|Brakes - Part 1
Brakes - Part 1
Brakes - Part 2
Brakes - Part 3
Brake Lines 101
4-Lug to 5-Lug Conversion
[BP] The front can be changed by simply
replacing the front rotors with Lincoln Continental rotors, from a
1982 model. Or, you could buy the FMS kit, Mustang 5-Lug, 11"
Front Brake Rotor Conversion Kit (M-1102-C)
FMS Description: "-1987-93 Mustang GT/5.0L LX Allows 5-hole,
4.5" diameter bolt circle wheels to be installed on the above
vehicles. The kit comes complete with 2 rotors, 2 grease seals and 2
cotter pins. NOTE: Can be used on 1979-86 if spindle, struts, and
brake hardware are changed to 1987-93 Mustang GT/5.0L LX."
For the rear, you could buy the Ford
Motorsports 5-lug conversion that keeps the drum brakes, 5-lug Rear
Brake Drum/Axle Shaft Kit (M-1126-A)
FMS Description: "Permits owners of 1979-93 Mustang/Capri
vehicles with 9" rear brakes and 8.8" rear axle with 28T
differential to fit 5-hole, 4.5" diameter bolt circle wheels to
them. Kit includes one pair of 9" x 1-3/4" brake drums
with 5 mounting holes on a 4.5" diameter circle…and one pair
of 28T axle shafts 5-lug bolt pattern."
Or, you could use two drivers side rear axles
from a 1989 Ford Ranger pick-up truck. You can find those in a
If you want rear disk brakes, you could buy
the Ford Motorsports read disc conversion kit, "5-lug Rear Disk
Brake Kit LATE FORD 9" and 8.8" Truck Axle Housing
[GL] "For the front discs get some 82 Lincoln Continental
front rotors. Use the Mustang wheel bearings in them. For the rear,
get the Motorsport 5 lug axel and drum change over kit. I use the
Baer Racing rear disc kit. It is by far the best rear kit I've used.
I sell a master cylinder and prop valve set up for the brakes if you
IMPROVING THE BRAKES
[EE] OK, last time out at Gainesville some of
you remember that I had a problem slowing down with the stock front
disc rear drum setup.
Speeds of 90+ mph are achievable at this track and the need for good
brakes are a must. Last time out my stock brakes overheated, rotors
cracked, fluid boiled over and I lost brakes on lap 2 of a 5 lap
run. Things did not look good for the stock brake setup.
Well, I immediately went on this forum looking
for advice to improve the stock brakes for high speed track events
such as this. I have to admit, most of the advice on this forum was
wrong. The need to throw large amounts of money into the brake
system is not needed! Larger rotors, rear disc, etc. Bah humbug,
save your money!
I went to Gainesville this weekend to prove a
point. That point being, You CAN run with the big boys on stock
Here is what the outcome was. Matched up against a Z06 (race
prepped, "R" compound tires) BIG brakes and rotors! This
car ran a best lap of 99.? seconds. Against a SPF with independent
rear and "R" compound tires, best lap time of 100.?
My car: live axle, Sumitomo HTRZ street tires,
I had best lap times of 101.32 and 101.43 sec, averaging 102~103
seconds. Did I mention street tires? I was the third fastest car on
the track with stock front calipers and rotors, stock rear drum pads
and street tires
For those of you who know my car, it is basically stock. I am using
an 84 master cylinder and no brake proportioning valve.
NO BRAKE FADE OR PROBLEM STOPPING AT ALL.
All I changed were the front pads, installed
front SS braided flex lines and changed fluid to a "Exceeds DOT
3 and DOT 4 specs. No synthetic fluid! I kept the rear flex line
stock rubber as recommended by a few folks and installed stainless
steel caliper sleeve bushings on the front rotors.
Total cost was $187.00. The pads were Hawk High Performance Plus.
I do not recommend these pads for the street
as they need to be hot to work properly. I change over to the stock
pads for daily driving.
Brake Problems and Trouble Shooting
Question: [TG] "What do you do if you
have a leak at a fitting when bleeding? Do I have to completely
drain the system, and then fix it? Or do I just try to do it real
quick while the fluid leaks out? I'm trying not to make too much of
Answers: [RR] "Take the cap off the
master cylinder and put saran plastic wrap over the opening. put the
cap back on and go to work on the lines. It's supposed to work like
when you put your finger over the end of a straw that has liquid in
it; it doesn't run out the bottom."
