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Old 26th November 2015, 17:20   #1
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Default Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

After selling off the E46 BMW, the tata nano has been my sole car for sometime and rather fun. But I do miss some niceties like heated mirrors, better braking and footwell lights.

I remedied the footwell light situation by 12v 48smd installing led panels and wiring them up to the dome light. The drum brakes got stuck on the front right tyre on a recent city drive and is urging me to get on with the disc brakes mod.

Disc brakes :

I know that one of the concept nanos featured in an auto show came shod with front discs and disc conversions are dime a dozen on old american muscle cars. The most important bit for this conversion, apart from calipers and rotors is a thinamajig to install the calipers on the axle. The common way to do it is to machine a tab that locks on to the axle hub onto which you can bolt on the calipers. Have any of you done this mod on your nanos? I need two suggestions:

1. Suggestion on whether the maruti 800/zen disc brakes are a good bet and easily available
2. Suggestion on who can machine the caliper holder tab. I cannot design that thing for nuts so an experienced mechanic who knows a lathe guy who has done it before is what I'm looking for
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Old 26th November 2015, 17:58   #2
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Default re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

I don't know if fitting disc brakes is technically a wise idea on a Nano because of 3 reasons:

1. Front tires are narrow than the rear ones, hence less traction available at front.
2. There is no engine load on the front and the weight distribution is rear biased, hence locking up of the front wheel is even easier.
3. Absence of ABS will make sure that the front wheels lock due to the above 2 reasons very very easily.

I know that takes away the fun from the thread but still...

Regards,
Saket.
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Old 26th November 2015, 19:56   #3
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Default re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

To be honest, I thought the same. Since the concept was shown with the disc brakes im moving ahead with it. I currently have 145s on all 4 rims and planning to change tyres based on how the disc brakes behave.
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Old 26th November 2015, 23:13   #4
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Default re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankarbn View Post
To be honest, I thought the same. Since the concept was shown with the disc brakes im moving ahead with it. I currently have 145s on all 4 rims and planning to change tyres based on how the disc brakes behave.
Well, again I am not with your idea of having 145s on all 4 rims.

Actually Tata has intentionally under-tired the front of the Nano so as to solve the oversteer issue which is normally associated with rear wheel driven cars. A harsh manoeuvre can send the car in a fish tailing situation if the front was not under tired in this particular vehicle as there is a huge rearward weight bias in the Nano. So you know that it was not just a cost saving feature.

I am sure people with more knowledge will contribute in this thread.

Regards,
Saket.
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Old 27th November 2015, 07:14   #5
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Default re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

I must have rephrased. The previous owner had changed all tyres to 145s. I would like to upgrade to 145 front and 165 rear after looking at how the disc brakes affect the vehicle, depending on whether the rims can take it. The 145s are in reasonably good nick right now and will run for another 5-10k km.

. I agree with your points on rearward weight bias.

The main reason to go ahead with this upgrade is the lack of feel and bite from the existing drum brakes. The car just lacks good brakes and though different sized tyres might not have been a cost based decision, brakes definitely are, at least in my opinion.
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Old 27th November 2015, 08:03   #6
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Default re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

If I were you I would be checking with TASS. They can have the Indica's disk brakes machined onto the Nano. They work closely with Engineers from Tata Motors, so you might get help from the Manufacturer too

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 27th November 2015 at 11:34. Reason: breaks>brakes.
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Old 27th November 2015, 11:07   #7
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Default re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
If I were you I would be checking with TASS. They can have the Indica's disk brakes machined onto the Nano. They work closely with Engineers from Tata Motors, so you might get help from the Manufacturer too
Asked my ASC but they denied, like they did when I asked about power steering upgrade. If you know ASCs in Bangalore who will be willing, I'm more than happy to get it done there. Please let me know!

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 27th November 2015 at 11:34. Reason: Quoted post edited.
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Old 27th November 2015, 14:27   #8
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Default Re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

In addition to Saket's excellent advice:

I'd put my trust on average OEM drum brakes than a potentially unreliable after-market conversion. It's not like you are going to get bolt-on parts. Brakes are critical to safety and it would be a challenge to find someone in the after-market who would do a 100% perfect job. This is not an area where you should perform jugaad.

I took the Nano to Pawna and they can handle a regular driving style / everyday situations alright. Just keep the speeds low and deploy engine braking.
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Old 27th November 2015, 16:00   #9
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Default Re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

I agree with your point on non availability of bolt on parts - which is the reason I raised a question here. However, I would rather take adequate care and enough checks to get the aftermarket machined part working in perfect condition than resign myself to average stock parts.

