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$6,210
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The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, February 27 2015 9:42 PM UTC +00:00
Joseph R. DemersBy Joseph R. Demers
First created
Joseph R. DemersBy Joseph R. Demers
First created
$6,210
pledged of $37,500pledged of $37,500 goal
28
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, February 27 2015 9:42 PM UTC +00:00

About

IS STOPPING IMPORTANT?
A little spirited driving of your Subaru BRZ, WRX or Scion FR-S in the mountains or on the track and you may suddenly find that your braking distances are getting longer and the brake pedal is getting softer. For a standard vehicle, if your DOT-3 brake fluid reaches temperatures over 260ºF (126ºC) then the brake fluid will vaporize and you will lose your brakes.

Bad Things Happen When Brakes Overheat
Bad Things Happen When Brakes Overheat

Fortunately, Four Products LLC has developed an innovative and entirely new product for your car, bus or truck: drop-in brake coolers called CoolShims®. 

WHAT ARE COOLSHIMS?
CoolShims are “drop-in” brake coolers that require little or no vehicle modification. They are mounted between the brake pad and caliper piston and are as easy to install as a new set of brake pads.

CoolShims for a Porsche 911
CoolShims for a Porsche 911

HOW DO THEY WORK?
CoolShims work by conducting the heat up from inside the caliper to a heat sink located externally to the brake caliper in the airflow.  Think of them as heatsinks for your brakes!

In the brake system without CoolShims, heat generated in the brake pads is transferred into the caliper and raises the temperature of the brake fluid. If the brake fluid gets too hot it boils and results in brake fade. As more bubbles form in the brake fluid (i.e. boiling), the brake pedal gets softer and softer until the brakes finally stop working!

Even if there is airflow directed at the caliper, the heat is trapped deep inside of the brake-pad/caliper interface and the increased airflow has little effect.

The solution is to get the heat from the interior of the caliper into the airflow so that it may be dissipated. This is exactly what CoolShims do.

WHY DO I NEED THEM?
You may be thinking, “Why do I need brake coolers? Don’t manufacturers design the brakes to be able to stop the car adequately?” The answer is, “it depends.”

Let's start with the quintessential race car - a Formula 1. In the 2014 Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal, Sergio Perez struggled with brake fade towards the end of the race before ending up in an accident on the final lap. Even though this car was designed from the ground up for racing, it still experienced brake fade.

Or take a NISMO 350Z. Look at how this track event ended for that high performance car: NISMO Z Fights wall, wall wins! In the article they mention that the Nissan engineers weren’t surprised! What?!?

However, most of us don't drive a race car, so forget the track for a moment and think about what can be encountered on public highways. Consider the guy hanging over a cliff in the picture above. Why don’t you ask him if the manufacturer put adequate brakes on his truck.

Finally, take a car that is the forefather of the BRZ / FR-S: the Datsun 240Z. This car should have a great brake system. It is a light, low horsepower sports car with 9” disk brakes. However, CoolShims were invented because a bit of spirited driving in my 240Z left me with an extremely soft pedal and a desire for much better braking without having to invest in a $1500 big-brake upgrade.

CoolShims on a 1970 Datsun 240Z
CoolShims on a 1970 Datsun 240Z

So, do you need brake coolers for your Subaru, Toyota or Scion? Consider that the manufacturer “made do” with a brake system that they have manufactured for millions of other small cars and I think that you will agree that the answer is “YES!”

DO COOLSHIMS REALLY WORK?
After we manufactured the first set of CoolShims for the Datsun, we went back up the mountain to test if they worked (you can read more about the testing here). One temperature sensor on a caliper without CoolShims and a sensor on the caliper with the CoolShims. Here are the results:

Notice that the temperature of the caliper without the CoolShims gets hot enough to boil the DOT3 brake fluid and yet the caliper with the CoolShims is over twenty percent cooler. Also notice how the CoolShims caliper cools down faster too! Still skeptical? We recently had dynometer testing performed at Greening Laboratories of Detroit, Michigan on the Cool Shims we developed for a fire truck. Yes, fire trucks can have brake overheating issues as well. Testing proved that Cool Shims not only decreased brake fluid temperatures twenty percent but they also prevented brake caliper failure on the truck caliper (again, the details can be found on our website).

CoolShims are effective and are much more economical than full brake system upgrades.

