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96 + SHO Disk Brakes

Thanks to Sheriff Buford T. Justice:
updated 3/8/2004

General Information

The 96+ SHO has ample ABS disk brakes front and rear from the factory. They are the envy of the 89-95 SHO owners who can adapt them to their cars. The front ventilated rotor is nominally 11.6" and has a pad 4.6" x 2.1" Rotor weight is 16 lbs. each which is important because heavy brakes absorb more heat and minimize the risk of brake fade.

The rear brakes are 10.1" diameter solid rotor disks with pads 3.66" x 1.36" and incorporate the parking breaks into the rear calipers. Rear rotor weight is about 10 lbs. Total rotor weight front and rear is 52 lbs.

Total disk brake swept area is 325 sq inches. Which again is ample for most needs. Shipping weight on a 96+ SHO is 3490 lbs. If we assume a rolling weight of 3700 lbs the 3rd Gen SHO has 176 sq in of disk brake swept area per ton.
Pad Dimensions
Original thickness
Wear limit inches
Rotor Dimensions
OD Rotor Dia
Min Rotor Radius
Disk brake swept area/rotor
Weight/rotor lbs
10 est
Rotor thickness
Discard thickness
Allowable run out
Knowing the vehicle weight, speed and rotor weight we can calculate the temperature rise of the rotors for a one time panic stop.
One Time Temp Rise
Temp rise
assume 3700 lb car

For now the chip limits speed to 139-144 mph, With a supercharger being a common desire I thought it prudent to run the chart out to 200 mph. Stock pads have a temperature limit of 500 degrees, Performance Friction pads have a limit of 600 degrees, Performance Friction Z pads have a limit of 800 degrees, Carbotech Super Street "F" pads have a limit of 900 degrees.

See http://www.shotimes.com/brakes/survey/brakes3.html for an outstanding treatment of different pad materials. Carbotech also makes a Panther Pad with a temperature limit of 1300 degrees that they say is streetable but it comes in blanks too small to fit to our 4.6" x 2.1" front pads.

The OE brakes actually have a very good reputation and should meet the needs of 99% of 96+ owners – drivers. A "hotter" pad may not work as well when cold for those first few stops so too much of a pad can be a bad thing.

Want more anyway? Well Performance Friction does not make pads for our cars but the one they make for 2nd Gen will work even if they are about 10% smaller they will brake better.

Still want more? Carbotech does have their HPS Carbon enhanced metallic pads (200 F-800 F) pads. Or Super Street F pads (300 F-900 F). In addition they will sell you cryogenically treated rotors which improves rotor wear and bite.

For those willing to run 17" rims all year The SHO Shop sells Baer Racing 13" front upgrades.

How will the Baer compare to stock rotors with Super Street F pads? I don't know….

Brake Wear

My first set of front pads were needed at 20k, I have since become kinder to my brakes and calculating based on current wear rates my front pads will be do again at 47K and my rears for the first time at 52K . Note that the front pads are glued to the backing and can be worn down to 1 mm but the rears are 1 mm thicker when new but be changed when they still have 3 mm so I assume they are riveted on.

Brake Jobs

Traditionally most DIY types do their on brake jobs to save money. Ford has a new procedure for turning rotors. The hub surface must be polished clean, and rotors indexed to one of the wheel studs and the rotors are turned on the car to minimize total rotor runout on the vehicle as measured installed. This eliminates pedal pulsing and other brake problems and a brake job done by the dealership should be worthy of a car capable of 140 mph. You will not get the same effect without following the same procedure. You can sent the rotors out to get cut and slide in new pad your self but you should use a die grinder to clean the surfaces where the hub and rotor mate and index the rotor to one wheel stud when you remove it. Choosing to do your own brake work your self is not the easy decision it used to be.



Hey Larry,

http://www.v8sho.com/SHO/brakes.html is no longer accurate. It says "Well Performance Friction does not make pads for our cars but the one they make for 2nd Gen will work even if they are about 10% smaller they will brake better."

That is no longer true. The part # is 5984 (old part #) or 0598.20 (new part #) for fronts and 6104 or 610.20 for the rear.
Paul L Fisher


While we at it, lets add the Hawk pads:

---As received from RaceShopper------
HB 416 (front) HPS $62/set
HB 417 (rear) HPS $51/set

For ordering, or for more information, you can reach me directly at:



Thanks for the updated information guys.



Hawk does have the D598 pads !

I hadn't had a change to go through all my literature and catalogs that I had collected from both the SEMA and PRI shows until recently. Hawk announced their new product offerings for 2004, and low and behold, they are now offering the correct D598 front pad for the 11.6" rotor as well as the '93 and newer rear D610 pad.

