Install Instructions for Cobra Calipers (long)

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Suspension, Brakes & Body' started by NJSHO, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. NJSHO

    NJSHO Clean Your Shorts!

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    Ok I sense a general confusion out there about the Cobra Calipers. Too much of the info is spread out. I’m going to attempt to combine it all right here. I have not added any new info just gathered info from the forum and combined it here. None of these pictures are mine.


    General Info
    There are 2 options with the cobra/mach1 calipers when they are not used with the baer 12.5" kit or the midwest 12" kit:
    ******Cobra and Mach1/Bullet calipers are exactly the same. Cobra calipers tend to be more expensive because they are usually powder coated or engraved or something*******
    1. Run '04 Cobra or Mach 1 Calipers, Unmodified Bracket, 13" Cobra Rotors and 17" rims (16's will not work.) This mod works for both gen 3 and 94/95 knuckles.
    [​IMG]
    On a car with 94/95 knuckles
    [​IMG]
    On a gen 3.

    2. Run '04 Cobra Calipers or Mach 1 Calipers, Modified bracket, and 96-99 gen 3 11.6" rotors. This mod works 94/95 and gen 3 knuckles.
    [​IMG]
    On a Gen 2.
    [​IMG]
    Fits under slicers

    How to do it

    Option 1. 13" Cobra Rotors.
    Things you will need:
    1. Loaded '04 Cobra or Mach 1 front calipers. Stangstore.com usually has the Mach 1 calipers for around $200 shipped. See Here
    2. Banjo Bolt from your current calipers. (Replacements can be had at any store see here)
    3. New copper crush washers. (Same as #2 here)
    4. Existing Bracket Bolts
    5. Cobra Rotors
    6. Drill bit slightly larger than wheel stud diameter. (Drill press would be helpful)

    Steps.
    1. Remove current bracket with caliper attached.
    2. Remove current rotor
    3. Lay current rotor over cobra rotor and line up the hub holes. Rotate the old rotor until you have meat to drill into. Drill new bolt pattern into rotor. Conversely you could just open the existing holes up to accommodate the different bolt pattern. This can be done because the rotor is hub centric and not lug centric.
    [​IMG]
    See all the holes. This is a 2 piece rotor for the 12.5 baer setup.
    4. Install 13" '04 cobra rotor.
    5. Install '04 cobra/mach1 caliper bracket. Torque bracket bolts to 85 ft-lbs.
    6. Attach caliper (bleed screw up.)
    7. Get crush washers ready
    8. Remove line from old caliper, throw away old crush washer, put new crush washers on and tighten existing banjo bolt into '04 cobra/mach 1 caliper.
    9. Repeat for other side and bleed brakes.

    Option 2. 11.6 gen 3 rotors
    Things you will need:
    1. Loaded '04 Cobra or Mach 1 front calipers. Stangstore.com usually has the Mach 1 calipers for around $200 shipped. See Here
    2. Banjo Bolt from your current calipers.
    3. New copper crush washers.
    4. 11.6 gen 3 rotors]
    5. Existing Bracket bolts.
    6. Angle Grinder
    7. Machine Shop help. If you want to do it yourself see the next couple parts
    8. Z size drill bit
    9. M12x1.75 tap

    Steps:
    1. First thing to do is to have the bracket modified. There are two was to do this:
    A. Mill the bracket flat, move the mounting hole up .7" and grind away some of the knuckle, so that the bracket sits flat when it is bolted on.
    [​IMG]
    Grind Knuckle Here. Also you can see how the bracket is machined flat. The hole is moved up .7", Drilled with a Z sized drill bit, Tapped with a M12x1.75 tap.
    [​IMG]
    Gen3's might have to grind the areas circled in red.
    B. Mill the bracket flat, movie the mounting hole up .7" and notch/chamfer the bracket so it clears ears on knuckle pictured in Step A.
    [​IMG]
    I dont know how thick that notch is, so take a guess and see if it works.

    The rest of the steps are similar no matter if you notch the bracket or not.
    2. Remove current bracket with caliper attached.
    3. Remove current rotor
    4. Grind Knuckle if applicable (no notched brackets)
    5. Install 11.6 rotor
    6. Install modified '04 Cobra/Mach1 bracket. Make sure it sits flat and is not put at an angle by the ears of the knuckle. Tighten bracket bolts to 85 ft-lbs.
    6. Install '04 Cobra/Mach 1 Calipers with the bleed screws pointing up.
    7. Ready new crush washers.
    8. Remove line from old caliper and discard crush washers.
    9. Put new crush washers on line and attach line with existing banjo bolt to the '04 Cobra/Mach 1 caliper.
    10. Repeat on other side and bleed brakes.

