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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Brake Dust Shields?

I know that they won't have the proper bolt pattern. I seriously doubt that I will find any like that, usually I would just pick up a set of universal fit from Wal-Mart or Autozone, but it's been more than 10 years since I had a car that really needed them.

Anyway, has anyone used these? Do they fit? I know that some cars can have a problem with the brake calipers getting in the way.

For those who aren't familiar, heres a pic.

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 04:01 AM
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They are here for the 451, OEM, 15" 9-spokers: AutoSport Catalog - Kleen Wheels 800-953-0814

Last edited by Old smart; 07-17-2008 at 04:34 AM.
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Holy Cow! Those are expensive. Used to be able to get a set of 4 for about $15. here a set of 4 is $90! I'd get two, but then the rear looks different. I just figured I could pick up some cheap generic ones and drill the extra holes. My biggest concern was fitting for the brake calipers in the front.
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 04:49 AM
 
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What they do best is block airflow. Your brakes convert the forward motion (energy) into heat (energy) the ability to shed that heat quickly makes your brake available for repeated use. You will never see those on my car.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 06:41 AM
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The Kleen Wheels are fine by me. Kleen Wheels are dust shields which protect your wheels from brake dust When I called the guy about the Smart, he said he was wondering when he'd get the first call about the new car. My dealer sent him a wheel for fitment and a couple weeks later I had a set.

The owners' manual recommends against dust shields, but that may be the $15 variety mentioned. The Kleen Wheels have "turbo venting" which should do an okay job of keeping airflow across the rotors and pads. I have different rotors and pads to augment the turbo-venting that may help mitigate any concerns Smart had over the use of the shields.

The front and back wheels are different but the one form works well in both places. The front is about flush with the spokes while the back shield is set back from the spokes at the wheel's edge, flush at the center. With my black painted rims (with bright edge) I love the look.

Many folks can get by with just the front pair since the disk brakes are what get most of the wear and since disks produce much more dust than drum brakes anyway. Any dust from the rear brakes doesn't have far to travel anyway, only affecting the wheels.

I'd suggest you get the Kleen Wheels, myself, but you might want to get one pair and see if you decide that the 2nd pair is worth the expense for the more consistent look though the protection is less helpful back there.

There may be some interference with balancing weights making it more difficult for a simple home install. If you can get them installed and rebalanced, the weights can be worked in there.

- John_H
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 07:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by John_H View Post
The Kleen Wheels are fine by me. Kleen Wheels are dust shields which protect your wheels from brake dust When I called the guy about the Smart, he said he was wondering when he'd get the first call about the new car. My dealer sent him a wheel for fitment and a couple weeks later I had a set.

The owners' manual recommends against dust shields, but that may be the $15 variety mentioned. The Kleen Wheels have "turbo venting" which should do an okay job of keeping airflow across the rotors and pads. I have different rotors and pads to augment the turbo-venting that may help mitigate any concerns Smart had over the use of the shields.

The front and back wheels are different but the one form works well in both places. The front is about flush with the spokes while the back shield is set back from the spokes at the wheel's edge, flush at the center. With my black painted rims (with bright edge) I love the look.

Many folks can get by with just the front pair since the disk brakes are what get most of the wear and since disks produce much more dust than drum brakes anyway. Any dust from the rear brakes doesn't have far to travel anyway, only affecting the wheels.

I'd suggest you get the Kleen Wheels, myself, but you might want to get one pair and see if you decide that the 2nd pair is worth the expense for the more consistent look though the protection is less helpful back there.

There may be some interference with balancing weights making it more difficult for a simple home install. If you can get them installed and rebalanced, the weights can be worked in there.

- John_H
Regardless what you pay for them if they work they blocked the airflow. they only have a positive effect on disks (blocking the dust) but will also retard cooling on the rear. Enjoy
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 07:10 AM
 
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Regardless what you pay for them if they work they blocked the airflow. they only have a positive effect on disks (blocking the dust) but will also retard cooling on the rear. Enjoy
karl

Well said Karl. Like everything else in life, it's a compromise!


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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 07:14 AM
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Downside

I have two concerns about the dust shields (well, three). As noted above, they could interfere with the balance weights, and, they may have some effect on balance themselves. But also, the wheels are positioned on the hubs by a raised ridge before being fastened with the lug bolts. I don't know how thick any of the shields are, but they will reduce the effective height of the ridge and that may transfer more of the stress to the three lug bolts. (Lastly, smart has some reason to advise against them other than just being poor sports.)
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 01:35 PM
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City vs. Highway

I don't like the idea of using Kleen Wheels, or any similar product, simply because they restrict airflow that is needed to keep the rotor/drum as cool as possible. I will just take an extra couple minutes when washing the car to wash the wheels.

That said, the bigger problem with the dust guards is going to be present for those who do lots of city driving, stopping and starting a lot, thus using the brakes, which need to cool between usages. Once the rotor or drum reaches a certain temperature they can actually torque out of true round shape and then braking is nasty. You will get a shudder every time you apply your brakes. I had that problem on a Ford F-150 with a truck camper. Once I purchased titanium rotors that were vented and cooled the problem stopped.

I guess the measurement you need to make is one of form over function. If looking 'cool' while operating HOT is important, then the dust guards are for you, as long as you are willing to replace the pads, rotors, drums and shoes long before normal.

If you care to maintain your smart and have maximum possible braking, the dust guards are NOT for you.

I'm not that cool. I like brakes that will consistently stop my car when needed.

Last edited by tcollins648; 07-17-2008 at 01:39 PM.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 02:07 PM
 
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Someday, when enough of us demand it, ceramic pads will become available and that solves all issues.....
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