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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you have ABS (Anti-Lock Brakes) on your roadster? Would you do it again?

How hard is it to setup? Do you just use the donor system?

What about the Traction Control?



Any insight you can offer on ABS and TC would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Nick
 

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I wrote something up about adding SN95 ABS (see sig). Since you mentioned TCS, you are considering a post '95 ABS technology.

I love my ABS, knowing it will always maintain control while steering and braking is a huge plus. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Greg
 

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second to the power steering debate, brakes are the most discussed. the brand, manual vs. power, etc. - going to be a lot of opinions.
  • some say ABS takes the cake
  • some say it's not necessary
  • some say Gordon's Wilwoods are the best (manual, no power)
  • some say Mustang Cobra brakes with Porterfield pads are perfectly adequate
  • some say unless you are a Pro driver going really, really fast, you will not notice the difference between the last two
  • some say any braking system with power brakes take the cake

general consensus is that the Mustang Cobra brakes (manual, no power) are definitely the best for the money.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i know of no roadster with traction control. GTM yes.

cheers,
 

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I like the ABS. Autocrossing, I can just stomp the brakes. On the interstate I hit the brakes as someone started to cut on top of me feeling the ABS keeping the car straight on rough pavement (started to kick to the side).


Have a good balance with 3/4" front and rear masters, manual brakes, Cobra front with Porterfield R4S and Wilwood 4 piston rear.

What I know now, I could have upgraded the cobra rear with HP+ pads and had a good balance.
 

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Mark 3.1 (Sold)
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ABS is totally benign until you need it. I have had mine intercede only twice, and always when I was not expecting it. An unseen slippery patch which I couldn't see, but the ABS stepped in without any problems.. It has never interceded under max braking efforts on normal dry surfaces.
The sensors drop right into the SN95 front spindles. The big problem is mounting the rear sensors and tone rings, as there is no provision in the F5 brake mount plates, and they provide the shorter pre ABS axles. These issues can be overcome.
 

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i believe GregM did the ABS with the narrower setup on the rear axle.
 

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The Greek
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I have them and would do it again.
I have never needed them, but I have tested them in controlled panic stops or wet situations. They work great, and you do not know they are there until you need them.
As far as installation, pretty simple. I used the setup from a 94-95 GT. Spindles, rear axle, ABS module. Electrical power to the module is fairly simple.
 

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Nick,

Here is the best brake thread I've ever found, it ought to be required reading:

http://www.ffcars.com/forums/17-factory-five-roadsters/245120-brake-bias-concern-warning-safety.html

I will tell you that dual master cylinders with the right manual brake pedal will stop the car as fast as anything. A little bit of a heavy pedal (usually), but it will jerk your eyeballs out stopping. In the linked thread above, be sure to pay attention to the challenge series guy who said he could out brake anything on track except for cars with rotors the size of garbage can lids (about page 5)...


ABS is another way to go, here are Gregs' detailed instructions for one way to make that work:

http://www.ffcars.com/forums/17-factory-five-roadsters/268018-detailed-instructions-installing-testing-1994-1995-abs-ffr.html


Heh, reading those two threads should give you plenty to think about...

HTH,

Mike


P.S. Oops, missed that Greg had the link for the ABS thread in his sig...
 

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One thing I take away from discussions on brakes - the donor brakes are not optimum for a roadster. The weight bias is different, which means that the rear brakes on the roadster need to be much larger for the bias they deal with - the car is actually heavier in the rear 49/51 to the donor 60/40.

Another facet of the discussion is the need - because it requires the acceptance of driving faster than the conditions. On public roadways, it should be expected that the worst case can crop up, and the speed moderated accordingly.

Track use, it could be an edge, but not many use it. As for the GTM, it should be considered what class of car it is, and who it sells to. It's a expensive mid engine supercar - it's expected to have ALL the bells and whistles commensurate to attract the buyers with the money.

