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Ok, what are the differences between a floating-type caliper and fixed-type calipers?

posted by  Motorhead

Well let's start new here. In another post you said you had hoped for a real answer. How about this. If you're a newbie to cars, why not do some research on your own and then come here to ask clarifying questions.

Your question above is very basic and would be no problem to find with just a little bit of effort on your part. That is unless you want to be spoon fed, which maybe you do.

One more thing. You chose the name "Motorhead" in this forum. That is false advertising, you are not a motorhead anymore than I am the Pope.

posted by  vwhobo

Hey Motorhead, welcome to the boards man, you can try General Chat for auto related questions/talk... This board(Off Topic) mainly for fucking around. LOL

posted by  Unfedfat

When I said I was hoping for a real answer, because in my opinion everything has to have a purpose, but if there isn't then there isn't right, I am not going to be angry if you don't give me the answer I want. I do, do my research on cars, as a matter of fact I am taking Auto courses right now, its just that my teacher doesn't explain things very well because he thinks everyone in the class room knows everything. That is why I came here to ask about car stuff. As for researching online, it's easier said than done, nowadays on the internet you got sites that are shit, broken links, and sites that just don't explain clearly. Not only that, I have a life, I don't spend 3 hours on a search engine finding out about this stuff. I always figured that forums were a great way to learn, you can communicate with others, and ask questions and the next day, you got your answer! Isn't that easier than going to the library when you don't have much time, or searching for hours? You are telling me that if I had the choice between a car and walking, that I should walk the whole way to reach the same goal. If the question is not so difficult, why is it ever so difficult for you to answer it? Saves time

Is there something wrong with choosing my name? Why should I care whether you like my name or not? Its MY BUSINESS. I was hoping to know much more than I had known before. If I had stayed here long enough of course. If you really wanna know why I chose the name, well here it is: I like cars, I wanna learn more about cars, get it?

VWhobo, why do you hate people wanting to learn more about what they like? Do you want to flame at every newbie you see? Do you enjoy picking on little things that have nothing to do with the arguement? (such as my name)

I only asked a question, and instead you flame me for being new to cars?

Oh I got to add one thing:

I was expecting a "real" answer, but I guess a waste of money is a waste of money!

Thanks for your answers

If some idiot read clearly, after I said I was expecting a "real answer" I agreed with you guys and thanked you all for your replies

posted by  Motorhead

Ok sorry, I didn't know where to post

posted by  Motorhead

1. I agree with most everything that you say and I'm very sorry to hear your teacher sucks. Just because you ask a question here doesn't mean you'll get a good answer and if you do you may have to sort through alot of bad answers to figure out which is correct. That means you'll still have to research it to decide what is right and wrong. Your textbook should have the info you're looking for. If you were one of my students (I'm an adjunct instructor at a local community college) you would have to convince me you've fully researched the question before getting an answer. It may be harder, and take longer, but you'll learn more in the long run.

2. My problem with your name is that while you may have good intentions even you admit you know little about cars. Motorhead is a name you need to earn, much the same as Doctor, Professor, Your Honor, etc. I've been up to my ears in cars and motorcycles for close to 40 years now and can assure you I'm a Motorhead, you however are not. That doesn't mean you can't be someday.

3. What ever gave you the idea that I hate to see people learn about cars. If you take the time to read through the forums. I'm the person most likely to help people learn. I may not be nice and I might not make it easy but it goes back to the easy way not being the best way. Spoonfeeding is great for babies but not for grown-ups.

4. Yes you did, and I don't think I ever said otherwise. If you think calling me an idiot is going to impress me into spitting out answers easier you're sadly mistaken. Gee in another thread I was your hero. It's amazing how your attitude changes when you don't hear what you like.

posted by  vwhobo

I called you an idiot, because you said indirectly that I do not like the answers in the other thread, I proved otherwise. That hero thing was a joke, because to me it's funny the way you scold ignorant know-it-alls. Well you knew you were asking for something like this anyway. Well since you aren't going to answer my question why bother getting an answer from you anyway? There are other people just so you know.

A textbook? The teach said that the textbooks won't help much. Isn't getting an answer straight up from other people faster to learn? After all, you guys have experience, something a textbook won't teach you.

You still haven't gotten the point of the post, my name is MY BUSINESS, not yours. This is a forum for god's sake. If that's the case, you should change your name to "complaining flaming know it all". Obviously that is not my business, but hey remember you're the one who mentioned it.

If you think you never said otherwise, then why not give me an answer to what I need help with? I never asked for real answers here, I don't mind indirect answers just so as long as I understand.

What gave me the idea that you hate people learning about cars? Well for one thing you could've already given me an answer (You are obviously looking for a fight) instead of complicating up things. Secondly, you said
"In another post you said you had hoped for a real answer. How about this. If you're a newbie to cars, why not do some research on your own and then come here to ask clarifying questions. "

This either means: a) Stop bugging us you fucking newb
b) Maybe you will learn better this way
c) Both A and B

I don't know which one, but since you think that I hated the answers that were given to me to the other thread, it seems to favor a). And thirdly, I really don't need you to tell me what to do with my life right (if you mean it that way of course)? It'd be like me teaching you stuff, then suddenly telling you to hit the books so I don't have to do anything, you ask a question to me, I ignore. That is what you are doing right now. Either you don't know the answer to my question, you are too lazy to type it down, or something else.