[JB] "Although teflon tape may have
worked it is the completely wrong application of this stuff and
could be a disaster waiting to happen. Teflon tape is a pipe thread sealant.
The thread of a pipe joint do the sealing work and therefore
sometimes need a little assistance to insure the mating surfaces are
smooth. Brake lines do not seal on the thread surfaces, they seal on
the flare and mating surface. If fluid is leaking around the
threads, the sealing surfaces are not doing the job. This is a bad
thing. Tape on the thread will not be effective in the long run or
when you need it most (that would be under high brake pressure while
you are trying avoid a large object). Your life (and the life of
others is in you hands. Get it right now before you go and drive."
[Mort] "no Teflon tape on brake lines, if
you have seepage you have a leak at the flare, if you seal the
threads you still have a leak at the flare. Properly done flares
will not leak, as others have mentioned, sometimes they need to be
tightened real good, like, way more than you thought. The seal comes
from effectively crushing the line flare to its seat, usually a
softer material like brass/copper. Good job on having only one
problem area, take the time to fix it correctly, you will sleep well
and drive with confidence."
[JS] Question: "Here's my dilemma.
Narrowed 8.8 or IRS? 8.8 gives me looks (wider wheels with
deeper dish) IRS gives better ride and handling? If I go IRS, brake
questions. Baer Racing tells me that I will need Tilton pedal and
dual masters to run their front brakes with T-Bird rears. FFR says
that is not true. HELP!! What have you all found? I'm leaning toward
the IRS, but the brakes are a stumbling block."
Answers and Opinions:
[Dior55] "You should keep everything in
perspective. As far as brakes go, remember your only going to have a
2200 - 2300 lb. when all is said and done. Unless the car will be
doing heavy track events, ultra braking components are unnecessary
and a big waste of $$.
If you really need to spend that extra $$, as
far as narrowed live axle vs. IRS, I'd probably opt for $$ going
toward the IRS. The narrowed 8.8 isn't going to give you that much
more of a "deep dish" look that you want over the stock
8.8 with 4 lug drums. I went with totally stock 8.8 with the
10" Halibrands FFR sells. They fit (even w/ quad shocks) and
are plenty deep for me. Also, the car looks like a "steam
roller" from the rear. I have no intention of racing the car,
and the stock Mustang brakes stop my BB just fine.
The IRS, on the other hand, will give you real
results in better ride and handling. Dollar for dollar the extra $$
on IRS is a better value than extra $$ on a narrowed live axle that
probably only you will notice will give you an extra 1" of
[IL] "I can't really help with your dilemma
but I agree with FFR you can use the master cylinder setup with just
about anything you put in the car. I just recently put the IRS in my
car and am currently running the stock T-bird rear brakes.
Previously, with the solid axle, I was running Wilwood racing brakes
on all four corners with a very good peddle from the stock MC setup.
My plans were to mount the rear Wilwoods on the rear with a
fabricated bracket. Unfortunately with the rotor offset that's on
the Wilwood rears I can’t get them to mount so, I went to the
T-bird brakes on the rear but kept the Wilwood fronts. Still I have
no troubles. Well with the exception that they don't stop as well.
My plans are to mount the Wilwoods on the rear
this winter. I'll have to change the hat on the rotor which controls
the rotor offset but that's easy to do with that setup. If you’re
curious about my brakes check out my web site. I haven't got any
pictures of the new IRS up there yet.
The FFR IRS is about 1/2" narrower than
the 87-93 stock Mustang. I had a tire rub problem with the solid
axle but the IRS fixed it."
[RO] "Go IRS and order the pin drive
control arms without the pin drive wheels and then get the right
offset wheels for the deeeeep dish you want. I have Lincoln fronts
and T-bird rears with the IRS and the car stops great. The Mark VII
weighed 4500# and the bird 3800# or close so at 2235# (Roadster full of
fuel) I don't see the need for still more brakes."