The anecdotal evidence that it has helped is somewhat less than useful, "I've used them twice" tells us nothing about whether the conditions warranted it. All it's really saying is the system activated, not that the situation was necessarily serious.

One last thought - it's another area of installation and developement. There's not much discussion on how to alter the system to enhance it's operation and improve response to match a car it wasn't designed for. It becomes another layer of parts that can and will become maintenance and cash consumers, plus make the brake bleeding procedure more complicated.

Most builders don't even get the carburetor or suspension sorted out, much less the brakes. It's basically bolt on and the drive under their limits anyway.
 

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Another facet of the discussion is the need - because it requires the acceptance of driving faster than the conditions. On public roadways, it should be expected that the worst case can crop up, and the speed moderated accordingly. I didn't add ABS so I could drive faster than the conditions on public roadways. I added it because my car locked the front wheels too easily and without warning under normal driving conditions with hard braking.

The anecdotal evidence that it has helped is somewhat less than useful, "I've used them twice" tells us nothing about whether the conditions warranted it. My car's max braking stopping distance is always controlled and shorter with ABS. My car will never slide a tire and loose the line through the curve while braking. Many people who have ABS shared the same results.

One last thought - it's another area of installation and developement. There's not much discussion on how to alter the system to enhance it's operation and improve response to match a car it wasn't designed for. It becomes another layer of parts that can and will become maintenance and cash consumers, plus make the brake bleeding procedure more complicated.

There is no way to alter the ABS programming and I don't see the need because it works very well on the FFR as designed. ABS collects wheel rotation speed data (many times a second) during braking and reduces fluid pressure at the calipers (in two stages) when it detects wheel deceleration beyond a threshold. ABS functions as a variable brake proportioning system for Left-Right and Front-Back providing continuous real time bias adjustment. It prevents any or all tires from sliding. I don't see evidence it's a cash consumer. ABS systems are very reliable in the OEM vehicles. 94-95 ABS requires no special consideration when bleeding the brakes. Later ABS requires a diagnostic tool to operate the controller during bleeding.

If you are building from a donor, it's very easy to incorporate the complete ABS to the FFR.

Virtually every performance car with high performance brakes includes ABS in the package. It won't reduce the stopping distance of a perfect brake system on a perfect surface. It will improve the stopping distance and stability on many FFR's with stock brakes and many FFRs using after market performance brakes when the road surface is dicey.

ABS is not the end-all perfect solution for less than optimally designed and balanced brakes, but it brings a lot to the table for very little cost. It's the best MOD I have done.

Greg
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i know of no roadster with traction control. GTM yes.

cheers,
Since I used an 02 donor for my coupe it has both ABS and trac control and I kept the factory over ride for the trac control. I believe it was Jester who built a roadster using both out of a Mustang Bullitt
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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I don't think there is any question that ABS is a tremendous system. The only hesitation I have is if it is used as the only means of keeping the front brakes from locking. If you bring the entire system from a Mustang to an FFR, we know that the car will have way too much front brake. First the system needs to be redone w/ increased rear brake capacity to get good front to rear balance. Then, ABS can then be activated.
 

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First the system needs to be redone w/ increased rear brake capacity to get good front to rear balance.

I don't think there's any problem with capacity for any street / autocross roadster with any of the commonly used stockish rear disk combinations.

The piston sizes of the common calipers definately require a bunch of bias, one way or another....

Mike
 

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Back to the question at hand.

I installed ABS on my Roadster and it was the best mod I did. The biggest challenge (not huge) was installing the rear ABS rings since I was starting with new axles. Again, not hard but after a machine shop broke the first two, I bought a press from Harbor Freight and did it myself.

I chose to modify the stock mounting bracket so that it could be bolted to my FFR frame. Again, not a big job but I did have to use my MIG welder.

Sensor install and plumbing was very easy and by following the instructions that GregM so graciously posted, wiring and test was easy as well.

