What Does The Sleeve On The Lower Brake Caliper Bolt Actually Do?

bolts

If you have ever had the pleasure of doing a brake job on a rusty car before, you have likely encountered the engineering nightmare that is known as a “lower brake caliper slide bolt.” Now… if you have erased this hardware-laden memory from your brain, or aren’t familiar with this style of bolt, I’ll do my best to help out. This is the type of bolt that doesn’t want to come out of its hole because rust has essentially fused it with the brake caliper bracket. It’s the bolt that gives you a few hope-filled turns with a pipe-extended, half inch drive ratchet and then crushes your dreams when it becomes stuck solid for absolutely no logical reason. It’s the threaded evil that requires a chisel and sledgehammer to remove when the ratchet fails to do it’s-one-job. Yep. That’s the bolt we’re talking about here today.

If you have ever successfully removed this bolt (which not many have in the North East), you know that it has a rather cute little rubbery sleeve on the end of it as if to mock each one of your herculean removal efforts. The upper caliper bolt does not have this cute rubber sleeve, so why in the world did the car manufacturer put one on the bottom caliper bolt? The truth is, I don’t have an answer for that. However, I have spent quite a few late night hours in search of the truth, and I’m now here to share with you the one theory that makes the most sense to me.

These cute little rubber caliper bolt “sleeves” (that’s the most common name for these) are anti-rattle devices for the calipers.  The sleeve provides additional friction, which prevents the brake caliper from rattling/chattering within the confines of the caliper bracket. It works similarly to a shock absorber, where it slows down and dampens the movements of the calipers. As long as the whole system stays rust free and lubricated, it’s truly a simple and effective system. However, when that rubbery sleeve prevents the caliper bolt from sliding, or rust begins pulling the vehicle back into the earth, all bets are off.

So does this theory make sense? Do you have a better explanation of what the rubber caliper bolt sleeve actually does? Tells us in the comment box below.

Austin Dillon Sets The #3 On The Pole For Daytona 500!

When the command is given to “Fire Em Up” during this years 56th annual Daytona 500; Austin Dillon will be behind the wheel of a number that his grandfather ran, but was also made famous by Dale Earnhardt. It’s a number that since Dale’s death had unofficially been retired until the right driver came along to carry on the legacy of the #3.

As the grandson of Richard Childress,  the time seemed right to  bring the number back to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and to place Austin behind the wheel. With a blessing from Dale Jr. and his sister Kelly, Austin had received a green light to run the number for the first time in over twelve years.

Someone may have been smiling down from the heavens, because during the time trials on Sunday, Austin Dillon went around Daytona International Speedway at a speed of 196.019 MPH which was landed the Dow sponsored Chevrolet smack dab on the Pole for Sunday’s race.

At the drop of the green flag on Sunday, there will certainly be cheers and tears from many race fans as they watch the number 3 lead the pack across the start/finish line for the “Great American Race”.

Spotlight: Eastern Michigan Camaro Club

Today, we are inaugurating a new feature here on the 1A Auto blog. Periodically, we will be spotlighting some really great resources out there in the automotive world, such as car clubs, owners groups, enthusiast communities, shows / events, and more that we think our devoted 1A Auto readers and fans might find interesting and useful. If you have a great automotive website or resource you would like us to share with the rest of the 1A Auto community, like and message us with suggestions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/1AAuto.

Our first spotlight is on the Eastern Michigan Camaro Club. The Camaro was introduced to the world in 1966 and the rest is history as it has become one of the most famous cars ever made. This non-profit club was formed in 1991 to bring together Camaro owners and those who just plain love Camaros from the local area to gather at club meetings, exchange some laughs and experiences about their Camaros, do some cruising, and just have some fun. The club is also dedicated to sharing their love and passion from one of America’s greatest Muscle cars with others in order to further awareness and loyalty of the car. If you own a Camaro and happen to live nearby, check out their website for details about membership and more at http://www.emcamaro.org/Home.html.

The club also holds the longest running all-Camaro event in the United States each year – the CAMARO SUPERFEST. The show draws a few hundred Camaros each year and is also one of the biggest Camaro events in the U.S. and Canada. Last year, the show had over 400 participants! This year’s show will be held on July 4th, 5th, and 6th at the Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, Michigan and some of the proceeds go to charity; they are looking to raise $5,000 this year! One of the cool things about the show is that on Friday, they will be heading out to the Michigan International Speedway and allow participants to drive their Camaros on the rack for a few laps, with a picture at the start-finish line. How cool is that? Registration for the event will be open soon, so visit their dedicated website for the show at http://www.camarosuperfest.com/Home.html.

“Wild” 360 Degree Barrel Roll In A Truck

The other day, we shared with you the amazing video of Jean Claude Van Damme performing an epic split between two Volvo Trucks driving in reverse. Well, if you didn’t think that was wild, we have another amazing video that has also gone viral in the past few days. We feel obligated to share it since, well, it’s just plain awesome to watch.

