Horsepower is fairly easy to come by these days, and most of us take for granted just how fast the current and previous generation Mustangs are, and fast those cars can be made. Of course whether you’re on the street or the track, it doesn’t matter how much horsepower you have when it comes time to stop.
The OEM brakes on a Mustang are only so good, and when you start carving corners on the autocross or at the road course, you find out quickly that while the OEM brakes are adequate in the majority of street driving scenarios, when its time to scrub off speed, dive into a corner, and clip the next apex, those factory brakes don’t perform nearly as well as they should.
The late Paul Brown was a champion in the Pirelli World Challenge racing series in the GTS class, behind the wheel of his Boss 302, a car Brown designed and built himself with some help from his father, legendary Mustang modifier and track specialist Kenny Brown. After Paul’s passing Baer had the parts from the brake package that was on the last car Paul won a championship in.
“Baer had the parts for years and I kept saying to Baer we should do something with this, we finally were able to get together with Baer and make that happen,” says Brown. The result is the Kenny Brown/Baer Pro 4-R Big Brake Kit. “This kit combines many of the great features of a professional grade racing brake system at a lower cost, what we call club sport prices, to make it affordable for more enthusiasts.”
The kit is based around a two-piece, Baer four-piston caliper, and 14×1.25-inch rotors. These calipers are what really make this a unique offering. The radial-mounted calipers have been pocket machined for reduced weight. The design of the caliper allows it to use six Holo-Krome 7/16-inch caliper clamping bolts for improved caliper stiffness. This significant hardware upgrade means that although the caliper has been lightened, it does not lose strength.
Stainless steel pistons available in 1.75-inch and 1.375-inch diameters have been notched to further reduce heat transfer. The two available diameters mean that Baer or Kenny Brown can match the brakes to a customer’s existing brake system, meaning that no master cylinder upgrade is necessary when installing this system.
The calipers are also top loading and accept huge 25 mm (0.98-inch) thick brake pads. This opens up the options for brake pad compounds, as well as provides increased service life since there’s more pad to wear through. The drop-in pad design (top loading) also means that pads can quickly be changed. This allows enthusiasts to run one pad compound for track days or at the autocross, and a completely different compound for daily driving and commuting, further lending versatility to the system.
The kits include stainless steel brake hoses with Banjo fittings, meaning there’s no pipe threads to deal with on the caliper side of the brake line. ARP hardware and an anodized billet radial mounting bracket also add to the list of race-grade components for this enthusiast-level kit.
The full floating rotors use a 6061-T6 aluminum hat with Bellville washers to reduce noise. The rotors also feature integral directional cooling vanes to maximize brake performance and brake life.
In racing and performance driving, being able to scrub off speed effectively and with confidence can be as much a part of a winning formula as the amount of horsepower under the hood, or the settings on the suspension. “We’ve worked with Baer for years on our street and race car programs, and have always been satisfied with the components,” says Brown. These brakes are already race-proven winners, and now Mustang enthusiasts can have them for their ’96-’14 Mustangs from the base V6 all the way up to the GT500.