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> Baer Street Strip 4 Disc Brakes Installation
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post Sep 2 2010, 08:01 PM
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Baer's New Compact, High-Performance Disc Brakes Fit Inside Your Factory Wheels
From the September, 2010 issue of Mustang Monthly
By Jim Smart
Photography by Jim Smart





When Todd Gartshore from Baer Brakes called, he was excited about the company's latest idea-a compact Baer disc brake package that's small enough to fit inside 14- or 15-inch factory wheels. It's a very effective high-performance disc brake that will improve a vintage Mustang's stopping power without having to step up to larger 16- or 17-inch wheels. At press time, Baer's new Street-Strip 4 disc brake is available only for the front. In a few months, however, Baer will have rear disc brakes ready for the Street-Strip 4 system, making it a complete four-wheel disc brake package.
Fresh from Baer's new skunk works facility in Phoenix, the Street-Strip 4 features all-new S4 billet four-piston calipers, which are fully DOT compliant with dust and moisture boots. The aluminum forgings are machined to perfection with stainless steel pistons and coated with a tough powdercoating in just about any color. The S4 calipers are fitted with anti-vibration/noise abatement springs for extra quiet operation. New hubs are already packed with high-temp grease and fitted with bearings and seals. All you have to do is slip them on your existing spindles.

At press time, hubs are available only for the larger '70-up Mustang/Maverick/Granada style spindles. By the time you read this, you will be able to fit the brakes on pre-'70 drum and disc brake spindles.

The Baer Street-Strip 4 system includes DOT certified, braided stainless steel brake hoses; CNC-machined aluminum brackets; 11 x 1-inch ventilated two-piece rotors with aluminum hats; DecelaPad high-friction ceramic brake pads; and all hardware. You can get into these compact high-performance disc brakes for $895 plus shipping and handling.



The front brakes for the new Baer Street-Strip 4 disc brake system feature new S4 four-piston calipers with stainless steel pistons and 11 x 1-inch vented and slotted two-piece rotors with aluminum hats. DOT certified and ready for action, the Street-Strip 4 kit comes with braided stainless steel brake hoses and race-ready ceramic brake pads.



"Bedding" the Brakes
When it's time to bed your new brake linings, follow Baer's instructions. "Bedding pads has a couple of very important effects," Todd tells us. "The friction material in semi-metallic brake pads is held together by an organic binder. As pads get hot, the binder boils and gasses off from the top surface of the pad. As this bedding takes place, friction material makes proper contact with the rotor."

To "bed in" new rotors and pads, first season the rotor with your own heat treatment. Drive normally for 250-300 miles to get the rotors toasty. This should season the rotors so they conform to the shape they're going to be. Brake rotor warpage typically begins with poor break-in. Worse yet, you're stuck with the warpage no matter how many times you have the rotors turned. Warpage becomes a dynamic of damaged rotors and it's difficult or impossible to get rid of. Proper break-in is crucial for long life.

With seasoned rotors, it's time to "bed" the pads. Baer advises that you perform four repeated light to medium stops from 65 to 10 mph. This warms the rotors. Next, perform three light stops in succession, followed by eight heavy stops just shy of wheel lock from 65 mph down to 5 mph. Drive for ten minutes with no braking to cool brakes. Again, perform three light stops in succession followed by eight heavy stops. Drive for 10 minutes with no braking to cool the brakes.

You should know your brake pads and how to treat them. Metallic racing brake pads are noisy. They want extreme high heat or they aren't as effective. Switching from carbon metallic pads to semi-metallic pads is never recommended according to Baer. Problem here is carbon buildup on the rotor, which makes brakes unsafe. Carbon must be burned off the rotor surface via hard braking before they will be safe. Follow proper break-in procedures to ensure long brake life and reliable performance.



Our subject vehicle is a '68 Mustang with four-piston '65-'67-style Kelsey-Hayes disc brakes inside 15 x 7-inch Magnum 500s. We want to improve braking without losing the Magnum 500s. Baer's Street-Strip 4 is the hot ticket for a combination of fit and braking performance without spending a lot of money



Dust cap removal is easy when you have the right tool. Looks like someone previously beat the daylights out of this dust cap.



Because our project vehicle has early spindles designed for '65-'67 four-piston disc brakes, Baer had to change to the larger '70-up spindle. Ball joints are disconnected first by removing cotter pins and castle nuts. Castle nuts are retained to keep the spindle in place. This particular car has a Ron Morris coilover suspension, which eliminates concern over the spring unloading.



A strong whack with a five-pound sledge eliminates the need for a ball joint splitter, which could damage the dust boot.



The four-piston Kelsey-Hayes disc brake is removed along with the spindle.



The '70-up spindle is installed at this time. Castle nuts are torqued and cotter pins installed. When you install a cotter pin, keep safety in mind. Trim the cotter pin to where it will not injure anyone in the future.



We're going to need larger Granada style tie-rod ends for these spindles. Visit your NAPA store and ask for No. 269-2006 Ford outer tie-rod ends when you use this spindle.



The use of a thread locker on all hardware, along with proper torque values, is your greatest assurance against fastener failure. Baer uses Grade 8 hardware in its kits.



The caliper bracket is installed next. Proper fitment is achieved via shims and a caliper fit check once the rotor is in place. Do not torque the bracket fasteners until you've checked caliper clearances. Torque values are included with the Baer instructions.



The larger '70-up tie-rod ends are installed next along with cotter pins



As we explained earlier, cotter pin installation must be secure, then trimmed so no one will be injured during future maintenance.



The hub is fitted next in a conventional manner. First, seat the hub and bearings, then install the nut and snug it down.



We see this a lot, but don't do it. Spin the hub and listen for noise before torquing the nut to 17-25 ft/lbs. Back off, spin the hub, then torque again to 17-25 ft/lbs. Then, back the nut off to the nearest cotter pin hole position. Rotation should be smooth without binding and noise. If there's binding or noise, remove the hub and inspect.



The castle cage is installed next along with the cotter pin. Again, check for smooth rotation



Hub dust cap installation is next using an installation tool, which prevents damage from careless installation with a hammer.



Install the rotors over the hub.



Caliper installation is next using provided hardware. Baer provides shims to get the caliper properly centered on the rotor. You want equal clearance on both sides, and no less than .060-inch. Pads install through the top.



Torque fasteners per the Baer specifications. In all cases, use a torque wrench for proper bolt stretch and tension



Braided stainless steel brake hoses provided by Baer are installed with copper washers on both sides of the fitting. Use a torque wrench here as well. Install the wheels and check wheel-to-caliper clearances before taking a spin. Perform an operational check of your brakes after proper bleeding.



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