Wednesday 8 May 2024

Heavy Metals

 Over the weekend I did the first trackday of the year in my Caterham. It was quite a big deal for me because it's the first time the car has been used hard since my friends and I had then engine out to change the clutch. We've also rebuilt the cooling system and some of the rear suspension. It all worked like a charm.

Unfortunately during the day a badly maintained Radical sprayed my car with oil. It didn't seem to cause any problems and we wiped the worst of it off. The next day I washed the paintwork, but when I checked over the car the front brakes seem to have been badly contaminated. There was a greasy, rusty residue on the inside of the disks and the pads seemed oddly "crumbly" when I tried to clean them. All of which is to say that I needed to buy a new set of front brake pads.

Environmentalists and bureaucrats can spoil all kinds of thinks that I like. We can't have proper solder any more, so all our appliances go wrong and get thrown away. We can't have low temperature silver-solder any more, we can't have real creosote, naptha, absinthe, and codeine is always cut with something.

Over the years I have discovered my favourite brake friction material. It's made by Mintex, it offers excellent braking and thermal performance on a car as light as mine, it doesn't produce a huge amount of dust or chew up the disks too badly, and it offers a good balance of cost and longevity. Although it is a bit squeaky. Back in the day it used to meet the basic European standards. For the last couple of years it's been marked "Not for Road Use". Now it's no longer available and has been replaced by a less poisonous, less polluting compound. I can only image it'll be inferior.

Richard "Farewell Mintex M1144" B

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