In the video, TORC Series racer Adrian “The Wildman” Cenni is driving a bright orange, modified four wheel drive truck. The truck speeds up the ramp that is positioned on the dirt track, hitting its target and then flying through the air, then does a barrel roll before landing on the ground upright and in one piece. A barrel roll is usually reserved for planes (or James Bond flicks), as shown below, not trucks.

James Bond Car Jump2.jpg

The stunt, which was performed at the 2013 Tecate Score Baja 1000 in Mexico last Friday, apparently was the world’s first barrel roll in a truck. Check it out below, pretty amazing stuff. Oh, and don’t try this at home.

Volvo Trucks, Jean Claude Van Damme, and an Epic Split

The Internet is going nuts over a new online commercial that has gone viral since it debuted this past week. It stars martial arts and action movie legend Jean Claude Van Damme (his friends call him JCVD) and a pair of Volvo Trucks. The video, and the stunt performed in it, is, in a word, epic. Mind-blowing would also be a good way to describe it.

The video begins with a close-up of 53 year-old (!!) Van Damme, and then the camera pans out to show that Van Damme has a foot on one of each truck’s side view mirrors as the trucks are driving in reverse. A small platform was built on each of the trucks’ side view mirrors. While this is happening, Van Damme provides a voice-over that lets us know that “what you see is a body that has been crafted to perfection, a pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics, and a mindset to master the most epic of splits. Then the two trucks he is standing on begin to slowly drift further and further apart – while Enya’s Only Time plays in the background – forcing Van Damme to perform one of his classic splits. This one however, is beyond any you may have seen in Bloodsport, Kickboxer, or any other of JCVD’s great films.

Volvo is saying that what you see is completely legit, with the exception that he was hooked to safety wires that were digitally removed. His feet though were not secured to the mirrors whatsoever; he just had the safety harness attached just in case so that if he did fall off, he wouldn’t be seriously injured, or worse. Volvo didn’t want to be responsible obviously for the death of the legendary movie tough guy. Volvo also says that the stunt was done in one take (though they rehearsed the stunt for a few days prior), and that “the ad is designed to show off the trucks’ Volvo Dynamic Steering.”

If you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and hit the play button on the video below. You may end up watching it over and over again, like I have.

Exhaust Manifolds vs. Headers

Many people ask us here at 1A Auto what the difference is between an exhaust manifold and a header. Well, today is your lucky day because we are going to tell you….and then you can go tell all of your friends and look all smart and whatnot. It will be our little secret but hey, that’s what we are here for.

While exhaust manifolds and headers play the same role in engines, namely channeling exhaust away from the cylinder head to the exhaust pipe and eventually out the back of the vehicle, there are important differences between them. Essentially, headers are upgrade parts designed for performance applications, while exhaust manifolds are more utilitarian. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and which one you choose will be influenced by your needs.

Exhaust manifolds are frequently formed of cast iron in a block-like configuration. This gives them sturdiness and longevity. Because the cast iron material is thick, it holds on to heat well, which is good for emissions and keeps heat from leaking to other nearby parts. The thick walls do, however, mean there is a small space for exhaust gases to pass through, and the iron casting makes the interior rough which can slow the flow of exhaust gases. This creates back pressure which keeps the exhaust from being cleared as efficiently as possible. This reduces the efficiency and ultimately the power of the engine because exhaust must go out to allow fresh fuel and air in.

This is the problem that headers are intended to solve. Headers are aftermarket upgrade exhaust manifolds that use an individual steel tube for each cylinder. These tubes all connect to a collector pipe.  The tubes are smooth and equal in length. This ensures that the gases from each cylinder reach the collector separately, avoiding back pressure. This benefit can be lost if other exhaust components are not also upgraded. If the exhaust pipe that follows the headers is too restrictive it can introduce back pressure to the exhaust system and diminish the power advantage of headers. Another disadvantage of headers is that due to their thinner walls, they do not absorb as much sound as cast iron exhaust manifolds, making them louder (although some may see this an advantage). Some vehicles do come with stock tubular steel manifolds. Primarily these are for performance vehicles, such as sports cars. Jeep also notably uses tubular steel exhaust manifolds.

That my friends, is all there is to it when it comes to exhaust manifolds and headers. Hopefully we were able to clear things up for you!

Finally, a Repair Video on a Clown Head Antenna Ball!

Do you find yourself staring at your faceless, beat up, and weathered antenna ball, wondering how in the world you will ever be able to replace it? Of course! Everyone does! Luckily for us, 1A Auto has finally created the video that we have all been waiting for. It shows exactly how to replace your old, faceless, disheveled antenna ball with a fresh new clown-head antenna ball. We’re making dreams come true, one clown-head antenna ball at a time.

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