Failure at NJMP

So I was leaving for my first track weekend of the year – New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ. That is a good 2 hours south of NYC. We went to Edison to pick up Tonggi and begin our journey.

As we are shooting the shit in front of Tonggi’s house, I notice a crack on my driver side front rotor. I am aware that stress cracks on the Stoptech rotors is completely acceptable. In fact, it is expected. What is not wanted are cracks that lead to the edge of the rotor – and that is EXACTLY WHAT I HAD.

I decided to make the trip down to the track. As I was driving I contacted a friend that cracked his rotor on the track, VIR, and had to drive 9 hrs home. I wanted to know if he had any awareness of the crack before it SPLIT. Unfortunately he was unhelpful as it happened to him because of ambient temperatures (it was March during a LONGER winter).

I decided, I will go to the hotel, do some research, and see if its ok to run on these rotors.

I came across some bad news and good news.

Good news – as long as the crack is not on the vane or the cross drilled part – regular
Bad news – cracks at the edge of the rotor and cracks that can be felt with a finger nail — BAD

I talked myself into just packing up and going home. I was trying to get a credit from Schattenbaum PCA, hopefully to use at a later date. Unfortunately, they were not obliging, so I had to register.

I had two choices

1) pack it up, be at a loss of $295, and possibly endanger myself driving home
2) drive up, get new rotor rings, have them installed, drive back, rip Sunday.

After a lengthy deliberation, I went with option #2.

I sourced a set of rotors by brake guru Dave Zeckhausen (www.zeckhausen.com) and had one of his buddies Marc of Marc’s Motors (http://marcmotorsllc.com/) install them for me. Mr.Zeckhausen was extraordinary. I e-mailed him Friday night at 11:51pm, and he responded by 11:57pm indicating that he could have the rotors waiting for me by 10AM at his warehouse.
He also indicated that he would have his friend install them for me.

Both were true.

Marc is a perfectionist. He understands the needs of the customer and really does a great job. He also is a tech that allows customers to approach their car, which is really nice and creates a comfortable environment for the customer. He showed me his tricks of the trade on how to remove rotors.

The 2 piece stoptech rotors are quite easily put together. There are a series of allen screws that hold the hat (center portion) to the outside ring (aerorotor). The screws are bolted into these pins. You separate them and then attach the hat to the ring with pins. You apply special Loctite for the pins. Wait for it to seat. Then bolt in the allen screws and spec them to 72lbs tq i believe. All these instructions are available on stoptech.com or zeckhausen.com

Here are some pictures

The crack on the rotor

The car at Marc’s

All in all, the car is back in one piece and although I missed one day on the track. I am glad that this happened. I was getting a weird feeling all week that something wasn’t right. Maybe its paranoia, maybe its foresight. I don’t know what it was. I think that finding the crack was a good thing. I forced myself to fix the problem instead of running on rotors that could of lead to a catastrophic failure.

Lesson learned – be more prepared, especially brakes.

This was all my fault. I should of checked the car more the last time I inspected the car.

Tomorrow is a new day and will be the first track event of the season for me!

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