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S197 front brake upgrade

Old 5/18/18, 12:27 PM
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S197 front brake upgrade

S197 front brake upgrade. I found an amazing post/thread on another forum (Track Mustangs On-line), and I'd like to share and get some opinions.
For us guys with the older cars, our front brakes 14" 4-pot Brembos get a little weak at the track (road course). I'm looking at making an improvement there. I've found two options:
(1) 13-14 GT500 15" rotors with GT500 6-pot calipers. This is a direct bolt-on fit, but the pad size in these calipers is relatively small. New front brake lines (GT500) are needed with this set-up. This method has been tested and works well, but you need upgraded pads. Price for parts is about $1700. Option 1 is nothing new. Option 2 is what is catching my interest.
(2) 13-14 GT500 15" rotors with S550 PP 6-pot calipers. This, too, is a direct bolt-on fit, but the pad size in these calipers is HUGE compared with the GT500s. New front brake lines (GT500) are needed with this set-up. This method is relatively new, has not been tested for very long, but the results are excellent. Price for parts is about $1400. Option 2 seems new(er) to me, and I'd love any input on folks that have done this already.
Thoughts? Opinions? See pics for additional info. Upgraded fluid and steel lines will be used either way, so no need to comment about that. Thanks!






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Old 5/18/18, 02:15 PM
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Old 5/18/18, 06:53 PM
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I have nothing against option 1 or even 2 other than $$$

I have logged 4 track days per year with my 14" Brembo setup for 5 seasons now. I use a different track pad and see no need to replace. So other that $250 for new pads every 6-8 track days I see no need to swap calipers and rotors at all. There is really no need for a 15" setup as long as you use proper track pads in my opinion.


If you plan to use street pads for track work your pads will look identical to those in the pictures. Cracked and fried, and the benefits of larger pads will evaporate like the materiel on those pads. Serious track use requires serious pads.

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Old 5/19/18, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 5.M0NSTER View Post
. . . . So other that $250 for new pads every 6-8 track days I see no need to swap calipers and rotors at all. There is really no need for a 15" setup as long as you use proper track pads in my opinion.
. . . .
same here -- but half the fun with these cars is figuring out innovative "upgrades" and installing them; so Pete if you do it, please report back

from the posts I have seen on other forums, the key to this swap seems to be using the GT500 rotors, not the S550 rotors; and I think also longer brake lines (GT500) and other than that it seems very straightforward

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Old 5/19/18, 09:55 AM
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Hi, yes, whichever I do, I will report back. For the track that I mostly drive, simply upgraded pads won't do it with the existing 4-pot Brembos. My fully-optioned GT Premium is just too heavy. FYI, the picture for reference was not to show the scorching of the pads, it was to show the surface area size difference of the 13-14 GT500 vs. the S550 PP. The huge difference in pad size (plus the different surface area of 15" vs. 14" rotors) will make a big improvement for braking and longer sessions on track, for me. I did not include a picture of the small 4-pot pad, our Brembo 14" 4-pot pad is so small by today's performance standards.
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Old 5/19/18, 10:26 AM
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I assume you are getting some brake fade on the longer sessions; which is due to heat buildup as you probably already know . . . if you don't already have cooling ducts that would be my first suggestion. I think you'll need them with the bigger brakes also, since they will need to handle the same heat, and they only have the small advantage of larger rotor area to dissipate the heat a little better than the 14" rotors
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Old 5/19/18, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PJRManagement View Post
For the track that I mostly drive, simply upgraded pads won't do it with the existing 4-pot Brembos. My fully-optioned GT Premium is just too heavy.

That's interesting. I run with 3Balls Racing and at ever track day I see at least 5 or 6 mustangs. Plus on this forum DMichaels, Best, myself and EF1 all run our cars at various tracks. I have not heard even D complain about front 14' being too small and he was wearing slicks plus aero.



What pads have you tried? I'm thinking perhaps you're not using the right pad, or the desert heat is Nevada is giving you issues most of us in the northern states don't experience.



I can highly recommend GLoc R12 pads for the front. They can stop a train and are fade resistant to 2000F. Plus of course cooling like Bert mentioned.
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Old 5/19/18, 04:38 PM
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I am at CMP this weekend and the 4 pot Brembos are holding up well with the G-Loc R10/R8 set up, but I have cooling ducts on the front.
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Old 5/19/18, 06:23 PM
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I'm on summer UHP tires (not Rs, not slicks), Ferodo pads. Yes, here in Nevada our track days are hot, up to 100 degrees air temps. With track temps higher than that. We have two tracks. (1) The LVMS Outside Road Course, where my brakes are great, it is only 2 miles long, with only 2 straights where 100MPH is reached. (2) However, Spring Mountain in Pahrump is 3.5 miles with 4 straights at 115+MPH. And at the end of each straight is very hard braking down to 50MPH for 90 degree turns. By my fourth lap my brakes are very weak, and I work hard at this track to stay off the brakes as much as possible to preserve them. While all other drivers brake in more areas than me. I'm not trying to break any records (I can't!), but I'd like to be able to hang with the S550 PP guys, who seem to have brakes that never give out. And, this track (Spring Mountain) will expand soon to 6+ miles, with one more very long 150MPH straight.

