TriRod Brakes (Upgrading)

Mini Bike & Go-Kart Parts

#1
My TriRod currently has banded brakes. I have not had the opportunity to ride it yet but, with putting a larger engine on it, I'm having to re-engineer the axles (due to rust) and would like to upgrade to hydraulic disk brakes. I have a narrow space to work with (this is a model with suspension) but am thinking mini-bike or go-kart brakes might fit. I read either the street-legal or truck version of the TriRod had hydraulic brakes. Wondering if anyone can confirm this and/or has done this upgrade. Even photos would be nice. Thanks.
 
#3
There are several hydraulic brake kits, for mini bikes and carts, that will work. Go Power Sports and most of the other Mini Bike./Go Cart parts suppliers carry several kits. https://www.gopowersports.com/mini-bike-brake-system/
Which is what I'm looking at. My concern is that with the suspension, I want to make sure I have room to mount the calipers. I also have a limited amount of room (I would estimate to be ~6" - I haven't measured lately) in the A-arm. I am hoping someone can snap a photo of their hydraulic brake setup so I can get an idea of what I need to fabricate. Thanks for reinforcing my thought on using a mini-bike brake system.
 

Cuda54

Active Member
#4
You could also use the ones used on snowmobiles or small motorcycles too. I have been looking at the as I am putting a 18hp engine on my TRI-ROD and it has band brakes on it now.
 
#5
I couldn't find one with disc brakes already installed. This, I found with Google, (may well belong to someone here). This is what you have now, correct? The band brakes are located under the shock support arms? I think, if you fabricated your caliper mount to set forward of the disc, that is, low and under, or partially under the primary frame, you could easily get away with a 6 inch disc. By moving the caliper forward, you wouldn't need to worry about the clearance issue. MFG and Go Power Sports both have 6 inch discs. trirod.jpg
 

wjustice

Well-Known Member
#6
I have Alsports and I know yeah they are different. However, I've changed all of them over to discs. The small TS has mech caliper and 8" discs. TheTS290 has hydro with 6"(changing to 7.75")discs. And I switched the RTS from jackshaft to axle mounted 7.75" hydros. I used all MCP/Enginetics kart parts. Yes they are a bit expensive but they work, are rebuildable and parts are easy to get. There are pics of mine in the media section. Maybe you can get an idea what you can do for yours.
 
#7
My TriRod currently has banded brakes. I have not had the opportunity to ride it yet but, with putting a larger engine on it, I'm having to re-engineer the axles (due to rust) and would like to upgrade to hydraulic disk brakes. I have a narrow space to work with (this is a model with suspension) but am thinking mini-bike or go-kart brakes might fit. I read either the street-legal or truck version of the TriRod had hydraulic brakes. Wondering if anyone can confirm this and/or has done this upgrade. Even photos would be nice. Thanks.
I don't have any photos, unfortunately, but the BGW Mini-Pickup I used to have (sold it) had a single hydraulic disk on the opposite side of the differential from the sprocket. The sprocket was on one side of the diff and the brakes were on the other.

I have the same trike as you now, and the band brakes are mostly worthless. I've been toying with the idea of running something similar to the old MTD Mud-Bug's brakes. It had dual mechanical discs on either side of the main frame with the calipers mounted at the rear. I think something like that would work if they were mounted inboard of the flex rings. I don't think the brake discs could mount outboard of the flex rings because the suspension doesn't travel vertically, it travels in an arc and would warp the brake rotors. IDK, though. Just spit-ballin'
 
#8
I don't have any photos, unfortunately, but the BGW Mini-Pickup I used to have (sold it) had a single hydraulic disk on the opposite side of the differential from the sprocket. The sprocket was on one side of the diff and the brakes were on the other.

I have the same trike as you now, and the band brakes are mostly worthless. I've been toying with the idea of running something similar to the old MTD Mud-Bug's brakes. It had dual mechanical discs on either side of the main frame with the calipers mounted at the rear. I think something like that would work if they were mounted inboard of the flex rings. I don't think the brake discs could mount outboard of the flex rings because the suspension doesn't travel vertically, it travels in an arc and would warp the brake rotors. IDK, though. Just spit-ballin'
I'm not sure how a single brake could be mounted unless the engine mount plate were removed and re-centered (there's not clearance on the left side), though that's an intriguing possibility. As for outboard of the flex joints, I was considering mounting them in place of the brake drums since the axle and caliper would like on the same plane, even if flexing. Mounting them inboard would be preferable but I'd have to worry about the shock mounts at the bottom ; if inboard behind the flex joints (which would be ideal), I have to be concerned with clearance and the fact that someone previously tack welded my flex joint flange directly to the differential output shaft. :mad:

brakes.png
 

Cuda54

Active Member
#9
A dremel and a small diamond bite or cutting wheel will cut that tack. I have been thinking of disc brakes for mine too. but I was thinking brakes from a small motor cycle or snowmobile I think they would be stronger than mini bike brakes.
 
