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Super Coupe Club of America > SC Literature > Front Brake Upgrade For Stock 16" Wheels on 1993-1995 Super Coupes

by Joisey Jim

     If you are not planning to upgrade to 17" wheels, then you can't install any of the Cobra/Brembo/Baer 13" Brake/Rotor set-ups. Instead, you can upgrade from the stock 10.86" rotors to Ford's 11.57" system, which was added as an option on 1997 Thunderbirds with the 16" Wheel/Sport Package -"S", (Taken from the Lincoln Mark VIII).

The Ford Part Numbers are as follows, along with the approximate costs for Ford & aftermarket components (where available):

Part Ford# Ford List Price Ford Discount Price Pep Boys Price Pep Boys Part#
Rotors (2) F80Z-1125AA $ 152.50 $ 109.04 $ 75.98 #0-30999-54527
Brackets (2) F3LY-2B296A&B $ 170.08 $ 125.36 n/a
Calipers (2) F3LY-2B120/121A $ 233.39 $ 172.01 $ 59.98 #7-45946-33609
Pads (set) F8LZ-2001AA $ 32.00 $ 23.58 ?
Caliper Bolts (4) F30Y-2N386A $ 26.00 $ 19.16 n/a
Rattle Clips (2) F30Y-2B164A $ 30.42 $ 26.50 n/a
$ 644.39 $ 475.65

With Ford Discount Prices (try '3 Star Ford'), Pep Boys Rotors & re-manufactured calipers, you can buy all the parts for as little as $330.56 + tax.

I doubt whether any aftermarket brake pads will be cheaper; but you could shop around for the caliper/pinch bolts which are very expensive at $5-6 each. They are only a 9.8 grade metric bolt size M8x25mm with a fine thread (1.0).

Also the anti-rattle clips for the caliper are a stainless steel 'saddle' type, versus the original brass colored 'V' clip (See Ford Shop Drawing Below); but the part numbers are the same. In fact I've corrected some of the part numbers and details on the drawing because of these errors.

Installation is no different from the stock system, except the caliper design is more like the rear set-up; with smaller ears on the caliper itself and, the slide pins are now built into the caliper bracket instead of the separate floating sleeve & torx bolt system.


Remove the front hub caps and loosen the lug nuts.

Jack up the car and preferably put it on axle type stands under the front frame members. By raising both sides at the one time you can operate the steering to better access the caliper bolts.

Remove both wheels and use this opportunity to check the tire tread for uneven wear, depth, cuts & nails. Loosen the two 15mm caliper bolts on the back of the steering knuckle and if the calipers have high mileage you may want to first use penetrating oil on and, then remove the hydraulic brake line bango bolt. To save excessive fluid loss you can either clamp the brake line hose or slide a piece of small diameter hose through the bango fitting itself.

Proceed to remove the caliper bolts and, once the calipers are off you can remove the old rotors and make sure you thoroughly clean the hub assembly (particularly the shoulder above the lug studs), as heavy rust build-up can stop the rotors from seating accurately and contribute to early vibration/warpage. Also before you install the new rotors it is a good time to grease the tie-rod ball joints which are difficult to do without the wheels off. (Make sure you clean off excess grease as these joints are close to and exposed to the back of the rotors). Install the new rotors, replace the rotor clip-washers on at least one stud (if you still have them), as this keeps the rotors nicely in place on the hub.

Next, assemble the two (2) sets of new calipers, frames and pads (check for left & right hand components) making sure the slide pins are well greased. If not, use a silicone or synthetic brake grease. Bolt the assemblies back onto the knuckles, using 45-65 ft/lbs of torque on the 15mm bolts. Then torque the caliper pins carefully to 25 ft/lbs and re-install the brake line bango bolts (using new copper washers) to 35-45 ft/lbs of torque.

Upon completion you will need to remove any line clamps and bleed the front brakes in the normal fashion. Only the rear brake on this ABS system require a special bleeding technique (see below and, your Haynes/Ford Shop manual for details). This is also a good time to clean & spray silicone on the rubber brake lines to help resist cracking.

For bleeding, I prefer to use a medical type "drip bag" (like they use for saline in hospitals) which I hang above wheel height on a suction cup. This enables me to use the "one man bleed" technique and, together with a large mirror I can monitor any air bubbles as I pump the brake pedal. Apart from having to top-up the reservoir (there are "one man" bottles for that too) I also put a piece of wood under the pedal, as you don't want to "bottom out" the master cylinder on every stoke. This is obviously an opportune time to replace all that old brake fluid and, I think it is worth the extra effort to bleed the rear brakes and complete the job. So the ABS technique needs to be reviewed. Essentially you turn on the ignition to charge up the ABS accumulator and then with your foot on the brake pedal (or heavy weight, if you are on your own) open each rear nipple for about 10 seconds at a time and the fluid automatically bleeds itself.

If your household is anything like mine you can bet that the wife is out shopping when you need help bleeding, so get acquainted with the "one man" methods.

Finally, install the wheels and lug nuts (hand tight), remove the jacks & stands and, re-torque the wheels to 85-105 ft/lbs be EXTRA careful when you back out of the garage, as the brakes will still be soft. You should then go for a test drive and make sure everything functions properly - new pads & rotors will need a day or two to settle in.

I installed this set-up, with the alternate Pep Boys parts on my 1994 Super Coupe over the July 4, 1999 holiday weekend, plus I painted the new calipers & frames with semi-gloss black paint in case I install 17" Cobra wheels at a later date.

I'd particularly like to thank Rich Thomson for the original idea & Ford Parts Information.

Note: This upgrade is restricted to 1993-1995 models as the steering knuckles were different on the earlier 1989-1992 model years.

FORD PARTS DRAWING # P-26744 (10/8/1998) -CPD 2000 Version 11.09-- June 1999 for 1997 S (THUNDERBIRD) Front Brake Assembly, appears below:

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Document Last Modified: 07/29/04 03:32 AM
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