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S197 Handling Section For everything suspension related, inlcuding brakes, tires, and wheels.

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Old 10-20-2011, 02:29 AM   #1
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Question Steel Braided Brake Lines

I know this forum is for the 05-11 Mustang, but I have a 2012 GT. I figure it can't be much if any different from the 2011.

The actual question I wanted to ask is about the different brands of Steel Braided Brake Lines such as Baer, Wilwood, Steeda & Brembo. I am going to eventually (as money permits) change to one of the above brake kits. But, for now I am going to start small and would like to change only the Brake Lines, and am looking for a set from the above brands that will fit the front and rear stock calipers. This will give the brake pedal a firmer feel. Does anybody have a recommendation on which Braided Brake Line they would use? Steeda has a set for the 11&12 but I'm not familiar with them or their quality.

Thank you for any information, I appreciate it.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:35 AM   #2
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For street use simply swapping OEM to SS lines will have no effect. You will not feel any difference in the pedal. The OEM lines are very good, they are way beyond the expandable rubber lines of yore. The only reason you'd need SS lines, or so the theory goes, is for race track use where lap after lap of heavy brake use can super heat the fluid and cause the lines to expand under pressure. But frankly I've not seen evidence that it happens in today's world. The more practicle reason is simply that the offer better protection from rocks and such. The downside is they trap sand and grit in between the SS braid and the rubber, causing them to wear quicker. Most recommend you replace SS lines once in a while, something you normally wouldn't do with OEM lines.

Personally if you plan to upgrade to a BBK in the future, I wouldn't touch your brake lines now (why do the job twice). When you do install a BBK the kit will come with lines to fit it (not all lines fit into all calipers, they have different ways of connecting the line to the caliper).

If you are itching to do a cheaper brake upgrade at this point just throw a set of high performance pads in there. They will have an immediate "feel" effect, as in they won't make you feel like you waisted your money.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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I agree and disagree. The SS brake lines will help with pedal feel. However it will be minimal. So as Argonaut suggested you might start with a set of pads or go with both to get the most out of your stock brakes.

For a street driven car I would recommend the Hawk performance street pads. This pad has a good life expectancy with a nice increase in stopping power. If your car is a more weekend hot driver you may consider the Hawk Plus pads. They have a shorter life span but will give you the most out of your stock brakes.
Hope this helps and let me know if I can help anymore.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
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Default Steel Braided Brake Lines

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Originally Posted by SteedaMatt View Post
I agree and disagree. The SS brake lines will help with pedal feel. However it will be minimal. So as Argonaut suggested you might start with a set of pads or go with both to get the most out of your stock brakes.

For a street driven car I would recommend the Hawk performance street pads. This pad has a good life expectancy with a nice increase in stopping power. If your car is a more weekend hot driver you may consider the Hawk Plus pads. They have a shorter life span but will give you the most out of your stock brakes.
Hope this helps and let me know if I can help anymore.
Thank you Matt for the information, I appreciate it. I only thought about Braided Lines because they work well with motorcycle applications. This is my first Mustang and the brakes feel a little spongy and soft compared to the cars I have owned with OEM brakes and brake lines. I will try the pads first and see how they work out.

Will the Hawk street pads do any damage to the stock rotors?
Thanks again for your help.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:07 PM   #5
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Default Steel Braided Brake Lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argonaut View Post
For street use simply swapping OEM to SS lines will have no effect. You will not feel any difference in the pedal. The OEM lines are very good, they are way beyond the expandable rubber lines of yore. The only reason you'd need SS lines, or so the theory goes, is for race track use where lap after lap of heavy brake use can super heat the fluid and cause the lines to expand under pressure. But frankly I've not seen evidence that it happens in today's world. The more practicle reason is simply that the offer better protection from rocks and such. The downside is they trap sand and grit in between the SS braid and the rubber, causing them to wear quicker. Most recommend you replace SS lines once in a while, something you normally wouldn't do with OEM lines.

Personally if you plan to upgrade to a BBK in the future, I wouldn't touch your brake lines now (why do the job twice). When you do install a BBK the kit will come with lines to fit it (not all lines fit into all calipers, they have different ways of connecting the line to the caliper).

