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Brakes are one of those areas that can take the project over the top.    At least for now I have decided to be reasonable in this area.    I'll run the Cobra for a season and then decide if more braking is necessary..... I suspect I'll have more stopping power than most street cars......but.... if I start track racing I'll upgrade to a CNC Master cylinder and a nice Baer braking system.  

My Brake Story:    When it came to bleeding the brakes I pulled out my trusty Mity-Vac and proceeded to remove all the air.   The problem was that I was not able to get a hard petal.   I must have spent 20 hours going over everything (3 times)... bench bled the master cylinder, triple checked for small air leaks, even resorted to the conventional pumping of the brake petal (Sandra helped with this one)..... replaced the Mustang MC with a new manual Jeep MC.  Disassembled the calipers to make sure nothing was seized and removed the rear adjustable proportioning valve on the off chance that it was somehow causing my grief.    Finally I put out a help request to the Cobra Club and within a few minutes Disk-Brakes-R-Us and Dv/Dt had the answer.    I had the front LH caliper on the RH side and the RH caliper on the LH side.    It took me all of 15 minutes to get them switched .... vacuum bled  ... and then on to a lovely, firm brake petal.      

Front Brakes:  5-bolt with 10.5" AutoSpecialty "Power Stop" rotors.   Lincoln VII "82-92" 73mm calipers and braided stainless lines from Disk-Brakes-R-Us

Rear Brakes: 5 bolt with 98 Mustang 10" rotors. 80 Mustang calipers and 3-piece braided stainless steel lines from Disk-Brakes-R-Us.  Stainless brake line brackets from Breeze Automotive and caliper offset brackets for fox axles from Richard Oben.

Petals:  I saw another member do this in red .. so I just had to do mine in blue...the effort was worth it. I  used the petal bender ....and did a double bend to separate the petals but.... keep them parallel to the gas petal.

Petals:  I slotted the petals and to get the right feel added a torque spring. (finding the right torque spring was not easy!)

Rear Lines:  Top view of brake lines

Rear Lines:  Another perspective. (Note:  Clips have since been added to secure the lines to the frame.) 

Rear Brake Line bracket: 

I wanted a nice clean connection between the flexible braided stainless lines and the rigid steel lines.  Breeze sells these as a bolt in but I chose to weld.      

E-Brake Lines: 

Keeping with the clean theme, I used  Lokar braided stainless emergency brake cables.  These had to be cut to length.  Cutting is simple... tape around the cut line and use your grinder with an abrasive cutoff wheel.         


E-Brake Caliper mount: 

Depending on how you look at it either the rear caliper casting was too thick or the Lokar threads were too short.   To fix this I ground approx. 1/4" of the casting flange.  Now the e-brake lines fit perfectly.   (Be careful not to go too deep and compromise the strength of the casting.)           


E-Brake bracket:  I welded a horizontal tube to the rear of the transmission tunnel and then welded the "E-brake" line bracket to the new tube.  The adjusters fit perfectly and line up directly with the Lokar e-brake.    

E-Brake cable routing:  

I welded a few line routing tabs to the back of the driver and passenger vertical 2"x3" frame tube.

**  click to the picture to see the lines routed through the bracket.

E-Brake cable routing: 


E-Brake cable routing:  

Looking up  from under the car this is the E-brake cable attached to the driver side caliper.  

Lokar E-Brake Handle: 

A nice addition for the Cobra.   The custom mounting brackets are displayed in the frame section.  

Master Cylinder:I had a Mustang master cylinder (plastic reservoir with 3 compartments) and a mustang proportioning valve but decided that I would replace both with a new 1984 Jeep manual MC.    


Master Cylinder: 

Another view.   Considering the Cobra weight distribution and brake bias between my Lincoln calipers in the front and Mustang calipers in the rear, I didn't see any reason to add a (rear) brake proportioning valve.   

 Brake Information:  Check out this website for Mustang brake information .... including brake fluid selection.    http://www.svo73mm.cjb.net/


Bench Bleeding:

The Jeep MC came with a helpful set of threaded plastic plugs & hose to make the bench bleeding simple.    Remember ... keep the MC level, slow strokes and allow 10 seconds between each stroke.   You are done when there are no more bubbles 


1) Bleeding:  When you open the bleeder, air sometimes seeps around the threads and small bubbles appear in the fluid being removed from the brake system.  These small air bubbles should not be confused with air in the brake system .. and so are harmless.   However, you can prevent them by adding a little teflon tape to the bleeder threads.   The teflon will not help keep a leak from occuring if the bleeder does not seat properly in the caliper.... it is only to prevent the innocent small bubbles from appearing. 

2) Vacuum (Mity-Vac):  If you use this tool correctly if will make bleeding a simple, one person job.   Some tips that are not in the manuals. 

bulletMake sure you are using a proper brake flare-nut wrench for the bleeders (it makes life easier and prevents the possibility of stripping the head off the bleeder).   
bulletForget about all the fancy black attachments that come with the Mity-Vac.  Select a 8"-12" piece of flexible, clear tubing that can pushed over the bleeder (tightly) and pushed over the stem of the Mity-Vac jar. 
bulletDon't create too much vacuum .. this causes cavitation and makes it appear like you have tons of air in the lines when you really don't.
bulletContrary to the Mity-Vac manual, the correct order for bleeding a Cobra is Passenger Rear, Driver Rear, Passenger Front, Driver Front.  

3) Wrench:  Do not take a shortcut and try to use an open end wrench to tighten brake fittings.  This is a recipe for disaster.   Get yourself a decent set of brake wrenches (flare-nut) to prevent stripping of your brake fittings.


I can be reached directly at the Legacy Garage at:  klegacy@comcast.net (SR71 on FFCobra.com)
Last modified: Sept 1, 2009