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Old 17th December 2007, 18:21   #1
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Default Stability of Esteem under Panic Braking

Hello Friends,
I own a 8 year old Carb Esteem that has done around 50k kms. It has a new set of Michelin XM1 175/70/13 tyres.
Couple of days back I was on a empty road past midnight and wanted to try out some panic braking. Braking hard at around 60kmph was pretty safe and stable and there was minimal wheel locking but then I wanted to try out something more ambitious...I went past 90kmph and at around 100kmph I tried braking really hard to stop the car at a minimum distance and WOW...The rear wheels were locked and I see the rear wheels sliding to its right....and it was pretty violent..my car was at an angle of 45 degrees to the road at this moment (though it had slowed down to under 20kmph).... but but but.. I was nervous even though I knew there was no one either behind or infront of my car. I dont know what to say....is this normal ?????? Is there something wrong with my car ? I dont know how a new car would have behaved as I didnt buy this car new. But I need you guys help to figure out what could be the areas of malfunction (if at all its a malfunction) and how should I go about rectifying this.

I have driven my friend's Swift (without ABS) and Alto...first of all their wheels dont lock so soon and also their brakes are pretty stable and predictable at 100kmph.....whats gone wrong with this esteem ?? Is there something I can do to delay the locking of wheels (under panic braking) ???

Pleas help guys...
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Old 17th December 2007, 19:59   #2
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Hi,

8 year old carb Esteem, probably does not have disc brakes in the front. Therefore, the braking power is less as compared to newer cars with disc brakes. In cars without disc brakes, the rear wheel would lockup as they are free rolling and it takes lesser power to stop them, as compared to the front wheels. However, if your car does have front discs, then you might want to get the front brake shoes checked. They might need replacing.

Cheers,
Rajan
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Old 17th December 2007, 23:54   #3
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The Esteem's nervous chassis aids quite some to the suboptimal braking too
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:26   #4
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The only thing that you can do with the Esteem is to use wider tyres or get better suspension and chassis stiffened.
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:31   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
Hi,

8 year old carb Esteem, probably does not have disc brakes in the front. Therefore, the braking power is less as compared to newer cars with disc brakes. In cars without disc brakes, the rear wheel would lockup as they are free rolling and it takes lesser power to stop them, as compared to the front wheels. However, if your car does have front discs, then you might want to get the front brake shoes checked. They might need replacing.

Cheers,
Rajan
Carb esteems did not have disc brakes? Are you sure?
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
Hi,

8 year old carb Esteem, probably does not have disc brakes in the front. Therefore, the braking power is less as compared to newer cars with disc brakes. In cars without disc brakes, the rear wheel would lockup as they are free rolling and it takes lesser power to stop them, as compared to the front wheels. However, if your car does have front discs, then you might want to get the front brake shoes checked. They might need replacing.

Cheers,
Rajan
Whoa... Dude since it has been on sale in India, the Esteem has been equipped with front discs. Forget the Esteem, AFAIK the SS 80 which was the first Maruti in India also had discs in the front and drums on the rear.

If I am right, the carb esteems were not equipped with brake boosters. Hence you can try retrofitting one since the MPFI Esteem comes equipped with brake boosters. This will reduce the pedal travel greatly and help sharpen the brake response. Also you might want to inspect the the disc brake assembly and overhaul it. Also check the rear drums' lining etc. Esteems are generally prone to massive nosedives under hard braking since the suspension is set up for a comfortable ride. 8 years down the line, the springs might have lost their rigidity and hence may result in uneven rebound in all four corners. Replace all springs and get the dampers inspected as well. Dont ever replace anything other than the complete set of four if you are replacing any part of the suspension as unequal wear may create a problem immediately or later. Get all this inspected and I'm sure your car's high speed braking dynamics will improve.
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Old 18th December 2007, 03:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doomsday View Post
Forget the Esteem, AFAIK the SS 80 which was the first Maruti in India also had discs in the front and drums on the rear.
You are right. AFAIK, its the Maruti Omni that had drum brakes on all four wheels. Not sure if thats still the case today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doomsday View Post
If I am right, the carb esteems were not equipped with brake boosters. Hence you can try retrofitting one since the MPFI Esteem comes equipped with brake boosters. This will reduce the pedal travel greatly and help sharpen the brake response.
I second your thought. I have myself driven a carb esteem sans a brake booster and then my own MPFI Esteem and found a world of difference in them as far as braking is concerned.

