Additional photos Courtesy of Gillis Performance Restorations
It's all too easy to add horsepower to our classic cars, and that's usually the first thing we go after when modifying them. If you have done any sort of road racing or autocrossing, you'll certainly appreciate what a high-performance brake system offers. However, most enthusiasts are just as happy when the car just stops, not caring how quickly it does it. Upgrading to a high- performance braking system like the Track4 system from Baer Brakes will provide you with that adequate stopping power, and quite a bit more. It also makes a big statement behind your favorite wheel/tire upgrade.
Oftentimes people have upgraded said wheels and tires before they dive into brake modifications, so you'll want to check with the brake company to see if they have a template for you to test fit in your wheels. Baer offers these for all of its brake systems, and has quite a bit of experience with many of the popular wheel manufacturers.
Once you've established which brake kit fits behind your hoops, you can get to the ordering and subsequent installing of the big binders. Baer includes everything you need to bolt its brake system to your car, and if Baer doesn't already have a part number for your particular vehicle, the company can pretty much build you one to spec.
The staff at Baer recommended the Track4 kit for our subject restomod, a '68 Mustang coupe. With an upgraded EFI powerplant, aftermarket suspension, and a plus-sized wheel/tire combo, the only thing it's lacking is big brakes. Not any more.
1. We found a suitable brake system candidate in the form of Rusty Gillis’ ’68 Mustang restomod coupe. With EFI power and an aftermarket suspension, the factory braking system was simply not adequate. Here, we’re starting with the bare Rod & Custom spindle. Baer can put its brakes on just about anything, so it doesn’t matter if you have drum, disc, or aftermarket spindles. Just let them know what you’re working with.
2. Step one is to mount the brake caliper brackets with the included hardware.
3. Baer also includes a number of shims so you can get the caliper centered over the rotor properly. Here you can see Gillis has employed a number of shims to get the alignment correct.
4. The bearing hub goes on next. Secure it with a cotter pin and then install the included billet aluminum dust cap to seal it up and make it look good.
5. Gillis places the EradiSpeed rotor on next, and uses a lug nut to hold it in place. Zinc plating on the rotors will keep them looking great for years to come, while the slotting and drilling aids in shedding heat and water, thus improving braking performance under heavy use and in the wet.
6. Two bolts secure the caliper, and once it is fixed in place, check to make sure that it is centered over the rotor. Here, Gillis uses feeler gauges to verify front and back measurements. Make sure the pads are firmly and squarely against the caliper when doing this to ensure an accurate measurement.
7. Once the caliper and rotor were installed, Baer asked us to measure for the hoses. A 16-inch hose up front was ideal for our application. We went with 13-inch pieces out back.
8. With the brake lines on, the front system is complete. Baer utilizes pads from the fourth-generation Camaro/Firebird platform, so there is a large selection to choose from down the road.
9. As we had verified wheel fitment using Baer’s template, we wanted to show you how much clearance we had with the wheel and brake assembly together. With the shallow backspacing common to wheels that fit classic cars, it can be difficult to fit larger brakes on your vintage ride, but using a template will tell you yes or know without having to buy or install any parts. We had plenty of clearance between the T4 calipers and the Edelbrock 454 wheels.
10. Moving to the back of the car, Ford enthusiasts get to remove the axles to install the rear brakes. These SS4 units from Baer incorporate an internal parking brake that resides in the back of the rotor. Just bolt on the backing plate and reinstall your axle shaft.
11. The calipers mount to the back of the backing plate with the provided hardware.
12. Once again, shims come into play to make sure everything is centered up. It’s hard to see in this photo, but Gillis has spaced the caliper bracket just slightly off of the backing plate.
13. With 13-inch rotors up front, and these 12-inchers at the back, this coupe will not be wanting for stopping power.
14. At the rear, we used 13-inch brake lines from Baer. The stainless steel braided line offers a firmer and more responsive pedal feel than stock rubber hoses. Don’t forget to use the provided copper banjo bolt washers on both sides of the banjo bolt, otherwise you may spring a leak.
15. Baer’s parking brake cable kit (PN 6801205) fits ’67-’73 Mustangs, and they simply connect to the back of the backing plate/parking brake assembly.
16. Noticeably smaller than the T4 calipers at the front of the car, the SS4 calipers do a fine job at the stern, where the braking demands are considerably less.
17. We thought the 454 wheels were pretty trick, but the bright and big binders from Baer seem to steel the show a bit. Regardless, this restomod is ready to keep its late-model powerplant in check.