    The nice thing about the 11.6 setup is that all you need to upgrade to the 13" is some 17's and 13" rotors. Just make a spacer out of some material to put around the original hole and bolt it up.
    If you muck up the brackets you can get new ones from fastpartsnetwork.com but they are more than half the price of the loaded calipers from stangstore.com. I cant find the link to them and they are not where you think they would be. As soon as I find it I will post
    it.

    Edit: Stangstore.com looks dead. I found this link. I have not purchased from them so I have no idea how their service is:
    http://www.wakeperformance.com/product_info.php?products_id=274
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2007
  2. DDakRT

    DDakRT SHO Member

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    Wow. Vote for sticky! :thumb: :hail:

    Thanks you so much for putting that together. It's very much appreciated.
     
  3. Sh03d

    Sh03d Sho Ed

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    Now this is going in my favorites list. Good job!:thumb: :thumb:
     
  4. SinisterSHO

    SinisterSHO Rust free

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    Some what on topic. Does anyone know if the banjo bolts are the same for the GT calipers as the Mach1/Cobra calipers?
     
  5. Shoaz

    Shoaz Studly dood

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    Dang, dude, way to make a thorough post...
     
  6. K-Dawg

    K-Dawg SHO Member

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    Also, they don't have to be a 04 Cobra, any year Cobra will do (I think). And don't forget that the right goes on the left and left goes on the right.
     
  7. blue2ndgen

    blue2ndgen SHO Member

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    Well Thank You. That takes a load off my mind. Now to find out the cheapest place to buy parts.
     
  8. blue2ndgen

    blue2ndgen SHO Member

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    whats the difference btween mach 1 and cobra calipers. just the cobra logo? It looks like they are shaped a little different.
     
  9. NJSHO

    NJSHO Clean Your Shorts!

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    The banjo bolts for the 94/95/gen 3 sho/Cobra/Gt calipers all have the same part number.
    There is no difference between Cobra and Mach1, except that the Cobra are generally painted or engraved or something. I looked around everywhere and stangstore had the cheapest price. If you want fancy looking calipers try discbrakerus.com. As far as left going right... just make sure the bleed screws are pointing up and your golden.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2006
  10. zak

    zak SHO Member

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    Option 2, using 11.6 brake rotors with Cobra calipers, will reduce your front brake swept area to a level less than the stock 94/95 ~ 11.0" inch brake setup. In other words, that option wil result in brakes having poorer fade resistance than Gen 3, or 94/95 front brakes. It was originally designed by Tom to enable mounting of 16 inch drag slicks on a temporary basis, when normally running the 13 inch Cobra front rotors.
     
  11. PaulRuffo

    PaulRuffo SHO Member

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    The rotors need to be re-drilled for the taurus bolt pattern? Or is there a place that sells them in the proper pattern a taurus?
     
  12. NJSHO

    NJSHO Clean Your Shorts!

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    There are a larger selection of pads avail. for the cobra calipers to combat fade (ie hawk hp+ and blues.) In addition, the caliper is lighter (half the weight of 95) and made of aluminum which would better disapate heat and lead to less fluid boil.
    Why wouldn't a caliper designed for high performance cars (corvettes and cobras) have more swept area than one that isnt (ie. 95 caliper.) Im not trying to be confrontational I would just like to know why.
    Seeing as how the reason for going with larger brakes is the greater ability to manage heat and not to cut stopping distance, it doesn't make sense why they would go with a smaller swept area.

    Cobra rotors have to be redrilled or just have the holes enlargend. Since the rotor is hubcentric the stud holes dont have to be perfect. I will add that to the instructions
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2006
  13. shomesomesho

    shomesomesho G-force addict

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    Thanks for the thorough instructions.

    I vote this be upgraded to STICKY status!!
     
  14. wood_e

    wood_e The dude

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    Sticky This!
     
  15. SinisterSHO

    SinisterSHO Rust free

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    All the Cobra calipers are the same from 94-04, the Mach 1 calipers are the same, minus the Cobra logo. Also, Bullitt calipers are also the same, but have the running pony logo.
     