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Old 5/19/18, 08:31 PM
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I have run a couple of times at Sebring in South Florida in 95+ degree heat without significant brake over heating issues in 20-25 minute sessions. Cooling ducts on the front, good fluid and remove the rear dust shields since they reflect heat back into the rotors. It also helps the rears if you turn off the advance track. It uses the rear brakes to prevent slippage and leads to overheating issues and premature pad failure on the rear.
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Old 5/19/18, 08:44 PM
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I've routinely done 130+ brake zones at Grattan with no major issues and 140mph brake zones at Mid Ohio with no major issues. I've had a brake line fail, but no fade as long as I brake late.



I still think it's your pads. Ferodo are what came with the car (or the 14" Ford Racing option) and they are not a track pad by any stretch of the imagination. I swap pads. I have daily pads and track pads. This is the reality if you want to drive 9/10 with the S197s.



I've seen a few GT350s run 9/10 without changing pads. Then next season they were back with aftermarket race pads. Larger brakes will last a a lap longer, but on street pads fade is unavoidable, no matter how big the brakes are.

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Old 5/19/18, 09:08 PM
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Quick vid of of Mid Ohio 2 years back. No brake issues, 140mph brake zone down to about 60 on the back straight, lots of braking in between. This was with S04 tires (max performance summer) and R10/R8 combo. Brakes are solid.




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Old 5/19/18, 11:06 PM
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Thanks for the input guys.
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Old 5/21/18, 07:27 PM
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Just spent the weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park with NASA Southeast. Temperatures were only in the 80's, but no brake or tire issues. My GLoc R10/R8 set up and Nexen NFERA SUR4's performed great. No brake fade even after running 2 20 minute sessions with only a 15 minute cool down period in between.

Something else to consider before committing to the 6 piston 15" Brembo set up. The NASA Spec Iron cars which are 2005-2010 S197 Mustangs are limited to 14" front rotors with the Ford Racing M 2300 S big brake kit (4 piston Brembos). If purpose built race cars don't need big brakes, I don't believe that a dual use car does. Also, think about the additional weight you would be adding with the 15" 6 piston set up, especially since it is unsprung rotating mass.
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Old 5/21/18, 07:46 PM
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Yup, I've mentioned the weight difference (14" vs. 15", and 4pot vs. 6pot) in other threads. You make good points. But purpose-built race cars don't weigh 3750lbs like my car, so that's not a good comparison. I also look at why higher performance cars, and the top S550 cars use large, powerful, 6-pots. There has to be a reason. If the 14" 4-pot solution is so great, why wouldn't Ford just stay with that? I'm not sold yet, and I'm trying to stay objective. While I appreciate all input (I really do), try to look at it more objectively, and not just what we are using now. Remember, I'm looking for improvement, if it is there. Know what I mean?
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Old 5/21/18, 08:06 PM
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The spec iron cars are about 400 pounds lighter than your car. They strip out the interior and every bit of weight that they can, but adding a roll cage offsets some of it. I don't know if 400 pounds of extra weight makes any measurable difference in braking. Maybe one of the engineers on here can chime in.
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Old 5/21/18, 08:11 PM
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Hey Pete, are you planning to swap pads before and after your events?

If so larger brakes with high cp high temp pads will give you unparalleled performance on the track. Ridiculous noise and dust on the street, which is why swapping is needed but you won't experience fade or loss of brake power.

If you plan on staying with mostly street pads, there will be some benefit to larger brakes, but not much. You will simply be delaying the inevitable fade by a lap or 2. You may be able to get away with this solution if you also add cooling, but with 100+ ambient temps I doubt that too.

I think what we're trying to say on this forum is 14" with proper race pads do great.

P.S. The S550s are north of 3800lbs. Heavier the car larger the larger the brakes. That said the curb weight of my 2014 TP car is 3606, so that helps too.

Let us know what you end up doing and post some pics. It will be a cool mod if you decide to do it.
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Old 5/21/18, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by EF1 View Post
The spec iron cars are about 400 pounds lighter than your car. They strip out the interior and every bit of weight that they can, but adding a roll cage offsets some of it. I don't know if 400 pounds of extra weight makes any measurable difference in braking. Maybe one of the engineers on here can chime in.
It does, but it's minor of the 2 factors. Kinetic E=1/2M*V^2 so velocity is what makes the most difference
And the fact the S550s are 460 hp to 526 HP means they move faster at the end of every straight. Which means the energy needed to slow down is much higher. That along with more mass makes the E much higher overall, needing bigger brakes.

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Old 5/22/18, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by PJRManagement View Post
. . . I also look at why higher performance cars, and the top S550 cars use large, powerful, 6-pots. There has to be a reason. If the 14" 4-pot solution is so great, why wouldn't Ford just stay with that? . . . .
I think it's because they want to sell cars and they need to keep up with the Joneses, or Chevrolets, as the case may be . . . most of those cars will never see a track and much smaller brakes would be more than adequate.

All that kinetic energy is turned into heat and you gotta get rid of that heat . . . so cooling ducts probably would be more effective than bigger rotors. (sorry if I'm being redundant, didn't re-read the whole thread)

If I was doing it again I would probably look hard at the S550 conversion, simply because "bigger is better" even if it isn't really "needed." But probably only if I had lightweight wheels to offset some of the weight gain.
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Old 5/22/18, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Bert View Post
If I was doing it again I would probably look hard at the S550 conversion, simply because "bigger is better" even if it isn't really "needed." But probably only if I had lightweight wheels to offset some of the weight gain.
---
You mean wheels like flow-formed 19x10 in front that weight only 23 lbs each? Yeah, I got that covered. Seriously though, your 'keeping up' remark is pretty accurate I think. Because the 15-17 S550 had no extra power, and their 4-pots are huge compared to our baby Brembos, and the PP 6-pots are simply enormous.
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