Thunderbird Front Brake Upgrade
The stock 89-97 Thunderbird rotors were 10.87" and designed for
15" wheels. The only factory brake upgrade for the Thunderbird came in
1997 with the 11.57" rotor which came as on option under the "SPORT"
package which required 16" wheels. 89-92 Thunderbirds used an eariler style
spindle and braking setup so these upgrades only apply to 93-97 spindles.
1989-1992 Thunderbirds must replace their front spindles and sway bar end
links with 1993-1997 Thunderbird/Mark VIII spindles before they can upgrade
to any of the bigger brakes. 1993-1997 spindles can be found in many salvage
yards for around $50-$80 each. Listed below is a guide to brake upgrades
for the 93-97 Thunderbirds/Mark VIII cars. Several brake upgrade options
are available depending on the size of your wheels. Note: If you see other
brake kits listed for 1994-present Mustangs any of these will fit the 93-97
10.87" rotors with 1999-up Mustang 2-piston PBR calipers for 15"-up
Mark VIII 11.57" rotors for 16" + wheels.
Mustang 2-piston Cobra PBR calipers with 13" rotors for 17"+ wheels.
Mustang 4-piston Cobra Brembo calipers with 13" rotors for 17"+ wheels.
1999 - 2004 Mustangs came with optional dual piston calipers for use
on 11" rotors with 15"-up wheels. These calipers are a direct bolt-on for
any 1993-1997 Lincoln Mark VIII or Thunderbird. The Mustang uses an 11"
rotor while the Thunderbirds used a 10.87" rotor. The close rotor sizes
allow the use of the Mustang caliper bracket and caliper to work on the
stock rotor without having to switch to the Mustang 11" rotor. Lincoln
Mark VIII owners will have to use the T-Bird 10.87" rotor if changing.
These caliper and caliper brackets are available as new or used.
These GT calipers and brackets can be found at many salvage yards. Try
a search for 1999 Mustang calipers at www.car-part.com you will find hundreds
of hits. Also these can be purchased new or remanufactured from Ford. NOTE:
Give them your old Thunderbird calipers as cores to reduce the cost.
1999-2004 Ford Mustang Base/GT calipers
|XR3Z2B120AA||NEW Caliper Right||$81.00 each with $40 core charge|
|XR3Z2B121AA||NEW Caliper Left||$81.00 each with $40 core charge|
|XR3Z2V120AARM||Remanufactured Caliper Right||$51.00 each with $80 core charge|
|XR3Z2V121AARM||Remanufactured Caliper Left||$51.00 each with $80 core charge|
|XR3Z2B292AA||Caliper Bracket Right/Left (2 needed)||$47.00 each|
|XR3Z2B296AA||Caliper Pin Right/Left (2 needed)||$11.00 each|
|XR3Z2A492AA||Caliper Rubber Boots (pair) (2 pair needed)||$6.00 each pair|
|N805163-S190||Caliper Pin Bolt (4 needed)||$5.00 each|
|XR3Z2001AA||Brake Pads with retainers||$83.00 set|
|W706548||Banjo Bolt with washers (2 needed)||$4.00 each|
1993-1997 Mark VIII 11.57" rotors for 16" + wheels
11.57" Brakes require 16" wheels min. These brakes came equipped on
93-97 Lincoln Mark VIII and the Thunderbird 1997 Sport optioned cars. Ford
is not the only source for these parts. Check with junk yards and local
autoparts stores for rebuilt calipers and other parts.
Caliper Bracket Bolts
Rotor Retaining Nuts
Loosen all lug nuts, jack car up and remove wheel. Using a 10mm socket
loosen the Banjo bolt that attaches the brake line to the caliper. Tighten
the Banjo bolt back so the brake fluid stops leaking. Using a #50 Torx
bit remove the lower caliper brake bolt. Lift the caliper up from the lower
side and remove the pads. Use a wire or coat hanger attached to the upper
A-arm to suspend the caliper out of the way. (see picture)
Next remove the two caliper mounting bracket bolts with a 15mm socket
then remove the rotor. Note: remove the caliper retaining
push nuts from the studs by turning them counter clockwise.
Clean area with brake cleaner. Note: this is a good time
to regrease the lower ball joint.
Next remove the Banjo bolt from the old caliper and install on the new
caliper using 2 new brass washers. Tighten the bolt down until the fluid
Install new rotor & insert push pins over the studs to hold rotor
in place. Install new caliper mounting bracket and add thread sealant to
bolts, tighten bolts to 95lb-ft. (see picture)
Install new brake pads and caliper.
Finally open the caliper bleed screw and bleed the brake system. Keep
the brake fluid resavour from getting too low during the bleeding process
as air bubbles will occurr. Note: For a home made bleed
system use a 2 foot piece of 1/4" rubber hose and a clear bottle. As the
brake fluid fills the bottle you will see when the air bubbles stop and
the hose submerged in the fluid will prevent any air from getting back
into the caliper.
Finally install the wheels and torque the lug nuts down to 85-105 lb-ft.
Install is the same for other side.
Mustang 2-piston Cobra PBR calipers with 13" rotors for 17"+ wheels
The Mustang 5 on 4.5" bolt spaced rotor must be redrilled to the Thunderbird/Mark
VIII 5 on 4.25". Several places offer rotor redrilling of bolt patterns.
If switching to the Mustang 5 on 4.5" hubs you can install this brake setup
without any modifications. This will require Mustang 1994-up wheels. Since
the Mustang 1994-up front hubs are a direct replacement for the 1993-1997
On the passengers side you will have to remove the brake line and grind
one side of the Banjo block down so both sides match before it will fit
on the PBR caliper. That banjo bolt is a 10mm x1.5 pitch thread pitch.
You can either reuse the bolts from the Mustang brake hoses or purchase
another set of banjo bolts to use on your stock brake hoses. Also get another
2 sets of crush washers too. Almost any local autoparts store should carry
these banjo bolts and crush washers. Earl's sells the banjo bolt with crush
washers under part number 997517 (Thread : M10x1.0).
Mustang 4-piston Cobra Brembo calipers with 13" rotors for 17"+ wheels
This kit is sold through Ford Racing part # M-2300-X and will require
redrilling of rotors to the Thunderbird bolt spacing. If switching to the
Mustang 5 on 4.5" hubs you can install this brake setup without any modifications.
This will require Mustang 1994-up wheels. Since the Mustang 1994-up front
hubs are a direct replacement for the 1993-1997 Thunderbird hubs.