Hawk p/n HB416F.689 D598 11.6" front pad in their HPS material
Hawk p/n HB417F.659 D610 '03-93 rear pad in their HPS material

The Hawk HPS uses a Ferro carbon friction material. It is their street performance spec and it can handle some light track use. It is very similar to the CarboTech F compound and equivalent to the Poterfield R4S material. It is low dusting, friendly on the rotors, very quite and long lasting. I have used it and highly recommend it for street use.

John Hrinsin
 Brakes - PFCM vs. EBC GreenStuff

Well, I finally have the Performance Friction Carbon Metallics bedded
in after a few hundred miles of driving and a couple high speed stops
to let the smoke out of them. I had EBC GreenStuff pads for the last
year, and they served me well, but to pass inspection, I needed new
pads and PFCMs were the best pads available over the counter.

1. Initial "bite" (cold braking) - EBCs get the nod. The PFCMs take
a bit more pedal pressure initially, before warming up. I don't
think this is just because the PFCMs are fairly new, because this is
something I notice on the SLO (has had PFCM front pads for 5K miles)
and other people have said the same about PFCMs on various vehicles.
This isn't really a big deal, because by the time I get two blocks
from my house, they are good to go. And I did have to make an
"emergency stop" when they were cold and they performed fine--it just
took a little more force than the EBCs.

2. Warm braking - The EBCs seemed to have had a touch more "grab" but
the PFCMs are still VERY impressive. It's a toss-up... I'm leaning
toward the EBCs, but I won't make a call until I rack up some more
miles on the PFCMs.

3. HOT braking (fade resistance) - They are both EXCELLENT in fade
resistance, and I don't think I can really make this call until the
PFCMs have some more miles on them. I NEVER experienced any
significant fade with the EBCs, and so far, the PFCMs are performing
up to par under repetitive heavy braking. I haven't abused them as
badly as the EBCs but that is just a matter of time. :-)

4. Dusting - The EBCs were the dirtiest pads I've ever seen. I'd
clean the rims, and one week later, they'd look like they had 2 months
worth of brake dust on them. So far the PFCMs are better in this
respect. After a few hundred miles af frequent braking, they have
dusted the rims a bit, but it's not an obscene amount. I am about as
hard on the brakes as you can imagine someone being in street driving,
so I expect a high performance brake pad to emit copious quantities of
dust compared to an average driver.

5. Noise - The EBCs were noisy (sounded like a school bus!) for the
first 2K miles or so. They did not come with shims, so I'm sure that
was a factor. After that, they quieted down and would only squeak
very slightly after repetitive heavy braking. The PFCMs are basically
silent. They do have shims integrated onto the back of the pads.

6. Cost - $89.99 for the EBC GreenStuff pads from TireRack. $59.99
for the PFCMs from AutoZone. PFCMs are also regularly stocked in our

7. Warranty - No warranty on the EBCs. PFCMs have a 2-year warranty
(used to be lifetime).

8. Longevity - EBCs lasted about 14K miles of consistently HEAVY
braking. They only saw about 1000 miles on the highway, the rest was
stop and go (0-70-0) city driving with conditions similar to
light-to-light racing. I would expect 20K for the average driver and
25K for someone who does mostly highway driving and isn't hard on the
brakes. The PFCMs have a warranty, so I don't care how long they last
as I will be getting new pads for free in about a year and a half.

Overall opinions -
EBCs - Grippy, NO fade, probably good for AutoX, but dirty and a
little expensive.
PFCMs - Has most of the traits of the EBCs at a better price and not
quite as dirty. I'm still a little skeptical about fade resistance
compared with the EBCs, although both the EBCs and PFCMs are way ahead
of most pads in this respect. I think they'd handle an AutoX session
without problems.

About the rest of my brake system -
Front - stock calipers, no backing plates, EBCs were mated to OEM
style (smooth) Brembo rotors, PFCMs are mated to OEM style Valucraft
Rear - stock calipers and rotors, Ford pads (not Motorcraft)
Valvoline SynPower DOT 3/4 brake fluid changed regularly

I'll update in a few thousand miles.

Dan Carman
Philadelphia, PA
FWIW I went with the reds and Brembo slotted rotors for the trip to California and the track event at Thunder Hill. I bedded the crap out of them before leaving on the trip. I concur with you on the grip, I'm betting the reds gripped perhaps a tad better. These were the first pads I have used in 6 different track sessions were after beating on them at speed, never faded. But they could dust you up in a hurry.
Small price to pay for the ability to stop when Nimz's trunk is looming large in the windshield, or my trunk is looming large in Pauls windshield.

I have also just switched to PFCM, too early to tell, but I did bed them about the same way.

EBC Reds Brake dust. Who Cares, It washes off and they stop on a dime and give you .12 cents change.


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