  16. zak

    zak SHO Member

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    NJSHO, no flames intended, just trying to educate you in the event that you end up behind me at Lime Rock one day ;-). You are correct, the Cobra caliper is lighter and >might be< stiffer than the 96+ SHO caliper (the later is pin drive, and cast iron, which improves stiffness, but that engineering & material stiffness is offset by a wider pad). It is important to realize what we are talking about is NOT pad area, it is the area that the width of the pad sweeps on the rotor as it rotates. The 96+ Gen 3 SHO pad is 2.1 inches wide, while the Cobra pad is 1.7 inch wide.

    When you put a Cobra caliper on a 13 inch rotor, the pad "sweeps" the outside and inside of the rotor, on both front wheels, for a swept area of approximately 238 square inches.

    When you move the same Cobra caliper, with its 1.7 inch wide pad, to an 11.6 inch rotor it only has a swept area of about 212 square inches, a 10% decrease.

    The stock 11.6 inch rotor and caliper give 251 square inches, or about 5% greater than the Cobra caliper on 13 inch Cobra rotor. Am I saying that these are better than 13 inch Cobra's? No, here the smaller difference in swept area is offset by the thicker Cobra rotor (1.1, vs. 11.6 @ 1.0 inch if memory serves). Also, the cooling vanes inside the Cobra rotors will be rotating faster as the tips are more outboard, pumping air through the rotor at a higher volume than the 11.6. Finally, the 13 inch rotor weighs more, giving it more thermal mass and taking longer to heat up.

    Swept area is the overwhelming driver as to how well a brake system avoids fade. It is the rotor that transfers 95% of the heat out, not the caliper or pad as some posted on the temp forum. Don't take my word for it, get Fred Phun's Brake Handbook, or read the posts by a Ford brake engineer (Jeff F) on this thread:
    http://www.corner-carvers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104

    One other nuance of this upgrade I've not seen mentioned yet: the 99+ PBR calipers (Cobra, Bullit, Mach I) use 40.5 mm twin pistons, while older PBRs (94-98 Cobra) use 38 mm pistons. This will effect brake balance, a set of calculations that also need consideration for the 11.6/Cobra caliper combo. IIRC, the 40.5 twin pistons on 13 inch rotor give about the same bias as the 11.6 stock setup, but its been awhile since I did the math on this one.

    Just trying to add useful information to this thread - anyones choice for a brake upgrade, that goes beyond the "bling" factor, should consider all the variables.

    One more minor note, Hawk Blues are avialable for the 96+ caliper (now that I think about it, same caliper as 94/95, different bracket)

    - zak
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2006
    93markVIII likes this.
  17. K-Dawg

    K-Dawg SHO Member

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    Zak, thanks for including that helpful information.
     
  18. ohioshodude

    ohioshodude SHO'ld fogy

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    there is a slight difference in calipers from 94-04. the 94-98's have 38mm bore pistons and the 99+ have the larger 40mm bore. :thumb:
     
  19. LeddZepp8687

    LeddZepp8687 The Keg Rider

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    Nice write up, I second (or third if somone already secondeded this) a sticky

    I will say one thing, Boy do my Mach 1s on 11.6s feel amazing!!
     
  20. ManySHOs

    ManySHOs []=[] []

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    40.5mm to nitpick. :)

    Seriously though; I'm waiting for someone to pick up the Brembo calipers from the Cobra R and use them on the 13" rotor. Supposedly all 99+ 13" Ford Mustang rotors are the same (apparently made by Brembo in Italy). i.e., the Brembo 4 pot caliper and the PBR 2 piston use the same rotor. The link that John (zak) posted was really informative.

    I've looked into this a few times but I already have the TCE/wilwood setup. I just sent Todd more $$$ to upgrade to forged calipers (41mm pistons IIRC) and a 1.1" 2 piece rotor. I am sticking with a 12.2 rotor so I have the option of running 16's in the future. As-is, the Ford rotors are one piece. However, Todd does have a 2 piece replacement setup that should work nicely with the Ford/brembo caliper for anyone who will never run 16's again. If the brembo caliper can be obtained economically, it might be worth something to look into.

    I just rambled, sorry. Brakes get me excited for some reason.

    Ian
     

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