Turning brake idea for discussion

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

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Ol'fogasaurus
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Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:59 am

(long post) After selling our motorhome after almost 30 years of motorhoming our garage has been full of “stuff”, so much and of flammable materials I haven’t been able to work on the black buggy much so I have been working on my tool box seat when and where I can. This morning before I got up I was doing some mental gymnastics on the forming/bending up of a mount for the air-line water filter when I got kind of an epiphany on something completely different.

About 1993, just after I bought my blue buggy and the black buggy body I was visiting my brother who then lived in Vancouver WA. He wanted to go to the Portland Swap Meet; while there I ran into a green Tow’d for sale for $800 (no, my wife wouldn’t let me buy it no matter how much pleading/wheedling I did). When talking to the owner I noticed a single handle coming back to where the driver sat. On questioning him about it the unit was hooked to the front brakes and was used for locking up the front brakes when climbing up a hill allowing the car to hang there (for some reason; I don’t remember just why unless it was for shifting into first and not being able to double clutch down).

Fast forward to roughly 2010 when I got caught in a dune crest collapse and the sand flow; e.g., Landslide that followed. My youngest stepson who was some distance behind me thought I was going to tip over sideways and be burried as the angle I was sitting at in the flow was so steep. Using the turning brake on the downhill side didn’t work the way I wanted it to but accidently I pulled on both handles and started to move forward and got out of it. Several years I ran into an article about 2WD vehicles off-roading and laying their foot fairly softly on the brakes to cause the rear diff to lock driving both wheels instead of the wheel with the least traction getting the power.

Since I ride on the Oregon dunes; where the sand is very fine, soft packed and usually damp so you don’t have front brakes as they want to lock up and dig in when applied which can cause the steering wheel to be jerked out of your hands; we only have rear brakes. I’m not sure about the other dune areas so I can’t comment about the way things are done there but from what I have heard things are pretty similar (I’m being cautious here).

I also run single rib steering tires which is OK for my buggies but not so much for rails as the front end is so light that “you have to be ready to turn” when you turn the steering wheel. The steering tires I have been seeing on rails lately are multiple ribs and not so deep. It is much quicker than turning brakes alone (at speed) from what I have been told (I get motion sick quickly when in or driving a rail so I don’t even try to drive them anymore).

There are two basic styles of turning brakes, single handle (push/pull) or dual handle. With the dual handle brake system (either “laydown” mounted or “up-right” mounted) you can pull both handles and load the diff but not so when using the single handle so a foot on the brakes is the main option but, at times, your feet can get pretty busy so for discussion: why not add a single handle brake in line in front of the turning brakes that will affect both brakes and leave the feet free to do the other jobs they have to do like brace themselves when a collision is evident. The extra brake would work with dual handles also but it is kind of redundant unless you handles are wide enough spaced so you can’t easily pull both at the same time (some of them are like that too).

By finessing and using both handles on the turning brakes I have even managed to get out of being "dug in" assuming the pan is not on the sand and the tires are hanging free in the holes they have dug. This is when strong friends or someone with a winch are nice to have around.

The same could be done when using 4 wheel brakes with turning brakes or alone to keep the front brakes from being activated. I think the “drifters” do something like that right now but for different reasons (http://www.driftingstreet.com/e-brake-d ... nique.html).

Again, any discussion?

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:04 pm

I guess no concern so I will delete it tomorrow.

Lee

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Piledriver » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:15 pm

Ol'fogasaurus wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:04 pm
I guess no concern so I will delete it tomorrow.

Lee
Leave it up, sounds worthy of discussion.
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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:47 pm

Thanks Pile.

Lee

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:47 pm

Thanks Pile.

Lee

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by takotruckin » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:59 am

I like the idea. I have used the parking brake on my truck for similar reasons.

I would put turning brakes on my baja to help with traction but I really don't want to give up the space or add more complexity to it at this time.

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:59 am

When I was debating this with myself the room issue was one of the big things that I was concerned. A VW just isn't that roomy to start with.

Another problem with using the parking brake is that the one shoe of your brakes can wear out so fast, assuming you are using this method a lot, that the parking brake itself becomes somewhat useless due to both wear and heat applied to the single shoe lining so it decreases the braking of the rear brake as one shoe is good and the other shoe is worn/heat glazed giving uneven braking.

With the after market disc brake conversions that have parking brakes in the mix this problem is pretty much reduced. Using the brake pedal eliminates the single shoe (drum brakes) wear problem but taking it to the next level: neither the hand brake or brake pedal methods allow single side brake usage for those of us who want or need this kind of control. The single shoe parking brake on a VW, when using for brake control, really isn't that good to start with plus you would have to upgrade you shoe material if you use them this way a lot.

The hydraulic parking brake is not DOT approved nor is it approved in many states (mechanically controlled brakes only) and, from personal experience, it can let loose on you or lock up on you so you have to bleed the brakes to get it to get the locked up brakes to loosen up so that isn't really a safe piece to put into the mix. Add to that, now you would have a liability issue in court.

The disc brake w/parking brake thing doesn't solve the problem with guys having a foot brake with a release handle style of parking brake system from using the parking brake method of brake control :roll: :wink: :lol: .

