When talking about brake calipers, we classify them as bracketed brake caliper and unbracketed calipers. They vary in both size and shape which further affects the cost of brake calipers.
Additionally, other difference will include their effectiveness, durability and method of operation. In fact, even the type of vehicle on which each one can fit varies.
Once you purchase calipers you may need to install brake caliper covers. They help to protect the calipers from dust particles and other atmospheric elements.
Anyway, we are here to talk about the bracketed and unbracketed brake caliper.
Bracket brake caliper VS unbracketed caliper.
What is a brake caliper? Generally, it fits onto the brake rotors of a disc brake and it houses brake pads. Further, the functionality relies on brake fluid hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder.
This knowledge will come in handy when replacing brake calipers. However, remember that brake calipers can last through out the car’s entire lifetime.
In fact, the most common reason for replacement is a stuck brake caliper.
What is a bracketed brake caliper?
Bracketed brake caliper is usually attached to a brake caliper bracket which is tucked into the vehicle suspension. This caliper is held in place by the caliper bracket bolt.
Alternatively it could be on the steering components like the steering knuckle. A bracketed brake caliper is also known as a high performance brake caliper.
Advantages of bracketed brake caliper.
One advantage of this caliper is that it brings the alignment of brake pads with the brake rotors. Hence allowing for a better braking capacity.
Further, it ensures that brake pads are wearing off equally on both the left and the right front wheel.
Race car calipers are usually these bracketed types because they ensure optimum braking performance. Because a precise alignment of brake pads and rotors is necessary for brake performance.
Additionally, they offer better control of the vehicle steering wheel. On heavier vehicles, they help to minimize the increase in braking force because the bracket provides more stability.
What is an unbracketed brake caliper?
Secondly, an unbracketed brake caliper is the one which has no brake caliper bracket. Instead, it tucks directly into the car suspension or steering knuckle.
Since it lacks a bracket, it does not display the advantages that come with the bracket. For example, it does not provide the car with better braking capacity nor does it give an increase in vehicle stability.
You will usually find this brake caliper on small vehicles which don’t have a high braking force. Those are the vehicles that do not need the stability that a bracket provides.
Types of brake calipers.
Apart from the brake calipers being bracketed or unbracketed, there are other varying characteristics that distinguish them from each other.
a] Floating brake calipers.
They have a brake caliper piston on the interior brake pads which are aligned with the brake rotors. The caliper pistons vary in number depending on the type of brake caliper.
The brake pads are in a position where they move in when driver presses brake pedal. Afterwards, they move upwards and away from the brake rotor when the driver releases the brake pedal.
b] Fixed calipers.
Unlike the floating brake calipers, these ones have a number of caliper pistons on both sides of the brake pad. This ensures that they remain in alignment to the brake rotors.
Because of the varying number of caliper pins and pistons they are more expensive than the floating calipers.
How does a bracketed brake caliper differ from a non-bracketed brake caliper?
Apart from the presence of a brake caliper bracket, there are other unique differences that exist. These are inclusive of the following;
The bracketed caliper pins have two pieces. Further, the slider caliper pins on bracketed calipers help with the mounting on the suspension. However the unbracketed calipers do not have slider pins, that makes them much harder to install.
Both of them tend to last for a number of thousand miles. However, you will have to undertake a replacement when damage happens to the brake caliper seal.
Alternatively, you will also replace the bracketed calipers when there is a problem with the 2 halves. For example, if they happen to separate from each other.
The duration of time for which you get to use the brake calipers is supposed to be through out the vehicle’s lifespan.
When it comes to choosing between the bracketed and unbracketed brake caliper, you need to consider their durability.
You can use bracketed brake calipers for a long time because of their durable sliding caliper pins. Further, this gives them an advantage in durability than the unbracketed brake calipers.
On the other hand, the unbracketed caliper pins rely on pistons which have rubber boots for their protection. The rubber boots are vulnerable to wear and tear hence the reason why they don’t last very long time.
The cost of the unbracketed and bracketed calipers vary because of their design and service that each one of them offers.
The bracketed caliper is much more expensive than the unbracketed car brake caliper.
d] Protection and Safety.
When we refer to protection and safety, we are considering you and the other parts of the vehicle.
The unbracketed caliper offers more performance advantages than protection and safety advantages. It has a performance advantage because of its multiple pistons.
However, it lacks the component parts that offer protection for parts of the caliper. For example, it does not have a
Alternatively, the bracketed brake caliper offers protection for the other parts of the brake. Because it has rubber boots which seal the parts from dirt accumulation and atmospheric elements like salt and rain.
Different types of vehicles will be compatible to different types of brake calipers. However, there are calipers that can fit multiple types of vehicles.
A bracketed brake caliper is universal in that it can work on different types of vehicles. However the unbracketed brake caliper isn’t universally suitable for most vehicles.
Upgrade vehicle braking system.
An upgrade for your vehicle’s braking system will be beneficial in ensuring safety for car parts. Additionally, it will help with an improvement of vehicle handling.
The upgrade will consist of the following;
a] Brake caliper pistons.
Larger brake caliper pistons have a stronger braking power. Further, they improve the ability to control the vehicle.
Additionally, there is an option for opting to get a caliper with more than one piston. It will ensure better brake pad alignment with the bake rotors. Further, ensuring that the rotors wear out evenly.
b] Air scoops.
Air scoops are present in rotors so as to expel heat. In fact, larger rotors are great at expelling the heat. Because of their surface are. Hence cooling the brake system.
c] Ceramic brakes.
Another attempt to reduce brake temperature is to use the ceramic brakes. They are made of siliconized carbon fiber which is a good heat conductor and it expels heat fast.
Further, they are light in weight hence they make the vehicle less heavier. Additionally, the ceramic brakes are less susceptible to rust which ensures that they last for a long time.
Even better is the fact that they are internally vented in order to improve the rate at which heat is expelled.
d] Brake pads.
Use the brake pads that have a higher durability. This will ensure that they do not wear out and start causing the vehicle to produce a squeaking sound.