[TB] "You can get deeeeep dish with live
axle as well. About a $500 job ($250 labor and $250 for the Moser
axles) Do this on a SN95 rear and you'll have the 5 lug that you'll
need for the GT40 wheels (plus the bonus of discs)"
[Olli] "To all those that have 4 wheel
discs Earl's has a very nice 5 piece braided stainless steel brake
I wanted braided lines that were DOT legal and
could only find 3 piece kits. I contacted Russell and Earl's.
Russell doesn't make a 5 piece kit but Earl's does.
The part # is 28B020. I ordered it through
Summit. The price, only $89.99, compare that to the 3 piece Russell
kit at $74.95 ( also Summit)
Most kits are 3 piece, front calipers (2) and
the short rear hose that goes to the block which connects the hard
lines to the drums (1), total 3
The 5 piece kit does all of the above but also
replaces the stock rubber hoses that go from the hard lines to the
rear calipers. (sn95)
The only way to truly benefit from braided
stainless brake hose is to replace ALL the rubber hose not just some
of them. Why Russell only sells a 3 piece kit for the sn95 is beyond
[JB] "You should note that the once 5
piece kit is now only four pieces. The t-block is no longer
included. I know because I ordered it expecting five pieces and got
four. Naturally I thought Summit F'd up, so I called them...Nope
only four, call Earl's if you want to check with them. Called
Earl's, nope only four. It is still a good deal, since it costs less
then the stock lines if you are running IRS."
[Olli] "I have the Roadster R M-2300 K brake
kit and the kit from Earl's worked great. Sorry to hear that they
made it only a 4 piece kit now."
[TAZ] "I just got off the line with
Earl's Performance Products Tech Support and here's what I've found
out about these two kits.
LF 15.5" Straight in Banjo
RF 15.5" Straight in Banjo
Rears 12" 10deg Banjo
LF 14.5" 10deg Banjo
RF 14.5" 10deg Banjo
Rears 12" 10deg Banjo
Pretty close to being the same exact kits,
with the exception of slightly short lines and the fronts have a
slight angle on them.
Question: [EG] "I
ordered my 15/16 4wheel disc 1994 Roadster master cyl.
Advance auto had NEW ones
for $85.00 except, they dont have any.
Advance auto has rebuilt
ones for $63.00 and they had some. SO, i ordered one.
It came in with NO
RESERVOIRS. Any one know where you can get reservoirs that will work
on this unit.
QUESTION 2: what screws into
that tiny little hole in the bottom?
THIS UNIT ACTUALLY HAS
BLEEDERS ON THE MASTERCYL TO HELP BLEED THE SYSTEM"
[RO] "Jeep mc no plastic
needed, comes with the rod, bolts up with one adaptor"
[MM] "Jeep MC also cost $24 work
[Bi] "I've also followed this thread, and
I really appreciate you all's hard work and help. What it the deal
with the Jeep M/C? Does it really work OK? What are the specifics
Note: the FFR manual says to use the standard
Mustang mc rather than the one from conversion kits for rear
discs...page 13 item 15. Has anyone done this?"
[EG] "If Richard Oben says it works, I truly
believe it works. That 84 jeep MC has a very long stroke plus the
magical 15/16 single bore. So, its even logical to me that it can
work. I just feel better using a MC that started out life being
designed for a 4wd system because the two systems are more nearly
matched. And every 4wd MC I have seen have very nearly matched front
and rear systems.
I cant help believe that there is not a cheap
4wd MC off some Lincoln or T-bird that we can be using for a whole
lot less $ than a 94 Roadster. Have not perused that myself. Someone
with good access to parts house info should be able to help.
The other question, is this the one that
suggests gutting the proportioning valve? Personally I was never
able to experiment with the original mustang MC that came with my donor
because i trashed it because it showed signs of leaking out the rear
seal. I would not gut my stock proportioning valve and use it.
Btw, I have ordered an aftermarket Wilwood
Rotory style proportioning valve from Jegs to put into my system
when i get all the pieces. Part number 950-260-2220 for $39.99.
If I have way to much rear brakes when I get
done, I'm gonna put the bigger front calipers on my car from the Lincoln.
This will even help with pedal pressure.
did not completely answer your question. thats
a 84 cherokee mc. manual brakes. Its huge.
