Here at Vorshlag we've worked on and/or track driven hundreds of V8 powered S197 Mustangs (2005-2014). The Mustang GT from 2011-up was the performance bargain of the decade, with a factory 412-420 hp rated DOHC aluminum 5.0L V8, 6-speed transmission, and stiff unibody. We've convinced a lot of people to buy these cars and we have several ourselves.
One thing that was NOT up to the task of the 420 hp V8 was the factory braking system. The "base" GT Mustang brakes on these cars had a "bump up" to a 13.2" dia. rotor and 2 piston floating caliper, shown below. Still, these are woefully inadequate. These are barely OK for street driving and drag racing, marginal for autocrossers, but pretty much useless when it comes to even light track abuse. We took these brakes to their limits and ruined them in less than 15 minutes on track. We've seen even beginner HPDE drivers end their day after 2-3 laps, after their front brakes were quickly cooked.
In 2011, the Mustang GT had a new option package called the "Brembo Brake Package". In this $1695 option group, your car was upgraded to 14" diameter rotors and 4-piston fixed Brembo calipers. These parts were initially developed for the supercharged Mustang GT500 and finally made their way to the Mustang GT in 2011, at a modest premium.
These "Brembo GTs", as they became known, also had an upgraded wheel and tire, up from 18x8" wheels and 235mm tires to 19x9" wheels and 255mm tires. The 19" diameter wheel bump was actually a hindrance in some ways, as the wheels were heavier and the tires more costly in 19" vs 18", but at least they were 9" wide (we've since found that an 18x10" wheel is actually a much better fitment). Ideally you would stick with an 18" diameter wheel, as these wheels easily clear the 14" brakes, and the ONLY reason to add wheel diameter is to clear the brakes. But the 19" wheels were tied to the Brembo brake option, which padded the option package price. This Brembo option was carried over into the 2012-13 Mustang Boss 302 as well, which also came with 19" wheels.
Pictures of our black 2013 GT (left) and TT3 classed 2011 "Brembo GT" (right) on track.
Vorshlag 14" Big Brake Kit
We put our heads together and came up with a plan. The Vorshlag crew replaced the master cylinder (with an identical OEM unit), then sourced the best components of the 14" Brembo factory front brake kit. We purchased the Brembo calipers and mounting hardware from Ford, added our own S197 stainless steel brake lines (made with BrakeQuip parts to our unique specs), sourced Centric front 14" rotors, added Carbotech XP series front pads, and then made our own brake backing plates for ducted air (using the OEM 14" backing plates as a basis). We then took the car back to the same track and it all combined to make a MASSIVE improvement in stopping power. The brakes could be pushed to the limits lap after lap, braking 100+ feet later than before. Lap times dropped and the pads still looked excellent at day's end.
Now look at the price for this kit. All told our "better than stock" Brembo 14" front brake upgrade kit added up to less than the factory Brembo option, so we decided to make this a kit for anyone that bought a "base GT", or for the 2005-2010 Mustang GT owners that wanted the same upgrade. We offer this kit with the authentic Brembo calipers and mounting hardware all sourced from Ford, not random stuff found on fleaBay. We include the best 14" front rotors (Centric), and we've tried them all our TT3 classed 2011 GT. We then add a lot of optional brake pads, starting with the low cost Centric Ceramics for street only use, as well as any of the G-LOC track or autocross pads. You can re-use the factory brake lines or add our full set of Vorshlag stainless steel lines, which is a great time to add them (as you'll need to do a brake fluid flush during this brake install). Lastly, this Vorshlag kit can come with the OEM 14" dust shields or without. We did this on purpose: If you want to add our Vorshlag brake ducting kit, order this kit without the backing plates and add that ducting kit separately, which will come with the modified backing plates and the mounting hardware. All told you are still hundreds of dollars ahead of the factory Brembo option, and get better than factory choices for the pads, rotors and optional brake lines.
Installation of this kit takes about 2 hours, with brake bleeding. Upgrade before tracking your Mustang, or else... be ready for a very short track day, and maybe even a trip off track.
Why Not Use a Traditional BBK?
This is a legitimate question - why not go with a non-OEM based Stoptech, Brembo, Wilwood or other brand of aftermarket Big Brake Kit? It comes down to one thing: price vs performance. The OEM based front 14" Brembo brakes on the '11-14 GT and Boss302 are really just too good for the price. You could easily spend $4500 to get an aftermarket 4 or 6 piston caliper and 2-piece 14" rotor onto an S197, and yes, it might look "more bling" than this set-up. But most users won't need more than this kit...
The front rotors are very affordable to replace when they wear beyond use. The Centric 14" rotor we include in this kit are $99 each to replace. Now go price a 2-piece rotor from any of the big named brake suppliers... $400-600 each isn't unheard of, and they wear just as fast. Even just the "replaceable" outer rings are $250 each, or more, and they are a real bear to replace onto 2-piece rotor hats. The OEM Brembo caliper we use in this kit uses the same super common pad profile that comes on the GT500 and '11-15 Brembo GTs and Boss302s, too, so pad selection is excellent. Don't fall for the bling - this 14" Brembo front brake set-up is an excellent performance value, up front and down the road with consumables.
- Larger rotors than base 13.2" brakes provides more braking torque.
- 1-piece Centric rotors are cost effective to replace and provide much longer wear than other brands
- Brembo 4 piston fixed aluminum caliper (8.2 lbs) is lighter than the OEM 2 piston calipers (9 pounds) - see weights below
- 14" Centric rotor is 25 pounds vs 21 pounds for the 13.2" rotor
Better than stock choices for the front rotors, brake lines, and brake pads
- Lots of options lets you choose the brake kit that is right for you: optional pads, backing plates, and brake lines are unique to Vorshlag
- Left and right new front Brembo 4 piston front brake calipers
- Brembo caliper hardware (pins, shims, etc)
- All necessary mounting hardware, to bolt calipers to spindles
- Two Centric Premium Blank 14" front brake rotors
- Centric Premium Ceramic front brake pads included at no charge (optional G-LOC pads available)
Choose the appropriate options from the drop down menus below. These options will affect the final price as shown. We offer these options so that you can get exactly the brake upgrade you need, instead of a generic "one size fits all" brake kit. When comparing prices to other 14" Brembo based kits please note that we include all of the mounting hardware, where others do not. Also, the Centric rotors are a premium rotor over the based rotors. And our brake pad options keep you from wasting money on "throw-away pads" included in another kit, that you might never use.
Backing Plates : We have three options for backing plates for your new Brembo calipers that can be found in the drop down below. You may opt for no backing plates or new OEM backing plates. You can also add our 3" brake duct cooling kit. For HPDE and other track cars, brake cooling along with bigger calipers has proven to be a winning combination for overall brake feel, predictability, and longevity.
Brake Pad Brand/Compound :
The Mustang 14" Brembo Front Brake Upgrade Kit comes standard with Centric Premium Ceramic street pads. However, we offer the full line of G-LOC brake pads available in the drop down below for the more performance oriented buyer. The Centric Ceramics are for street use only. For track use, please read the detailed information on the various G-LOC brake pad compounds here
Brake Lines : Although the Brembo calipers are compatible with OEM lines, for those of you tracking your cars, we recommend that you upgrade to the Vorshlag S197 SS Braided Brake Line Kit, which includes new stainless steel brake lines for all four corners of your car. That's right - the front flex lines and the rear lines. More information on the Vorshlag S197 SS Braided Brake Line Kit can be found here.