Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
March 5, 2018

In the search for quicker acceleration, Mustang owners often add power as the first measure of attack. Next comes improvements to traction, and finally, it’s common to beef up the drivetrain to handle the increased forces developed during a hard launch. And with that mission complete you can pour on the power and enjoy the thrill of being planted in the seat. Eventually, however, you’ll have to haul your pony from speed and get it safely stopped.

In order to drive your modified Mustang with confidence, you’ll need improved brakes and Baer Brake Systems has a great solution with it SS4+ Deep Stage Drag Race brake kit. The kit is easy enough to bolt on in your driveway, it retails for under $900 and is perfect for street driving and/or drag racing.

The SS4+ Deep Stage Drag Race brake kit has many benefits, it shaves weight and in many cases it will improve brake feel and performance. “The reason the kit was developed was straight forward,” said Bill Fowler VP of development at Baer Brakes. “We wanted to take modern cars and design a lighter brake package that allowed 15-inch wheels. We figured out how to get that done. The kit uses a four-piston caliper so it can put the squeeze on the rotor at the track or on the street. In fact, it can stop cars running 7s without a parachute. Major benefits are reduced weight and reduced centrifugal mass. And we still use a more traditional vented rotor on the front that will keep you safe in any kind of road driving conditions. They won’t fade and you get a brake upgrade over traditional braking performance,” he added.

Baer’s SS4+ kit includes attractive 4-piston, S4 calipers, 11-inch 2-piece slotted, drilled, and zinc plated rotors and all the mounting hardware. The calipers feature D.O.T-compliant dust and weather seals and use the popular DR1 or HB100 type brake pads. “The calipers are assembled with 10mm cross bolts for maximum stiffness, stainless steel abutments and noise suppression springs, hard anodized aluminum pistons and have a internal crossover design, dual seals (dust/weather and pressure) to meet D.O.T specifications and a machined logo that is hand painted,” added Fowler. Rotors are pre-assembled with NAS high-grade stainless hardware and the kit uses common 4-piston pad for easy replacements.

“The SS4+ Deep Stage system is the first drag race system designed specifically for heavy, fast cars that might also see street use,” stated Fowler, “In addition to a well-thought-out design, we used a square seal that causes the pistons to retract as soon as you get off the brake pedal. This eliminates drag and gives you extra performance. The caliper is a two-piece unit that’s fully machined in Phoenix and we make everything right here at Baer. We even make the pistons from stainless steel alloys for the calipers. The body of the caliper is forged, machined, and then finished with powder coating that is offered in silver, black or red colors, but they are available in a full range of colors for a small up-charge from our Baer Custom Shop. And the 11-inch SS4+ Deep Stage system fits most 15-inch and larger wheels, too,” he added.

To get a better look at the kit, we followed True Street and Tremec Stick Shift Shootout competitor Jeff Smith who upgraded the stock brakes on Competition Orange SVT Cobra with combination of the Baer SS4+ Deep Stage Drag Race front kit and EradiSpeed rotors on the rear. (Baer doesn’t currently offer the Deep Stage kit for the rear of 1999-2004 IRS-equipped Mustangs.) Smith’s Mustang has touched 9s in the quarter, but he’s looking for every advantage on his street-driven Steed. So, he decided to improve on the stock Cobra brakes with this kit. Smith turned to VMP Performance in New Smyrna Beach, Florida for the install, where lead tech Mike Weedin handled the swap in just over an hour—even with us poking in for photos.

“Smith will notice a reduction in weight and not give up any braking performance,” said Fowler. “We offer our bolt-on kit for the front, but on the rear of 1999-2004 Mustangs with an IRS, the only thing available is a rotor swap. In this case we recommended the EradiSpeed rotors, which are lighter than stock and use a proprietary material with a higher co-efficient of friction for better braking. On non-IRS Mustang we offer a single-caliper or a staging brake, which is a dual caliper. The advantage on the latter is for greater control of staging, especially on big-power turbo cars,” he added.

The SS4+ Deep Stage Drag Race front kit proved to be affordable, lightweight and is offered with a nice level of customization/personalization. Everything was included for a quick and easy install, save for brake fluid, which you’ll need to bleed the brakes once you’re finished. And as we mentioned, Baer offers kits for every year Mustang, from 1964-present, but there are differences so we recommend heading to www.baer.com for more details.

