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Big brake kits?

Bwad

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I’ve seen a couple threads including the 12” sport-trac brake upgrade and the mustang cobra 13” upgrade and I like both ideas. I like more the idea of the manufactured conversion plate that the cobra “kit” comes with but realize that kit is not sold anymore. Is there anyone who manufactures brackets to fit these brake conversions? I’ll be swapping in rear discs soon and would like to complement them with some larger front discs.
Thanks for the help!

-Brad
 


JoshT

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There's a fella in the Facebook V8 Ranger groups on Facebook that has carried on the work of Gumby (12" Sport Trac) and Tee-Rev (13" Cobra) with big brake kits. Name is Chris Salmon, he posts in one of the V8 Ranger swap groups. I don't know if this link to his groups profile will work. His business page is is S&S Engineering LLC.

He offers Gumby's bracket setup almost exact, nice tig welded bracket with zinc plating. I think they normally run $165, IIRC he said something about a sale on the last sets he had in stock the other day. Going forward, they'll be done like group buy, once he has enough sells he'll build and sell the kits. If you can live with the 12" brakes I'd get in contact asap.

He's also modernized Tee-Rev's kit to use 4 piston Brembo calipers from a Cadillaic ATS with the same 13" Cobra rotors. Just got confirmation that these will still fit under most 17" wheels like the Cobra kits, in case that was a concern for you. Last batch he posted for $475 shipped, don't know if he has any left.

If I were starting over with nothing on my 85 I'd probably go with the Sport Trac kit and be happy. It would still be larger and better braking than 90% of other 83-97 Rangers and dual pistons unlike the 83-92 Rangers. I've already got Tee-Rev's Cobra kit that I bought years ago for my last Ranger sitting on the shelf, along with most all the parts needed for install. Doing it over now, I don't think I could justify the added cost of the 13" brakes regardless of if it was the Cobra or Cadillaic calipers. If it's just for improved braking, I think that the 12" would be plenty. If it's for looks and street credit, it might actually be worth it.
 
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svtcards

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He sells kits for 1st gen rangers your saying?bigger front brakes would be great on these.i ll have to look him up for sure.whats tee revs?
 

JoshT

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I guess technically they're for 95-97 2wd Rangers, when the Ranger went to the dual piston bolt on calipers. On earlier models you have to do a little parts swapping. For an 83-88 Ranger you have to use the 89-97 beams and 95-97 steering knuckles. For the 89-93 Rangers you only need the 95-97 steering knuckles. After this you can run the stock 95-97 brake setup which is an imprvement, or either of the setups I mentioned above which are bigger improvements.

Once you change those parts any of them are a bolt on affair, no other mods to your truck required except possibly brake hoses. For a Sport Trac upgrade you can use the Ranger brake hoses with no modification since you;re also using Ranger calipers. For the 13" options you'll need to source hoses, or possibly modify stock hoses to work, since those calipers use a larger 10mm banjo bolt in the caliper. IIRC I bought a set of hoses for around a 94 and drilled the caliper end slightly larger to accomidate the 10mm banjo bolt.

You can find more information about the 12" Sport Trac swap in the tech library, and there's a link in there that includes more information about the 13" Cobra swap as well. The 13"kit I linked above is basically the same kit except using a 4 piston Brembo caliper from a Cadilliac ATS.

EDIT: I said with no other mods, but the Sport Trac brackets as shown in the Tech Library also required minor grinding of the steering knuckle for clearance to bolt on the bracket. I'm not sure if the bracket produced by S&S Engineering requires the same.

For a history lesson, Tee-Rev was a machinist from Canada (IIRC) that hung out in the Ranger community back in the days of Ranger Power Sports, here too just not as active. In those days RPS was more for street trucks, while TRS trended more torwards offroad trucks, both were welcome at either though. As far as I know Tee-Rev was the one that originally developed the kit for running the 13" Mustang Cobra and PBR caliper on the front of an I-beam Ranger. The goal of the kit seems to have been to produce a budget brake upgrade with affordable factory used components. Back then the PBR caliper used in the Mustangs, Corvettes, and some other vehicles was the ticket for a budget brake upgrade. I'm sure if Tee-Rev were developing the kit now he would have probably gone a similar route to what S&S did with the Cadilliac caliper.

The biggest problem with Tee-Rev's kits is that he only produced kits in batches of 10 when he could get enough pre-orders and deposits (~$200), so you were likely to be waiting a year or more for him to produce a batch. He was a full time machinist and brake parts for an old truck were not his bread and butter, it had to be worth his time to shut down the regular production and knock out a batch. People didn't like the wait and complained about the pricing, I'll admit that I did too after waiting so long, so eventually he pretty much stopped producing them. AFAIK I got one of the last kits he produced somewhere around 10 years ago.
 

svtcards

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Good info and tee rev story.not sure if big brakes upgrade is in my budget so I know now what's needed for the swap.i ll just deal with the tiny 1st gen brakes for now.maybe I can mention it to the old lady for father's day.lol
 

JoshT

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Like I said, even the 95-97 dual piston calipers would be a nice upgrade to your 87. If you aren't lowered, you could probably source most of the parts from a u-pull-it junkyard in a weekend. It would set you up for the bigger stuff down the road and spread out the hit on the wallet.
 

