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View Full Version : ::--:: Here's One You Don't See Happen Everyday ::--::



audisnapr
12-17-2006, 02:30 PM
I’ve been pretty quiet lately, but that certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy with the audi. Recent mods include: Stage 4 clutch, PureMS front strut bar, E-Codes with HID upgrade (6500K), upgraded UNI programming (which btw feels great) and new 1750PSI pressure washer (early xmas gift)... which is where this story begins.

I spent a few hours yesterday and today, raising up the car (for winter mode), pressure washing all the wheel wells and suspension components, and replacing the brake pads all around. Just and hour ago or so I went out to bed-in the pads. I did the series of lower speed stops until things were smoking, let it sit for a bit to cool down, then went out for some more higher speed stops. On the second pass I heard and felt a big KABOOM followed by a horrible cyclical thumping noise. As I was slowing down (with very little brake pedal) I was instantly thinking blown motor (wasn’t even looking at the dash – making sure I kept my eyes on the road and couldn’t hear the engine idle with all the noise). But as I coasted to a complete stop, it dawned on me something in the drivers side wheel had blown up. I immediately figured it was the two bolts that hold the Porsche caliper to the bracket since I had just torque’d them down a few hours earlier. Jumped out of the car and of course saw the caliper sitting way lower than it’s usual, secure position... not to mention the nice red ring around the inside of the wheel.

Fortunately I was doing the bed-in process right around the corner from the garage where I park my car. I limped to the garge, parked it, pulled the driver’s side wheel and lookie what I found. Needless to say, ECS will be getting a call from me tomorrow.

http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/12-17-06_1643.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/12-17-06_1644.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/12-17-06_1645.jpg

<edit> sorry for the cellphone pics w/flashlight... best I could do on the spot. So I guess these PBR pads really stick huh??

RippleChip
12-17-2006, 02:35 PM
Unreal, another braket bites the dust. Just lucky with the situation in which it happened.

E Fresh
12-17-2006, 02:44 PM
Crazy

marked001
12-17-2006, 02:46 PM
damn..I thought you had meant the bolts sheared off! not the bracket....

pac1085
12-17-2006, 02:50 PM
This happened to somone else with the ECS brackets. I don't remember who.

Starting
12-17-2006, 02:59 PM
This happened to somone else with the ECS brackets. I don't remember who.

2nd. I believe it might have been a tt guy. or b6 a4. cant remember.

salz2135
12-17-2006, 03:09 PM
hmmm that makes me not want to get an ECS boxter brake kit.

smoothie
12-17-2006, 03:12 PM
wow... those are cast aluminum i take it? if they are then there is your problem. worst material evar.

soupie69uk
12-17-2006, 03:26 PM
Wow thats shocking!!

Least it will be sorted sharpish and you were not at any great speed.

audispeed
12-17-2006, 03:32 PM
quite frankly, i would demand a complete refund of the purchase price. i would not put those back on. sure, other people have been ok with them, but something like that would shake my confidence enough not to trust them. thank god it was in a controlled situation, what if you were on the highway or in the city. i hope everything works out alright. at the very least you are uninjured.

werksmini
12-17-2006, 03:48 PM
I had a rear brake caliper bracket break on me on an offramp going like 65. The caliper got seized between the wheel and the one bolt now holding it on locking up the wheel. Coming to a stop from 65 with one rear wheel seized is awesome.

Sorry about the bad luck man.

94jedi
12-17-2006, 04:52 PM
holy crap Joseph!!!! that sucks!!! Man, time to give ECS a call.

onemoremile
12-17-2006, 05:03 PM
Damn good thing that didn't happen on the track. If is hard to tell from the pictures if those brackets were cast or billet aluminum. They should really be anodized billet aircraft aluminum with whatever heat treat process applies. Brakes are no place to cut corners.

Castings aren't all bad but the quality has to be top notch. Brembo calipers are cast but they also go through very rigorous testing.

GraysonF
12-17-2006, 05:15 PM
im not too sure really what happened, let me guess.
you braked so hard that the pad stuck to the rotor, ripping the caliper in two? laymens terms there

pdxa4
12-17-2006, 05:31 PM
Not the first time that has happened...

