Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 1, 2003
Photos By: Rick Jensen

The wheel and tire package came in at $1,525, and Discount also supplied us with Gorilla chrome-plated lug nuts that use a special socket to install them. The design of the wheel necessitates the use of a slim lug, and you certainly don't want to use some horrid open lug on your hot new rims.

The new brake hoses are attached to brackets that are to be bolted to the shock support. To save time, we tack welded them to the support until we replace the shocks. Then we shall drill and bolt them to the bracket. The FRPP kit also includes two new steel brake lines. These are perfectly contoured to the axle.

For rubber, Discount Tire recommended Nitto's NT555 radial tires. We opted for the '94-98 GT factory size of 245/45x17, but in hindsight, we may have been better off with a 235/45. The 245 increased the overall diameter of the wheel and tire, which not only changed our gear ratio, but also put the rubber closer to the fender lips than we would prefer.

FRPP does say the kit may require the rear inner fender lips to be rolled, and bottoming out several times on the way home confirmed this (not that our pothole-infested New Jersey highways helped any). We also think the factory 139,000-mile rear shocks might be a little on the soft and worn out side complicating the matter. Going with the 235-size tire might lessen this problem a little, but if you plan to lower the car or have already done so, rolling the fenders will be a necessity.

Installation

While the majority of the Cobra brake kit can be installed by the average enthusiast, there are a few modifications that require some special tools, which you may not have. Installation is pretty straightforward with the only real difficult parts being the installation of the new brake booster, cutting and flaring one brake line, welding the parking brake handle, and adjusting the proportioning valve.

Testing and adjusting the proportioning valve may run into another day, but it is time well spent, as you don't want to have the brakes working incorrectly. Adjustment required a bit of wheel lock up to verify the back brakes lock after the front ones do. This should be done on a closed course of some sort, preferably on a low-traction surface like wet pavement. That will keep you from flat spotting the tires. The instructions with the valve give you a baseline to start with and it is fairly close. We made one full turn clockwise to increase the rear bias and after making a run, backed it off half a turn to find the sweet spot.

The kit comes with some instructions. They are rather brief and the picture quality wasn't the best. However, Ford Racing told us the instructions for the kit are being completely revamped as this was being written, and all kits shall be equipped with them by the time you read this. They also recommend you have a '94-up Mustang service manual handy.