Tesla electronic parking brake controller and connector source

Ken Roberts

Supporter
I found a company that manufacters a controller, switch and connectors for the Tesla parking brake calipers. The controller is integrated into the switch on one model and separate on the second model. All 4 pins on the caliper connector are being used. (you can read the install manuals after opening the links). These calipers are readily available on eBay. Bob from Clevland was first to install these calipers.

https://www.pantera-electronics.com/epbcontroller.htm



Bob from Clevland caliper mounting https://www.gt40s.com/threads/lsa-slc-build-log.42886/page-9#post-533201
 
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Nice find Ken, I already have my calipers but have not purchased my controllers yet. This is definitely worth considering. the only downside is the switch is kinda "low tech" looking in my personal opinion. Thank you for sharing!
 

Ken Roberts

Supporter
Nice find Ken, I already have my calipers but have not purchased my controllers yet. This is definitely worth considering. the only downside is the switch is kinda "low tech" looking in my personal opinion. Thank you for sharing!
They have a second model that incorporates separate momentary push button switch for the controller. A separate dual red/green led light will disclose the current caliper status.

 
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I have their older style switch and have been working on putting my setup together but got sidelined due to the holidays. Working on some brackets now. Jon has been great to work with, definitely contact him if you have any questions about the system. I'll try and work with him to get some SLC specific brackets made for the Brembo calipers, working on mocking it up on my car now. I like the older style switch because it gives independent feedback of brake status and everything is integrated into one nice little package. I plan to install my switch in a recessed location so it's styling doesn't bother me but I can see how it wouldn't work as well for some folks. About the only thing I'd change at this point is going from flat 4-conductor wiring to round to make it easier to run in conduit and sheath but I haven't routed my wiring yet to see if the flat wires will be an issue. I'm looking forward to getting a parking brake that will actually hold the car!
 

Ken Roberts

Supporter
TIP: Try and stay away from the 2016 model year Tesla S/X caliper set. Tesla recalled 53000 cars for this model year manufactured between February and October. The parking brake was unable to be released due to a plastic gear defect in some cars. The recall started two years ago so hopefully most of them have been updated by now.

I've also read a couple of reports of the EPB brake not holding on a steep incline.

 
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Ken Roberts

Supporter
Sometime in 2017 Tesla/Brembo upgraded the Model S to include the electronic parking brake caliper into the rear brake caliper as seen in this picture. The Model S calipers are made by Brembo and rumored to be the same as our Camaro SS Brembo brake calipers. The ultimate upgrade would be to see if this newly designed rear caliper could be retrofitted to our cars. Kill two birds with one stone...so to speak.

 
If you read their instruction manual it states the the halves of the caliper can be separated and a spacer can be designed to fit in between.
In standard form the brake can accommodate just a smidge over 1”, a 1.25” rotor would require a spacer. Seems simple enough - a couple of spacers and longer bolts to join the 2 halves.
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
Will this work with the 12 volts removed from the system. What I am asking is : once the caliper is closed (brake on) will it remain on without electrical power, and can it be released without electrical power?

Here's why I ask.

California Vehicle code:

The parking brake system of every motor vehicle shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) The parking brake shall be adequate to hold the vehicle or combination of vehicles stationary on any grade on which it is operated under all conditions of loading on a surface free from snow, ice or loose material. In any event the parking brake shall be capable of locking the braked wheels to the limit of traction.

(b) The parking brake shall be applied either by the driver’s muscular efforts, by spring action, or by otherenergy which is isolated and used exclusively for the operation of the parking brake or the combination parking brake and emergency stopping system.

(c) The parking brake shall be held in the applied position solely by mechanical means.



This won't be legal in calif unless it does.
 
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Howard Jones

Supporter
And Texas:

20.3 Parking Brake. The inspection of the parking brake (auxiliary or holding) applies only to all motor vehicles beginning with the model year 1960. This does not include motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, mopeds, trailers, semitrailers, pole trailers, and mobile homes. Some types of parking brake may be actuated by foot or hand lever. The parking brake may be assisted by the service brakes or other source of power, provided that failure of the service brake actuating system or other power assisting mechanism will not prevent the parking brakes from being applied.

The parking brakes should be so designed that when once applied, they shall remain applied - despite exhaustion of any source of energy or leakage of any kind.

If the means of applying the parking brakes and the service brakes are connected in any way, they shall be so constructed that failure of any one part shall not leave the vehicle without operative brakes. Brake lock systems will not meet the parking brake requirement.
1. Inspection Procedure. On a motor vehicle that has the automatic parking brake release when the transmission is placed in gear, the parking brake should be held down with the foot and the engine accelerated enough with the vehicle in gear to determine if it is working properly.
2. Inspect Parking Brake for and reject if:
a. Motor vehicle is not equipped with a parking brake.
b. Operating mechanism, when fully applied, does not hold the vehicle.
c. Actuating mechanism is not fully released when the release control is operated.
d. Any mechanical parts are missing, broken, badly worn, or not operating properly.
e. Pull cables are badly worn, stretched, frayed, or not operating freely.
f. Parking brake will not hold the vehicle in place when, with the engine running, the vehicle is placed in forward gear and the engine is accelerated enough to cause a pull on the braking mechanism.

You better read your states requirement.
 
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Yes the electric brakes hold if power is removed, so they are legal (not sure how you could sell a Tesla otherwise), but no it cannot be released without power. It doesn’t take much juice though, even a really weak battery will release it. I even used a 9v battery to release mine while I had the battery out for relocation.
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
Just wanted to make it clear that, especially in Calif, the parking brake must be a separate system at a minimum and you will need to explain how it works mechanically to the BAR referee during the SP100 process if he gets nervous.

I like the system myself and if I needed to install a PB in one of my cars now I would more than likely go that route. In texas you might want to add a second trailer brake battery if they wanted you to have separate systems.
 
Well, I'm not going to say that you can't get an inspector who doesn't understand "separate", but the primary braking calipers are hydraulic and in no way connected to the car battery so a second battery is not required under the Texas laws. And once again, if what is described in this thread is not legal in all 50 states, a Tesla wouldn't be legal either because it is being installed with the exact same level of seperation.
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
It is important to be able to explain that the PB will remain on even if the main battery goes flat and if necessary be able to explain the method. Some, not all, BAR refs can be very difficult to move off of a preconceived notion. As I said I like this system, much more than the little bitty wildwood PB calipers for example, because it will really work.

Thanks for the clarification.
 

Ken Roberts

Supporter
Now Wilwood is selling a EPB.

 

Ken Roberts

Supporter
Pantera Electronics now has a controller that can be activated by a traditional handbrake lever. It's a matter of adding momentary switches. Good for those that want to convert to a tesla electric caliper setup but have finished their interior with a traditional handbrake lever.
 
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