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The Ultimate Budget Road Race Brake Upgrade
Track ready brake upgrades with Baer Brakes, ARP, & Maximum Motorsports
The concept of brakes is very simple but often go overlooked when building a car for any form of motorsports. Hydraulic pressure pushing on pistons that in turn push brake pads against a rotor surface might seem basic, but there’s more going on in your braking system then you can imagine.
Heat is the number one enemy of any braking system. Heat can dramatically decrease braking performance, crack rotors, and destroy brake pads. Conversely, a properly operating braking system allows for quicker lap times and a reduced chance of dying, which is always good.
A 2012-2013 Boss 302 (and Performance Pack GT variants) came equipped with a four-piston front brake upgrade. The 14-inch rotors and 4-piston calipers nets a remarkable 108 feet of stopping power from 60 mph, but it’s repeatability that we are after. The factory rotors are blank, and Ford equips Mustangs with street friendly pads that don’t hold up to heat all that well.
Baer’s Eradispeed rotors feature a curved vane rotor ring mounted to a 6061-T6 billet aluminum center hat using NAS aircraft hardware. Not only are these rotors a direct bolt-on replacement, they feature improved cooling, reduced weight, and enhanced appearance. The rear Eradispeed+1 rotor upgrade includes a 1-inch larger rotor and billet aluminum adaptor brackets to properly space the caliper. Baer says that this upsize is worth increased brake torque due to increased diameter, better cooling with the curved vane design, and enhanced appearance.
Baer options their rotor upgrades as blanks, slotted, and drilled/slotted. According to Rick Elam at Baer, “It really it comes down to use. Surface modifications (drilling, dimpling, slotting) was all done for pad outgassing. While this still occurs, it is nowhere near as frequent and bad as it used to be. We like to keep as much mass in the rotor as possible (as it is a heatsink) so for serious track use we would recommend a slot only.”
The Boss 302 was equipped with low expansion brake lines from the factory but we were after zero expansion lines. Enter Maximum Motorsports’ stainless brake line kits. The lines a PTFE lining that does not expand under pressure, resulting in a firmer pedal feel with quicker brake response. These lines are a direct replacement that includes fluid bolts and sealing washers.
When it comes to breaking down a braking system there’s a few components to consider; rotors, pads, lines, and wheel studs. While wheel studs don’t provide a braking performance advantage, they do offer a piece of mind in means of safety and are easy to install during a brake job. ARP’s 3-inch 8740 chromoly steel is rated to 190,000 psi of tensile strength and is cadmium plated for durability.
|PN 0901003||Front Eradispeed+ Performance Pack/GT500 4-piston/Boss 302 slotted rotors|
|PN 0901003||Rear Eradispeed+2 slotted rotors|
|PN MM5BK1F||Maximum Motorsports Stainless Front Brake Line Kit|
|PN MM5BK1R||Maximum Motorsports Stainless Rear Brake Line Kit|
|PN 100-7722||ARP Front Wheel Studs|
|PN 100-7723||ARP Rear Wheel Studs|
1. While most people know Baer for their big brake upgrades, they also offer rotor kits through their Eradispeed lineup. Part of that line includes their +1-inch rotor upgrades that include new billet caliper brackets to help properly space everything for the larger rotors.
2. The Boss 302 comes with low expansion factory rubber lines but we wanted zero expansion stainless steel lines. Maximum Motorsports has a full array of stainless brake line kits for most Mustang generations.
3. An easy upgrade with a bit of security built in is ARP’s wheel studs. The longer studs allow for additional engagement on extended lug nuts and make installing wheels easier. Also the hardened alloy helps resist sheering.
4. Our 60,000 mile old stock rotors were so beat, they developed a lip on the outside of the rotor surface, which made it very hard to remove the calipers.
5. First order of business was removing the factory brake lines. Maximum Motorsports provides a cap to help curb leaking brake fluid.
6. We recommend removing the roll pins from the caliper before removing the actual caliper. Something small like a screwdriver or punch is all you need with a little dead blow persuasion.
7. Two 15mm bolts and the caliper comes off. Don’t forget to unclip the brake line from the ABS sensor harness and the single bolt on the back of the strut.
8. A C-clamp makes easy work of compressing the caliper’s pistons ahead of installing new pads. Put a small cup on the other end of the brake line to catch the brake fluid as it backs out.
9. The factory studs come out with a few smacks of a hammer. Be careful not to do this near the ABS sensor.
10. Use a stack of washers, open ended lug nut, and a breaker bar to get the wheel stud fully seated. A pry bar wedged against the floor and lug nuts helps prevent the spindle from spinning. Also, if you have an impact, it will make the job easier.
11. We were able to shave 3.4 pounds of each side of the front of our Boss 302 due to the weight savings from the two-piece Eradispeed rotor. Note the directional sticker on the rotor.
12. With new pads loaded into the calipers we made quick work of reassembling the fronts. Now it’s time to get the rear brakes sorted!
13. Two caliper bolts and two more caliper bracket bolts were all we needed to disassemble the rear braking system. A 13mm wrench made quick work of removing the rear brake lines.
14. A window in the rearend allows for a place to install our ARP extended wheel studs from.
15. Baer’s billet adaptor bracket uses the factory hardware that connects to the rearend housing and new, supplied bolts for the caliper. This bracket spaces the caliper one-inch higher to allow for the larger Eradispeed rotor.
16. Before installing fresh brake pads you’ll need a box caliper tool to spin the caliper back in.
17. Maximum Motorsports brake line kit comes with everything you need, including plastic standoffs to attach the ABS line to the brake line.
18. And that does it; with the rear calipers completed we’re that much closer to getting this Boss back on track.