Brake parts procurement for standard passenger vehicles is usually not a problem, as a host of suppliers can provide brake components for everyday destination to destination drivers.
Owners of performance road cars, however, might face a waiting period and OEM prices made even steeper by middle men mark-ups, says Race Brakes Director John Arkley.
“Not so average vehicles such as HSV and FPV Commodore and Falcons, Lancers and WRXs with Evolution and STI badges, the new wave of blinged up American imports...these often need specialist equipment, which could be challenging to obtain in a short turnaround time at reasonable cost,” he says.
Auckland-based Race Brakes, in business the past 28 years, carries a wide range of brake parts, from standard to specialist products, with thousands of units in stock. The company deals directly with brake manufacturers and provide OEM parts on short lead time at reasonable cost.
Arkley says the Race Brakes team can recount several anecdotes to illustrate why workshop owners could easily lose a job because they had to tell a customer to come back another day. “Take the instance of the HSV that turned up needing pads and rotors. It had the factory fitted AP Racing two piece front rotors on it along with six pot callipers. Who, apart from the agents, is going to keep these bits on the shelf?
“Or the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 with the Brembo package on it - most places would struggle to find a listing let alone carry the parts. What about the Skyline going through compliance with a Japanese Endless brake upgrade kit fitted? You’ll need certified pads.
“The workshop owner can contact the agents, wait for the order to come through, and often pay premium plus prices. Or they can perk up cash flow by coming directly to us – we’re the only suppliers in the country to carry these kinds of parts ex-stock,” he says.
Race Brakes also manufacture the Goodridge brand certified braided steel brake hoses on site. Arkley says these hoses can replace existing braided steel brake hoses that are not compliant, as well as upgrade rubber brake hoses where required. He says the difference in the pedal feel and performance of a Goodridge braided steel brake hose equipped vehicle is remarkable. They are also mandatory on exotic and competition cars.
“Performance car drivers as a general rule want only the best, and are prepared to pay for it. But in many instances, working with and through Race Brakes, people in this lucrative market segment have expressed pleasant surprise at the time and money savings they got. In this economic climate, even given excellent workmanship and the relationships workshop build with customers as a result, this kind of service gives workshops a crucial competitive advantage,” Arkley says.
A Fast Forward for Sharp Braking
Wednesday, 15 April 2009