence regarding how they’ll hold up on the track.
I almost rear-ended a previous generation Honda Civic sedan with a USC Alumni license plate frame this afternoon driving my uncle’s 1992 Toyota pickup truck on the 101 North. I think I fell asleep for maybe a second while Jars of Clay’s “Flood” was being played on The Fish 95.9 FM (www.kfsh.com). My Uncle Milton said something like, “Hey!” and I stomped on the brake pedal as hard as I could. The car in front of me was almost at a complete stop. I was traveling maybe 70 mph in the fast lane (there was on and off traffic here and there) and it was an awesome thing I had left a LOT of room in front of me. I thought for sure I was going to hit the car and was already consigned to face the consequences that would ensue. The truck stopped without hitting the car and I thought, “What?! I was supposed to rear end that car!” There probably was only an inch or two at the most after I came to a stop and a whole lot of tire smoke. His truck doesn’t have anti-lock brakes so when I locked them up, things got “exciting” to say the least. It is often said that when brakes lock up, you are supposed to pump the brakes. However, everything happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to think, much less panic. I just stomped on the pedal. I didn’t try swerving because I didn’t know if there were any cars to my right and if your brakes are locked up, an attempt to steer would be hopeless and probably increase stopping distance. If I would have pumped the brakes going in a straight line, that probably would’ve increased stopping distance as well. I really don’t think there was anything better I could’ve done than what I did (other than not getting sleepy behind the wheel). If you know of any way I could’ve handled the situation better, please let me know!!! I know for a fact that things wouldn’t have been so close/dramatic if I were in the WRX (ABS + rally race-proven brake setup + max performance summer tires would’ve all helped even though the car’s heavier than the truck) I originally was planning on driving out to Reseda solo but when I was walking to the truck, I saw my uncle outside and asked if he wanted to go for a ride since I don’t think he had anything else to do.
Here’s the important thing: about a minute into my drive, I told my uncle the brake pedal felt soft/spongy. If your brake pedal feels like this, get your brakes checked out ASAP. It could possible be one or both of two possibilities. 1) There is air in your brake system. You should have it bled as soon as you can. BMW recommends replacing your brake fluid every 2 years. I’ve already bled mine four times in the 2 years I’ve had the car. Then again, the average person doesn’t take his or her car to the track. The interval also depends on the type of brake fluid you use and how easily moisture can affect it. 2) Your brake pads are worn making it feel like they’re “low.” Worn brake pads can often be determined by a) simply trying to look at how much pad is left (minimum spec on Subaru brake pads is 1.5 mm and 3 mm on BMW brake pads) and b) listening for brake squeak and/or squeal while braking. Regarding b), it isn’t uncommon (yeah, it’s a double negative, but then again, it isn’t exactly common…just don’t be surprised if it’s the case) for high performance brake systems to squeak and/or squeal under normal use with brake pads and rotors/discs in fine condition.
Dan’s New Shoes
I went to Reseda to purchase a used set of 2006 WRX stock wheels and tires for my car. That set will now (actually, after my track day) become my daily driver/beater wheels and tires for the everyday grind. They are 17″ x 7″ with Bridgestone Potenza RE92 (P215/45R17 M+S) all-season tires. I plan on throwing these on and putting the gold 17″ x 7″ Prodrive P1s with Bridgestone Potenza S-03 Pole Position (P215/45R17 M+S) max performance summer tires into storage. I will then sell my set of 2004 WRX stock wheels and tires (16″ x 6.5″ with Bridgestone Potenza RE92 (P205/55R16 M+S) all-season tires) with less than 10,000 miles on them. Why did I get the 2006 WRX wheels and tires? In January 2005, I had Subaru’s 4-pot/2-pot brakes (standard around the world except the North American market) installed on my vehicle. Who knew Subaru would do something that actually made sense and put them as a standard feature on the 2006 WRX? The old 2004 WRX wheels wouldn’t clear the brakes unless a 3mm (or more) spacer was used in conjunction with them. The new 2006 WRX wheels will clear the brakes just fine. These tires should give me a little softer and more comfortable ride than my summer tires and would also be able to give me a decent amount of traction in the snow or gravel if I ever take the car onto those surface. The Bridgestone Potenza RE92 is poorly regarded in terms of tire wear and maximum grip ability. After I go through this “new” set, I plan on putting some Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S tires of the same size on the car.
Still recovering from Wednesday night…