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Wilwood Engineering Superlite Brake Kit - Brake It Down
We ditch our Coyote coupe’s stock brakes and replace them with Wilwood Engineering’s Superlite brake kit.
Take a moment and imagine sitting behind the steering wheel of your Stang. You're barreling down the straightaway at (insert your favorite road coarse here) with your foot to the floor, scorching well past the tripple-digit mark. Adrenaline is flowing, sweat slowly drips down your eyelids, and all you can hear is the exhaust screaming a fine tune.
Seemingly, at the very blink of an eye, you begin to slip back down into reality. As you're just approaching turn X, immediately your gut sinks in, almost as if there's no air to breathe, and at that very moment you realize there are no brakes.
Sure, this may sound like a horrific nightmare, but it can and does happen. Brakes are one thing that you never want to lose. Often times as horsepower junkies, we get caught up in the crazy antics of building high-powered machines. Horsepower is a key component to any build, but what about all the rest. Is safety not a concern? If you have big power, the factory brakes will lose their edge, potentially leaving you vulnerable.
Our Coyote coupe has been centered around the idea of building a well-rounded Stang that could accelerate, corner, and stop. Editor Smith plans to hit the road course frequently, and casual rides to the office are also primary reasons why we choose some of the aftermarket's best parts.
Having been in the industry for 36-plus years, Wilwood Engineering was our go-to for our stopping needs. We explained our plans to Wilwood, and its recommendation was the Superlite six-piston front brake caliper kit with four-piston rears.
"The Superlite brake kits have been on the market for over 10 years and have proven to be very successful on both street and track vehicles," said, Dustin Burr at Wilwood Engineering. "The Superlite line has been reengineered, now featuring a forged body, allowing for a much stronger piece, but for a less expensive price. It offers a huge upgrade in brake torque through the use of high- friction brake pads, large 14-inch rotors, and fixed-mounted calipers."
Before we could turn a wrench, we needed to address a few things. Our factory brakes lines were rusty and needed to be replaced. Starting from scratch, we decided to make new ones. Making brake lines isn't the easiest thing to do, and helping us out was Classic Tube. Classic Tube has been in business for over 24 years and specializes in tubing products for brakes, fuel systems, and transmissions. We've had huge success with them in the past and were naturally our first choice.
Tim Slattery from Classic Tube recommended we form a template using wire with the same gauge as a coat hanger. Opting for the wire coat hanger method, we used about 10 coat hangers to form a template. Associate Editor Marc Christ straightened each hanger and slowly bent and measured each piece to fit where needed. Instead of placing the brake lines across the front of the firewall like factory, we choose to run the lines through the cowl of our coupe.
With our mock-up template pieces complete, we sent them to Classic Tube. With a two-week turn around, we had our new stainless steel brake lines back in no time, and fitment was spot-on with our measurements.
Before we could begin throwing on our new Superlite brakes, we needed to install our Chris Alston's Chassisworks 9-inch rearend housing. If you've been following along with our Coyote project, you might remember our story on this ("Strange New Approach," July '12). In case you missed it, Strange Engineering supplied us with new 35-spline axles, bearings, a aluminum center section (PN PRF180; $2,030.50), and its new S-Trac differential (PN N1982; $995) fitted with 4.57 gears. This should be strong enough to handle both our corner carving and dragstrip visits.
Now, follow along as we get down and dirty to show you how easy and important it is to give your brakes an overhaul for unbelievable stopping power. And stay tuned for part 2 of our brake install in next month's issue, where we explain pedal ratio and the benefits to switching to manual brakes.