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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 4 weeks 15 hours ago #206242

There are a couple of us on with, or having completed brake upgrades with “home made” adapters, not dissimilar to the proprietory Big Brake Kits. In our cases we have elected to use Mini Copper R53 callipers, these contribute a greater clamping force than the single cylinder original & if executed correctly with the correct grade & weight of steel, should have a noticeable & positive effect.
The design & manufacturer of the adapter plates will be critical to the reliability of the end result. High tensile bolts, in my case, will be used throughout & my guess is that my college will have thought along the same path.
Alignment is critical for correct operation & I am spending a fair amount of time checking the calculated measurements on the car; these calculations have been used to make the adapters.
There were a couple of errors, but not significant, however I’m fiddling with brakes, a safety critical component, so those will be remade before final assembly.
I will declare these modifications to my insurers. Has anyone had experience of a modification of this order adversely affecting or possibly finding their vehicle insurance compromised to the point of it being uninsurable.
Improving a brake system from a system used in the ‘80s to one from the 2ks should make the underwriting a better bet, however the underwriter has no idea of the ramifications of the modifications, all they are interested in is charging too much & wanting to wriggle out of their contract if the worst should happen.
Any thoughts?

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 3 weeks 6 days ago #206244

Like you I have used quality steel and high tensile bolts. The “ears” of the adapter bracket are larger than those on the calliper, I am confident after talking to others who have designed similar setups there is more than sufficient strength. I have declared it to my insurance company and they didn’t question it.
I gave details of my conversion on this forum and had someone tell me that he was going to fit a “properly engineered” upgrade, the 280mm available from several suppliers. A few weeks later he posted that he had to fit spacer washers of varying thickness to get it to fit.

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 3 weeks 6 days ago #206245

Thank you, not only for your reply but for the initial inspiration for this modification.
Upgrading the brakes, although very much on the back burner since experiencing the 4 pot tf brakes, was brought to the fore after an incident when I had to take evasive action in my everyday motor. Had I been in the f I would have had to look for a replacement.
Design & material choices are paramount with any job & ours aren’t parallel they are concurrent, not just on the same page, but paragraph & homing in on the same full stop.
Any other comments?

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 3 weeks 5 days ago #206260

I haven’t had a mobile phone signal or WiFi for a couple of days. I had no problems with Cherished Insurance and as far as I can tell there was no extra charge for the brake upgrade. So many TF’s and F’s have had the upgrade I think they treat it like upgraded stereos. Due to the mini calipers having ears further apart I believe this is a better engineered solution but like any modification like this it must be done properly. No bodging otherwise this type of mod will be frowned upon.

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 3 weeks 5 days ago #206262

I couldn’t agree more with that last statement & thanks again for your input.

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 3 weeks 1 day ago #206307

Some insurance companies don't like any kind of modifications from standard manufacturer's equipment. Sadly, I cannot remember which company it was but...

A few years ago, despairing at the number of instances where people pulled out in front of me, seemingly unaware of my presence, I fitted daytime running lights (DRL). I fitted the increasingly popular 'halo' lights into my TF headlights. I'd read the excellent how to posts on The T Bar and discussed it all with my MOT tester and the results were very pleasing (to me and the MOT man).

At insurance renewal, I was asked if there were any new modifications and so I told them that I had fitted DRLs. They asked if I'd done it myself or had a 'professional' do it. Now, I spent over 40 years working as a technician in university research labs and this job was easily within my skillset but the insurance company was unimpressed and refused to renew my insurance. Their loss. I did a search on the usual comparison sites, noting the DRLs and other mods, and I renewed for less with a big name company.

So we should be prepared to shop around a bit when any kind of mod has been made to our cars.

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 3 weeks 1 day ago #206310

Thanks Bruce, in the olden days when one had an insurance broker to whom you spoke, & his job was to smooth out any alterations required.
David, my broker would see me approach & ask “what now?” & simply get on with it, an appropriate cover note would be issued until my policy was amended.
There was never a problem, nor, to be best of my recollection an increase in premium.
I was always happy to pay for his cut, considering it money well spent.
I recently took delivery of a new car, so new in fact the on line broker couldn’t find it listed & couldn’t do anything until a licensed plate number had been issued & a chassis number provided.
We seem to be advancing back into the dark ages.

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 3 weeks 16 hours ago #206318

That's true, that! I too remember the days of walking into a little shop and speaking to someone who knew the business and the market. There was no chasing around online every year to get a better deal because the renewal was double the previous year's premium.

Have you ever noticed that, when using and choosing on a comparison site, you nearly always end up having to phone the potential new supplier. They then ask you all the same questions, get the same answers, and requote at a higher price than the comparisoin figure?

And don't get me started on the 'customer service' provided by the big internet companies. Got a problem and need to speak to someone at Amazon, eBay, Evri, Paypal, etc? It's pathetic. Best you'll find on their help pages is an ill-educated bot that is no help at all.

Yeah, I've been dealing with one of those today! Rant mode off :-)

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 3 weeks 15 hours ago #206320

And will we rise up & demand better service, will we demand a return to systems which were manual, which worked every time, not just when the “system isn’t playing up”, which is continuous. Will we insist in having our country back & our history restored?
Will we buggery ! !
We’re too comfortable, only getting vexed about insurance, road tax, commodity prices, idiots on the road, pot holes & a myriad of other things.
But we’re Britons & revolution isn’t in our nature; too polite.
“After you Claud”
“Oh no after you Cyril”
And we get trampled under foot.

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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 2 weeks 6 days ago #206322

Totally agree about insurance companies being difficult about modifications. In fact when indicating that mine was fitted with wheels from a different model year (16” rather than 15”) they seemed please to hear that the brakes remained standard.
Their attitude even changed my mind regarding fitting DRL as that too would be another mod even if a safety feature.
And as there doesn’t seem to be an industry standard such as “do this and the premium will not be adjusted, but do this and there will be an increase” it tends to inhibit sensible modifications.

Back to brakes::- I am familiar with fitting spacers and mounting calipers further from the wheel centre. One kit car designer even went as far as to say that fitting the the single piston Sierra caliper on a larger disc gave better results than the 4 pot Cosworth arrangement.
So, I appreciate what is being discussed here. But isn’t something being missed? If the front is upgraded what is being done to re balance the braking force at the rear?
Logically one might wish to rebalance pressure to the rear to increase the effort applied there as the clamping force and resistance to rotation of the front disc will have increased by virtue of fitting larger diameter discs and further enhanced by (presumably) greater piston area in the calipers.


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Insurance & the spanner jockey! 2 weeks 6 days ago #206323

These comments are valid on our brake mods. I bought a pair of R53 Mini rear discs first to act as pilot, they were the correct hub dimensions & although they were cheap, they confirmed to the appropriate safety standards.
I machined these to the correct sizes & once happy with the accuracy, I bought the (more expensive) fronts.
These will replace the original rear discs after repositioning of the callipers. I have a brake balance twiddlido which will look better having been added to the rear circuit than it looks now, stuffed in its box in stores.

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