October 2, 2009

Aerospace Components
This St. Petersburg, Florida, based company got its start as a government contractor, primarily in defense systems and space station components--hence the logical name. Long known as a major player in the hard-core drag racing world, we were surprised to learn that Aerospace now sells as many of its street-friendly Pro Street brake systems as its drag-race-specific items, and offers both for virtually every generation of Mustang.

Aerospace is proud to say that nearly all its brake components are manufactured in house, which, in addition to its standard product line, means the company can offer custom applications as well. Even road race brake systems are available, though the drag and street product lines are the dominant sellers.

Beyond brake kits, Aerospace's racy product line includes items such as vacuum pumps, battery and nitrous bottle mounting kits, cooling and fuel system components, and much more.

Sample pricing direct from Aerospace Components:
'79-'93 Mustang, HD front drag race kit, 10.25-inch/four-piston calipers, $635
'79-'94 Mustang manual brake conversion, $159

Aerospace Components
(727) 347-9915

Differing Demands
Reflecting a near constant in life, when it comes to brake systems, there is clearly no "one size fits all" solution. The unique demands of specific vehicle genres means optimal performance will come from a product uniquely designed for the application, and perhaps nowhere is this more evident in the contrast between drag race and road race brakes.

One common thread between these two sports is the minimizing of weight. Thusly the use of lightweight materials, such as aluminum calipers and rotor hats, is the norm. For drag applications, manufacturers often offer guidance for the suitability of their product based on vehicle weight. For example, Wilwood's DPS Front Drag Race kits offers what would be laughable to any road racer, but is perhaps the perfect setup for drag racers with a car of no more than 2,400 lbs. This kit features minimalist 10x0.32-inch drilled solid rotors and lightweight two-piston billet calipers, which, if apropos for your dedicated race car, claims an average weight reduction of 35 pounds over the stock equipment. A bit heavier than the DPS setup, but appropriate for heavier cars, is Wilwood's DPR drag race brakes with four-piston calipers, and either 11.75x0.35-inch solid rotors, or 11.75x0.81 vented rotors depending on application. To be sure, there are factors to consider beyond weight, i.e. top speed of the vehicle, rear brake componentry, parachutes, and so on, but weight is surely a primary consideration when choosing the right brakes for your ride--drag race or otherwise.

Contrast the Wilwood drag kits to Griggs Racing's 4 on 4 road race kit, with beefy vented rotors measuring 13.5x1.25 inches, and NASCAR derived four-piston aluminum calipers. This comparison provides a glimpse to the vastly different demands and design priorities between drag and road racing equipment, and hints at the compromises which have to be made when building an "all around" performer.