When increasing the Fox Body’s stock horsepower numbers, the master cylinder will need to be upgraded for disc brake conversions. Follow LMR's guide to help!
The brake system on Fox Body Mustangs was adequate for their factory setups, but as we all know, these cars did not stay stock for long. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Fox Body owners quickly learned the potential of the 1979-1993 Mustang and wasted no time adding more power. The 5.0 pushrod engine was a perfect platform for adding heads, cams, and other bolt-ons to make the Fox a force to be reckoned with both on and off the track.
When increasing the Fox Body’s stock horsepower numbers, the factory brake system will need to be upgraded as well. There are a few different ways you can do this with the most popular methods being a Fox Body 5 lug kit or swapping over to a disc brake conversion kit. If you are converting your drum brakes to a disc brake setup, you will need to upgrade your master cylinder to handle the fluid volume change.
Before we touch on the different master cylinder options for your Fox Body Mustang, let’s first take a look at what your Fox Body came with from the factory, as well as some popular SN-95 upgrades.
|Mustang||Bore - Inches||Bore - MM||Bore - Fractional Size||Front Brakes - Thread Size||Rear Brakes - Thread Size|
|1979-1981 Manual||.08750||22.23||7/8||1/2-20 SAE||7/16-24 SAE|
|1979-1981 Power||.08750||22.23||7/8||1/2-20 SAE||7/16-24 SAE|
|1982-1986 Manual||.08268||21.00||53/64||9/16-18 SAE||1/2-20 SAE|
|1982-1984 Power||.08268||21.00||53/64||9/16-18 SAE||1/2-20 SAE|
|1984-1986 Power||.08268||21.00||53/64||9/16-18 SAE||1/2-20 SAE|
|1984-1986 SVO||1.1250||28.58||1 1/8||9/16-18 SAE||7/16-24 SAE|
|1987-1993 All||.08268||21.00||53/64||10mm-1.0 ISO x 2||12mm-1.0 ISO|
|1993 Cobra/Cobra R||1.000||25.40||1||10mm-1.0 ISO||12mm-1.0 ISO|
|1994-1995 Cobra||.0975||23.81||15/16||12mm-1.0 ISO||10mm-1.0 ISO|
|1994-1995 GT/V6||1.0630||27.00||1 1/16||10mm-1.0 ISO||12mm-1.0 ISO|
|1996-1998 V6||1.0630||27.00||1 1/16||10mm-1.0 ISO||12mm-1.0 ISO|
|1999-2004 V6 w/o ABS||1.000||25.40||1||10mm-1.0 ISO||10mm-1.0 ISO|
|1999-2004 w/ ABS||1.000||25.40||1||10mm-1.0 ISO||12mm-1.0 ISO|
For 1979-1986 Mustang owners wanting to switch to a disc brake conversion, you will only have one option to choose from. Due to the two-port system, you will have to run an SVO master cylinder. SVO Mustangs were made from 1984-1986 and were outfitted with a four-cylinder, turbo-equipped engine.
Due to the rarity of these cars, it will be pretty tricky to find a take-off SVO master cylinder, let alone one in good condition. Here at LMR, we are all about solutions. That is why we offer a direct replacement SVO master cylinder to help you restore your SVO or complete your 1979-1986 Mustang disc brake conversion.
For 1987-1993 Mustang owners wanting to add disc brakes to their Fox Body, you will get a more comprehensive selection of master cylinders. Since these year models have a three-port system, you get to choose from the following master cylinders to complete your conversion:
Bore size is so important because it dictates how much fluid can be pumped through the master cylinder to the brakes. However, bigger is not always better for everyone regarding pedal feel. While ideally, it would be great to test drive cars with each setup to see which you like best, we all know this is not feasible.
That is why we have put our personal experiences to good use and listened to Fox Body owners' feedback on which they prefer best. This has resulted in the 1993 Cobra master cylinder taking the vote for the most preferred master cylinder. The 1” bore size and 1.41” push rod depth not only give you great braking power but have a great pedal travel as well.
On your factory Fox Body brake system, you will find a proportioning valve/distribution block under the master cylinder. This valve allows for the correct rear brake pressure bias for your factory brake drum setup.
For a disc brake setup, this valve will need to be “gutted” to allow for an adjustable proportioning valve to be installed.
To gut the proportioning valve, follow these steps:
With the factory proportioning valve gutted, you will need to set the rear brake bias manually. You do this by adding in an adjustable brake proportioning valve. In the upper passenger side corner of your engine bay, a union is equipped on your brake lines that head to the rear brakes. You will need to remove this union and install the adjustable proportioning valve. From here, you can adjust the valve to get the proper bias required for your application. Check out our How To Set Adjustable Proportioning Valve article for a complete guide on the adjustment process.