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Page updated January 22, 2017


Cobra Brakes

Brake System

The brake system took me some time to figure out exactly what I wanted to accomplish. That was, few fittings and blocks to install and neatness of results. I came up with using AN fittings and stainless steel brake hoses from the calipers to the frame. The brake line is 3/16" and connected with 3AN nuts and sleeves to 3AN bulkhead fittings which I placed in the "F" panel on both front sides. The brake line from the master cylinder is 1/8" inverted flare to the front with 3AN on the other end at the bulkhead tee on the left side, then routed to the right and finished off with a 90deg. bulkhead fitting. The rear has my adjustable proportioning valve with a 3AN to 1/8" pipe thread tee. Rear brake line is run up the 2 x 3 support and under the two diagonal braces to the opposite side and then into another 90deg. bulkhead fitting. Also pictured is the left and right rear brake setup showing the IRS brakes and emergency brake cable setup. These are '93 T-Bird rear brakes.

New Brake Setup:    June 2002

In June of this year (2002), I upgraded my front brakes to PBR aluminum twin piston 200x Mustang brakes. I also installed Carbotech Panther Plus pads in front and Super Street in the rear. Along with this I put Powerstop slotted rotors up front. The master cylinder hasn't changed from the 1984 Mustang one I've been using. Braking is much improved and they can stop really quick right now. I'm very happy with the setup as is the Mrs.

Following are pictures of the simple modifications that need to be done when putting the PBR calipers on the 95SN front spindles. The spindle needs a little grinding at the mounting 'boss' to allow the caliper to bolt up and clear. This took me five minutes per side.

The last two shots are the Powerstop slotted rotors.

New Cobra Brake System

January 2017

After many years running my current setup, I've finally decided (during my complete rebuild) to put on some new stopping mechanisms. Mainly, BIGGER BRAKES, front and rear. I'm installing the 1994 to 2004 Mustang, Cobra, Bullitt or Mach I brakes systems front and rear. You must/should be running 17" wheels in order for these to fit.

This will make my new system go from the PBR's in front with an 11" rotor to the Cobra 13" rotor and the rear T-Bird IRS brakes from 10" to Cobra 11.65". I've had the components for several years and was waiting for the right time to disassemble the car and get the parts, along with other mod's, installed. I've been using Carbotech pads from day one and will continue to use them. Currently I run their XP10 in front and XP8 in the rear and will continue with this compound combination. The pads will be applying friction to my new StopTech slotted rotors. The pad I.D. is: CT412-XP10 in front and CT627-XP8 in the rear and I purchased them from KNS Brakes in North Carolina, but you can find them other places that are Carbotech Dealers.

I've been running SN95 spindles in front so the change is just bigger rotors and the new calipers and brackets. I had the brackets powder coated black and applied G2 caliper paint to the calipers myself. I don't need a flashy system and just went with the silver color on the calipers. I chose G2 caliper paint from the various excellent reviews on the web and car forums.

The IRS was a little more involved to change over. Since the my original build, I've been using the stock T-Bird 1993 IRS system (which is different from earlier years), with re-drilled rotors. This was the only option for years. Richard Oben at North Race Cars, developed a bracket assembly to fit the Cobra style rear caliper to the T-Bird IRS spindle. His kit is 5 pieces plus nuts and bolts to install, which is a big hassle when trying to fit everything together. I decided to tig weld the spacers and washers to the bracket and make it ONE single bracket without all the fumbling that would be needed.

First thing was to remove the IRS spindles and install the new rear hubs that will be needed to run the Cobra brakes. The new Cobra rotors are "hub-centric" as opposed to the old "stud-centric" stock IRS rotors. I was tearing down the suspension for rebuild and modifying so this was a good time to do all the work. I also took this time to install new bearings in the spindles. I used a 20 ton hydraulic press to press in/out the hubs and bearings.

Next was to fit the new brackets as suggested to insure clearance on the spindle where the bracket may interfere with fit. I had to take just a bit off the spindle and bracket to give me the clearance I needed, and took in account the powder coating that will be applied to the brackets. I also mounted the rotors on the spindle/hub assembly and made sure the rotor will be in the center of the caliper bracket. You may have to grind a bit off the larger spacer to insure this. Once satisfied, it was time to get the spacers and washers tig'd to the brackets and then off to powder coating. All of the test fitting and modifications of the new system was done on the bench.

Having one bracket to deal with is much better and easier to manage. My next concern was the nut that needs to go between the spindle and caliper bracket, which is just a jam nut (1/2 size). The lower or bottom nut is full size with no interference issues. After thinking about this, I decided to heli-coil the spindle with a 12M x 1.75 to fit the metric bolt, which now can be a 30mm length (x2). I'm also replacing the 40mm bolt on the top with a 10.9 flanged bolt along with the new 30mm 10.9 flanged bolts. The spindle hole is 31/64" and is the correct size for that heli-coil size. A 1/2" bolt/drill WILL NOT fit in the spindle hole. If you think you can tap a 1/2" USS thread, you'll be working with very little thread depth on the spindle, that's why I'm using a heli-coil. I'll have much more thread depth. I don't plan on going back to smaller or original brakes so it didn't matter to me to install the heli-coil. Having the threaded spindle will allow you an easier time of taking the caliper bracket assembly off to change rotors, and in my opinion, give you a full 9/16" of threaded area in the spindle where the heli-coil is installed. I did both mounting holes with heli-coils. For added comfort, you can still install the jam nuts if you use a 35mm bolt.

Pictures below show the new caliper, bracket and modifications needed to fit the new larger brakes. Also showing the G2 caliper paint on front and rear calipers.

Pictures below showing the mounting of the modified caliper bracket to the heli-coiled spindles and new bolts used to secure to the newly modified spindle. The only bolt I kept was the allen head 12mm x 1.75 x 40mm bolt that secures the lower caliper mounting bracket. The upper is a 12mm x 1.75 x 40mm flanged 10.9 bolt and the two that actually bolt into the heli-coiled spindle are 12mm x 1.75 x 30mm flanged 10.9 bolts.