1. Baer Brake Systems’ SS4+ Deep Stage front Drag Race brake kit comes with new 11-inch rotors, lightweight calipers and all the hardware. The rotors feature a 6061 T-6 billet aluminum hat (anodized black). We added EradiSpeed rear rotors to save a few extra pounds.

2. Here’s a look at the stock Cobra brakes behind the Weld front wheels.

3. Cobra brakes are known as being pretty efficient, but they’re not the best for a 9-second street/strip Mustang. The Baer rotors measure 11-inches in diameter. Unlike dedicated drag race brakes, the EradiSpeed rotors in this kit are vented and robust enough to handle street duty without fading.

4. Mike Weedin got started by unbolting the factory Cobra calipers.

5. One path to quicker acceleration is to reduce mass, especially rotating mass. The stock rotor came in at 19.80 lbs.

6. The Baer rotors are much lighter at 12.50 lbs.

7. The Deep Stage kit includes Baer’s four-piston calipers. Baer makes these calipers in its facility in Phoenix, including the two-piece body and the stainless steel pistons. The base kit comes in silver, black or red, but they are available in a full range of colors for a small up-charge from the Baer Custom Shop.

8. With the stock brakes removed, Weedin inspected the hub and the threads on the studs and for the caliper bolts.

9. He then slipped the new SS4+ rotors onto the spindle and he made sure they seated properly against the hub.

10. Next, Weedin inspected the new calipers, including the brake pads to ensure they were seated.

11. And then he slipped the caliper into place over the rotor.

12. It’s important to use the caliper mounting hardware included in the kit (right). The factory bolts are longer and will not properly secure the Baer rotors.

13. Weedin is seen here tightening the new caliper bolts. With the bolts in place, he made certain the rotors spun freely.

14. At this point we installed the new brake lines. Weedin left the stock caliper and brake hose connected to prevent excessive brake fluid loss and to limit the possibility of air entering the system. Here he is seen disconnecting the line from the caliper.

15. Brake lines can be difficult to remove; we recommend always using a line wrench rather than a standard open-end wrench when working with brake lines.

16. Once the nut is loose, the line can be separated. Weedin lifted out the retaining clip and the line was removed from the car.

17. He quickly connected the new brake hose to the dedicated line. Then he attached the opposite end to the caliper.

18. Next he connected the other end of the brake hose to the caliper.

19. After starting the bolt by hand, he tightened to Baer’s specifications.

20. The factory front calipers come in at 8.50 pounds per side.

21. The Baer SS4+ calipers are four pounds lighter (per side) then the factory SVT Cobra calipers.

22. The completed assembly is 11.30 pounds lighter (per side) for a total weight savings of 22.60 pounds.

23. Jeff Smith’s Cobra is still equipped with the factory IRS; unfortunately, Baer does not make a complete kit for the rear of these cars. We did, however, lighten the load by installing Baer’s EradiSpeed rear rotors.

24. After unbolting the caliper, Weedin removed the brake pads and the caliper bracket.

25. He then removed the stock rear rotors.

26. And then he slipped the EradiSpeed rotors into place. Weight savings was 2.50 pounds per side or 5.00 pounds total.

27. Next, the caliper bracket was reinstalled along with new brake pads.

28. It’s imperative that you properly seat the pistons in the rear calipers before installation. This requires a special tool that twists the piston as it presses it back into the caliper. Failure to use this procedure can damage the seal.

29. With the piston seated, the caliper can be set into place and the bolts tightened.

30. With the brakes installed, the final procedure was to bleed the brakes, mount the wheels and drive the car to bed in the new rotors and pads. Every Baer Brake Systems kit comes with instructions that describe the procedure for proper bedding of the brakes.

31. Smith was pleased with the performance and the extra clearance in the rear thanks to new rear brake lines provided by Stifflers Chassis and Suspension.

32. Baer Brake Systems’ SS4+ Deep Stage Drag Race brake kit will add performance and style to any Mustang. This kit is offered for 1964-2018 Mustangs.