John McBride
March 1, 2009

Since its inception in 1964, the Mustang formula has always been about cheap, fast power combined with muscular styling. The Fox-body Mustang delivers in both these areas, much like the classic muscle of the '60s and '70s. Fox cars are easy to work on, and it doesn't take much to make them an all-out street terror.

But like classic muscle, when it comes time to slowin' things down, this is also a weak point for the venerable Fox-body Mustang. We've known this for years, and have found many solutions to the Fox brake problem. Of course you can go the big-buck route, but that doesn't always suit the majority of owners. So, as you'll see, we found a better way to improve braking with out breaking the bank.

For this install we utilized a Scarlet Red '88 Mustang GT five-speed hatchback. The author purchased this car a year ago for just $3,800 and with only 97,000 original miles on the clock. Other than the ram-air hood, it was bone stock, clean, and solid.

After about a year of driving 60 miles a day on a 20-year-old suspension and with anemic brakes, I knew it was time to do something. The brakes were in need of replacement and after a lot of research and consideration, I decided that an affordable way to upgrade the brakes on the Fox body was an SN-95 disc brake conversion.

The SN-95 conversion is a great way to upgrade the braking capability of any Fox body. And, since we'll be ditching the 4-lug wheels for a 5-lug setup, wheel choices will be almost endless. For daily driving duties, I picked up a new set of 17x8 Bullitt wheels, along with a set of used, but almost new 17-inch Z-rated tires totaling up to only $550.

Like every Mustang I own, this Fox will eventually find its way to a dragstrip for some straight-line fun. Although I'm leaning towards the handling direction with this '88 GT, a good set of skinnies and some fat tires out back always helps to knock a few tenths off. In addition, Mustangs look really wicked with "big and little" tires mounted up.

I wanted something a little different than what most guys had on their Stangs, and when I saw the new Billet Specialties Street Lite wheels, I knew right away they'd do the trick. Designed for the street or strip, the Street Lite wheels are SFI 15-1 approved, lightweight, and features an outstanding strength-to-weight ratio.

These 15-inch Street Lites are absolutely gorgeous and combine a polished and machined finish for an aggressive look. Sizes range from 15x3.5 to 15x15, and they accept mag shank lug nuts and can be used with 5?8-inch racing studs.

Now that I have a nice set of drag wheels, I'm going to need some tires to make things stick out back. I decided go with a set of Nitto 555R drag radials since this car needs to be streetable, and I want to keep my stock 8.8 rearend in one piece. I've consistently dropped as much as three-tenths of a second in the quarter-mile and improved 60-foot times by as much as two-tenths on a couple stock 5.0 Mustangs. Not bad for a street tire that I got 15,000 miles out of along with a few burnouts at the strip.

Before you drop a lot of money on wheels and tires, you need to measure twice and spend once. If you're like me, you want to get the widest possible wheels and tires on your Fox-body. especially out back. The North Race Cars Fox-Length Rear Axle Kit is just the ticket. You can order the complete rear axle kit, which includes the Fox-length axles, laser-cut caliper brackets, bracket bolts, new e-brake cables, and rear brake line fittings. These parts are also offered separately. What's great about this kit is it will fit most popular aftermarket and OEM 9-inch-wide rear wheels, and a 275-width tire inside the rear fenderwells with no clearance issues at the wheelwell lip, unlike the stock SN-95 rear axles which pushes the track width out about a -inch further on each side.