If you are itching to do a cheaper brake upgrade at this point just throw a set of high performance pads in there. They will have an immediate "feel" effect, as in they won't make you feel like you waisted your money.
Thank you for the information. As I posted below, I thought the steel braided lines would do a bit more as they do on motorcycle applications.(this is my first Mustang) The Mustang OEM brakes feel soft and spongy compared to other cars I have owned in the past that had OEM lines and pads. I thought this would be a place to start.
Also, will the performance/street pads damage the stock rotors? Thanks again for your help.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argonaut View Post
Most recommend you replace SS lines once in a while, something you normally wouldn't do with OEM lines.

I have heard as often as once a year regardless of use to once every two years for street/occasional track. I think the real issue isn't so much the sand and stuff getting between the braid and the teflon core, but the stainless steel reaching its yeilding point at the caliper. Stainless Steel work hardens from bending, compressing and expanding, every time you turn the wheel or apply the brakes it's going to bend, or expand and eventually they will break. I have also seen lines where the crimps failed and let the stainless steel braids pull back exposing the core to expand/contract with pressure, eventually rupturing. Unfortunately the above example caused a rather nice GT2 (maybe 3?) Camaro to go into a tire wall and kwall and flip. Thankfully the driver was ok.

OP, I believe Goodridge makes a kit for 05+ Mustangs. I can't imagine the brake lines changing from 2005 to 2012 but I guess it's possible. If this car will see any track use it would be wise to install the lines and then test the length to make sure they are of proper length at full suspension droop and extension.

Ideally changing lines, fluid and pads will yeild impressive results even for the stock calipers. For repeated track abuse add in some brake ducting to resist fade and pad damage from excessive heat and rotors from wearing out.

One interesting read at Corner-Carvers.com (just a reader, not sure I'd last long posting there) found that the GT500 Brembo's actually had a smaller piston area even though the fronts where 4 piston compared to the stock 2 piston calipers. What makes the kit better than the stock GT brakes is the increase in rotor size and the added stiffness of the caliper. Arguably the best bang for the buck braking system for the S197 is the GT500 brembo's with cooling ducts and good fluid and pads.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskey11 View Post
One interesting read at Corner-Carvers.com (just a reader, not sure I'd last long posting there) found that the GT500 Brembo's actually had a smaller piston area even though the fronts where 4 piston compared to the stock 2 piston calipers. What makes the kit better than the stock GT brakes is the increase in rotor size and the added stiffness of the caliper. Arguably the best bang for the buck braking system for the S197 is the GT500 brembo's with cooling ducts and good fluid and pads.
With this setup I got 7 track days this year with Ford stock rotors and Carbotech XP10 pads. Can't get much better than that.

The pads and rotors still have life in them and I'll swap the pads back to the GT500 kit pads for the winter and then in the spring put in a new set of Carbotech XP10 pads and Ford rotors ready for the new season.

There are also lots of pad choices for the Brembo's.

The kit comes with SS lines.

The disadvantage with the Brembo's is getting wheels to clear them.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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Stainless steel braided brake lines take a lot of flexing
that Stainless Steel does not like. They are not for
everyday use. Unless you want to inspect them daily
and replace them once the start to come loose from
the fittings and fail during a hard stop.
Otherwise leave them to the fully inspected on a regular
basis track cars...

Here's the thing, though: Since stainless-steel lines don't bulge as they age,
and since the inner Teflon lining is hidden behind the braid, there's no easy way
to inspect the lines for warning signs of imminent failure. This is no big deal on a
race car, since the lines are (or should be) replaced at least once a season.
On a street car, where most people are likely to let YEARS go by without even
looking at their lines, it can be an issue.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: The lines that your performance-parts distributor will sell you are
made with no-name hose from God-knows-where (probably Taiwan), and the hose-ends
are just swaged-on fittings that are an invitation for disaster. I won't run these on my
car, and I don't recommend that you run them on yours, either.

