Everyone is always so focused on going fast that they forget a crucial part of driving…the stopping part. Big mistake…
Think about it, you are continually going from high speeds to lower speeds very quickly, and at times going from blazing fast to a complete stop in the snap of a finger, and it is for this simple reason that your brakes are extremely important, especially if you drive a performance car like a Corvette. You want to make sure those suckers are working optimally!
One way to achieve this is by installing brake ducts, but they aren’t always necessary. Whether you need them or not will depend on your driving goals. So in this article, I will help you understand how brake ducts work, how much of an impact they have, and when they are necessary.
Do you need brake ducts for your Corvette?
Brake ducts or no brake ducts? The simple answer is this: the need for brake ducts will depend on your driving. Suppose you are a passive everyday driver who rarely goes past the speed limit and rarely gets into any street racing challenges. In that case, you don’t need brake ducts. However, if your Corvette is hooked up and you live past the speed limit, often getting into races, then you might need them. And lastly, If you track your car or are planning to, then you absolutely need them.
You see, the need for brake ducts will depend on how much strain you will be putting on your brakes, and going from high speeds to low speeds quickly and often is a lot of strain.
Do you need air ducts if you don’t track your car?
Not really. Unless you’re racing every day on the highway and putting your Corvette under some severe strain, like some fast and the furious type of thing––then maybe. But the track is usually the place that truly tests your car in every way. Only on the track you repeatedly need to make abrupt stops to take those aggressive turns. So if you don’t track or plan to track, then don’t worry about it.
How do brake ducts work?
Brake ducts are just as the name suggests…ducts…and these ducts extend from the front grilles’ to the brakes of your car. So when you’re in motion, air gets pushed into the grilles and through the ducts, which then direct that air to the center of the brake discs. As you’d expect, that cooler air coming into the brake discs moves the hotter air away and allows the brakes to shed heat at a faster rate. This dramatically lowers the average temp at which the brakes operate, allowing them to work better.
The friction of your brake pads making contact against your rotors can cause your brakes can heat up to temperatures well over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. So as you can imagine, on a track, your brakes will reach those temperatures and even surpass them––especially if a brake duct to cool them down isn’t in place.
How much do brake ducts help?
Brake ducts are a HUGE help! If you are someone who street races your Corvette or tracks it, the repeated drastic changes in speed are putting much strain on your breaks, leading them to heat up a lot. This constant state of heat leads to detrimental effects on your brakes like:
- cracking or failing rotors
- boiling brake fluid
- bending of calipers leading to uneven pressure on brake pads
- glazed pads losing grip on the rotors
Brake ducts help avoid all of that…they will…
- Increase pad friction and stopping power
- increase brake pad and rotor life
- provide consistency in performance
- improve driver safety and confidence
There’s a reason every single car in our racing team has brake ducts installed. They work!
I race a 240hp e36. Decent quality curved-vane two-piece rotors and 3″ ducting.
I had the same question so I removed the ducting and backing plate from one side of the car and ran a couple of events that way. I’d come in hot and get a buddy to shoot the rotor temperatures with an IR thermometer.
Result: 10%. At the clockwise Sonoma Raceway, the ducted side was 600F and the unducted side was 660F. At the counter-clockwise Thunderhill Raceway, the ducted side was 700F and the unducted side was 770F.Flink, Corvetteforum.com
At the end of the day, I had to replace all the calipers and rotors because I removed the cooling ducts. I think it was about an $800 uh oh moment.han solo, Corvetteforum.com
Which brake duct should I get?
If you own a Z06-C6, we suggest you get our top of the line C6-Z06 racing brake duct kit.
It is track proven and has been in cars that have won us multiple races.
Otherwise, get one that is made by a popular brand who is also recognized for making quality parts.