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Brake Front Air Cooling Ducts

While checking my VT recently I noticed that the left front air duct to the disk brake had a brake in it.  This duct takes air from the front of the car and redirects it over the front disk brake rotors. This helps to insure that the rotors keep cool when braking at high speeds. Because the front wheels move so much relative to the rest of the car, part of the duct work consists of a flexible hose.  This hose is almost 3 inches in diameter. It is made of a flexible material that also contains a spiral metal spring like support.  Over time it appears the flexible material fatigues and shows brakes. This allows the air to escape leading to less cooling of the brake rotors.

To begin with one should examine these ducts every few months. I usually do it with each oil check. Look for a split in the plastic material. A typical example of this is seen in figure 1 below. Note the hole close to where the duct is attached to the rotor.  The good news is that because the ducts have a steel spring wound into them they can be is a real sorry shape before they will disintegrate and catch in the wheel.  Nevertheless if there is any hole in a duct cooling to the brake rotor will be severely compromised. Fortunately replacement is simple and well worth the effort.

The first thing to do is raise the car and remove the wheel and ground panel under the front of the car. This will allow you to remove the old duct from the metal tube that brings air in from the front of the car (see figures 2 and 3).  Figure 4 shows the new duct tubing. I picked this up at a local auto racing store. The tubing I got was 3'' in diameter. A better fit would be about 2 and 3/4'' diameter material. I had to wrap some tape around the rotor duct metal to get a snug fit of this duct over it. The duct is held in place wit two large hose clamps as shown in figure 5. Likewise it is held in place on the front end with one large hose clamp as shown in figure 6.  The only tricky part is putting in the hose clamp that attaches the duct to the frame of the car and stops it from sagging. This is shown in figure 7. It is very important to leave enough stretch and compression room for the duct so that the wheel can be turned full left and right without straining the duct. An example of this is seen in figure 8

Be sure you test drive the car after this repair.


Fig 1. Damaged brake duct   Fig 2. Old duct removed from front metal intake.   Fig 3.  Old duct removed from attachment point to rotor.
Fig 4.  New duct material   Fig 5. New duct attached to rotor   Fig 6. New duct attached to front air vent.
Fig 7. New duct attached to car with hose clamp.   Fig 8.  New duct attached. Wheel turned all the way right.    

































This page was last modified on 03/12/2014

This page was last modified on 09/06/2014