April 1, 2008

Put Your Brakes To Bed

Q I recently upgraded the brakes on my '05 GT with SSBC's Force 10 Tri-Power system. A friend of mine asked me if I bedded the brake pads, but I don't have a clue how to do it or why it needs to be done. I didn't see anything in the paperwork that came with the kit, so I hope you can help me.

I definitely don't want my baby to keep on rolling when I hit the brakes. Thanks!
Parker Jameson
Denver, CO

A "Bedding" a 'Stang's brake pads is usually the final task in a brake-system upgrade or simple servicing. It's basically done as a method of cleaning organic elements from the pads, and to develop solid contact and friction between the pads and rotors (pad material actually transfers onto the rotors).

The bedding process is easy enough for most do-it-yourself enthusiasts to handle. First, drive to a large, open/low-traffic area such as an office-complex parking lot or industrial area-we recommend doing this during a weekend. Next, perform a series (about 10 each) of light, moderate, and hard stops that include approximately 30 seconds between each stop to allow the brakes to cool.

Bedding the brake pads will definitely promote great performance and long life for your 'Stang's new stoppers!

When Old Is Still New

Q A good friend of mine is giving me a chance to buy his engine as a complete assembly. It's a D.S.S. 306 long-block, and everything else needed to drop it in my '88 LX has been installed.

Here's my problem: Even though this engine has never been used or installed, it has been sitting in my buddy's basement for almost four years. Do you think there will be anything wrong with this engine if I buy it and put it directly into my car?

I'm just worried about getting stuck with an engine that has problems because it wasn't used immediately after it was built.
Dominic Conte
Astoria, NY

A We don't think you'll have any problem with the engine, as it's technically still new. However, you say it's stored in a basement. That brings the terms damp and moisture to the front of our minds. There are a few precautionary things you should do prior to firing the new bullet.

First, depending on how the engine was stored (sealed or fully covered), spray or pour a little oil in each cylinder through the spark plug holes in both heads. Use a breaker bar and socket to manually turn the engine over a few times and ensure that it spins smoothly.

Next, remove the distributor and valve covers, and prime the oiling system using a drill motor with Summit Racing Equipment's oil pump primer (PN 901011; $12.95) or a long-extension/socket combination to spin the oil pump. While the sight of oil pumping through the valvetrain is a good indicator that the engine is probably fine, we also recommend installing a gauge to monitor oil pressure while the system is being primed.

Finally, look for oil leaks at the oil pan (rails, front/rear main seals), as it's possible that gaskets or seals may have dried out while the engine was being stored. If you need to replace a seal or two, it's better to find out while the engine is on a stand instead of after you've dropped it into your 'Stang's engine compartment.

Cool Runnin'

Q I read your article in the Aug. issue ("Final Exam," p. 164) and saw that the T-top coupe project car was running at 180 degrees on the street. What combination of radiator, fan (electric or not), water pump, and antifreeze did you use? Was it a Meziere electric water pump? I have a hard time keeping mine below 195 degrees with the air on. I just need to find out the manufacturers and the part numbers; I have a similar setup that I want to keep cooler. Thanks.
Via e-mail

A We ran our T-top coupe on the street as time permitted this summer, and its Keith Craft 347 (www.keithcraft.com) ran comfortably cool (below 200 degrees) on seriously hot days.

The 180-degree engine temperature was recorded in March when the ambient temperature in Los Angeles area's San Fernando Valley was nowhere near the triple digits that are considered normal between July and September, so your 195-degree temperature actually is on par with our engine's summer heat index.

The coupe's cooling system is comprised of an Afco/Meziere radiator-fan-and-water-pump combination that was developed by Afco. The Performance Series direct-fit, two-row aluminum radiator (PN 80270FN) with a fan and shroud features an optional, built-in, high-flow, electric water pump by Meziere (PN WP362; www.meziere.com).

We think the Evans Cooling System (www.evanscooling.com) NPG coolant we're pumping through the project-car's stroker is one of the bigger contributors to sustaining good temperature in big-time heat. The NPG coolant isn't water-based and has a higher boiling point than conventional coolant, meaning it creates less vapor and cools more effectively.