Crazy...

audisnapr
12-17-2006, 05:59 PM
yeah, was a pretty crazy experience. It wasn't all that scary, didn't get out of control or anything... just a lot of noise. Once stopped and I tried to roll forward, the caliper would catch between the wheel and the hub and would lock up the car and it would stop suddenly. I was only rolling at maybe 1mph or less, but still.

Not sure how the brackets were made. They could be cast alum and then machined, or billet alum and machined. Either way, their site says they are machined 7075 anodized black. You can see by looking at the photos that the point at which it broke is clearly the weakest, thinest point. I'll keep you guys posted.

Btw, I was in the middle of the brake cycle applying 75&#37; force... I wasn't locking them up or anything like that. Like I said, these PBR pads really stick [;)]

Yes, glad this was in a control situation. These brakes have seen 4-5 track days. Would have been catastrophic at Wat-Glen or even Beaverrun.

audisnapr
12-18-2006, 10:37 AM
Ayight, here’s the update. I spoke with ECS this morning first thing and showed them the pics. They of course were shocked, but right away were trying to figure out why this happened. At first I thought they were trying to find blame so they could bill me for the new brackets and skate the blame (I’m pretty jaded like that after being here in NY for 3 years). But to my surprise, even though they may have found a reason that this “could” have happened, they are still more than happy to send me out two new brackets, charge me, and have me swap out the old ones, send them back and give me a full refund on the purchase price @ $150/side. Let me just say for the record, that ECS has always taken care of me. Some may say otherwise, some still revert back to the credit card scandal, but even though blame can’t be placed on any one factor 100&#37;, they are still willing to take care of me.

Here’s the theory as to what happened.

I originally bought their stage1 kit, which consisted of a carrier (AKA bracket), bracket bolts (the ones you see in the pics) and the rotors (stage1 uses factory calipers). Later, I upgraded to their stage2v2, which would normally include the entire assembly, ie: newer/different brackets, calipers, lines, rotors, etc, but because I already had the rotors, this was an “upgrade”. The stage 2v2 does not come with bracket bolts (the ones that connect the bracket to the spindle), you are supposed to use the original factory bolts from the factory carriers. I’m not sure why, but instead of using the factory bolts to bolt up the new stage2v2 bracket, I used the bolts that originally came with the stage1 kit. When they saw the pics, they knew right away that the bolts in the pics weren’t the factory bolts because of how far they stick out of the spindle and because of how long the shoulder of the bolt is (the non-threaded portion of the bolt). Their theory is, the shoulder on the bolts I used (from the stage1 kit) are too long and even though I torqued them correctly, they may not have torqued up against the bracket, but instead, ran out of thread and torqued up against the shoulder of the bolt.

I had them grab a stage1 bolt and a stage2v2 bracket and size it up. It’s very close, but because they don’t have an A4 front spindle laying around, they can’t verify whether or not it torques properly. I’ll know more once I pull the pass side off and look at the bolt shoulder length vs. the bracket hole. So in the end, it could be one of two things, bad bracket, or bolts that didn’t torque the bracket to the spindle correctly. Either way, hopefully once the new brackets get installed, I won’t find out the rotors or calipers are tweaked too.

Bottom line: James @ ECS is taking care of me and will be shipping the brackets and correct bolts out today.

salz2135
12-18-2006, 10:58 AM
glad to hear that ECS is taking care of you. keep us posted.

onemoremile
12-18-2006, 12:02 PM
Those bare bolt heads don't do anything nice to aluminum either. There definitely should have been some washers there. Glad ECS is hooking you up. They've always been good to me to. I got nipped for the CC personal ad thing but it never actually charged my account. They didn't have the 3 numbers on the back of the card. Anyway, they have always been good to me which is nice because there aren't a lot of Euro mail order shops on this side of the country.

AudiSport12
12-18-2006, 05:29 PM
geeze man that could have been a huge problem if you were on the track or highway. glad to hear ECS is helping you out with all of it. keep us posted

audisnapr
12-27-2006, 05:59 PM
:: UPDATE ::

received the new caliper brackets yesterday, although I didn't get them in my hands until today because I was out of town. At first glance I was a bit worried ECS had sent me the wrong brackets, but just chalked it up to bad memory (original install was over a year ago). Anyway, went over to the garage where I keep my car, used the trusty'ol audi scissor jack to put the driver's side up in the air, pulled the tire, pulled the caliper, pulled the old bolts holding what was left of the bracket on...