#10
I'm not sure how a single brake could be mounted unless the engine mount plate were removed and re-centered (there's not clearance on the left side), though that's an intriguing possibility. As for outboard of the flex joints, I was considering mounting them in place of the brake drums since the axle and caliper would like on the same plane, even if flexing. Mounting them inboard would be preferable but I'd have to worry about the shock mounts at the bottom ; if inboard behind the flex joints (which would be ideal), I have to be concerned with clearance and the fact that someone previously tack welded my flex joint flange directly to the differential output shaft. :mad:

View attachment 280360
Yeah, I would go inboard, under the towers. The smallest disc you are going to find is 6 inches, > or<, which means it will be taller than the current drum. Add your caliper and you will have serious tire clearance issue. Then again, you don't have much clearance next to the shock either. How about mounting the disc where the drum is, then the caliper on the under side? With the small caliper arms available, you wouldn't loose much ground clearance at all. It looks like a 6 inch disc would be close, but, assuming that's a 4 inch drum, I think you can do it.
 
#11
Well, got the axles cut out. That's the good news. The bad is I'm limited to about 5.75" max. Realistically, it'll depend on how far I have to mount the rotor away from the bracket. The top of the trapezoid measures 6" across the widest part and narrows from there. I can't mount the calipers on the bottom because the two tabs for the suspension poke down there. Unless I want to cut and reweld (I don't) I'm going to be limited to what I can toss in there. Also, with how narrow the frame is around the differential, I doubt there can be anything put inboard.
 
#12
It sounds like you have checked/eliminated all the simple options. But, have you thought about a sprocket/disc combo? Maybe you have room for something like this.


sprocketdisc.jpg

This one is mechanical, obviously.I cannot find an image of a juice brake/sprocket combo. But, if you had the disc/sprocket, you should be able to find a hydraulic caliper that would fit.
 
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#13
It sounds like you have checked/eliminated all the simple options. But, have you thought about a sprocket/disc combo? Maybe you have room for something like this.


View attachment 280430

This one is mechanical, obviously.I cannot find an image of a juice brake/sprocket combo. But, if you had the disc/sprocket, you should be able to find a hydraulic caliper that would fit.
On mine, because the chain comes down almost vertically from the jack shaft and the sprocket is so close to the frame/motor mount, there's no room around the sprocket to mount a caliper. I kind of wonder if a 6" brake disc could be mounted directly to the inboard side of the flex joint, using the backing plate of the flex coupler as a hub? I'll have to examine that tomorrow.
 
#14
On mine, because the chain comes down almost vertically from the jack shaft and the sprocket is so close to the frame/motor mount, there's no room around the sprocket to mount a caliper. I kind of wonder if a 6" brake disc could be mounted directly to the inboard side of the flex joint, using the backing plate of the flex coupler as a hub? I'll have to examine that tomorrow.

They do make several versions of the mounting plate, with numerous holes. I would bet one of them has a set of pre-drilled, that will fit your needs.
 
#16
Why not cut a 1/4" off of a 6" disc or just what it needs to fit and add any hydraulic brake.
This has been a thought and my only problem with this is reproducibility. To do this properly, the rotors would need to be taken to a machine shop and turned down or else you might get vibration at higher speeds. Then it also comes down to being able to find a replacement for the rotors when the time comes...which means taking it to a machine shop again. True, one could have two sets of rotors turned at the same time but what if the second is never needed? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is a bad option, and one I may consider, but I also need to find a way to shoehorn the caliper in there first - the rotor is secondary. The way the shocks mount prevent the bottom from being an acceptable mount location which means a low-profile caliper will be needed up top so the shocks and calipers don't interfere with each other.

I also like metalhead's option of mounting them inboard of the flex coupler. That might be worth looking into but I may also have problems there as a PO welded the flanges to the cut driveshafts of the differential. Grinding them off won't be a problem but there's the issue of having enough length to work with.... (Guys, am I right???)
 
#17
It sounds like you have checked/eliminated all the simple options. But, have you thought about a sprocket/disc combo? Maybe you have room for something like this.

This one is mechanical, obviously.I cannot find an image of a juice brake/sprocket combo. But, if you had the disc/sprocket, you should be able to find a hydraulic caliper that would fit.
This is a possibility, since I have to rebuild my jackshaft assembly anyway. I was wondering if something like this would work for a parking brake. Nevertheless, I will have to look into it further; since a PO welded the drive flanges onto the differential, I haven't looked - and am concerned - they might have welded the drive sprocket on as well. Would a caliper allow for the width of the chain?
 
#19
This is a possibility, since I have to rebuild my jackshaft assembly anyway. I was wondering if something like this would work for a parking brake. Nevertheless, I will have to look into it further; since a PO welded the drive flanges onto the differential, I haven't looked - and am concerned - they might have welded the drive sprocket on as well. Would a caliper allow for the width of the chain?
Yes, there are calipers made expressly for this arrangement, like the one shown. And again, under frame mounting might be the best option. Have you considered a complete new axle? I know you can get Peerless setups. The Holton will prove a little more difficult.
 

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