Let's learn more together

Howdy,

I'd like to introduce myself, my name is Todd Gartshore and I'm one of three partners in Baer Brake System of Phoenix, Arizona. My friend Terry Cole asked me to contribute to this exciting new online magazine, MaxChevy, as a "brake-expert." However, measuring myself as an expert in my field against some of Terry's other "expert" choices, I would rank myself as "able" not "expert."

I'll endeavor to do a credible job and if successful, it will be because my partner for the last 12 years, Hal Baer, is a true "brake-wonk" and someone who possesses the most important talent in engineering, he asks great questions. In the preceding 17 years I worked with some of the brightest and orneriest engineering types in the performance marketplace, from innovators like Corky Bell (Bell Engineering, previously CarTech Engineering) and Jim Middlebrook (Vortech Engineering) to being the "number-one round-eye" for HKS (where I reported directly to a FAX machine). 
I most certainly have been blessed in finding stimulating opportunities that have allowed me to enjoy virtually every form of the disease we call "enthusiasm" from professional racer to weekend mechanic.  My life has let me spend time with and know the people who I read about as a kid. It's ironic that if I had not been reading a Hot Rod or other magazine inside my English book I might well be better prepared for this assignment, but I would never have had the life that led me to be in a position (no matter how unqualified) to address you in this column.

I think that answers to questions that aren't asked are likely not going to be entertaining. Rather than "talking at you," I would like to take the approach of "talking with you," so please feel free to send me your brake-related questions to tag@baer.com.

I hope you will all keep in mind that I am not an engineer myself, and just as it says on the back of my company’s printed materials, "these thoughts represent our (my) viewpoint at this given point in time, however, we (I) always reserve the right to learn more!"

To get this column up and on the tires, I'll start by covering a few basics that apply to the process of evaluating any brake system. Subjects I have in mind are caliper stability, leverage, actuation systems and friction. From there, we'll see where the actual questions and comments take us.  I look forward to hearing from you and helping you understand how brakes apply to your particular application. 

Happy motoring!

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