Damond Motorsports Caliper bushings long term review and abuse

Discussion in 'Mazdaspeeds.org Official Parts Reviews Section' started by macdiesel, Jan 29, 2019.

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  1. macdiesel

    macdiesel Silver Member

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    There is nothing worse than tracking your car and experiencing braking issues. Doesn’t help your confidence at all. And it costs money. When I started taking the Mazdaspeed on course a few years back I soon developed some braking issues. Mainly overheating. I was burning through track pads. Bending backing plates, uneven pad wear, cracking rotors etc... Soon I was melting stuff like caliper pistons, center caps and wheel speed sensors. I didn’t want to install ducting and lose my fogs. I didn’t feel it was straight up a cooling issue. One thing I noticed when swapping track pads was the caps on the slide pin bushings were melting as well. Also noticed a ton of play on the rubber slide pin bushings. So with an aggressive track pad and sloppy rubber bushings my guess is the pads were doing what they should but the slop in the rubber bushings was causing the floating caliper to twist creating more heat. My pads were burning up and wearing down. Track days rotor temps were seeing +1000 degrees. I was burning through pads, fluid, bushings and calipers. I decided to go with some brass slide pin bushings on the fronts to alleviate the caliper twist. Bought some for a bmw and they worked, but they required maintenance. They were exposed to the elements so I had to keep an eye on them and couldn’t run them in the winter. And because I live in Wisconsin I wanted to drive on frozen lakes damnit. And that’s a no go with the exposed bmw bushings.

    I was on the cusp of going BBK and I really didn’t want too. I couldn’t justify the cost. Granted, it would be nice to be able to swap pads without removing the caliper. Around the time Damond Motorsports was developing an improved bushing with an internal o-ring and caps so serviceability would be reduced. Basically, everything the bmw bushings lacked. Damond asked me to give them a try. Full disclosure I was giving a set to try. I didn’t notice a difference tooling around town. I already have braided SS lines and run Motul 600 fluid flushed regularly. On track is when I noticed a difference.

    Once installed I experienced consistent pedal feel. No more overheating. Checked my pads and even wear so I could run my pads longer. Nothing but impressed with them. The best part is the low maintenance. I love driving my car. Especially on any track. So now I can track my car even more rather than spending funds to upgrade to a BBK or buy brake parts. My first track event post install was a wintercross at Road America, Wi. Not one issue. Read that again. The middle of a Wisconsin winter. Shit is cold. I do make sure to inspect and lube everytime I swap pads. If you don’t swap pads often I would check regularly. I’m so psyched on these bushings I plan on buying them for the rear.

    Since installing ~30k milesI have attended many different driving events. Hpde’s, autocross’s, a TrackCross and a few Wintercross’s. Not a braking blip from them at all. Beyond highly recommended. I’ve driven 19 twenty minute track day sessions, 5 autocross’s and 4 wintercross events. Running not only different track layouts but different environments as well. Never would have done winter events with the exposed bmw bushings. The best part is confidence he Damond bushings have restored my confidence and I can enjoy my car with little brake maintenance. These cars are meant to be driven and I’m glad the Damond bushings allow me to push the limits of my car. So yeah, go buy those if you don’t have them. Like is said before I plan on buying a set for rears to compliment to the braking benefits and low maintenance the Damond bushings offer.

    Pictures of my brake experiences from repeats track abuse before Damond bushings.

    Overheated caliper pistons mushroomed into the
    brake pad backing plate. Before Damond bushings. Way before.
    [​IMG]

    Melted slide pin bushing caps.
    [​IMG]

    Melted center caps
    [​IMG]

    Melted wheel speed sensors
    [​IMG]

    Propagated rotors
    [​IMG]

    So as you can see from the above pictures I was having some overheating issues. I havent snapped many pictures post Damond bushing install because, well, they look like they should with normal use.

    Here’s the only one I have and as you can see the pad wear is even.
    [​IMG]

    Make sure to clean any lube off the bushing when installing the caps. I didn’t clean thoroughly and a cap started walking off. Caught it in time and saved the cap.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
    macdiesel, via an iPad, Jan 29, 2019
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  2. Mauro_Penguin

    Mauro_Penguin Punk in Drublic Gold Member

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    I poked a pinhole in those caps with a valve pick.

    That way any pressure from the grease on the pins can burp through the hole and expand without forcing the cap off.

    I couldn't get the damn things to stay on without poking a hole in them at all.

    I agree with you, these copper bushings are worth every penny.
     
    Mauro_Penguin, via a mobile device, Jan 30, 2019
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  3. macdiesel

    macdiesel Silver Member

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    Yeah, I’ve had them the caps on sans hole without issues. My caps went on easily. Maybe because a certain ginger touched them prior to install.
     
    macdiesel, via an iPad, Jan 30, 2019
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  4. Db09ms3

    Db09ms3 Silver Member

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    I'll be looking into these eventually. Thanks for the lowdown.

    *Brass bushings
     
  5. therealleifmadse

    therealleifmadse Greenie Member

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    I got mine installed before my first track say in October (wish it was earlier but engine builds tend to do that....). Loved how everything felt. No issues at all and had a ton of confidence in the brake system.

    I did some hard braking on the street while bedding the pads before the sleeves and noticed the car would "walk" around while braking. I never experienced that on the track.

    Looking forward to some track days in spring and seeing how everything holds up over a summer of lapping!
     
    therealleifmadse, via a mobile device, Jan 31, 2019
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  6. gotovato

    gotovato Silver Member

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    looks like i may have to purchase these for my car. it goes to the track often and definitely requires some brake upgrades. thanks for the review!
     
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