TESTIMONIALS
Just read what some of our early adopters had to say:

__________________________________________________________________

Mr. Marvin couldn’t wait to get his hands on a set because he had an upcoming race at Daytona in his highly modified Datsun 240Z. He Fed-Ex’d a cash payment so we could send him our very first set the day before the race. Here is what he had to say: "Wow, what a difference! We pounded on our brakes the entire race at Daytona without the usual pedal fade and finished 1st! What a great product! Excellent quality, perfect fit, and, most importantly, they work! I can't wait to see how much they improve our braking performance at the run-offs." __________________________________________________________________

When we first made CoolShims for the Porsche 911 we sent a demonstration set to Robert for his Carrera 3.2. Here is what he had to say: "I ran this product at some of the most demanding tracks in California, including: Willow Springs, Infineon, Buttonwillow, Laguna Seca, and California Speedway. Boy did I notice the longevity of flat braking. No more fade towards the end of the race. I have set many track records as well as won several championships these past few years and I can tell you that this product well supports its claims. It is easy to install and it works. Thanks for having me test the brake coolers - you aren't getting them back!"

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Kyle racing a Datsun Z Car had this to say: "Drive up, brakes kicked ass. This is the Lake County twisties I'm talkin bout, and it was 105F. ZERO issues with the brakes. Track day, brakes kicked total ass. I had brakes to spare all day long, and absolutely dominated the track. I had the least powerful (and oldest!) car in our group, and had no trouble keeping everyone way out in the rearview through all the twisties. Turbo Porsches, a few Boxsters, my buddy's Ferrari 575M, S2000's, etc. Sure they blew past me on the straight, but I had it where it counted. Your product gets a huge thumbs up. Thanks for helping me make it a great day." __________________________________________________________________

So you see, CoolShims work!

WHY KICKSTARTER AND WHY THE BRZ/WRX/FR-S?
We are excited! Why are we excited? Because with Kickstarter we can finally connect with people who love innovative products. Even if you aren’t a WRX, BRZ, FR-S or GT86 owner you can invest in technology that will someday make our roads safer. Would it surprise you to learn that according to a report by the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA) to Congress in 2006 that almost 30% of truck accidents are due to brake failure? Do all of them fail because of overheating? Probably not, but it is certainly something to think about the next time you hear about a bus accident caused by failed brakes.

Since we first developed the CoolShims, we have manufactured them in different sizes for various vehicles that could use improved brake performance, including a huge caliper for a fire truck.

One thing that all these calipers have had in common is that they are opposing piston calipers and, up until now, we have only made CoolShims for this type of caliper. The CoolShims for the BRZ/WRX and FR-S will be the first CoolShims that we have manufactured for a floating caliper. The new CoolShims will look like this:

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So, why haven't we manufactured the CoolShims for floating calipers until now? Because floating calipers require a 90 degree bend in the CoolShims and therefore require a stamping process.

A rendering of CoolShims for the Subaru, Toyota and Scion
A rendering of CoolShims for the Subaru, Toyota and Scion

While the tooling isn’t too expensive, it is a significant upfront investment, particularly if we don’t have any sales lined up. With Kickstarter we can raise the money to make the tooling and already have our sales lined up. Did I mention how excited we are?

HOW DO I KNOW YOU WILL MAKE THEM?
We want your business. We have been manufacturing CoolShims for several years. We see this Kickstarter campaign as the starting point for manufacturing CoolShims for every possible car imaginable. So, we aren't going to screw this up. We want to manufacture and sell LOTS of CoolShims for the Subaru, Toyota and Scion as well as Ford, GM and every other make and model out there!

Also, we aren't doing this alone. We leverage the experience from our stamping company, Cygnet Stamping in Burbank CA and our light manufacturing partner Descher Automation in Raleigh NC.

HEY!!! WHAT ABOUT MY CAR?
So you don’t own a Subaru BRZ, WRX, Toyota GT86 or a Scion FR-S? We currently manufacture CoolShims for several different makes and models.

To see if we support your vehicle you can visit our website and put your vehicle information into the database search.

Plus, the calipers on the BRZ and FR-S are Subaru's standard two piston caliper and are used on may other cars.

Lots of the Subarus have the two piston calipers
Lots of the Subarus have the two piston calipers
  • Baja - 2002 through 2006 – 2.5L - NA & Turbo
  • Forester - 2003 through 2012 -2.5L - NA & Turbo
  • Impreza WRX – 2003 through 2005 – 2.0L – Turbo
  • Impreza WRZ – 2008 through 2012 – 2.5L - Turbo
  • Impreza RS/TS – 2002 through 2007 – 2.5L – NA
  • Impreza – 2005 through 2012 – 2.5L – NA
  • Impreza Outback – 2002 through 2012 – 2.2L – NA
  • Outback – 2003 through 2012 – 2.5L & 3.0L – NA & Turbo
  • Legacy – 2005 through 2012 – 2.5L - NA

That is quite a list, but if you still don’t see your car don't give up hope. Simply visit the Four Products website and register your vehicle. The more people who register the same vehicle, the sooner we can make CoolShims for it.

