Our 2011 Mustang project car, Project Grabbr, is one of only 892 in that color for 2011. While it may be taken to the track the odd time in the future for some shenanigans, its destiny doesn’t involve becoming a one trick pony. The goal has been to build it much like any typical Mustang enthusiast would; not to go overboard and throw everything including the kitchen sink at it, but choose sensible, tasteful upgrades that won’t affect the daily driver status. For a budget-minded Mustang brake upgrade, we turned to Baer for something that wouldn’t break our budget.
This is by far our most popular system because it strikes the balance of performance and affordability that most people are looking for. - Rick Elam, Baer Brakes
After recently adding a set ofSOS coil packs, and doing aDiabloSport Trinity and BAMA tune, we determined the next logical step was a Baer Eradispeed +2 Brake system. This particular front and rear two-piece rotor setup was chosen because it improves braking without breaking the bank, but also because it is a simple bolt-on upgrade that doesn’t require swapping out the stock lines, calipers or hardware. It is a simple bolt-on upgrade that doesn’t even require bleeding the brakes. Thanks to hardware included, the larger diameter rotors can accommodate the factory calipers and the existing pads can even be used if the customer wishes to be thrifty or upgrade piece by piece.
The key to fitting the larger Eradispeed rotors with stock calipers is the use of these special brackets that Baer provides to add additional spacing for the bigger rotors. The brackets are specific to front and rear.
Rick Elam of Baer Brakes describes some of the benefits of this particular setup, “This is by far our most popular system because it strikes the balance of performance and affordability that most people are looking for,” before adding, “The zinc plated rotors are drilled and slotted. Not only does this feature save weight and look good, but the holes are actually directional so when the rotors spin they cool themselves down in between aggressive stops.”
The previous owner who purchased the car, unfortunately didn’t check the box on the build sheet for the Performance Pack brake option, so the stock discs are 13.2-inches in the front and 11.8-inches in the rear. The Eradispeed +2 package brings those dimensions up to 14-inches on all four corners. The increased surface area provides added torque and leverage for improved braking capability.
Aside from the braking capability we also noticed that after we installed a set of 20-inch Niche Apex wheels this summer, the stock rotors stuck out like a sore thumb. Aside from the added performance of the upgraded system, we also wanted to improve the look over the appearance of the stock setup. Brandon Abbott of Midnight Auto in Trevose, PA helped out with the install which only took about an hour, even with the added Sport pads to the front (part #: 2261026) and rear (part #: 2262019) two-piston calipers.
Better Braking In Under Two Hours
If you can perform a typical brake job you should be able to handle this upgrade. Removal: Left to Right: Remove front calipers (leave hose connected), remove stock rotors and clean mounts and hub surface as needed to remove corrosion and dirt buildup.
Baer provides instructions on how to properly break-in the brakes which should be followed as closely as possible to ensure bedding is successful. Proper bedding will improve pedal feel and reduce squealing. Done properly, the process gradually builds up heat between the recently introduced pads and rotors to have them working together in harmony.
As you might have surmised by the simplicity of this particular project, the install was simple. The existing mounting brackets for the front calipers came off and were sandblasted and painted. The brackets provided to relocate the calipers outward were mounted and torqued to 85 lb.-ft. The rotors were put on before putting the brakes back together. Baer sent new bolts to mount bracket to the spindle and the caliper bracket to the relocation bracket. Caliper mount ears may need to be scuffed down with a wire wheel or scuff pad to knock off any rust or corrosion.
Left: The key difference when assembling the front brakes is to install the new Caliper bracket from Baer and torque it to 85-ft-lbs. Center: With the rotor in place the install the factory front caliper bracket. Right Finally compress the caliper pistons, then the pads and the caliper can go back on. An important note is to install the new, and included anti-rattle clips rather than reusing the old pieces.
The completed front Eradispeed installation.
Like the front, the existing rear caliper brackets were sandblasted and painted black before being mounted, along with the relocation brackets. Ensure the engraved part number of the relocation brackets face inward towards center of car and are torqued to 85 lb.-ft. The existing stainless pad hardware got the wire brush treatment before calipers and rotors were mounted. All four wheels were torqued to 100 lb.-ft. and voila!
The work to the rear brakes is essentially the same as the front. Left to Right: Remove the rotors, install the Baer Eradispeed brackets, followed by the pads. Compress the caliper pistons then reinstall the calipers.
To add a little more eye appeal to our car, we also blasted and painted the caliper mounting brackets. This gives a cleaner appearance to the final install. Here you can see a rear bracket after being blasted.
Prior to heading out, each wheel was torqued by hand in the proper criss-cross sequence to prevent warping the new rotors, or bending the hubs.
The Eradispeed +2 upgrade is not only reasonably priced, but the drilled and slotted rotors and Baer’s brake pads can be used in conjunction with the OE calipers.
“The Eradispeed +2 upgrade is not only reasonably priced,” adds Elam, “But the drilled and slotted rotors and Baer’s brake pads can be used in conjunction with the OE calipers.” Once the bedding was completed, we put the brakes through their paces by testing stopping distance.
Both before and after distances were tested with the Nitto NT555 rubber, on our 20×8.5 front and 20×10 rear wheels. Prior to the install, the three-pass 60 mph to zero stop testing netted an average of 114 feet (112, 114, 116 ft.) with a bit of brake fade on the last pass (the 116-footer). Braking was free of drama, however distances could certainly be improved upon and heat could be dissipated more efficiently to prevent fade.
Left: Our old brakes behind the wheels. Center and Right: The final product behind our wheels.
Final stopping numbers fared much better, averaging 111 feet (109, 111, 113 ft.) on three successive stops with subtle fade on the last attempt. Keep in mind this is with stock hoses and fluid – both of which will be swapped in the future for mightier braking. Aside from the stopping numbers, the biggest difference was in regards to the driving experience. Pedal application is nice and smooth, they feel like the stock brakes did - only much more effective. You step on the pedal and it works, without drama. No abnormal noises, no shuddering. They just work.
The driving experience has been improved with a noticeable reduction of fade and improvement in the amount of pedal feel and pull-down power when getting on the brakes hard. Much can easily be attributed to the installation of the larger slotted and drilled rotors, but also by going with the recommended brake pads from Baer on all four corners that are more aggressive than the OE pads.
The quicker and more decisive brake response will likely only compound as the pads continue to bed and additional aforementioned elements are introduced to the system. We were very impressed and pleased with the visual and practical improvement of the braking system and plan on putting it to good use. Whether clicking off a few passes at the drag strip, rounding the cones at the auto cross, or just an afternoon of spirited driving, better braking can make the world of difference. Of course it doesn’t hurt that they also look damn good too.