There is a need for quality, affordable pro-grade race-spec big brakes. — Kenny Brown, Kenny Brown Performance
While modern Mustangs feature factory brakes that are vastly superior to the stoppers found on their predecessors, these same cars are capable of greatly expanding their performance. Put that increased performance on a road course and more braking power would certainly come in handy. That’s why vaunted Mustang tuner Kenny Brown turned to the experts at Baer Brakes to develop professional-style brakes for dual-use Mustangs — the Pro4-R Race-spec front-brake kit.
“There is a need for quality, affordable pro-grade race-spec big brakes with the growing popularity of track days and club racing,” Kenny explained. “So we worked with Baer to develop a professional-grade, full-race Pro4-R Race-spec brake package. Pro4-R is designed specifically for performance enthusiasts, track days and racers alike who want to brake later, shorter and harder — to brake like the pros.”
The Kenny Brown/Baer Pro4-R Big Brake Kit delivers six-piston performance in a four-piston package. It is available for both 1996-2004 Mustangs (PN KB-146.523; $3,995) and 2005-2014 Mustangs (PN KB-151.523; $3,995).
Calling on his extensive background in road racing, Kenny set out to create a brake upgrade for 1996-2004 and 2005-2014 Mustangs that delivers that professional braking performance without the pro price tag. The basis for this system actually draws on the brakes that his late son, Paul Brown, used on his GTS Championship Boss in the 2011 Pirelli World Challenge Series.
“To win races and championships, as well as track days, you not only need good brakes, but great brakes,” he explained. “Superior, reliable Baer brakes was one of the key components to Paul’s domination in winning Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship and in the high-performance Mustangs that I build today.”
What makes this system unique is that it is bred from racing rules. It was developed to deliver six-piston performance from a four-piston brake. This also happens to make the kit more affordable as well, clocking in at just under $4,000. To develop that performance, Kenny worked with a company with a long history in improving Mustang braking.
The stars of these systems are the lightweight, four-piston calipers. These two-piece units are compatible with stock master cylinders and six-piston Hawk pads, which load from the top for easy changes.
I’ve had a relationship with Baer for a long time and I use their brakes on the majority of the cars that I build. — Kenny Brown, Kenny Brown Performance
“I’ve had a relationship with Baer for a long time and I use their brakes on the majority of the cars that I build. A while back I was talking with Baer about developing a unique big-brake package for track-days and club racing when they told me about a brake kit that had on the shelf for a while,” he told us. “…We started talking and decided to use that same four-piston brake package as a starting point. From there we worked to engineer in every premium race-brake feature we could to give track and club racers a premium, pro-grade race brake kit at club-racing prices…”
To deliver that combination the two companies came up with a four-piston caliper that accepts the larger, six-piston brake pads. Not only do these pads offer more surface area than a traditional four-piston pad, but they are really thick. At 24mm deep they are nearly an inch thick. Moreover, the calipers are robust but light and the pads are top-loading, so they are easily swapped.
Pro4-R Race Brake Features
• Castellated, extra-thick, stainless steel pistons for better cooling
• Lightweight calipers with machined pockets
• Precision-machined, two-piece calipers assembled with six 7/16-inch Holo-Krome bolts for superior clamping force, rigidity, and strength
• Caliper pistons (1.75 and 1.375) are compatible with OE master cylinders, so no master cylinder upgrade is required
• Machined-aluminum radial caliper mounts
• ARP radial mount studs with 12-point nuts for strength and durability
• Machined banjo inlet design eliminates pipe thread in the caliper
That’s all good stuff, but what you’ll really be interested in on the road course is how much better the car will stop. Naturally that will vary based on what factory brake option your car had before as well as its full combination.
“It’s difficult to measure the improvement in stopping distances as track and race brakes stopping distance is a function of good quality brakes, brake pad compound, tire compound and suspension geometry. The real question to answer is what is the improvement in braking power,” Kenny explained. “…Pro4-Rs on one of my Mustangs with my GT4 suspension installed stop so hard that your harness straps will strain to keep you from launching through the windshield as your inners slosh to the front (in a good way!).”
For more on these race-ready Baer binders, available exclusively via Kenny Brown, you can visit company’s site here.