...and behold, the carnage...

http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0358.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0359.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0360.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0361.jpg








...and finally, the reason for the carnage...



















http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0363.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0364.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0365.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0366.jpg
http://public.visualrealms.com/audi2/caliper/DSCF0367.jpg


I was shocked to see the difference. Apparently, my memory serves me well. This new bracket is WAY beefier than the old ones. Obviously, I got an old bracket! AND OBVIOUSLY, THE SHOULDER ON THE BOLT I USED WAS NO WHERE NEAR TOO LONG.

Needless to say, I'm a bit pissed at the moment. Here I was toiling over the fact that I could have been to blame for a bad install and could have killed myself, my girl and others. Clearly ECS has some explaining to do. Especially why they haven't recalled these OLD weak looking brackets. Holy shit, what a difference.

94jedi
12-27-2006, 06:06 PM
wow what the hell joe!?!?! that's a huge difference in material and build quality. did you buy the original ones new from ECS??? That's crazy man. well, glad everything worked out ok. At least you got some beefier brackets. man the difference is shocking.

sean1.8t
12-27-2006, 06:11 PM
jesus! no wonder the old bracket broke. it looks like a thin peice of plastic compared to the new one..

[up] for ECS coming through for you, and for putting my confidence back into they're brake systems(well, somewhat)

audisnapr
12-28-2006, 07:06 AM
wow what the hell joe!?!?! that's a huge difference in material and build quality. did you buy the original ones new from ECS??? That's crazy man. well, glad everything worked out ok. At least you got some beefier brackets. man the difference is shocking.


yeah, def bought everything new from ECS. Never felt too comfortable buying used BBK or suspension for that matter.

chatted with ECS again this morning to show them my pics. I mentioned that they should consider doing a recall or at least notify their customers of their BBK kits of the potential hazards. Turns out, they already have. They sent out a letter a few months ago (which I of course never received) more or less recalling BBK brackets. So, if you have an older BBK kit, double check with ECS and see if your situation warrants a new set of brackets. Here's a clip from the top of their letter they forwarded to me via email. If you never received one, or need another one, let me know via PM and I can email it to you. Again, this is only for older BBK kits, with the older style bracket. Please don't go running to ECS saying I sent you with your recently purchased BBK kit [;)]

ECS Letter:

"Dear valued ECS Big Brake customer;
In our continuing desire to provide the Audi/Volkswagen community with the highest quality product available, ECS Tuning Inc. will be supplying existing Big Brake customers with substitute caliper brackets manufactured under our latest quality control standards. This decision comes in response to an effort to globally expand the ECS Big Brake product line and conform to the latest TUV manufacturing standards."

Starting
12-28-2006, 07:35 AM
Is it ok if I link this over onto AW? This is the first I have heard of the ecs bbk bracket recall and just want to make sure everyone knows. The old ones are definetly inferior compared to the new ones.

MultiAudis
12-28-2006, 07:43 AM
uh... yikes

audisnapr
12-28-2006, 07:49 AM
Is it ok if I link this over onto AW? This is the first I have heard of the ecs bbk bracket recall and just want to make sure everyone knows. The old ones are definetly inferior compared to the new ones.

yeah man, feel free. I would hate for this to happen to someone on the highway making a panic stop.

btw, for the record, I'm very happy with ECS both before and after this whole ordeal. Obviously I wish I had known about this recall sooner, but you have to give it up to ECS for the recall in it of itself. Although I know these brackets probably don't cost them a full $300 to make (retail to you and i), they are replacing the brackets at their own cost, both to save face with the audi/vw community and of course to save their own ass, but still.

