gbaer`s 12-step program to better braking


gbaer`s 12-step program to better braking
adapted the Mustang II front crossmember, it was widely accepted
that all of its advantages far outweighed its only shortcoming.
Even though aftermarket versions of the factory 9-inch brake
rotors were available in GM and Ford five-bolt patterns, they
lacked the stopping power needed to bring high performance
street rods safely to rest.
For years, the only option for better braking from the
Mustang II front subframe were aftermarket kits
that utilized GM calipers and Granada rotors.
The larger rotors and calipers offered better
stopping, but fell short of what we can
seriously consider a “performance”
braking solution.
Recently, Baer Brakes expanded
their line of “Serious Street” brakes
to include the Mustang II, and
more importantly are they specifically designed to work within the
confines of most 15-inch wheels.
Baer’s “Serious Street Plus” kit is a
complete upgrade kit,
and includes everything you’ll need to
get the job done.
The drilled, slotted
Eradispeed® rotors
offer faster thermal
recovery, elimination of
outgassing, greater initial bite,
true directional cooling vanes, and improved
wet weather performance.
The two-piston, pad-guided PBR calipers are the same style
found on factory-equipped ’88-’94 C4 Corvettes and ’94 and later
Mustang Cobras.
Follow along with us as we complete an installation of Baer’s
Mustang II upgrade kit to our in-house ‘35 Chevy project.
The stock Mustang II front suspension was seen as a breakthrough when
first adapted to street rods over 25 years ago, but perhaps more amazing is
its staying power. Today, it remains the most popular choice for street rodbuilders upgrading to independent front suspensions. Its only weak point lies
in the factory 9-inch rotor’s inability to stop a V-8 powered rod.
We removed the two large bolts that secure the stock FoMoCo caliper bracket to the spindle, and then we removed the bracket to complete the teardown
process. With everything out of the way, this is a great opportunity to check
and grease the balljoints and tie rod ends. You should also inspect your strut
rod bushings if you haven’t alreaddy upgraded to aftermarket A-arms.
After cleaning and lightly coating the spindle, the new Eradispeed® rotors
were uncapped and slid into place. The rotors came complete with Timkin®
bearings and National® seals in place. The bearings came pre-packed with
Redline® Synthetic grease, making installation a snap. The rotors are directionally-vented, so care must be taken to get them on the correct side.
We began our brake upgrade by removing the stock caliper, rotor, and flexible brake line. This is an excellent opportunity to clean up the old grease and
inspect the spindle. There is no need to retain any of the parts for reuse,
since the Baer “Serious Street Plus” kit includes all new fasteners, dust covers, bearings, seals and flexible stainless Teflon lined brake lines.
Assembly begins by securing the new caliper bracket. The beauty of this
bracket is more than skin deep, as they are CNC-milled from solid 6061-T6
aircraft quality aluminum. The longer of the two bolts supplied in the kit
should be used in the upper mount hole, and with both bolts in place, torque
them to 95 lb-ft.
The spindle nut should be installed while rotating the hub to ensure it’s properly seated. Baer recommends tightening only slightly more than finger tight
to allow for thermal expansion of the bearings. The fasteners are similar to
the OEM pieces and are provided in the kit. The castellated retainer was slid
over the spindle nut and a cotter pin holds everything securely in place.
After installing the dust covers, the calipers were slid over the rotors and
secured to the new caliper brackets. Baer offers these pressure-cast aluminum PBR high-performance calipers in your choice of red powdercoat,
black anodized, or natural aluminum finishes. Other colors or polished aluminum are also available as special order items.
Baer’s “Serious Street Plus” Mustang II kit (PN 1261133) includes everything you’ll need to put real performance braking under your Mustang IIequipped rod or custom. The 11-inch EradiSpeed® slotted and cross-drilled
rotors and dual-piston PBR Pad Guided
calipers offer excellent stopping
power. With a few wrenches, a bottle of brake fluid,
and a couple hours,
your ride will be stopping on a dime.
With the rotor and caliper installed the hub assembly was rotated to ensure
free travel and clearance. We also couldn’t help but step back and admire how
good the old Chevy was looking with its wheels off. The EradiSpeed® Rotors are
offered in both smooth and cross-drilled/slotted, but for our application we
choose the latter for their aggressive look and improved performance.
Completing the installation part of our upgrade were a pair braided stainless
steel Teflon® lined brake lines and brake line fittings also included in the kit.
When attaching the “banjo” style fitting to the Baer caliper, a copper washer is placed on both sides of the fitting, and care should be taken not to overtighten the hollow banjo bolt.
Baer Brakes has been producing high-quality braking solutions for racing
enthusiasts since 1986, and has earned a reputation for the industry’s
most complete “ready-to-install” performance braking solutions. They
recognized the need for a true performance brake for the enthusiast that
still wanted to keep their 15-inch wheels on street rods and musclecars,
so their new “Serious Street” line does just that. This system is available
for a wide range of domesic applications, and we appreciated the simplicity and completeness of this kit. We were able to improve the appearance
and performance of our stoppers with a minimal amount of effort, and
knowing we’d have ample clearance inside 15-inch wheels helped.
Properly bleeding the brakes is vital for safety as well as getting the most out
of the new braking system. Baer supplies detailed instructions on the
process and even includes a length of plastic hose to attach to the bleeder
during the process. After driving the car for a day, the bleeding process was
repeated to remove any air that was previously trapped.
I’ll have to admit, I was more than just a little anxious when I started this
upgrade. My ’35 Chevy street rod project started over ten years ago, when I
purchased a set of wheels to mock up the chassis. By the time I was ready
to put my ride on the road, the wheels I’d chosen looked very dated. Not
wanting to follow the latest fad or trend, I decided to replace them with the
timeless classic Halibrand Sprint with 3-bar knock-offs. Wanting that big/little look, it sported 14x6-inch rims up front and 15x8s in the rear. However,
this brake upgrade required 15-inch diameter rims, and the popular rumor
was that Halibrand was no longer making wheels. After considering several
options, I decided to just call Halibrand and get the straight scoop on availability. To my surprise, they were not only still making these great wheels,
but they had expanded the rim sizes they were available in, now up to 17inches. My new 15-inch Sprint wheels arrived drilled and backspaced to my
specifications in less than a week. To learn more about Halibrand
Performance products, contact them at (620) 326-2111, ext. 20, or visit
them on the web at—Mark Simpson
Both wheels were then mounted to the hubs. Make sure to rotate the wheels
before lowering the car to check for any clearance issues that may have
been overlooked. Don’t forget to recheck your wheel lug nuts for tightness
within the first 50 miles. If your car is equipped with spinners like those pictured, it is always advisable to check tightness regularly.
Seasoning the rotors is important to long brake life and optimum performance. For most people, simple routine daily driving will properly season a
rotor. The key is to gradually increase the amount and number of times you
use the brakes, and then giving them ample time to cool to ambient temperature. This temperature cycling relieves internal stresses in the rotor.
Baer, Inc.
Halibrand Performance Corp.
3108 W. Thomas Rd., Suite 1201
Phoenix, AZ 85017
(602) 233-1411
P.O. Box 100
Wellington, KS 67152
(620) 326-2111