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Basics of High Performance - Steps To Power

The Basics Of High Performance

Photography by From the Car Craft Archives

Where you start will obviously depend on what you're driving, and what type of brakes it already has. If you're one of those guys still cruising around with four-wheel drums and a single-circuit master cylinder, you won't believe the difference a properly designed and installed front disc brake system can make. For some cars, front discs were optional and can often be retrofitted either with used parts or with new hardware from aftermarket suppliers like Master Power Brakes or Stainless Steel Brakes. Some vehicles were never offered with discs, but for many of the popular applications, retro-fit disc kits are also available. But you may want to skip over the stock '70s-era stuff and go for something a little more contemporary-like the PBR-based systems offered by Baer Racing for many classics and musclecars. Wilwood offers its own version of updated braking with four-piston aluminum calipers and lightweight rotors as well.

Maybe you drive a fourth-gen Camaro or late-model Mustang GT. Both came with very capable four-wheel discs from the factory, but both could be even better. Again, the aftermarket can help to take braking to the next level. Don't overlook the potential improvements just from higher-quality rotors and high-performance pads.

For any of the vehicles mentioned, it should be noted that very often, modern high-performance brakes will require large-diameter wheel/tire combos to clear the hardware. For example, if you install a 13-inch brake kit on the front of your '69 Camaro, don't expect to bolt the 15-inch Rally wheels back on. Depending on the parts used, even 16-inchers may not fit. This can also affect the kind of rear tire and wheel package for dragstrip use as well, necessitating a 16-inch rear wheel and tire for dragstrip jaunts. So once again, research is vital to the success of the project prior to making any purchases. Keep in mind also that full-race brake pads are really not advisable for street use, as the hardcore stuff typically requires a certain level of heat to function. This means that at low temps, there may be little friction, and therefore, little braking. Trust us, it'll make you pucker if you're not prepared. Be real about the use of your car, and remember that there's no shame in swapping pads in the pits at the road course-in fact, it's pretty typical.

SOURCES
Borla Performance Industries
5901 Edison Dr.
Oxnard
CA  93033
8-05/-986-8600
borla.com
M&H Electric Fabricators
www.wiringharness.com
DynoMax Performance Moroso Performance Products
203-453-6571
moroso.com
Flowmaster
8-00/-544-4761
www.flowmastermufflers.com
MR. GASKET COMPANY (ACCEL)
10601 Memphis Ave., #12, Dept. KC
Cleveland
OH  44144
216-688-8300
Hedman Hedders
16410 Manning Way
Cerritos
CA  90701
310-921-0404
www.hedman.com
Pertronix
440 E. Arrow Hwy.
San Dimas
CA  91773
800-827-3758
www.pertronix.com
Hooker Headers Taylor Cable Products
301 Highgrove Rd
Grandview
MO  64030-2201
816-765-2452
Torque Technologies
Valdosta
GA  31601
B&M Performance Products
8-18/-882-6422
bmracing.com
Demon Carburetion/Barry Grant
Dahlonega
GA
706-864-8544
Barrygrant.Com
Hughes Performance
2244 W. McDowell
Phoenix
AZ  85009
Edelbrock
Dept. 5.0
2700 California St.
Torrance
CA  90503
310-781-2222
www.edelbrock.com
TCI Automotive
151 Industrial Dr.
Ashland
MS  38603
662-224-8972
www.tciauto.com
Holley Performance Products
1801 Russellville Rd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
KY  42101
270-782-2900
www.holley.com
Baer Racing
6-02/-233-1411
www.baer.com
Autotronic Controls Corp. (MSD)
El Paso
TX
9-15/-857-5200
msdignition.com
Master Power Brakes
254-1 Rolling Hills Rd.
Mooresville
NC  28117
704-664-8866
www.mpbrakes.com
Crane Cams
530 Fentress Blvd.
Daytona Beach
FL  32114
3-86/-252-1151
N/A
www.cranecams.com
Stainless Steel Brakes Corp.
11470 Main St.
Clarence
NY  14031
800-448-7722
www.stainlesssteelbrakes.com
Jacobs Electronics Inc.
Midland
TX  79701
WILWOOD ENGINEERING
4700 Calle Bolero, Dept. SC
Camarillo, CA 93012
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