Barracuda Brake System
This page will present information about the brake system on the Barracuda.
My Barracuda is a factory manual brake car with 11" disc brakes on the front and 10" drums on the rear. The original
front brake rotors and 4 piston calipers were made by a company called Kelsey-Hayes. Kelsey-Hayes also made disc brakes
for '65 to '67 Mustangs and as a result my car uses the same front brake pads as an early Mustang.
In its original configuration my car had horrible braking performance. The brakes required a tremendous amount of pedal
pressure and would lock up the rear wheels on any type of aggressive stopping. This was a very dangerous set up and
a well known problem on these cars. The brakes were like this when these cars were new back in 1969.
After lots of research and trial and error I finally got the brakes working like they should on a high performance
car. The following modifications have been made:
- 7/8" rear wheel cylinders (originals were 15/16")
- 15/16" bore size master cylinder (original was 1")
- Goodridge G-Stop braided steel flex hose kit (original was rubber)
- Mopar Performance adjustable proportioning valve
- EBC Red Stuff front brake pads
In addition to the above modifications all the brake system components have been replaced with new over the years.
This includes new rotors, new calipers, new rear brake drums, all new rear brake components, and all the steel
brake lines that mount to the chassis have been replaced.
Rear Wheel Cylinders
The smaller 7/8" bore rear wheel cylinders apply less pressure to the rear brake shoes. I ordered the wheel
cylinders for the rear of a '72 Dodge D100 2WD truck and they are a direct bolt on in place of the original
15/16" units. The swap to the 7/8" wheel cylinders greatly reduced rear wheel lock up.
The smaller bore 15/16" master cylinder applies greater brake line pressure to the entire brake system with less leg
effort. It does cause more travel in the brake pedal which does not cause problems. Being the car is manual brakes
less pedal effort is a major plus. I ordered the master cylinder for a '73 Duster 340 with power disc brakes and it
was a direct bolt on to my manual disc brake car.
Goodridge G-Stop Braided Hoses
The braided brake hoses eliminate the tendency the original rubber hoses had of expanding when pressure is applied
to the brake system. The expanding of the rubber hoses reduces the brake pressure that is applied to the wheels. The
Goodridge kit part number is 12421. The kit had two front hoses and one for the rear and fit without modifications.
This car did not have a proportioning valve from the factory. Generally a front disc/rear drum brake car should have
a proportioning valve so that more line pressure is applied to the front brakes. The proportioning valve is installed
on the frame rail in the brake line that runs to the rear of the car. By adjusting the valve less pressure is sent
to the rear of the car for more balancing braking.
EBC Brake Pads
The front brake pads were upgraded to EBC Red Stuff ceramic pads. Ceramic pads have less dust, make less noise, and do
not fade when hot like the original pads did. The ceramic pads also have significantly greater grip on the brake rotors
which allows the car to stop faster with less pedal effort.
In the original configuration I had to be careful and allow a lot distance to other cars because the car simply would
not stop quickly. As a result of the brake system modifications the car can easily lock the wheels up without a lot of
pedal effort for very quick stops. When just driving the car in normal traffic conditions the brakes stop with confidence
without a lot of leg pressure.
11" Front Disc Brakes (Click to enlarge)
4 Piston Calipers (Click to enlarge)
Rotors / Pads
(Click to enlarge)
Master Cylinder / Rear Brakes
(Click to enlarge)