One of the most respected names in performance brakes is Baer Brake Systems (Phoenix, Arizona). In 1986 founder Hal Baer established Baer Racing, Inc. Originally, the business provided race preparation and fabrication services between seasons and race dates. But as popularity and demand for its brake systems grew, Baer was forced to look into expanding business to put its brakes into production for the masses.
Hal’s technical and analytical skills, coupled with a keen ability to spot people with strong, diverse talents and assemble them into a cohesive team, has always been one of Baer Racing’s greatest strengths. To that end, following the 1993 race season, Hal partnered with Todd Gartshore and Robert Sommers to form Baer Brake Systems.
Baer’s 6S MonoBlock caliper and 14-inch vented, slotted and cross-drilled rotors (left) look good and work considerably better than the stock brakes.
“At Baer, brakes are our only business. Being singularly focused allows us to design, test and constantly improve our systems,” Gartshore says. “This singular focus leaves us better prepared to deliver proper brake systems and products than companies that offer everything from exhaust systems to body styling packages.”
“Our complete system approach, along with dedicated, knowledgeable and readily available technical support, clearly sets us apart from the competition,” he adds. “We work tirelessly in an effort to set the standard by which all other performance-brake manufacturers will be judged, because as racers and enthusiasts, Baer is driven to win.”
This ’07 Roush Mustang GT from Stage3 Motorsports got a set of better binders from Baer.
Today Baer offers a complete line of performance brake products, from the new DecelaRotor line, offering entry-level enthusiasts direct OE fit performance rotors, to the family of race and road-going systems engineered and manufactured entirely by Baer.
To see just how simple Baer brakes are to install, and more importantly, how well they work, Gartshore informed us that Bill Lindsay, owner of Stage3 Motorsports (the Phoenix area’s largest independent Roush Performance official dealer; others are associated with Ford dealers only), was about to install Baer brakes on his 2007 Roush Mustang GT, equipped with Roush Trak Pak 18x10-inch wheels. Lindsay chose the Baer Claw EXTREME-PLUS 14-inch diameter system.
The system features Baer “6S” MonoBlocks, machined entirely from one piece of forged 2618 alloy to provide maximum strength at temperature. Stainless, staggered bore pistons (sizes appropriate to maintain OE hydraulic balance and ABS compatibility) are fit with road-going dust and weather seals. DecelaPad hi-friction ceramic road (not track) pads are standard. Radial mount hardware is custom-made for Baer by ARP. D.O.T. legal stainless steel braided hoses are included and, in addition to the patent pending VeriSlide bracket, the rear system features a 1-piece park brake shoe inside the rotor hat. Calipers are available in red (standard), black or silver, at no additional cost; additional “custom” colors are available including, Competition Yellow Polished Aluminum, Vista Blue, and Arizona Copper (which were chosen for this project).
Gartshore says this new kit solves a problem inherent on late-model Mustangs. “The C-clip axle is stock on Mustangs and means that the wheel bearing is in the housing, not pressed onto the axle and is retained in the rear-end housing by a C-clip at the end of the axle found inside the differential carrier,” he says. “This arrangement allows for a slight inward and outward end play and is made worse when the limited slip is activated, again pushing the axles outward. When this occurs the axle in turn moves the rotor. With the OE single piston, which pushes from only one side and floats back and forth with these axle movements, the brake pedal remains firm and consistent.”
Before and after brake distance and time tests (from 60-0, 70-0 and 100-0) were performed and recorded using strict guidelines at Bob Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix.
“With an opposed piston caliper from Baer—or any other brake company—each time the axle/rotor moves even a couple-thousandths, it bumps the pad and in turn the pad pushes the caliper pistons in. The displaced fluid must then be pushed back into the caliper before the pad can touch the rotor, causing a completely and dramatically inconsistent pedal height. The condition, known as ‘pad knock back,’ can quickly turn spirited driving into a ‘thrilling experience;’ not always a good thing.”
As a solution, Baer has applied for International Patents on its VeriSlide system, which delivers CPT (Constant Pedal Technology). “Like most elegant solutions, the VeriSlide is quite simple,” he says. “By sliding the radial mounting bracket on two stainless pins the caliper follows the movement of the axle/rotor assembly and knock back is thus accommodated.”
After the brakes were installed and properly “seated,” using Baer’s break-in guidelines, we took the Mustang to Bob Bondurant’s high performance driver training facility, located in Phoenix adjacent to Firebird International Raceway, and the car was tested again.
High-speed driving tests on the road course were also conducted to determine braking control under driving conditions.
Stopping distances, times (and even G-forces) had already been established with the stock brakes by performing a series of panic stops from 60-0, 70-0 and 100-0. The same tests were repeated after the Baer brakes were installed—and the results were impressive.
Average stopping distance/time from 60-0 with stock brakes: 142.42 feet/4.25 seconds; average stopping distance/time with Baer brakes: 109.89 feet/3.28 seconds. Average stopping distance/time from 70-0 with stock brakes: 189.15 feet/4.44 seconds; average stopping distance/time with Baer brakes: 169.94 feet/3.99 seconds. Average stopping distance/time from 100-0 with stock brakes: 423.25 feet/5.78 seconds; average stopping distance/time with Baer brakes: 316.92 feet/4.33 seconds.