While we guys love shop-ping for speed parts for a fast Ford, women don't think twice about picking up a new pair of high heels, even if they're to go with a dress they'll wear only once.
The same can be said for Project MILF, our '06 Mustang GT. The shopping spree began with the installation of Ford Racing Performance Parts' Handling Pack, promptly followed by FRPP's Super Pack. Once the Super Pack's Whipple blower was on, a set of 4.10 gears, a full-on exhaust system from Stainless Works, a custom tune from JDM Engineering, and an FRPP Big-Boost kit enabled the Legend-Lime S197 to whip down New Jersey's Old Bridge Township Raceway Park's quarter-mile in 11.54 seconds at 120 mph and later take home groceries from the local supermarket.
With Project MILF's closet stocked with a nice wardrobe of speed parts, it was time for new shoes-a set of wheels and tires, and a big brake kit to improve the stopping time. Our GT was originally equipped with 12.5-inch front rotors and two-piston calipers, which is a decent front braking system for a factory piece. The thing is, we weren't totally satisfied with the stock brakes. We wanted to give Project MILF a big upgrade, so we called Stillen and ordered the AP Racing Big-Brake kit.
Stillen offers two versions of the kit: one comes with a four-piston caliper and the other-the one we chose-the large-and in-charge, six-piston caliper kit. Both come with 14.25-inch drilled and slotted rotors. The advantages to using these rotors on the front are numerous. The rotors increase brake bite, allowing the pads to grab the rotor more effectively. Additionally, the rotors themselves are mounted on an aluminum hat to lower some of the weight mass that accompanies the larger braking system.
We chose the MB Drifter wheels...
We chose the MB Drifter wheels because their five-spoke design allowed sufficient clearance between the wheel and the caliper, in addition to looking downright awesome.
We were replacing the stock...
We were replacing the stock hoops with a set of Nitto NT555 Extreme shoes, sized 255/35ZR-20 in front and 275/35ZR-20 in the rear. The tread design of the Nittos make for one heck of a tire whether you're on the track or the street. Keep in mind that, due to the tread design, the tires are directional, so no tire rotation can be performed.
Project MILF has come a long...
Project MILF has come a long way since our first installment. It has serious power under the hood and sports good looks with its recent brakes/wheels/tires upgrade.
Obviously, a six-piston caliper consists of six pistons, though of different sizes. With more area due to the larger amount of pistons, you can use larger pads and effectively have more braking power. The larger components also help to dissipate heat more efficiently than the stock stuff, enabling the aftermarket brakes to stave off brake fade.
The kit's six-piston calipers are made of lightweight aluminum and are stocked with Mintex XTreme pads. The pads are race-style pieces that can also be used on the street and work great from cold temperatures all the way to 1,300 degrees F. While we went with the big, bad wolf of a brake kit, the four-piston setup would also have been a great upgrade for less money. Additionally, we didn't go with Stillen's rear brake upgrade, which contains the same type of hardware, though the calipers are a four-piston design and the rotors measure 13 inches.
Knowing that the Shelby GT500 sports 14-inch rotors and four-piston calipers hidden by 18-inch wheels from the factory, we knew MILF's stock 17-inch rims wouldn't clear the calipers. Plus, in all honesty, what's the point of putting on a romping set of brakes if you don't have some nice, shiny, new rims to go with them? Stillen has a great tire-fitment template on its Web site. While it took a bit of an in-depth dissection to figure out how to use it, we came up with rim sizes that we were pretty sure would work.
With the new rotors being 14.25 inches and having big calipers, we knew that 19-inch rims would be cutting it close in regards to clearing the calipers. After a long consultation with Discount Tire Direct, we ordered a set of MB Motorsports Drifter wheels. The old-school, five-spoke design showcased a silver finish with a machined lip that gave off just enough bling without being too flashy. As for sizing, we wanted a little more tire in the rear, so we went with 20x10s with a 50mm offset. As we stated, the front was more critical, but we were confident that the 20x8.5s we picked, along with the wheels' 45 mm offsets and outward spoke designs, would clear the calipers.
Here, you can see the difference...
Here, you can see the difference between the factory wheel/tire combo (left) and our new Nitto NT555s mounted on the MB Drifter 20-inch wheels we ordered. While they appear to be the same height, the shorter sidewall combined with the larger 20-inch diameter of the Nittos actually make it a bigger tire. The stock tire's diameter checks in at 27.1 inches, while the Nitto is 27.6 inches.
With only 2,600 miles on the...
With only 2,600 miles on the odometer, Project MILF's front brakes were in fairly good shape, consisting of a 12.5-inch rotor on each side as well as a two-piston caliper.
The AP Racing Big-Brake kit...
The AP Racing Big-Brake kit from Stillen contained everything necessary to make the installation a painless one. The kit comes with a set of 14.25-inch vented and slotted rotors, six-piston calipers, caliper mounting brackets, and new brake lines.