Your experiences of brake fade? Page 1 / 2

jessie78, Oct 18, 10:10pm
Hi all, I had to use the engine/air brakes quite a lot (combined with gears and foot brake) in a hilly area with my horse truck the other day and by the end of that there was a distinctive acrid smell. I'm taking that as a warning sign not to overdo it. Apart from not slowing down anymore, are there any more signs to look out for? My poor old '85 Isuzu is feeling her age and I'm wary of pushing her too much.
What are your experiences? Any tips?

stornello, Oct 18, 10:12pm
Only use the brakes on the last corner.

peacebird15, Oct 18, 10:13pm
you shouldnt be driving faster than what the exhaust brakes can manage.

Your driving a truck, and like most horse truck owners, badly

jessie78, Oct 18, 10:15pm
Aw that's a little harsh but I know we have a bad rep. I was going very cautiously and no one behind me. I pull over wherever I safely can so as not to be a menace :)

snoopy221, Oct 18, 10:17pm
As per the thread title-they stink they don't work and well
If it is a once off trip
Then you are aware of your WEIGHT and BRAKING ABILITY.
If NOT a once off then uprated braking compunds is the answer and good fluid.
I.E. race brakes.


alfred011, Oct 18, 10:20pm
Brake fade is when the brakes loose their friction between the brake pad and disc or brake shoe and drum quite often the smell is just normal caused by the high temperatures from heavy braking .

jessie78, Oct 18, 10:26pm
Thanks I will get that checked out. It was a once off, they've seemed fine on other trips. I'm well aware of needing to take my weight very carefully, and not abuse the brakes. Just a bit of a worry to get 'that' smell, ya know.

snoopy221, Oct 18, 10:31pm
AYE. and yip
and feel free to contact john at race brakes if you consider upgrading from standard brake shoes -k

reality is probably just doing a shoe material upgrade on the front and ya will be all good.
And when brakes a re checked given the year. well an upgrade may not be much dearer at all than a replacement with standard.

jessie78, Oct 18, 10:35pm
hmmm true that! Everything is $$$$ now lol

electromic, Oct 18, 10:43pm
Op if you can smell the brakes, you have worked them a bit hard. Use your engine brakes and gears properly(for slowing down) and your brakes for stopping. Do you know any truckies that could ride along and give you some driving tips. Make sure you have the brakes checked out and serviced.

jessie78, Oct 18, 11:04pm
Yes I was doing a blend of all so I didn't overwork one or the other. Sadly I don't have any truckie friends hence I'm picking your brains. Putting it in for a service very soon and will get them to check both kinds of brakes. Thanks :)

electromic, Oct 18, 11:20pm
Sounds like you did the best that you could with what you had. We have all been there at some point. I have had bad brake fade when I drove an '85 trader delivering stock feed/ oats (lots of time pressure so drove the truck hard). At the end of the day it is a learning curve.

sr2, Oct 18, 11:58pm
Would be good to know the make and model of the truck (not sure of what you're describing as 'air brakes') and maybe how the pedal felt as well?

martin11, Oct 19, 7:30am
Have you brakes on the horse float ?

budgel, Oct 19, 8:40am
I remember hitching with a truckie over the Mangamukas years ago, and asking him how the brakes stood up to the hill work. His explanation was that he made sure he was in the right gear for the hills and used the brakes to prevent over revving the engine.
That was easily understood.

kazbanz, Oct 19, 8:46am
Jessie-IMO you forgot one important option.Pull over and stop. Let the brakes cool down and then carry on. Being an hour late is a heck better option than not arriving at all.
Regarding the dollars.---Im sorry but if you can't afford to get the brakes serviced then you can't afford to have the truck on the road. This time you finished -next time maybe not so lucky.,

therafter1, Oct 19, 8:59am
As others have said, slow down more and use your gears to control your downhill speed. If you have to use the brakes to wash off a speed build do it with a good short sharp application and then release, I find that gives the heat more time to dissipate than a long application.

desmodave, Oct 19, 9:01am
They use a truck , not a float .

therafter1, Oct 19, 9:24am
Is the vehicle used regularly?

tony9, Oct 19, 9:32am
In my experience brake fade is when the vehicle appears to go faster when you stomp on the brakes. Screwing up a non-syncro downshift does not help.

socram, Oct 19, 4:15pm
I remember changing to new (hard) competition disc pads at a Silverstone
Sprint. In my youth and obvious ignorance, I didn't realise they had to be 'burned in'.

The Silverstone Club circuit in a 998cc Mini Cooper was pretty well flat out, so didn't really need the brakes anyway.

Next day, took my buddy for a fast road run down the local lanes, roared round the last corner and headed downhill towards a T junction in the village. Slowed to about 40kph then nothing. No brakes.

Managed to scrabble round without hitting anyone or anything. Lesson learned.

tamarillo, Oct 19, 5:05pm
Op, if it was a one off and you still had usable brakes at end, don't worry. Just keep a check on drum lining thickness when servicing.
If it gets bad and losing brakes you can get the shoes relined with harder material. Or they might be available off shelf. This will make pedal pressure higher but if you have power assistance it should be sweet.

framtech, Oct 19, 5:17pm
Remember a house bus that went over the bridge on the Napier Taupo road, down into the river hundreds of feet below, all killed, problem is the driver and mostly always is, select low gear before going down steep hills and keep left out of normal peoples way, horse trucks and trailers are hated with a passion because they are ignorant to other road users.

jessie78, Oct 19, 5:57pm
You're exactly right. I can afford to have the brakes serviced, just being philosophical about it. It's an 85 Isuzu Forward, only done 176K and used for a 10 minute trip to PC twice a week, maybe a show here and there.
The foot pedal felt ok, I was using the gears to stay slow with the occasional touch on the foot, and engine brakes on and off where needed. I thought I was doing ok hence surprised to smell the 'smell'.
I was literally 5 minutes from home so just went there.

Thanks for all your posts, it's obviously new to me but I'm doing my best not to stuff it up.

strobo, Oct 19, 9:31pm
A bit more specialized but my guess its not full air system but its air over fluid .If acrid smell is evident its more likely from the front brakes . And im wondering if the truck was loaded or empty?Id wanna be checking the load sensing/proportioning valve is operating correctly! Note . (Not the safety proport valve)
ie roughly 60% braking on front and 40% on rear empty or with load should proportion more on rear brakes .Therefore less dependency on the front brakes.Those valves can crud up or air lock and not properly adjusted will not work correctly .even when there is apparently a full pedal!And also if power assist to check that system is all operating as it should! Further Engine brake or exhaust brakes?

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