There are now "DOT-approved" stainless-steel lines. I have no idea what they are,
but I suspect that they STILL use cheap-*** crimped-on hose ends.
Until my suspicions are disproven, I won't run THEM on my car either. -Goodridge
is a good company (not sure if they crimp thier lines but have had successful
results for 6 years + on them.)

New information that I just received: Stainless steel lines have been known to fail
when dirt gets between the outer braid and the Teflon lining... As the braid moves
back and forth, the dirt abrades the Teflon and can make it rupture. If you look at
stainless-steel lines on motorcycles, you'll see that many of them are encased in
plastic tubing, apperently in an effort to eliminate this problem. If I don't sell my
car before it's time to replace my lines, I'll probably put heat-shrink tubing around
the new ones.

This test involves mounting the hose on a flexing machine, pressurizing it to 235 psi,
then running it at 800 RPM for 35 hours.

When steel-armored hoses were run through that test, it was found that the hoses
tended to bend right at the junction between the hose and the hose-ends. After a
while, the stainless-steel braid would start to tear, and the broken wires would cut
into the inner Teflon liner, causing it to fail.

One brake-hose manufacturer fought to modify the whip test, claiming that their
stainless-steel hose could easily comply with the test if only a supplemental
support were used during testing to move the flexing-point away from the hose-ends.

The NHTSA ruled on the issue in August, 1996, deciding to allow manufacturers to
use the supplemental support... But only on the condition that the same support
was used when the hoses were installed on a real car.

FMVSS 106 was modified to include the use of the support, and the new rules
went into effect in October, 1996.

"DOT-approved" stainless-steel brake hoses went on sale immediately thereafter.

So... Now that you know the whole story, you can make an informed decision as
to whether you want to put these things on your street-driven car.

If you decide to install them, you need to be aware of a few things:

When you install them, you must make SURE that they can't kink, twist, or
stretch under any combination of wheel droop, bump, or (for the front wheels) steer.

The stainless-steel outer braid will cut through anything against which it rubs,
so you have to make sure that the lines don't rub back and forth over anything
important.

Stainless steel lines have been known to fail when dirt gets between the outer
braid and the Teflon lining... As the braid moves back and forth, the dirt abrades
the Teflon and can make it rupture. If you look at stainless-steel lines on
motorcycles, you'll see that many of them are encased in plastic tubing,
apparently in an effort to eliminate this problem. The tubing also helps
considerably with the abrasion issue mentioned above.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:04 AM   #9
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I apologize for not getting back to you sooner Whiskey11, Sleeper_08 & 157dB. I haven't been feeling to great lately. However, I would like to thank you guys for all the information you have provided. I was surprised to find out that the steel braided brake lines are not as durable as I thought they would/should be. I knew that only changing the brake lines might have a minimal impact on braking, but it was going to be a start. However, through your posts I have decided to forgo changing the lines and just hold off until I save the money to change out the calipers, brake pads etc. I probably will eventually go with Brembo. The next hard part is finding aftermarket rims that will accommodate the Brembo's. One of the aftermarket rim manufacturers I like is Enkei. Has anyone had any experience with this company's products?

Thanks again for everyones input, I appreciate it a lot.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang Enthusiast View Post
I apologize for not getting back to you sooner Whiskey11, Sleeper_08 & 157dB. I haven't been feeling to great lately. However, I would like to thank you guys for all the information you have provided. I was surprised to find out that the steel braided brake lines are not as durable as I thought they would/should be. I knew that only changing the brake lines might have a minimal impact on braking, but it was going to be a start. However, through your posts I have decided to forgo changing the lines and just hold off until I save the money to change out the calipers, brake pads etc. I probably will eventually go with Brembo. The next hard part is finding aftermarket rims that will accommodate the Brembo's. One of the aftermarket rim manufacturers I like is Enkei. Has anyone had any experience with this company's products?

Thanks again for everyones input, I appreciate it a lot.
I am running a set of Enkei PF01 18 x 9.5 x 35 mm offset wheels for track use.

They are very light for the price at about 21 lb. I bought them after careful consideration and research.

For road use you might want to get 45 mm offset as with the 35 mm offset the axle needs to be almost perfectly centered for the tires not to protrude slightly outside of the wheel well.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:16 AM
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