Home: Mustang Tech: Brakes: Low Budget PBR brake upgrade
Low Budget PBR brake upgrade

By: GTRaptor


Being able to slow your car down at the track or the street is very important, more so if you have increased the power output of your Mustang. At the 1/4 mile it is probably not as important, but if you ever go Road Racing you will notice how fast the stock brakes on your 94-98 Mustang fade as if you didn't had brakes at all.
94-98 Mustangs are factory equipped with single piston calipers and 10.8 Rotors. The units are cast iron which are not only heavy but also don't dissipate heat fast enough which will boil your brake fluid.


PBR Caliper specs:
weight: 10.4 lbs (loaded)
piston diameter: 45x45mm dual piston.

Assembly Diagram:

In this article we are installing a PBR dual piston caliper brake kit. Originally found on the 99+ models it gives a better than stock feel. The PBR units can be found at a junker or from some specialty shops. This is a "low budget" project which most people will be able to afford and perform with home tools.

These PBR units are an almost bolt-on deal for 94-98 Mustangs, with minor grinding required for the spindle. Fox body mustangs will have to use the 94-98 spindle which will increase ackerman, but we wont cover the Fox swap in this article.

94-98 SN95s can retain their stock 10.8 discs, but it would be a good idea to swap them in favor of some Drilled or Slotted rotors. They are also lighter (8 lbs) than the '94-98 cast calipers which will reduce unsprung weight, and you get the benefit of the dual piston calipers!

Our PBR calipers and discs came from a 2002 Mustang GT with low miles so we are keeping the discs and just have them resurfaced. Prior to installation we cleaned and polished the calipers to improve the looks. The polishing is no easy task, took us around 2 days but the calipers look like aftermarket units with a distinct chrome look. We also painted the vents on the rotors and center section.


Most take-off units come loaded with pads and brake lines. The '94+ Mustang brake lines are side specific, so you cannot switch sides with them. The '99+ Mustang lines are a direct bolt in for the 94-98 cars. The 94-95 spindles will have to be cleareanced for the dual piston 99+ calipers to work.


To mount the PBR calipers on the older '94-98 spindles, you need to shave about 5mm off each "ear" of the caliper mounting bolt hole. This can be done with a grinder very easily. It will take about 20 minutes to complete both spindles.


Removal and Installation

  1. Remove one caliper at a time. The caliper is held onto the spindle via a bracket. Two bolts may be accessed from behind the bracket. Support the caliper/bracket assembly. Dont disconnect the hose yet.
  2. Remove the factory caliper mounts.
  3. Remove the rotors, if they have never been removed theres probably a locking spider washer in a couple of the bolts. Remove them and discard. Give a few blows with a rubber mallet to the rotors from behind. Rotate the rotors as you do this.
  4. Grind around 5mm from each spindle as shown here. Test-fit the PBR caliper mount.
  5. Install the PBR caliper mounts.
  6. Remove the stock calipers, their factory flex hose and hose mount from the fender skirt mount. A plug or other temporary item should be used to prevent the fluid from draining. If equipped with ABS, allowing the system to run dry will require a factory type brake bleed procedure to ensure no air has entered the system.
  7. Re-Install the rotors.
  8. Install the PBR flex hose, caliper and pads.
  9. Repeat for the other side.
  10. Once complete, you can put the short length of tubing over the bleed screw and open the bleed screw. Pour brake fluid into the master cylinder reservoir so that it stays full enough to prevent air from entering the lines. Watch the hose for fluid flow as gravity pulls the fluid into the caliper and forces out the air. Close the bleed screw when fluid begins to appear. Bleed the brakes as normal. One easy way is to use a handheld vacuum pump setup at the caliper to draw out the fluid which in turn clears air from the system.

It is time to take your ride for a spin, if you installed new pads follow the manufacturer recommendations for break-in. If the brakes feel spongy bleed them again.

Other upgrades to your brake setup will be to install braided lines, this will improve the braking ability further.


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