However, I am not sure if retrofitting a brake booster is a normal and simple job to be carried out. Can someone who has done this before, throw more light please ?

Last edited by rr_zen : 18th December 2007 at 03:55.
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Old 18th December 2007, 09:43   #8
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The carb esteems were most definitely equipped with brake boosters. My 1997 model carb esteem had them.
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Old 18th December 2007, 10:32   #9
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Esteems/maruti 1000 were from day 1 fitted with front discs and brake boosters !!

Clean your break pads, and check all brake parts including brake cylinders and complete flush and refill brake fluid, also check the suspension for wear, this should sort out fish tailing to an extent.

Again if the road had some sand or something similar, it could induce a drift.
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Old 18th December 2007, 10:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Esteems/maruti 1000 were from day 1 fitted with front discs and brake boosters !!
Agree with Jaggu . Post '97 models have bigger drums at the rear too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pani View Post
I dont know what to say....is this normal ?????? Is there something wrong with my car ? I dont know how a new car would have behaved as I didnt buy this car new.
Is there something I can do to delay the locking of wheels (under panic braking) ???

Pleas help guys...
First of all, it is not normal and there is something wrong with your car. Get a "competent" (I mean competent) mechanic to check your brakes. Yours is an old car and things do change with wear and tear.

Simple thing such as wrong brake bias could induce the situation you mentioned.

Also, in a panic braking situation, first thing you got to do is to avoid a wheel lockup. In a skid, environmental factors play a bigger role.

Last edited by WhiteKnight : 18th December 2007 at 10:47.
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Old 18th December 2007, 10:59   #11
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Also while you're having your brakes looked at, get the brake balance checked. For the esteem it should typically be 65% front and 35% rear. Anything above 35% for the rear will lead to serious fishtailing issues in the esteem.
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Old 18th December 2007, 11:52   #12
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@pani, Why do you want to risk your life by this trial? Ride safely.
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Old 18th December 2007, 12:13   #13
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Isnt it strange that the rear wheel locks up?I have driven lots of zens and esteems and even in panic braking the front wheels are the only ones which lockup and never the rear.
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Old 18th December 2007, 12:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pani View Post
Hello Friends,
I own a 8 year old Carb Esteem that has done around 50k kms. It has a new set of Michelin XM1 175/70/13 tyres.
Couple of days back I was on a empty road past midnight and wanted to try out some panic braking. Braking hard at around 60kmph was pretty safe and stable and there was minimal wheel locking but then I wanted to try out something more ambitious...I went past 90kmph and at around 100kmph I tried braking really hard to stop the car at a minimum distance and WOW...The rear wheels were locked and I see the rear wheels sliding to its right....and it was pretty violent..my car was at an angle of 45 degrees to the road at this moment (though it had slowed down to under 20kmph).... but but but.. I was nervous even though I knew there was no one either behind or infront of my car. I dont know what to say....is this normal ?????? Is there something wrong with my car ? I dont know how a new car would have behaved as I didnt buy this car new. But I need you guys help to figure out what could be the areas of malfunction (if at all its a malfunction) and how should I go about rectifying this.

I have driven my friend's Swift (without ABS) and Alto...first of all their wheels dont lock so soon and also their brakes are pretty stable and predictable at 100kmph.....whats gone wrong with this esteem ?? Is there something I can do to delay the locking of wheels (under panic braking) ???

Pleas help guys...
There are two issues to consider:

1. The camber of the road..this could lead to the car fish tailing to one side.

2. We sometimes involuntarily jerk the steering to either side..to get the car fish tailing to that side..

Apart from this, just check your brake pads, master cylinders etc..This is NORMAL..so no panic necessary..

I've done this umpteem times starting right from Amby Days..Lets you master the art of BRAKING!!

Also, the only difference between the carb esteems and the MPFI ones was the size of the booster and the front discs..All other stuff remain same..
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Old 18th December 2007, 13:18   #15
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Does fish tailing or the rear sliding out mean the rear wheels are locking up.??
Can't it happen because of a faulty suspension?
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