Quite a few years ago one of the guys who posted here started putting his turning brakes in, not on, the floor of the tunnel with the handles protruding up through the arc of the tunnel which is something I had thought about. At the time I thought he needed to strengthen the tunnel as he had opened up the side of the tunnel to slide the brake system in. He since has dropped out so I never did see the finished product; it did look pretty clean as far as he got.

Hot VW Magazine did a "thing" several years ago when they were building a pan for show. They made an access hole in the tunnel similar to the one the guy (above) did but not as far back down the tunnel, more up by the "Napoleon's Hat" area than close to the shifter hole, but welded heavy doubler around the hole to attach the cover to and strengthen the area also.

When I got started doing "glass buggies", especially for off-roading them, I had been warned several times that the area in front of the shifter area of a VW pan can/might have a tendency to bend/sag as there is a lot of load here, the frame head and beam loading, but that could be only when the body is removed (the body itself spreads the loads around evenly) but again, that is probably more common with glass buggies. If you put a doubler in/on the bottom of the pan then added doublers to the tunnel where the handle(s) come through to re-strengthen the tunnel one might be able to get way with adding a brake system there to reduce the room problem.

Just some thoughts to add to the mix.
Lee

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by TWOBEERS » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:38 pm

I always use the dual handle brakes. Most of my riding is northern mi. A lot of mud and hills. Normally using one side or the other to load the diff in off camber stuff where for whatever reason one tire is getting no traction. The other thing the duals are good for is in certain situations you may want to use rear brakes only.

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:17 pm

That is true but some people prefer the single handle brake and, as you say, you can brake the free wheel side. The only real draw back, as you can get used to either setup, is putting a load on the free wheel to lock the diff; I prefer to pull on both levers because of the quirkiness of the sand as far as traction goes; now you have it then now you don't. When you are stuck in the sand both levers or quick finessing between both levers works but finessing in a panic situation finessing the levers isn't always easy to do :lol: .

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by bajaherbie » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:10 pm

I would have preferred a dual but went with single control for my Baja beetle. My seats and harnesses were already installed and i didnt want to re fab all that. It would have been extremely tight to get a dual between a pair of suspension seats in a stock width Baja.

It has been a while since I have started it but last Sunday if fired right up on the second crank....

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:35 pm

bajaherbie wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:10 pm
I would have preferred a dual but went with single control for my Baja beetle. My seats and harnesses were already installed and i didnt want to re fab all that. It would have been extremely tight to get a dual between a pair of suspension seats in a stock width Baja.

It has been a while since I have started it but last Sunday if fired right up on the second crank....

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That is roughly the same fight I am going through Herb with my black buggy. Even worse I have to slide the big butt poly seats over to the tunnel side as the seats rub up against the glass body.

Some of the off-road, closed circuits racers used to use a single handle but mounted on the left side. Not sure if that is still going on or not.

Glad to hear your Baja fired up that quickly. I wish mine did.

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by bajaherbie » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Some are potting the dual control in front of the shifter.... seems like motorbreath was one of the first?

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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:20 pm

Since I haven't played with a Baja it might be possible, I don't know. I did toy with the idea with both dual handles and single handles in a buggy but not possible when you are strapped into your seat with a harness.
4th of July 2004 009.jpg
When the seat is mounted on the floor. A buggy or a rail has this problem at least partly caused by leg room.
IMG_0784.JPG
This shows a low mount seat and a long shift handle in a buggy; shown in 2nd/4th gear position :lol:. Not much room to grab handles and mount the cylinders which is why the cylinders will be remotely mounted.
IMG_0647.JPG
This is a standard tall short throw shifter. It was very awkward to reach the shifter when the handle was in a tilted forward position which was easier to use.

When I was riding trails and off-road in a jeep or other 4WD turning brakes were not used but that was a long time ago. With what they are using (locked diffs, welded spiders, air lockers) I don't know if turning brakes could be of any use there. Not sure about a front brake lock for hanging on a hill.
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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by bikesndbugs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:08 pm

i think a rear brake lock could be usefull for jeeps as then on steep hills your fronts pull you up rather than push you up from the rear. less chance of going over backwards.
wouldnt work well because transfer cases are locked. forgot about that.


as far as drift cars i have a few friends that are into that stuff. the hydro e brake is used to intitate high speed drifts when power is not available to spin them. locks the rear starting the spin.
2 ways to set them up either inline. or the better way of a completely separate resivior and separate calipers on the rotor.
diffs are welded in the spider gears to create maximum control and slide
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Re: Turning brake idea for discussion

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:39 pm

If you are on a hill and stop then roll back a bit so front end will lift some as tolerances engage in the drive train and rear brakes; a very insecure feeling when the hill is really steep. I think that is why the Tow'd had the brakes in front that could be locked. Its been a long time since we had an off-road Jeep in the group so no one to talk to about it. He had a lot of engine in that Jeep too. We see them and modified trucks (I forget the name they have but the bed is short and pinched in in the rear... "Truggy"?) on the dunes once-in-a-while. The last time down we saw two come in on a long bed trailer.

When I was your age we had what was called "Rat Racing" which could be (very) loosely compared to "drifting" but no one had the money to pay for tires :roll: :lol: back then. Not safe on the street then, not safe now. Lost a couple of guys I grew up with or knew doing it.

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