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Thread: Suspension / Brake Project Options

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Merrimac, MA
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    231

    Suspension / Brake Project Options

    Hey guys, the winter project this year is the suspension and brakes so I'm mulling over the pros / cons and cost benefit of the various options. On the brake side the three options I'm looking at are the Mark VIII upgrade Vs. the Mustang GT PBR upgrade Vs. the Cobra big brake upgrade. With hunting around the pick and pulls and just using online retailers the upgrade cost (including mustang hub swaps for the big brake package) is about $750 Vs. $750 Vs. $1800. These prices include used 93+ spindles because I have an 89. The reason for the mustang hub swap on the big brake package is because it would require new wheels anyhow so might as well open up the options there. Of course a wheel and tire package will add about $1300 to the big brake kit but that's a necessary evil.

    The first questions is, for an occasional sunny day drive, car show and maybe some future auto-crossing - which is the best bang for the buck on brakes? Keep in mind, I'm doing SOMETHING regardless because the brakes are original and i have a slight warp in the rotors. I could replace everything OEM but from everything I read, the stock brakes really were inadequate and they are likely to warp again.

    Next, suspension. I'm going to swap in some lowering springs and want to address the bushings, ball joints, etc.... Question here is, what would be the recommended parts list for this considering everything is original? The suspension does feel tight but I can see the grease boots on the upper ball joints are torn and I imagine much of the original bushings are dry rotted. Basically looking for the do it once and forget it for 30 years shopping list.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
    1989 XR7 5-SPD - 15,700 miles - Garage Queen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    I went with the Mustang 2 piston PBR brakes and I think that they work fine.
    SCCOA Member #2406
    '94 SC AUTO - $$$$ Pit
    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/garage_v..._vehicle&id=19

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Tinton Falls, NJ
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    The Mustang GT upgrade is definitely the best bang for the buck, and will stop way better than the MarkVIII/sport brakes. The 13" brake setup is nice, but really not necessary on the street. I don't know where the $750 is coming from, but you can do it for way cheaper than that. Reman'd calipers are around $60 each, then you'll need some new rotors for a 93-97 MN12 at around $40 a piece, plus figure $100 for a good used set of 93+ spindles, and maybe another $80 for new hub and bearing assemblies in the front, plus pads, brake fluid, etc, you should be able to get it done for under $450.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    128
    I have a 95 car that use to warp front rotors like crazy after a few hard stops. So I put 2003 mustang twin piston aluminum calipers on. A straight bolt on. The car just stops easier now with less pedal pressure. And best of all it doesn,t warp rotors any more. Oh and you lose about 10 pounds from each corner. That's something to think about. Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Roanoke, Virginia
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    I did this project 3 years ago and it was 500-600 range if memory serves me...with the most expensive part being that I purchase the Mustang rear hubs rather than drill the factory units ($175 each on summit) ..that in itself was more than half the cost of the project. So if you're trying to do it on the cheap have the rear hubs drilled.

    As for the other items, I picked most of the stuff at the local salvage on a "all you can carry day" for $65. I also went with the PBR calipers and they work fine and are straight bolt on. Found 2 new front hubs on ebay for $30 shipped...wheels in tires set me back 1500. Guess it all depends there...certainly lower cost options.

    -Tim
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Tinton Falls, NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Groth View Post
    I did this project 3 years ago and it was 500-600 range if memory serves me...with the most expensive part being that I purchase the Mustang rear hubs rather than drill the factory units ($175 each on summit) ..that in itself was more than half the cost of the project. So if you're trying to do it on the cheap have the rear hubs drilled.

    As for the other items, I picked most of the stuff at the local salvage on a "all you can carry day" for $65. I also went with the PBR calipers and they work fine and are straight bolt on. Found 2 new front hubs on ebay for $30 shipped...wheels in tires set me back 1500. Guess it all depends there...certainly lower cost options.

