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Old 05-08-2016, 04:40 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Massive's Front Big Brake Kit + Rear Disc Conversion - Installation and Impressions

Hello everyone,

I recently finished installing Massive's new front big brake kit and rear disc conversion kit for the MK1, and have put some mileage on the setup. Here is the link:

Massive Brake System Components FORD - Massive Hardcore Racing Performance Parts - Massive Speed System - Ford Focus Specialists

Since these kits are fairly new and I haven't seen any posts about them, I wanted to make this post to summarize the installation process, document the major changes, and give my impressions on what it's like to drive with the final setup.

FRONT BIG BRAKE KIT

What it's doing

Basically, it builds upon the SVT or '05 - '11 knuckles with a bracket that brings the caliper mounting points out even further from the hub, enabling usage of bigger rotors compared to standard SVT. It uses the 2-piston aluminum 2011-2014 Mustang GT caliper, and Mustang GT rotors that have been machined to be slightly smaller in diameter.

Installation

This isn't a step-by-step guide on how to install, but I can speak generally about the process.

If you don't already have SVT or '05 - '11 knuckles, you'll need to find a pair and put them on. I have a plain old MK1, so I had to do this. In the below image, the SVT knuckle is on the right. Note that this is a great opportunity to get new wheel bearings pressed in.


It's also a great opportunity to inspect the tie rod ends, ball joints, sway bar end links, and CV joints for tears in the boots or overly tough movement. I replaced tie rod ends on both sides because they were torn, and one sway bar end link for the same reason.

Try not to damage the ball joint and tie rod end boots when separating them from the knuckle. Especially if you're using pickle forks. I ended up buying a specialty ball joint separator to do the job.


After the new knuckle is on, it's time to start installing the kit. This is the part where I'm lacking photos. I do have new / old comparison shots though. New aluminum, two-piston caliper compared to stock:


New 13" rotor (bottom) compared to stock (on top):


Fast forward a bit and you'll be looking at this. The purple thing is the Massive bracket that bolts to the knuckle using two bolts. Then the caliper bolts onto that bracket. Braided stainless steel flex lines are also included, with a small bracket to locate them onto the main purple bracket.




Wheel clearance

You need at least 17" wheels to clear these brakes. EAP wheels will just barely fit, but I wouldn't do it. The caliper is quite literally a millimeter or two away from the wheel barrel.



I have 17x7 Team Dynamics Pro Race 3, +42 offset, and they have more comfortable clearance.



REAR DISC CONVERSION KIT

What it's doing

This kit uses brackets to adapt a rear hub, caliper, and rotor to your existing trailing arm, while retaining the existing spindle. It uses SVT rear rotors and MK3 Focus aluminum rear calipers. New parking brake cables and flex lines are provided.

Installation

First, remove everything relating to brakes in the rear, until you're left with a bare trailing arm. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo for this stage.

The four bolts on the backside of the trailing arm that secure the spindle will be corroded, tight, and be incredibly difficult to access. You need to unbolt the lower shock mount and get creative with how you position yourself and the ratchet.

This is a good opportunity to replace other rear suspension components if you need to. I replaced both lower control arms since they were really rusty (photos later).

Sandwiching Massive's bracket between the arm and the existing spindle. The caliper bolts to this bracket.


And then the new hub with fresh wheel bearings goes onto the spindle.


Then the rotor and caliper can go on.


Then you have to install new flex lines and the parking brake cables. Unfortunately I have no photos of this work.

Here are some photos of the end result:


Brackets are supplied to locate and route the parking brake cables and flex lines at the camber arm. They are nicely done and keep things away from the wheel and shock.



New control arms too:


Then bleed your brakes and get an alignment. The finished product:


Driving impressions

The car can stop much shorter and with less fade during repeated stops. Pedal feel is firmer past 50%. Hard braking makes your head feel funny. I am happy with it! A driver can feel more confident and safer.

The limiting factor for me now is my all-season tires. My next set will be sticky summer tires, which should reduce stopping distances further. Also, I don't know if the supplied brake pads are performance-oriented compounds; there is probably room for improvement there as well.

Other notes
  • The rear kit is available in three versions: One with brand new calipers, one with low-mileage take-off calipers, and one with just the brackets (you supply the calipers and rotors). I got the take-off kit and the quality of the calipers was fine. You could go with brand new stuff if you want, but I don't see the need.

  • In theory, you could bolt on Mustang GT Performance Pack Brembos for the front, or even GT500 calipers, but then you'd have to run at least 18" wheels and find different rotors. I don't know if the flex lines would reach, or if the stock master cylinder could keep up. I also think that it would be expensive overkill, although it would look totally badass.