IT MAY MAKE YOUR ROADSTER'S FONT PUSH IN
[MM] "Use the '84 7/8" MC for $30
and cut your brake pedal 3/4" instead of 1.5" - drill a
new set of holes in the pedal box mid way in between the manual and
assisted pairs of holes. This converts a 7/8" MC to a
 "73mm front
calipers on an FFR suck. I put them on a couple weeks ago and the
fronts lock up like never before, stock pads. Richard Oben will be
here this Friday for a week of sailing. I will let him drive it
before taking them off. The guys I know using an adjustable prop
valve run them wide open so why use one? It depends on what you are
doing with the car and I think trying more aggressive pads front and
rear may be the answer."
[al] "Much has been said about 4-5 lug
conversions in past posts. But the cheapest seems to be front rotors
from an 86-87 Lincoln mark VII and 2 rear driver side axles from a
Ford Ranger. Chances are you could do front and back for $150(used)."
[al] "Just spent two of the most
gruelling days I can imagine modifying the brake pedal length and
remounting same. The perfect person for this job requires three
elbows and extra joints in all fingers as well as two thumbs on each
If you are starting a build or have not
progressed past the point where you can easily access the pedal box
my advise is to DO THE MOD NOW! Before the body is on this will be a
15 minute job after it is on it is a two day job do able only by the
most determined individual.
Can't wait to get out on the street this
spring after three years of living with the HEAVY pedal effort I am
looking forward to a somewhat lighter pedal."
[pm] It took me a few hours to do mine ....to
improve access I removed the door, seat and steering wheel I think
the worst part is getting it out before you cut it....I had no
problem stopping the car before but wanted to get this done before I
got it painted just in case I convert to rear disk brakes in the
future.....you will be happy you did yours.....it does make a
[lc] "And while you're at it, weld in the
bolts for the M/C. It is a lot easier for future R and R."
[tnt] "Just did the same. Needed to
shorten/move and add the AC pedals. I believe a 10mm with a short extension
on the door side and a 13mm wrench holding the nut on the other end.
The wrench will fit in the channel closest to the firewall. I can
take the pedal out in ten minutes...took me hours to figure it out."
Jeep Master Cylinder
[ML] "I'm using the '84 Jeep master cylinder and I can't find an adapter to fit the rear port. I believe it's a 1/4-24 port. Anybody have a part number/size? I've already brought it to NAPA, Autozone, Big-A, and a few local shops with no luck."
[MM] "I don't remember the size, but the NAPA I bought my MC from had both the adaptors for the front and rear to 3/16" in their "brake fittings".
BTW, I went from two FFR MC spacers with the donor MC to just one with the Jeep. This remains the best $25 I've ever spent on my car."
[Le] "I had the same problem with my Jeep MC until I just sat myself down in front of Napa's Wall-O-fittings, and rather than read any labels, just started trying stuff until I had the parts to work. Unfortunately, I've no idea the part numbers, but NAPA has the adapters."
[BL] "What model do I ask for for this master cyl? I see 84 Jeep, but is that all I need? They usually ask for model, number of cylinders, etc. Does anyone have a Napa or other part store number - that might even be easier!"
[ML] "I got mine from a local parts place, it's a rebuild from Cardone part # 10-1896. Did the parts rack search at 3 stores and no luck, the bins were all pretty well worked over, nothing where it should be. Need the number or a definite thread size so I can order one."
[EG] "What problem was it you solved with the spacers?? I know we've talked before. What problem did you solve with your Jeep MC? Do you have 4wd or 2wd on your roadster? And, what type of Proportioning valve if any are you running?
[Lee] "I don't understand the threads and sizes system! You might try going to Lowes or Home Depot, as they have lots of fittings also."
[MM] "The spacer I deleted was one of the FFR supplied MC spacers that change the pedal height.
I have 4wheel disc - Turbocoupe rears, a wilwood 2psi residual pressure valve, with Porterfield R4 pads and Stock Fronts with Performance Friction Z rated. With the stock MC I ended up totally removing the prop. valve, and went to the Porterfield R4 pads on the rear to try and get more braking out of the rears. Now with the new MC, the pedal feels GREAT and for the first time ever, the rears locked first!!! I've reinstalled the Wilwood adjustable prop. valve and with street tires, the balance is somewhere in the middle of the valve's adjustment. Once I get the slicks on I'm confident I'll be able to get enough off the rears to balance it. When I replace the rear pads I may go to an R4S which is less aggressive than the R4. My master cylinder still doesn't know that the rear brakes are discs."