Pointmeby
12-28-2006, 11:01 AM
This is why you don't buy brakes from just any vendor without considering what kind of engineering has been done. Companies that don't build and test brake systems as their primary focus may not have done the engineering necessary to build safe and durable systems. Makes you wonder not only about ECS but the brackets that the other people are selling for their kits with questionable engineering behind them. Brackets take a ton of abuse with major stresses in two different axis. They must be properly designed with radius edges to prevent stress cracks and possible failure. I am a member of BIRA which has many engineers as members and they have had a long thread about their brackets which are extremely beefy. They still have concerns over proper materials, design and stresses over time. Long term stress is something to be very concerned about after the brackets have been on a car for more than a few years. Aircraft aluminum has a life (many thousands of stresses if designed properly). Plus, for some applications, only steel is the proper material, not aluminum.
That being said, glad that no real damage was done to the car or the people in it.

LateraLex
12-28-2006, 11:16 AM
Joseph you are always keeping it interesting :p

ECS Tuning-Audi
12-28-2006, 11:29 AM
In our continuing desire to provide the Audi/Volkswagen community with the highest quality product available, ECS Tuning Inc. will be supplying select Big Brake customers with substitute caliper brackets manufactured under our latest quality control standards. This decision comes in response to an effort to globally expand the ECS Big Brake product line and conform to the latest TUV manufacturing standards.

We recommend at this time that if you have not recently inspected your Big Brake System installation that you do so now and make the following inspections:

* Proper torque on all fasteners - not to be exceeded
o Caliper to bracket (bolts) - 62ft-lb (85Nm)
o Bracket to Bearing Housing - 92ft-lb (125Nm)
o ECS Caliper Bolts (B5 Stage 4 ONLY) - 92ft-lb (125Nm)
o Banjo Bolt/Brake Hose - 9ft-lb (12Nm)

* Braided-stainless covered brake hoses for signs of wear or leaks
Note special attention to surface abrasion on brake hoses caused by rubbing against suspension components or the tire/wheel. Loose lines should be properly secured and checked for contact against suspension components with the steering wheel turned full left and right. A hose with signs of wear or leaking must be replaced immediately.

* Bracket Integrity- check for signs of stress-cracking
Cracks may develop from drilled and tapped holes along the long length of the bracket. Any signs of surface cracking require that the bracket be replaced immediately. Contact ECS directly if you believe that your brackets are damaged.

* Two Piece Rotors
Verify there is no missing hardware or excessive play with any fastener joining the rotor to the hat. DO NOT attempt to re-torque these fasteners. Contact ECS for replacement rotor rings and hardware.

Cracking in excess of .040" from cross drilled holes. Note that some cracking is normal with cross drilled rotors. Excessive cracking is an indication of a worn rotor and should be replaced. Aggressive track drivers should use only slotted rotors.

We ask that you take a moment to complete the online product registration (http://www.ecstuning.com/registration) regarding your ECS Big Brake System. If you are no longer in possession of the purchased kit please forward this information or contact ECS with the current owner's name and/or location.

badassbaldie
12-28-2006, 12:21 PM
2nd. I believe it might have been a tt guy. or b6 a4. cant remember.

It happened to me with my TT carrier for the A8 upgrade. ECS sent me a new carrier but didn't help out with the cracked rim that I had to replace.

Here's the link:

http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=95522

ModifiedA4
12-29-2006, 09:21 PM
audisnapr,

got any pics of the other side of each bracket? the side opposite the bolt head?

nynoah
12-29-2006, 11:30 PM
I just wonder why they use aluminum? I would trust steel or any other cast iron derivative more. I just don't think aluminum will ever be as safe. Its a bad area to try to save weight. Aluminum can be strong, but it has a higher rate of failure from repeated stresses. I might be totally wrong, I am not an engineer.

I don't know too much about the kit for the A4, but does the RS2 bracket fit up to the A4?

N

audisnapr
12-30-2006, 05:42 AM
Joseph you are always keeping it interesting :p

I aim to please [:D]


audisnapr,

got any pics of the other side of each bracket? the side opposite the bolt head?

no, but would be happy to snap a few more before I mount up the pass side. which bracket, the new or the old? what are you looking to see so I can zoom in if necessary?

ModifiedA4
12-30-2006, 08:13 AM
no, but would be happy to snap a few more before I mount up the pass side. which bracket, the new or the old? what are you looking to see so I can zoom in if necessary?

no need to zoom...a pic of each would be good.