Things are moving swimmingly at the Primedia Tech Center. The '68 is really starting to take shape and is actually holding its own weight for the first time since I lovingly tore it apart late last October, which is exciting. And much to many people's surprise around here, I won't have to call the scrapper after all.
This month we're looking at the last few things the F-100 needed chassis- and suspension-wise to finally become a "roller." With all the Fatman Fabrications front and rear suspension pieces comfortably nestled in the Ford's chassis and the Currie 9-inch hung with ECI's 13-inch discs out back, the Mustang II needed some provision to mount wheels to, not to mention a set of front binders.
In an effort not to mix and match too much, I opted to use ECI's matching 13-inch kit for the front as well. In the fast-paced world of brakes, where does ECI stand? All the way back in '81, ECI, or Engineered Components, Inc., first introduced their Mustang II/Pinto Big Brake conversion kit to the booming hot rod aftermarket, and they haven't looked back. Today they offer an even bigger selection of brake kits that includes our new Mustang II kit with 13-inch rotors. This surprisingly affordable setup uses '70-77 Camaro/Firebird big-piston calipers and includes caliper mounting brackets; wheel bearings; seals; 11-inch or the optional 13-inch rotors; and ECI's trick aluminum hubs, which play a big part in the kit's coolness. Many companies use Granada rotors for Ford bolt-pattern Mustang II kits, which in turn move each wheel out about 5/16-inch, but ECI engineered their hubs to leave the wheel in the stock location. If you're using 15-inch wheels, you'll want to order the 11-inch kit, but call ECI to make sure. The other beauty of the ECI kit is that if you need to replace a caliper for some reason years down the line, they are readily available.
Installing the brakes is pretty straightforward, and ECI's instructions are quite thorough. Basically, test-fit everything before packing the wheel bearings, installing the seals, and painting or plating anything. If you follow the instructions, there shouldn't be any surprises; just be careful with the beautiful machined hubs-they scratch easily. Even if you've installed disc brakes before, doing it ECI's way will help ECI help you if there is a problem and any parts need to be exchanged.
The other thing I wanted to iron out before the truck got too far along was that I decided to make a bolt-on rear upper coilover mount. Why, you ask? I wanted to build the chassis so I could easily convert from coilovers to Air Ride's ShockWaves in the future. But won't the ShockWaves bolt on in place of coilovers, anyway? Yes, they will, but I will be able to use the longest six-inch-stroke ShockWave 7000s by unbolting the mount and making a new upper mount to replace it instead of cutting, grinding, and welding on what will be a finished, painted, or powdercoated frame. I did the step notch in the frame with all this in mind, and with the long ShockWaves, I'll be able to make the most of the notch and its lowering possibilities. Follow along and watch as the Bumpside Build-Off rolls on!
Here's the complete ECI Mustang II disc brake kit with the optional drilled 13-inch rotors
If you are replacing the existing brakes, they need to be removed now. This kit works with
From above we see the correct Mustang II upper caliper mount cradle bolt. Just snug it dow
On the backside, use the supplied grade-8 bolt and flat washer to finish securing the cali