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This is a discussion on Race Compound Shoes within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; TT, Lone wolf, how are the new shoes bedding in? Any feedback for me? JohnnyB...

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  1. #1
    Moderator jbranson's Avatar
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    Race Compound Shoes

    TT, Lone wolf, how are the new shoes bedding in?

    Any feedback for me?

    JohnnyB

  2. #2
    Senior Member ttilghman's Avatar
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    jb-

    yeah, i was gonna pick your brain in NH. Baker didn't want the new variable so he skipped using the shoes at VIR, but i used 'em.

    OK, so we had four practice sessions on Friday and i kept taking freeplay out of the line all day and then just kinda figured they were bedded in. keep in mind i've never had the race compound stuff so i have no point of reference. i couldn't feel that they were tons better than the street shoes but i did feel a bit more confident, they never faded and were very predictible, but i didn't notice any real change through the day. and then the other factor is that VIR is a fast track. lots of braking for T1 and kinda hard for T10, but otherwise pretty sedate braking zones as compared to NHMS T3/T6/T12.

    so then i head out for saturday/raceday practice and take it pretty easy for the first/cold/more traffic session so i didn't really notice anything new or different. then in the second session i started trying to make some fast laps and do some passing at pace. aron comes flying by me on his fast-duc under the bridge into T7 so i try to keep pace with him, we make it onto the straight and get the sign for the last lap of practice on our way into T1. well, once i get to the braking zone i grab the front at marker 5 (which is the totally safe/wuss/don't cook it on the last lap in practice marker) and nothing is there, i stay on the brakes and stuff down the gears and still have have too much to finish the corner, i start to lean in, feel that it's not gonna work and take the generous runoff only to gently slip and fall on some dewy grass near the tire wall running at about 5mph.

    i get it back to the pits and joeC asks what's the matter and why is there grass on my bike. i tell him i don't think i had much brake in T1 and he grabs my lever and it comes all the way to the bar with no effort and tells me how i actually had no brake. so we take the slack out of the line while rosko fixed my alignment and i go back out for my first race (the big bump into V3 which is just practice anyway) and the brake effin' rocks. i was still too much of a wuss to brake any deeper than marker 5 at T1, but was almost stopped every time through. and everywhere else, especially T4/T10 i was just killing folks on the brakes.

    so obviously they took 6 sessions at VIR with my braking style to bed in. i had the one moment at the end of a six mile long straight, but after that they were spot on and i know i didn't use them for as much as they had to offer, but the difference was pretty huge. and there is no way i'd go back to a street shoe, it just kinda seems silly after how these felt. so after four years i'm kinda startin' to figure things out a little. thanks again johnny, i can't wait 'till i'm used to the improvement.

    -tt

  3. #3
    Senior Member lonewolf's Avatar
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    I did opt out on the new shoes like tt saysI didn't want too many new things to deal with. Summit could be a different story.

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  5. #4
    Moderator jbranson's Avatar
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    TT,
    Hmmm.... did you do the "off the forks" axle tightening routine when you installed the wheel?
    Sounds like you were working on one shoe maybe. Rosko adjusted the linkage then it worked good?

    It always a tough call for me to set these up off a bike in the shop with just an axle shoved through them. Pretty easy to get contact in one spot, then that wears down and puts a lot of slack in the cable and throws off the linkage adjustment. Once both shoes are bedded in it becomes a lot more consistant and the linkage adjustment stays good a whole lot longer.

    That linkage adustment is hugely important, just a couple of turns can make a big difference. Sounds like with some more laps and a final tweak of the linkage you could expect even more brake.

    A good indicator is the lever....it should come to a pretty solid stop with very little sponge. If there is sponge, check the cable first, make sure it's seating properly and not "straightening out" at the ends when you pull the lever hard. You want the cable to enter the perch and the brake nice and straight with no pressure on the lever. Then if that's all cool, you check the linkage adjustment.

    Usually the final tweaks are good for another 10% more braking power. If you have any reason to pull the wheel during the season, check the shoes for contact area. You want it to appear as if as much of the shoe is contacting the drum as possible.