[EG] "I know what the spacers are for, I just wondered what it was you gained by doing that. The only way your Rear brakes know what master cyl you have is if it supplies enough volume of brake fluid under pressure to work the rear brakes. It certainly appears from all the
success stories that the Jeep MC does supply enough volume to work the rear brakes. (And apparently work them well) Im still convinced that my 82 mustang MC did not supply enough volume to successfully operated the rear brakes. Others have had similar problems. BTW, the stroke of your jeep cyl is about 25% longer than the 82 mustang, so lots more volume is certainly available. Someone needs to get a part number for that fitting. must really be a rare one."
[jl] "was there a noticeable difference in pedal travel or effort, going from your donor MC to the Jeep MC? I have the same situation as you had before your conversion, and would like to optimize my rear braking. I've switched to a more aggressive rear brake pad (Carbotech Panthers) and they're working lots more now, but still cannot lock them with my adjustable prop valve wide open to the rear, using my stock '91 donor MC. Thanks for any info! BTW: are the brake line fittings on the passenger side of the Jeep MC?"
[MM] "by deleting one spacer I just regained my previous pedal height, as the Jeep MC piston to mounting surface geometry is a little different. There was a BIG improvement, paradoxically, in both travel and pedal effort with the 15/16" MC. As I said, this is the best $25 I've spent on my car, and I've spent plenty of $25!! Yes, the brake line fittings are ready and waiting on the passenger side. Good luck. Mark
[MLB] "problem solved, it's a normal 1/4" to 3/16" adapter. The problem was a bad port on the master cylinder. I take back any negative comments I made about parts counter
personnel, until the next time I need a part."
[Bp] "Based on you all's recommendation, I also bought the Jeep M/C, $20.99 at Advance Auto.
One question I haven't seen answered...did you all cut your brake pedal and mount it in the 4cyl hole? Or did you leave it in the upper hole?"
[IL] "YES CUT YOUR PEDAL!!!!!!! That is the single most important thing you can do. If you don't you will have substantially less moment arm on your pedal, meaning you won't build much pressure in your system - meaning you won't stop! SO - CUT YOUR PEDAL!"
[ga] "OK are all 84 jeep MC alike or is it from a wrangler, Cherokee
or Grand Wagoner ?
A guy wants to buy my power booster and MC from my donor. Do I need to save anything from this assembly ? Like the pin between the booster and the MC ?"
[MLB ] "'84 Jeep Cherokee, Manual brakes, 15/16" bore, with pushrod. Most places that have it use a variation of part number 101896, like 10-1896 or 1 01896, etc. It's my understanding this is the best MC for 4 wheel disc setups but not for disc/drum setups. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on that."
4-Lug Disks in the Rear
[pr] "It may sound expensive but for my
life on the line the set up from Stainless Steel Brakes, for the
mustang sound like a real bargain. It will run you around 5-6
hundred but it is an engineered setup with matching master cylinder.
Its all so what FFR recommends for the Spec Racer."
[DS] "used the SSB kit and it was pretty
good. I am converting to a five lug set up, so I will have two four
lug rotors (with about 2 miles on them) available if you want to buy
them. I will be keeping the calipers and mounting brackets."
[LL] "the SSB master cylinder assumes you
have power brakes and require to much pedal pressure without a
booster. SSB was useless in resolving. if you go this route see if
the will delete the m/c buy an 84 manual m/c no need for proportioning
valve and loose all the mustang valving. works great once you get
through all this."
[nl] "The Roadster R kit is a bit overkill
for a 2200lb car. It also limits you to 17" wheels. The SSB kit
or the ranger axle / lincoln parts setup is more economical."
[TN] "I have a stock '93 Roadster 4 lug rear
disk brake set-up. Pedal pressure took some getting use to, but I
can get the wheels to lock with a good stomp."
[RO] "Don't spend any extra money yet. We
are working on a set up to convert the 4 lug FFR to discs without
getting ripped off by SSB. I called them and they treated me (and
others) like dirt. So we developed the conversion. Keep an eye here
Cheers Richard. www.northRoadsters.com"
Brakes - Part 2: click
Brake Lines: click here
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