BTW, Yes of course I wanted a "real" answer, but I agreed with you guys anyways, therefore I have no problems with "unreal" answers. Of course if I had a choice between a real and unreal answer I would go for the real one. Oh and one more thing, I know what the differences are but I want to clarify, and the question was more general so that I wouldn't be confused, how's that VWhobo? Good enough for you? If I still had a problem with your answers you think I would still post questions?

posted by  Motorhead

1. To say that I indirectly said you didn't like the answer in another thread is really stretching any interpretation of what I said. I simply stated a fact using your words. And read through the forums and see who's most likely to answer a technical question.

2. Yes, a textbook, it's one of those things you read. Maybe you haven't figured this out yet but I said it a few times in my last post. Would telling you be easier, yes. Would you have the opportunity to learn as much, no. And your question requires knowledge, not experience. I can't teach you experience, it's something you only get through time.

3. If your name was the point of your last post it would have been the first paragraph. I stand by my opinion, you are not a Motorhead, you want to be a Motorhead.

4. Okay have it your way. A floating caliper floats and a fixed caliper is fixed. Understand?

5. I stand by that statement. It still goes back to effort on your part. If you wanted to know bad enough you would have found the answer already. The answer is B, maybe you'll learn better this way. Just like I said.

6. I certainly know the answer. I'm obviously not to lazy to type, although I do hate it. Something else, you'll learn more if you do some research. Do you notice a recurring theme?

7. I'm only confused by ambiguous question, yours was not. In fact it was a very well asked, specific question unlike so many we see in here. If you only want clarification then you should be more specific as to what you need clarified.

Moral of the story. We can end it here and go on with a better understanding or we can continue wasting time with this bullshit. The choice is really yours. As I've said many times before I'm more than happy to help people who want to help themselves. If you're in that category, let me know.

posted by  vwhobo

When I sat down for lunch I decided to see how hard it would be to answer this question using only links provided in this forum. Lo and behold, between eating and watching the news it took about 15 minutes.

So I have one more question for you. How hard did you really try?

posted by  vwhobo

Just in case he doesn't want to click the link...

(that was a joke...haha) ;)

posted by  BavarianWheels

Ok no more ridiculous endless flame.
Maybe I am just stupid, but I don't really understand it... I try hard understanding things, I find many sources like you, the main problem is that I don't understand things well, the links are broken, they turn out to be porn sites, or it has nothing to do with calipers at all.

So anyway, in a floating caliper, does the outer side with the pad push INWARDS, onto the disk? Or is it just one way in which the inner pads push out? What allows the caliper to have lateral movement?(floating of course) Are fixed calipers any more efficient than floating?

posted by  Motorhead

Okay, I'll make three assumptions at this point. First that you're a person who wants to help himself. Second that you understand fixed calipers because you don't state otherwise. Third that you're like me in that you learn better hands on instead of gathering information.

First I'll attempt to explain what allows lateral movement. Floating calipers are mounted with pins, slider bolts or wedges. These hold them in place but allow side to side movement. The vertical or rotational movement is controlled by the caliper mount. This is done because the mount can be made much stronger than a bolt. Clear as mud right?

Now for what causes the lateral movement. When pressure is applied the piston extends from the caliper. This pushes on the pad and in turn the rotor. Now remember that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Also remember that the caliper is roughly "C" shaped. When the pad and piston can move no further the piston is applying pressure to the caliper and makes it try to move away. The other side of the "C" has the opposing pad captured which forces it into the rotor. Magic, you have equal braking force on both sides of the rotor.

Honestly the best way to see how it works is to simply pull a front wheel off of most any car and have somebody pump the brakes while you watch the show.

As for which is more efficient the answer would be fixed. This is due to the fact that there is no deflection (theoretically) in the caliper as it's mounted solidly.

I hope that cleared it up for you. If I missed anything or confused you let me know and we'll try to fix it.

posted by  vwhobo


I got 2 more questions for you:

1. What do you mean by "no deflection in the caliper..." ?

2. What do you mean by "You're a person that wants to help himself"? Help myself learn? Or help myself do some jobs on a car when I get one?

Yes it would be nice to have a car to take apart and play with, But I do not have those tools, my house's garage can barely fit a civic inside.

posted by  Motorhead

1. Webster's defines deflection as "a turning aside or off course". In other words movement. Remember it's solidly mounted, no lateral movement like a floating caliper. This was a simple question that you should have really found the answer to yourself.

2. Look about four posts up. Read in context I think the answer will become crystal clear.

If you really want to learn you have to stop making excuses why you can't do things. It takes about 15 minutes to jack up a front end, pull the wheel off and look at a working caliper. The jack and lug wrench are in the trunk. You sure as hell don't need a garage. You'll never learn or get experience if you don't go and do it.

posted by  vwhobo

Well you are right, I admit I was lazy but my eyes were really tired.

Well no one in my family trusts me with their car :(

posted by  Motorhead

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