best brake upgrade with 16" wheels?


Feb 27, 2011
biggest rotors available? will changing the rears to disc matter much? got 16" ponys with good tires and looking to save some dough. :shrug:
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Active Member
Jun 7, 2003
Akron, OH
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For a long time I ran 2000 GT front calipers as well as rear calipers from a 2000 Mustang. I just switched to factory 03 Cobra brakes and its insane the diff in braking power. Its def worth it to me to switch to rear disc. Drum brakes is 1930s technology


Active Member
Jun 7, 2003
Akron, OH
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If I were you Id just switch to rear discs. I think your going to run into trouble in the fronts, simply because your running the factory 4 lug spindle. You wont be able to upgrade rotor size with a factory spindles


My wife likes my spool and blow-off valve.
Aug 8, 2007
Lancaster, PA
You can use calipers from a 93 cobra or a mark 8 which have a bigger piston.. There is a company that makes brackets for the rear discs that let you use the stock 4 lug axles also. I looked into doing this. If I remember correctly it was gonna be about 600-800 $ to upgrade to this setup with all new parts. I think it used t-bird calipers in the rear.


i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
Svo were the calipers with the 73mm piston, but with rear drums, there is no effective mc to work them properly. You really need rear disk to allow you to use a larger mc

With t bird rear disks and 60mm front I would use 93 cobra mc. With t bird rear disks and 73mm front I'd use 94-95 gt/v6 mc which is 1/16" larger to help with additional fluid of the 73mm calipers.

Baer does make a 12" brake kit using camaro 1LE parts. They use a 12" rotor with cobra pbrs. They also had a kit that used to stock fox hub, and 12" brake. As far as I know it's discontinued though


Feb 27, 2011
so the best option is SVO fronts, tbird rears, and a MC upgrade, unless the baer kits still available? how about with 17" but 4 lug rims


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SN Certified Technician
Mar 10, 2000
Dublin GA
Do the 87-88 T-Bird Turbo Coupe rear end swap!

Auto trans 87-88 Tbird Turbo Coupes come with 3.73 gears and manual Turbo Coupes come with 3.55 gears. Cost is $125-$300 for the rear axle. Add another $100-$200 or so to complete the brake upgrade.

I choose 3.55 since I do more highway driving. Both ratios have 10 5/16" disk brakes with vented rotors as standard equipment.

It takes 2 guys the first day to get the old rear end out and the new one bolted in place. It takes 1 guy another whole day to do the brakes.

You will need a several sets of fittings, I recommend that you get them from Matt90GT's website, 87-93 Mustang 5.0 Brake upgrade pages. Improve your 60-0 times!. Read Matt's instructions thoroughly, everything you need to know about the brakes is all there. You need to be patient and follow all the internal links, and there are many of them. You will need 2 fittings in the rear to adapt your old brake tubing to the TC disk brakes. The fittings go between the steel tube and the caliper brake hose. You will need another set of fittings to make a 2 port to 3 port adapter. To make life simpler, just buy the kits from Matt. You could piece them together, but it's not worth the time unless you work at an auto parts store with all the fittings ever made.

You will need to drill the quad shock mounting holes 2” below the holes drilled for the Turbo Coupe mounting points. The bolts are metric, so don’t loose them or the nuts. A 15/32” drill should be about the right size unless you have access to metric sized drill bits. Going without quad shocks is not an option unless you have aftermarket parts to soak up the wheel hop.

You will need a proportioning valve, Summit has one for $40 + shipping.
You will need a kit (FMS makes the part) to gut the stock proportioning valve, Summit also has that, about $10.

You will need a new master cylinder, see Matt's site and make you choice. I used a 94-95 Mustang master cylinder. Note that rebuilt 94-95 Mustang master cylinders do not come with a reservoir. That means a trip to the junkyard and some more money spent.

Your brake pedal may be very hard and almost impossible to lock up the brakes. I had to replace the front calipers with 73 mm calipers from a 91 Lincoln Mark 7 to get the braking performance up to par.

Bleeding the brakes will require 2 people and some coordinated effort. I don’t recommend using you wife or girlfriend to pump the pedal – they get offended when you yell at them. I used a homemade power brake bleeder constructed from a garden sprayer and some fittings from Home Depot. It cost about $25 and was worth every penny. See how hard is it to bleed brakes? - Mustang Forums at StangNet for details and pictures.

See Mustang FMS M2300K Brake Install for help with the emergency brake. The red words link to some very useful photos on how to modify the handle. The stock setup tends to lock up and not release properly.
All in all I have been very pleased with the results.
Identifying a Turbo Coupe rear axle:
1.) Measure the rotors - a TC disk brake uses 10 5/16" vented rotors.
2.) Measure the length of the quad shock mount arm and compare it to the mount on your existing stock axle. The TC quad shock mount arm is about 8" long if I remember correctly.
3.) Measure the distance between the axle flanges and compare it to stock. The TC rear axle assembly is 3/4" wider per side, or 1 1/2" wider for both sides.


SN Certified Technician
Aug 8, 2003
The mark 8 front calipers are worthless even if you did get an mc to work correctly with them, you would still be using the same size stock rotor and the minimal piston size gain will do nothing to aid in braking anyway.
Been there, done that, then undid it.

The baer stuff is pricey, so much so that you could probably do a used 5 lug with a set of 5 lug wheels for the same amount if you shopped well.
The proprietary baer parts also make them expensive to maintain.

Honestly, i feel like the only choice for a brake upgrade is 94/95 spindles, with sn95 rears with fox length axles.
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