Like you, I feel the nano is a pretty good car is it's stock avatar, but I just want more from it and I'm willing to spend time and money to do it.

While I agree with you on the best option (including to my wallet) being leaving it stock, I would welcome suggestions from petrolheads on this forum on reliable people who can be trusted for this job.
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Old 12th April 2016, 11:52   #10
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Default Re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

Since starting this thread, I have been busy with other things but installed Yokohoma A539 tyres 165/60/R12 at the rear which have made the ride a tad bit more comfortable. The braking situation remains the same though. I did check with my trusted mechanic (oxymoron much?) but he says he would have to ship a few bits of my car over to chennai to get the axle to caliper bolting thingamajig machined. Shelved this disc brake upgrade plan for now since it seems like a major hassle and may turn out unreliable in the end even after spending gobs of money. I'll wait for Tata to come out with a disc brake equipped nano for the next year and think about this jugaad then.

I am however, thinking of upgrading the front tyres to 145/80/R12 goodyear tyres. Any nano owners have experience with this size? I'm worried about the sidewall rubbing the front on extreme U turn angles. Also, the front tyre height will be a tad bit more, just sounds more weird than I want it to. 140/60/R12 would be my pick but the size just isn't available.

Also, thinking of installing monroe shocks and struts hoping it makes the ride either a lot stiffer or more comfortable than stock. Thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 16th April 2016, 18:17   #11
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Default Re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankarbn View Post
After selling off the E46 BMW, the tata nano has been my sole car for sometime and rather fun. But I do miss some niceties like heated mirrors, better braking and footwell lights.

I remedied the footwell light situation by 12v 48smd installing led panels and wiring them up to the dome light. The drum brakes got stuck on the front right tyre on a recent city drive and is urging me to get on with the disc brakes mod.

Disc brakes :

I know that one of the concept nanos featured in an auto show came shod with front discs and disc conversions are dime a dozen on old american muscle cars. The most important bit for this conversion, apart from calipers and rotors is a thinamajig to install the calipers on the axle. The common way to do it is to machine a tab that locks on to the axle hub onto which you can bolt on the calipers. Have any of you done this mod on your nanos? I need two suggestions:

1. Suggestion on whether the maruti 800/zen disc brakes are a good bet and easily available
2. Suggestion on who can machine the caliper holder tab. I cannot design that thing for nuts so an experienced mechanic who knows a lathe guy who has done it before is what I'm looking for
Hello Shankarbn,

I am quite late to this conversation, but here are my 2 cents:

1) If better braking is all that you desire, why not experiment with changing the brake pedal ratio, all you have to do is drill a different mounting hole for the master cylinder. If you have a higher pedal ratio the force exerted will be more with a trade off of having a slightly more brake pedal travel.

2) I know this will sound stupid but try changing the brake fluid of whole car once as sometimes water gets absorbed into the lines and hinders braking performance.
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Old 23rd May 2016, 11:24   #12
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Default Re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlzxcv View Post
Hello Shankarbn,

I am quite late to this conversation, but here are my 2 cents:

1) If better braking is all that you desire, why not experiment with changing the brake pedal ratio, all you have to do is drill a different mounting hole for the master cylinder. If you have a higher pedal ratio the force exerted will be more with a trade off of having a slightly more brake pedal travel.

2) I know this will sound stupid but try changing the brake fluid of whole car once as sometimes water gets absorbed into the lines and hinders braking performance.
Thanks Carl. The brake fluid was changed a couple times but to no avail. The left front brake is sticking again. Another day, another wheel removal and hammering.

My only hope now is that Tata realises this and produces a bolt on kit or atleast introduces disk brakes in the 2017 nano so that we can scavenge manufacturer made parts.
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Old 31st May 2016, 14:29   #13
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Default Re: Disc Brakes for a Tata Nano?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankarbn View Post
The left front brake is sticking again. Another day, another wheel removal and hammering.
Hello,

Can you please explain the situation, I know this is a little frustrating to explain in words. But off the top of my head few things you can check:

1) Return spring replacement for the drum shoes.
2) Check the piston seal inside the wheel cylinder to see if its corroded, most of the time it is and comes in way of free movement.

Cannot help much as I don"t know the exact situation, but please be safe as brake problems while running is a very serious hazard.
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