    If I make to VC I'll check it over.
    Thanks for the feedback.
    JohnnyB

  6. #5
    Senior Member ttilghman's Avatar
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    johnny-

    i did the initial setup with the hub off the bike like we talked about. then through the VIR weekend, the only adjustments made were to the cable. it is still kinda spongy so i think i'll look at the linkage a bit closer again. i'll pull the wheel just to get a good eyeball anyway.

    thanks for the help-
    tt

  7. #6
    Moderator jbranson's Avatar
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    I just looked through a few manuals for older Hondas that used DLS brakes...for some strange reason I have never found a service manual that describes how to adjust DLS brakes. Or even how to replace brake shoes for that matter.

    I've been looking for a concise set of instructions I could save and send to people rather than trying to type one up. It's a hard process to describe. Bottom line...you want both shoes contacting the drum at the same time (actually I prefer a slight lead on the rear shoe to compensate for linkage flex).

    When done properly, if you push on the brake arm with your fingers as hard as you can it will come to an abrupt and solid stop, no more movement at all by hand. If you move the brake till a shoe makes contact and you can still grab the secondary short arm and move it toward the other arm then the link needs to be shortened.

    It's harder working from the other direction...so I usually lengthen the link from the get go to make sure I know where I'm starting from.

    If you think you have everything right, linkage and cable...but you still feel too much sponge...then watch the front hub as you apply the brake....if it moves side to side, or the backing plate moves away from or toward the hub...then something is misaligned. Axle bent a tad, spacers not turned square on the ends, or the axle not tightened properly prior to installation in the forks. The hub WILL move a bit rotationally...that's normal. (a tiny bit of side to side movement....like 1mm or less seems unavoidable in my experience, due to flex in the drum, axle, forks etc.)

    The only sponge you should feel in the lever is cable flex, if you feel sponge, first thing you do is apply the brake medium hard....now watch the BRAKE ARM while you apply more brake.....is the brake arm moving....if so then the sponge is in the brake. If the brake arm is not moving....then the sponge is in the cable. The cable should fit nice and secure into adjustment nuts nice and straight....no slideways slop or the brake lever will move to take up this slop and feel spongy. The cable is very important...I've seen lots of brake cables sitting in oversize adjustment nuts (or undersize cable ferrels) at an angle...you can watch them straighten out when the lever is pulled.

    As your brake/hub gets more precise it will show up problems elsewhere. Eventually if you get it right you will become addicted to excellent brakes, with excellent power and feel.
    JohnnyB

  8. #7
    Senior Member RookieGeorge's Avatar
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    Timely reading material, right there. ^^

    I've been trying to diagnose my brake failure from last year. When I pulled the brake apart this week (Vesrah shoes) the first shoe has no wear on the heel, but the second shoe has no wear on the toe. (Or is it the other way around?) Both cams seem to be in exact alignment as far as actuation goes. JB, you seem to suggest having a little extra cam in the second shoe. I want to shoot a little video or a few photos and send them to you for input.

    I DID get a full size lever to replace that shorty P.O.S. I had on there, and I was planning on cleaning/scuffing the drum in case I glazed the thing. I was really hoping to have the 101 track day to get the thing dialed in before Vintage Celebration.
    USCRA #113 FCB fodder

  9. #8
    Moderator ROSKO's Avatar
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    TT, after your bed-in @ VIR I think it would be best to pull the brake and see your contact area and adjust again. All I did at the linkage was get the slack out/ synch them, there was a little freeplay between brake arms.

  10. #9
    Senior Member UngaWunga's Avatar
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    Another thing to remember is that with race compound brakes you need to keep some heat in them to work. At VIR we're only braking in 4 places on a fast track. If things are adjusted properly and they're not working, trying covering vent holes in the drum.





  11. #10
    Moderator jbranson's Avatar
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    George....that sounds like a typical case of shoes that have not be arc'd to fit the drum. The shoes form a very minor OVAL inside the round drum and only the points of the oval touch the drum. Without disassembling for arc'ing you can at least sand down the high areas and not touch the low areas. Not very precise but it will help.

    On properly arc'd shoes the contact will start towards the pivot and progress around the shoe to the cam side very quickly...almost instantly ideally.

    As Unga says, race shoes like some heat. The compound I'm installing on these shoes is not as bad as some compounds in that regard, but they still need some heat. Overall race shoes just work at a higher temp range...need more heat to work well....will tolerate more heat and keep working well. This compound while not extremely aggressive is almost immune to fade.
    JohnnyB

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