    -Tim
    If he does the GT PBR setup, there is no requirement to change the bolt pattern, and so the rear hubs and actually the whole rear brake setup can stay like it is.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
    If he does the GT PBR setup, there is no requirement to change the bolt pattern, and so the rear hubs and actually the whole rear brake setup can stay like it is.
    On the GT PBR setup.
    1) They can be had for as little as $30.79 from Rockauto as a reman product if you are OK returning your existing calipers instead of paying the core charges (I kept mine as a backup).
    2) Just make sure to order them WITH the mounting brackets or you will need to place a second order and pay $30/pair for a set of GT PBR brackets (existing Tbird ones won't work for the larger calipers).
    3) Also, order the 2003-04 Calipers even though 99-02 will also work because the 03-04 calipers will come with the same banjo bolt you need for the tbird (M10 X 1.5). This will save you another $15-20.
    (save you another $15-20)

    If you don't have a JY that offers good deals, look for someone who is parting out a tbird on here/TCCOA to get the best deal on the 93-97 front spindle assemblies.

    IMO, the big step up in cost will come from the GT PBR setup to the Cobra PBR setup b/c of the increased cost of 17" wheels/tires (not just the brake bits).
    -g

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
    If he does the GT PBR setup, there is no requirement to change the bolt pattern, and so the rear hubs and actually the whole rear brake setup can stay like it is.
    True - I thought he was tossing around hub swap to Mustang junk at the time of...that's where it became expensive for me...otherwise, it's very cheap as mentioned.

    -Tim
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  9. #9
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    Dec 2002
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    Merrimac, MA
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    This is all great feedback guys. I'm leaning towards the mustang gt pbr upgrade for best bang for the buck. With the money I save I could always option to get some nice wheels (really like the speed stars if they're ever back in stock).

    Any feedback on the suspension parts to replace?
    1989 XR7 5-SPD - 15,700 miles - Garage Queen

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Salem, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUDXR7 View Post
    Any feedback on the suspension parts to replace?
    Seen this previous thread?

    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthre...2-s-and-FN10-s

  11. #11
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    Dec 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    I hadn't seen that yet. That's an excellent write up. Thanks.
    1989 XR7 5-SPD - 15,700 miles - Garage Queen

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Salem, OR
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    6,340
    Yes, it helped me out quite a bit.

    My '90 Anny DD is lowered, and I when I went thru my entire front suspension, including shocks and wheel bearings, I used aftermarket stock parts for everything but the sway bar bushings, which are now red poly. The only parts I replaced on the rear were the shocks, sway bar end links/bushings, sway bar bushings and the diff mount, which except for the shock bushings, were all done in red poly. Did all this around 100k miles.

    Ken

  13. #13
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    Jun 2002
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    ny\long island
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    brake upgrade

    I did the pbr mustang upgrade on my 93 sc . there were some mods u will have to make ( clear the spindle top part other wise the caliper won't fit) 2. brakeline to caliper needs shaving , most important. I found out that......mustang brake pads are thinner than the t-birds. so when I went o install mustang calipers. on t-bird rotors with pads it would not go on / very tight fit, so I cut the rotors a bit and they went on. I still have an issue with the amber light that is on. I also did the big brake ( 13s with twin piston and not very happy with the stopping. I took to Carlyle this past summer and at 80mph I had tire shake (gotta get high speed bal) plus the front rotors had a hum when u stepped on the brakes. I got these from my man chmike from tx who hooked me up, but the 13 rotors a very heavy and on the stock hubs gets me worried. either I have a weak master or I was thinking of a bigger brake eq (that's connected to driver wall). car stops fine, but I m thinking I would fell more bit , and stopping power.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2007
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    Sorry if I missed it - did you install braided hoses? Ceramic/carbon fiber pads?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    NE PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by pock1 View Post
    I did the pbr mustang upgrade on my 93 sc . there were some mods u will have to make ( clear the spindle top part other wise the caliper won't fit) 2. brakeline to caliper needs shaving , most important. I found out that......mustang brake pads are thinner than the t-birds. so when I went o install mustang calipers. on t-bird rotors with pads it would not go on / very tight fit, so I cut the rotors a bit and they went on. I still have an issue with the amber light that is on. I also did the big brake ( 13s with twin piston and not very happy with the stopping. I took to Carlyle this past summer and at 80mph I had tire shake (gotta get high speed bal) plus the front rotors had a hum when u stepped on the brakes. I got these from my man chmike from tx who hooked me up, but the 13 rotors a very heavy and on the stock hubs gets me worried. either I have a weak master or I was thinking of a bigger brake eq (that's connected to driver wall). car stops fine, but I m thinking I would fell more bit , and stopping power.
    Hey Tony,

    Did you have any issues with the pads fitting into the driver's side caliper bracket with regards to the 13in upgrade?

    Thanks,
    Mike

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