The cost was not too high. I think I paid less than $200 for the pump plus the sensors and axle rings but I chose to buy a new set of SN95 axles and offset the cost by selling my fox length axles. As Greg proved, you can adapt Fox axles to add an ABS ring but I chose not to.

HTH
Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay.

Thanks for all the replies and great links. I've bookmarked those links for near-future reading.

I've decided that I want ABS. It seems like a fairly easy install.

Now...

To be clear...it seems that the preferred ABS setup is the 94/95 ABS system. Does the ABS system differ that much from later years? Why is 94/95 year desired?

Also, there was a reference to Traction Control not being part of 94/95 ABS...am I reading that correctly? My impression was that the ABS and TC were a combined system. Figured that if it is all a self-contained system, I might as well keep Traction Control too.

Can anyone offer some clarity regarding the difference in ABS systems from different years and inclusion of Traction Control?

Lastly...On a related note...does the computer have anything to do with the ABS system (my donor is a 98 4.6 SOHC), or is the ABS/TC system a stand-alone system?

Thanks again for the amazing advice and speed in which you all offer it.

Nick
 

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My ABS came off of a '95 mustang (I could be wrong but I believe that '96-'98 are the same) and is a 3 channel design. This means that it takes 2 inputs from the master cylinder (normal config for any car) but only has 3 channels out. One brake line goes to both rear wheels (but both have independent sensors) and there is one line each to the right front and left front. You can tell by looking at the number of brake lines coming out of the system. If you see RR/RF/LF only, it is a 3 channel.

I have seen later model ABS controllers that supported 4 channels (independent for all four wheels).

Wiring is completely independent (I have a carb setup with no computer).

HTH
Todd

Okay.

Thanks for all the replies and great links. I've bookmarked those links for near-future reading.

I've decided that I want ABS. It seems like a fairly easy install.

Now...

To be clear...it seems that the preferred ABS setup is the 94/95 ABS system. Does the ABS system differ that much from later years? Why is 94/95 year desired?

Also, there was a reference to Traction Control not being part of 94/95 ABS...am I reading that correctly? My impression was that the ABS and TC were a combined system. Figured that if it is all a self-contained system, I might as well keep Traction Control too.

Can anyone offer some clarity regarding the difference in ABS systems from different years and inclusion of Traction Control?

Lastly...On a related note...does the computer have anything to do with the ABS system (my donor is a 98 4.6 SOHC), or is the ABS/TC system a stand-alone system?

Thanks again for the amazing advice and speed in which you all offer it.

Nick
 

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Why is 94/95 year desired?

Can anyone offer some clarity regarding the difference in ABS systems from different years and inclusion of Traction Control?
The 94/95 year is desired because it is stand alone ABS (seperate from the ECU).

Many ABS units are tied in to the ECU, using the same sensors to do traction control. I decided to navigate away from that set of issues in my build.

Greg knows some of it, I'm sure he + others will chime in.

Good luck,

Mike
 

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94/95 are 3-ch Bosch 2U controllers stand alone with no tie to the ECU and no traction control.

The same ABS controller may span between '94-'98 model years:
1994-1998 Ford Mustang GT ABS Central Controller with Bolts | eBay

I've seen instances where the 94/98 Cobra Mustang and the GT use different controllers.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/96-97-98-Mu...Parts_Accessories&hash=item257570bf90&vxp=mtr

Then there's the 94-98 Mustang V6 version..
http://www.ebay.com/itm/94-95-96-97...its=Model:Mustang&hash=item3f1c099348&vxp=mtr

And one for the 94-95 GT and 95 Cobra...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/94-95-FORD-...Parts_Accessories&hash=item1c275cb916&vxp=mtr

The post 95 4-ch controllers are available with and w/o TCS...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/99-00-01-02...Parts_Accessories&hash=item19b5d86efa&vxp=mtr

Call MPS Auto salvage in GA and pick their brain on which years would best fit your objective.

Greg
 
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