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

If you're not familiar with braking systems, you might want to get a professional to install the system. This will ensure the components are installed properly and the system works like it should. Once the kit is installed though, performing brake maintenance is a snap. Two bolts hold each caliper on, and the rotors are held in place by the calipers. No messy bearing to repack and no springs and other assorted parts to come flying off of the brake drum.

Work on our '90 Mustang GT was performed by Eric Ledbetter of Eric's Performance in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Eric has been working on cars, and Mustangs in particular, for years. He also owns a 9-second '67 Mustang, and an 11-second late-model notchback, so it's safe to say he knows his way around a Blue Oval. With a knowledgeable technician turning the wrenches, the complete kit can be installed in about 8-10 hours. The bulk of the installation can be found in the captions within the story.

Evaluation

The new spindle is installed with this spacer. Then replace the tie rod end and strut bolts.

To verify the Ford components were worth the expense, we performed before and after brake testing at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, New Jersey. Although closed for the winter (it was mid January when this was written), the track lets us use the open space to perform such tests. After complaining about the brakes in the opening paragraph, one should expect a monumental improvement in deceleration and we weren't disappointed.

During our baseline runs, we managed to lock up the warped stock rotors a few times, as evident from the pictures. Once we found the right pedal modulation, we still went sailing past any acceptable distance. Using our Stalker ATS radar equipment to verify our braking data, we averaged 485 feet slowing from 100-0. With the Cobra four-wheel discs stopping us, that average was cut by 61 feet to 424. Just to give you an idea, 60 feet is about the length of four Mustangs. Further investigation of the chart will show you we gained stopping power in 70-0 and 60-0 tests, also. Add to that the ease of working on the disc brakes, and the kit's $1,795 price tag just bought you a whole lot of peace of mind.

We have to add the new tires and wheels certainly had an affect on braking, also. The 245-size tires offer a bigger footprint than the 225-size rubber we had on the factory pony wheels. While both sets of tires were made by Nitto, the 225s were an all-season tread and not geared toward the same performance level of the NT555s.

We couldn't be more pleased with the Ford Racing Cobra Disc Brake Conversion. The performance gain was absolutely fantastic and something that every Fox Mustang should be blessed with, even if it is still stock as a rock under the hood. The kit also gave us the opportunity to bolt on some awesome looking wheels from Discount Tire, giving it a well-deserved aesthetic upgrade. Fox Mustang owners, if you need improved braking, Ford Racing can give it to you.