  • The front kit retails for $700, and the rear with take-off calipers goes for $460 ($610 if you want new calipers). So basically $1200 plus the install time. I think the value proposition here is fair, especially given the bolt-on nature (no cutting or welding), the fact that you get nice, new fasteners, and the detailed instructions with pictures.

  • My only concern is with the front rotors. They are not stock Mustang GT rotors; Massive has machined them to be slightly smaller diameter and so they are the only source for replacements. I don't know what the cost is, and I don't know how long they'll be available for. I'll have to figure out a sustainable method long-term.
Overall - great product. Affordable bolt-on solution for serious stopping power.




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Old 05-08-2016, 05:32 AM   #2
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Good comparison, it's funny someone else said something about their head feeling funny when testing out the brakes. Same exact thing happened to me.

I upgraded from stock drums to SVT front and rear and that made a HUGE difference, with your upgrade up front I bet it is really good.

Is a little concerning about the rotors, maybe talk to Karl and just get a set now to sit on a shelf?

Definitely a worthwhile upgrade now that I have converted over. For those thinking of doing it...it's well worth your money just for a daily driver.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:26 AM   #3
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I wonder why they were machined down to a smaller diameter that just makes it a pita really. I have an Svt and love the feel already but I like overkill better safe than sorry. What is the difference of the fronts in that kit compared to a stock svts fronts?
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:53 AM   #4
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Sure is a nice upgrade, massive knows what they're doing. I'm sure it feels good, and those fronts just look good filling up the wheel.

The rear kit especially is nice. With SVT rear conversions becoming so hard to find, in any condition, it's nice to have that option with readily available calipers, pads and rotors.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIinDisguise View Post
Good comparison, it's funny someone else said something about their head feeling funny when testing out the brakes. Same exact thing happened to me.

I upgraded from stock drums to SVT front and rear and that made a HUGE difference, with your upgrade up front I bet it is really good.

Is a little concerning about the rotors, maybe talk to Karl and just get a set now to sit on a shelf?

Definitely a worthwhile upgrade now that I have converted over. For those thinking of doing it...it's well worth your money just for a daily driver.
Glad to know I'm not the only one whose head felt weird after a hard stop lol. It feels like your brain is settling back into position or something.

As for the front rotor availability, I agree with you about ordering at least one pair for future use, just to be safe. It's a smart move. I will ask Karl how long he plans to sell replacements and go from there. At some point I want to compare a stock Mustang GT rotor to the supplied one to see how much of a difference it is. Maybe you can get away without machining it.

Thanks for the comment. I check your build thread regularly and your SPI is looking fresh! Looking forward to your completed rear bumper.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SrDudley View Post
I wonder why they were machined down to a smaller diameter that just makes it a pita really. I have an Svt and love the feel already but I like overkill better safe than sorry. What is the difference of the fronts in that kit compared to a stock svts fronts?
Hey, thanks for the comment. I don't know why exactly they were machined. At some point I will compare them with stock Mustang GT rotors to see just how different they are. You are right that it's a pain, because you can't buy off-the-shelf replacements.

As for the what's different between the front kit and the stock SVT:

Bigger rotor; 13" versus 11.8". A more powerful caliper; 2-piston versus single piston. And braided stainless steel flex lines. All of which translates into less brake fade and more stopping power.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04ZTSJelf View Post
Sure is a nice upgrade, massive knows what they're doing. I'm sure it feels good, and those fronts just look good filling up the wheel.

The rear kit especially is nice. With SVT rear conversions becoming so hard to find, in any condition, it's nice to have that option with readily available calipers, pads and rotors.
Thanks for the comment. The rear kit is definitely a good buy. Like you said, you get all new parts and hardware for not that much more money than you would pay for a used SVT setup in questionable condition. And it uses off-the-shelf rotors and pads.
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Old 05-12-2016, 02:39 PM   #8
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Moved to Brakes, Suspension & Chassis.

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Old 05-17-2016, 03:48 PM   #9
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This looks like an awesome kit and your install looks very well done.
What brake fluid did you use for the new system?
Do you see any need to upgrade anything else from stock in the braking system?
Do you have any concerns with the strength of the front rotors due to the new bolt holes?
If you were to run your EAP wheels, what sort of problems are you worried about? I ask because this setup is something I am interested in pursuing.
Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:25 PM   #10
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Thats nice write up. I saw this kit and was wondering is it worth the money.
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