TRACK DAY? DID YOU SAY TRACK DAY?
Yes, a track day. For $2500 you will get to spend a day driving either a Mazda Pro-7 or a race prepped Mazda Miata at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. We will be renting the cars from 7's Only racing at the track and you will be getting lessons from Speed Ventures. We are planning on doing this July 25th and it involves personal training in the morning from Speed Ventures coaches and then five 20 minute track sessions through-out the day. We will provide you with lunch and we will be there to cheer you on. If one day isn't enough you can rent the car yourself and race again on Sunday. Speed Ventures will supply the gear.

You will have to make it to Buttonwillow yourself and the event starts early so please keep that in mind. Also keep in mind this will be in the desert in July and it can be physically challenging.


OUR GOAL IS TO IMPROVE VEHICLE SAFETY It is very difficult to get the huge vehicle industry to take notice of such a novel product from such a small company. But we hope that with a push from Kickstarter we can get some notice and start making CoolShims for every car, pick-up, bus and truck on the road. Help us reach this goal by spreading the word and getting your vehicle registered on our website.

MANUFACTURED IN THE USA All of our products are Made In America including our emblems, bumper stickers, t-shirts and the CoolShims themselves.

We even made sure the "Made In America" stickers were, in fact, made in America.

THE TEAM

Joseph R. Demers. Ph.D. CEO received his Ph.D. in Optical Physics from Ohio State University in 1999. Since this time he has worked in the field of hybrid photonics packaging, and until recently was the Director of Advanced Photonics at Emcore Corporation. During graduate school and through-out his professional career he has spent his free time restoring cars and writing for various automotive magazines. In graduate school his friends and advisers always wondered what part of a car they would discover in his laser laboratory at Ohio State. He was senior editor of Sport Z Magazine for several years and was even on the History Channel Show - Full Throttle as an automotive expert. Finally, Joseph's greatest wish would be to drive a reasonably priced car around a certain runway in England.

Megan Schaefer is a principal at Descher Automation, an industrial automation firm in Raleigh, NC.She is a key resource for business development, as well as the primary machine programmer and troubleshooter.She also manages the partnership between Four Products and Descher Automation to promote and manufacture aftermarket automobile brake parts.She majored in Chemistry, Biology and Biochemistry at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.Afterwards, she earned her MS in Chemistry from The Ohio State University.

Luke Chanarin is a mechanical design engineer who received his Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh in the UK in 2012.During his studies and after graduation he worked as a design engineer for Edinburgh Designs Ltd, a world leader in design of custom hydrodynamic test equipment. Shortly after relocating to North Carolina, Luke joined Descher Automation, where he began design work on the Four Products brake coolers working on both product design and manufacturing processes.

CoolShims® is a registered trademark and the technology is protected by four United States patents: US7,905,335, US7,960,032, US8,210,329 and US 8,304,090.

Risks and challenges

We have manufactured CoolShims for vehicles which have opposing piston calipers. This allowed us to make CoolShims without any major bends and without stamping equipment.

The floating caliper found on the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S, on the other hand, will require a new CoolShims design. The cooler will have a 90 degree bend in it and will lay inside of the car instead of poking up out of the caliper. We feel this is a fairly straight forward design and we have mocked up the design on a caliper just to make sure.

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    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Help make our roads and highways a little safer and earn a thank-you on our website!

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    A pair of CoolShims stickers!

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    Receive an awesome embroidered racing patch!

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    A t-shirt with a silhouette of a BRZ / FR-S /GT86 and the CoolShims logo.

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    Receive a long sleeve shirt with a silhouette of a BRZ / FR-S /GT86, the manufacturers on one sleeve and the CoolShims logo on the other.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Get the first four items and we will throw in the retro looking Joe's Brake Stop t-shirt for free.

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    A set of CoolShims for Subaru BRZ, WRX, Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 (they also fit the other late model Subaru vehicles with two piston calipers).

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    Pledge $155 or more About $155

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    A set of CoolShims for Subaru BRZ, WRX, Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 (they also fit the other late model Subaru vehicles with two piston calipers). With the Custom Cooler Cooler Plate.

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    Pledge $195 or more About $195

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    Pledge $260 or more About $260

    A set of CoolShims for Subaru BRZ, WRX, Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 (they also fit the other late model Subaru vehicles with two piston calipers). With the Custom Cooler Cooler Plate, the stickers, the patch and all three shirts!

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Spend a day driving either a Mazda Pro-7 or a race prepped Mazda Miata at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. We will be renting the cars from 7's Only racing at the track and you will be getting lessons from Speed Ventures. We are planning on doing this July 25th.

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Funding period

- (30 days)