Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Latemodel Restoration Five Lug Cobra Brake Kit - Five-Lug Fever
Cobra brakes cut stopping distances, wide tires improve grip, new wheels bring the bling—and thanks to Latemodel Restoration, it all bolts on.
Moving under the hood, the LRS kit even comes with a ’93 Cobra master cylinder, Maximum Motorsports 3-2 port conversion unit, and a FRPP rear proportioning valve. The bigger master helps decrease pedal pressure since you’re now moving a ton more fluid, and the proportioning valve helps balance braking forces because the rear discs have much more bite than the stock drums.
We turned to Stanton Performance in Martinez, California, for some guidance. Shop owner Jeremy Stanton is a serious mechanic, and even a trained chemist, so installing the LatemodelRestoration.com bolt-on five-lug kit was child’s play. Although the installation is nearly a remove-and-replace affair, plan for at least one full day to complete the process since you’ll be upgrading many parts. Thankfully, Latemodel Restoration.com has a three-part article on its site with detailed step-by-step instructions should you have any head-scratching moments.
After the install, remember to properly bleed the brakes of any air–this may take several rounds since you’re starting with so many new components. Bench-bleeding the master cylinder can expedite the process. After the air is purged from the system, it’s time to bed in the brakes, which means making repetitive stops from 60-5 mph, near threshold braking. This will ensure that proper pad material will transfer to the rotors for better performance and less noise. Be sure not to come to a complete stop or you can glaze the pads.
Baby’s Got New Shoes
With the five-lug setup done, our trusty 10-holes no longer fit our Fox, so LatemodelRestoration.com saved us from disaster again with 17-inch chrome ’03-’04 Cobra replica wheels. These wide rollers measure a stout 9 inches wide, allowing for serious rubber choices. With an offset and backspacing of 26-plus mm and 6.02 inches, we’ll easily tuck wide meats on all corners.
The Cobra wheels are available in chrome, black, or machined face with a deep lip, and also come in 10.5-inch should you want 315s out back. We opted for the chrome to take your eyes off the weathered SSP body and transfer the focus onto the good stuff—what’s underneath.
New rims are nothing without proper rubber, so we had Ace Tire Company in Martinez, California, spoon on Mickey Thompson Street Comp tires. These Ultra High Performance summer tires offer the grip of Tier 1 tires at the price of a Tier 2 model, which means we’re winning on all fronts. They won’t break the bank, and stick like glue thanks to an asymmetric tread design and a sticky, yet long-lived UTOG rating of 300 AA A, which means the Street Comps will perform well at the limit and still last tens of thousands of miles. We opted for 275/40-17s on all corners for increased traction. In the coming issues, we’ll highlight the necessary modifications needed to tuck the wide meats up front.
Putting It To The Test
Although the following was a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison since we couldn’t test the new brakes on the same 15-inch Pirelli tires used with the stock setup, it’s still pertinent information because the brake and tire upgrades significantly cut down stopping distances.
With our Racelogic VBOX, we made four consecutive panic stops from 60-mph-to-0 and recorded the results. The stock setup was startlingly horrible, as stopping distances were longer than a 10,000-pound F-350 Duelie. If that wasn’t bad enough, with each test the pedal got softer and softer until it was on the floor. Lets also not forget that with each baseline test the distances increased by a considerable margin.
With the Latemodel Restoration big brake kit, matching 17-inch wheels, and Mickey Thompson tires, pedal feel was firm and consistent, and the combo not only shaved 54 feet of the first test, but the subsequent tests were all within a few feet. This means brake fade was virtually nonexistent and stopping distances were seriously decreased.
While these numbers are impressive on paper, in reality the 54-plus feet is the difference between rear-ending a car in traffic and stopping short.
|60-0 Braking Test|
|Stock||Latemodel Restoration SVE-2300K|