Eric English
September 1, 2009
For street or track use, there's no denying the benefits of a quality brake upgrade for your Mustang or Ford, just ask the people who rode shotgun in the Year One Track Car!

Since its inception, Ford's Mustang has always been known as a sporty and affordable set of wheels, with appeal across a broad demographic. Of late, you could argue the point of affordability for the top performance models, but these aside, the emphasis continues to this very day. Of course an obvious downside to affordability is that few factory components are ready for the rigors of hard-core performance use, but on the other hand, upgrades have long been easy and plentiful.

Nowhere is this situation truer than with the Mustang's brakes. Factory components have ranged from the barely passable ('60s era four-wheel drums, Fox disc/drums), to decent (SN-95-S197), but rarely stellar. Not to worry, as there has never been an era where a wider variety of brake upgrades were available-for both classic and current Mustangs. It seems that every Mustang website or catalog now has a large offering of brake kits/components, reflecting a recognition that stop and go power should receive equal emphasis. On the following pages you'll see a sampling of the products on the market, some of which you'll be familiar with, others perhaps less so. Our focus herein isn't to cover vendors who sell great brake packages as a part of their broad product line, rather we've tuned in on manufacturers, as well as businesses that have created something more customized or unique. You may also notice the absence of brake upgrades that mandate extensive suspension mods like strut or Mustang II-style arrangements. Great as these setups may be, they're not the bolt-on brake upgrade we're seeking to cover here.

To give a feel for the cash layout that might be involved in some of the covered upgrades, we've tried to include some street prices for various kits. One word of warning however, some kits are more or less inclusive than others. Don't necessarily discount a given product because the price seems too high-it may be an all inclusive swap kit rather than a basic setup that will still require pads, hoses, master cylinders, and other necessities. Read on, do your homework, and develop a plan for adding phenomenal braking power to your Mustang. No matter the era, you won't be disappointed!

Much of Baer's latest and greatest are pictured here-the four-piston T4, the six-piston 6P, and the monoblock six-piston 6S/6R. Baer's Todd Gartshore explained that the new T4 is price competitive with the PBR calipers in many Serious Street kits, and thus will be offered when clearance for a four-piston caliper is available.

Baer Brake Systems
Go to any car show or track event, and you'll undoubtedly run into numerous vehicles equipped with Baer brake products. From a humble start in 1986, Hal Baer and company have morphed into a leader in the performance brake aftermarket, offering a wide variety of upgrades for both classic and late-model Mustangs-and virtually every other car under the sun.

While PBR calipers have been a mainstay in Baer kits for years, they now make up a minority of the product line-used now primarily when clearance issues dictate. In-house designed and manufactured Baer calipers have become the units of choice, in a variety of four- and six-piston configurations. But perhaps Baer's biggest claim to fame is the sheer quantity of different kits which offer something for just about every unique customer you'd be apt to find. For almost every year and variant of Mustang-classic or late-model-Baer can equip you with 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, or 15-inch diameter rotors with multiple caliper combinations. The diverse choices cover many different budgets, as well as many different wheel combos-from period 15-inchers, to the largest hoops under the sun.

Baer Brake Systems
(602) 233-1411
www.baer.com

Sample pricing direct from Baer:

  • '94-'04 Mustang: Baer Track4 front kit, 13-inch/four-piston T4 calipers, $1,145
  • '05-'09 Mustang: Baer Pro Plus front kit, two-piece 14-inch/six-piston 6P calipers, $1,895