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95+ has bolt on calipers too, like welcome to the 20th century...
 

svtcards

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Like I said, even the 95-97 dual piston calipers would be a nice upgrade to your 87. If you aren't lowered, you could probably source most of the parts from a u-pull-it junkyard in a weekend. It would set you up for the bigger stuff down the road and spread out the hit on the wallet.
The low life is the only life! No big brakes for a while.
 

JoshT

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Keep an eye on the classifieds, I got my 89+ beams used with the 95-97 knuckles and brakes from a member on one of the Ranger forums.
 

svtcards

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Keep an eye on the classifieds, I got my 89+ beams used with the 95-97 knuckles and brakes from a member on one of the Ranger forums.
They d have to be dropped beams for me to consider the big brake swap.dont see those used that often.
 

JoshT

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That's what I was saying. The stuff I got included dream beams. People do part lowered trucks occasionally
 

Bwad

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There's a fella in the Facebook V8 Ranger groups on Facebook that has carried on the work of Gumby (12" Sport Trac) and Tee-Rev (13" Cobra) with big brake kits. Name is Chris Salmon, he posts in one of the V8 Ranger swap groups. I don't know if this link to his groups profile will work. His business page is is S&S Engineering LLC.

He offers Gumby's bracket setup almost exact, nice tig welded bracket with zinc plating. I think they normally run $165, IIRC he said something about a sale on the last sets he had in stock the other day. Going forward, they'll be done like group buy, once he has enough sells he'll build and sell the kits. If you can live with the 12" brakes I'd get in contact asap.

He's also modernized Tee-Rev's kit to use 4 piston Brembo calipers from a Cadillaic ATS with the same 13" Cobra rotors. Just got confirmation that these will still fit under most 17" wheels like the Cobra kits, in case that was a concern for you. Last batch he posted for $475 shipped, don't know if he has any left.

If I were starting over with nothing on my 85 I'd probably go with the Sport Trac kit and be happy. It would still be larger and better braking than 90% of other 83-97 Rangers and dual pistons unlike the 83-92 Rangers. I've already got Tee-Rev's Cobra kit that I bought years ago for my last Ranger sitting on the shelf, along with most all the parts needed for install. Doing it over now, I don't think I could justify the added cost of the 13" brakes regardless of if it was the Cobra or Cadillaic calipers. If it's just for improved braking, I think that the 12" would be plenty. If it's for looks and street credit, it might actually be worth it.
Josh, you’re the best. Thank you for all the info and links provided. I’ll see what I can do about sourcing those parts from the v8 ranger groups. I appreciate your knowledge and apologize for the late reply.
 

don4331

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TeeRev, is (was anyway) from Calgary, eh; his shop was kitty corner from office I worked out of more/less. IMHO, the biggest issue was his adapter was aluminium - not what you want for brake brackets.
Historical fact: Saleen replaced all their aluminium "big brake" adapters on Saleen XP8 (Saleen Explorer) after a couple failed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saleen_XP8#Brakes.​
The pair I made for myself are one piece steel...I have the blueprints somewhere.
 

JoshT

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IMHO, the biggest issue was his adapter was aluminium - not what you want for brake brackets.
The pair I made for myself are one piece steel...I have the blueprints somewhere.
You're welcome to your opinion, but I'd have to disagree. A lot of vehicles have alumiunum in places that receive a lot more abuse and have no issue, other Saleen products included. With proper design, engineering, and material specs there is nothing wrong with aluminum used there. Saleen messed up on one or more of those points. The Explorer wasn't a performance vehicle or a money maker for them, it was a product deal with Ford. They didn't invest a lot of time or money into the XP8, they just made it look Saleen, slapped big brakes on it as cheeply as they could, and shipped it out. When the brake issue appeared, it was cheaper and easier to just put factory brakes on than spend the time and money engineering a proper bracket and getting it produced in the correct materials. The vehicle was already sold, they weren't getting more money to fix it right and the factory parts were still in production and readily available.

To each their own, but there's more to the story than simply the adapters failed on that XP8 thing. I will be running the aluminum adapters on my own truck (if I ever get to build it) and won't be worried about it. Having said that, I had considered getting a local machine shop to duplicate the brackets to stash on the shelf incase I ever wanted to do this to a second truck, or something catastrophic happened. Now that I know about the company I linked to above making a "modern" version of the kit, I'm not going to bother. I'll run the Tee-Rev kit on this one and buy that kit if I need to do it again.

If you wanted to share those blueprints, I'm sure that there are a few people around here with access to the right equipment that would love to see them. Unfortunately I'm not one of those people, primarily due to a lack of access to equipment.
 

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