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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.

[loveff]
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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Discussion Starter #6
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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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Discussion Starter #11
This looks like an awesome kit and your install looks very well done.
What brake fluid did you use for the new system?
Hey – thanks for the comment, and welcome to the forum.

The brake fluid is nothing special – Prestone DOT 3. There is more performance-oriented stuff out there but I didn’t feel the need for it, since the most extreme driving I plan on doing is autocross. If you regularly attend track days where the brakes are used frequently and heavily, then I would use something else with a higher boiling point for safety.
Do you see any need to upgrade anything else from stock in the braking system?
The only stock components remaining are the master cylinder and the brake hard lines running along the vehicle’s underbody to the flex lines. The stock master cylinder performs fine with this kit despite the higher fluid demand, even when applying the brakes hard. I don’t see a need to upgrade. As for the hard lines – my car is 15 years old now and was Canadian-winter driven up until this past winter. So the lines are rusty and prone to breaking, especially at the unions with the flex lines. I will have to replace them at some point, but only because of wear and tear, not because of the new brake setup.
Do you have any concerns with the strength of the front rotors due to the new bolt holes?
You bring up a good point. I can see why you’d be concerned, given how close the 4x108 bores are to the Mustang bores. However, when placed onto the hub, the rotor sits fairly snug with minimal play – similar to how a stock rotor sits. And I haven’t felt any vibration through the pedal or heard any unusual sounds. Your point is still valid though, especially if you plan on attending track days. After I’ve put more mileage on the setup, I will inspect the rotors for any scarring or excessive wear around the 4x108 bores and post an update. I’m not expecting anything though.
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!
I simply feel uneasy with how close the barrels of the EAP wheels are to the front calipers. I sold the wheels because of this. I am not exaggerating when I say that there are only a few millimeters of clearance. If any little thing goes wrong (i.e. lug nuts not torqued properly, slightly bent wheel), the caliper is going to drag on the wheel and you are going to have a bad day. My other wheels are also 17x7 +42, but they have more clearance somehow (Team Dynamics Pro Race 3).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thats nice write up. I saw this kit and was wondering is it worth the money.
Hi, thanks for the comment. You have an SVT, so you obviously don’t need the rear kit. The front kit is still an upgrade from stock SVT, but I don’t know by how much. Performance-oriented pads and rotors on your stock setup would give you more stopping power and less fade for less money and way less work, but to the same extent as this Massive setup? Who knows? I’d say try that first, and if you’re still not satisfied with how it stops, then consider the Massive setup. For owners of plain old MK1s like me though, it’s unquestionably an upgrade.
 

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br/o/stang
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Love it. Dont think the front kit is in the cards but I will be buying the rear at some point in time.

Thoughts on machining the rotors: those brakes need an 18" wheel on the mustang. Im not aware of a 17 that fits. Id imagine they scalp a little off the rotor and use their bracket to pull the caliper in just enough to use a 17"
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Love it. Dont think the front kit is in the cards but I will be buying the rear at some point in time.

Thoughts on machining the rotors: those brakes need an 18" wheel on the mustang. Im not aware of a 17 that fits. Id imagine they scalp a little off the rotor and use their bracket to pull the caliper in just enough to use a 17"
Makes sense! That's probably the reason, since 17" is typically the biggest wheel used on MK1.
 

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I see the kit for the front are using pin guided calipers vs pad guided ones such as the '94-'04 cobra's/c-4's use. Could explain a little more clearance w/ my 6-spokes.
 

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3rd Time's the Charm
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I'm going to go out on a limb here and say... Cobra Rotor.... GT Calipers.

They likely had to machine down the rotor due to some interference that keeps the two non compatible in factory form.
 

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and say... Cobra Rotor.... GT Calipers.

They likely had to machine down the rotor due to some interference that keeps the two non compatible in factory form.
Its actually a '12+ gt rotor as Ford upgraded the gt rotor size. Really a great option for a easy to get parts BBK. Baer or Wilwood should be able to make up a pr of hats for 2 piece rotors, as they have the 13'' rotors which they use in a bunch of their brake kits.
 
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