How To: 94-04 Cobra Front Brake Upgrade.


Away from V6's for now........
So this is more of a share of how I did Cobra brakes on the front of my 01.

As far as the parts, you need: Cobra 13' in. rotors, Cobra front calipers, Cobra front caliper brackets w/ hardware, and Cobra pads.

The swap is very straight-forward. Factory V6/GT rotors come off, Cobra rotors go on. Swap caliper brackets in same fashion. The calipers swap on the same well as well, the front brake hoses are the same between V6/GT/Cobra. Bleed brakes and thats pretty much it.

So then its mainly down to locating the parts. I for one am not a fan of spending $600+ for factory brakes from AM or LRS, etc. Next option is to find the parts off a Cobra donor car, although pricing varies between owners and where you get the parts. Drawback with that option for me, I don't want to put used brakes on my car.

Third option. Napa Auto Parts (I hate Autozone/Oreillys). I bought new rotors and pads from them as well as re-manufactured calipers for a Cobra. They are available with the bracket that you need. After I brought my core V6/GT calipers back, I had $300 into my Cobra brake conversion. Half of what you would spend through LRS or similar and without putting used parts on.

Only thing about the reman stuff that sucks is the calipers are not always the same looking. They are both Napa brand reman units though. The passenger caliper had a really cool engraved PBR logo that I couldn't get on the other side. :(

Napa Stuff



Some paint



V6/GT Brakes w/ wheel

No wheel (other side)

Cobra stuff

W/ Wheel

Hopefully this helps someone, or at least gives another option to put Cobra brakes on your ride.


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Away from V6's for now........
I had them look them up and just said I had an 01 Cobra. But yeah here are some numbers.

Rotors: 4886844

Calipers w/ Brackets: SE5318A & SE5317A

Sometimes they can't get the calipers w/ the brackets together. The calipers w/o the brackets are the same numbers as above but without the -A at the end. But my Napa was able to locate just the bracket. It says its a Napa brand but I think its actually a A1 Cordone number. This is the driver side bracket number. I'm not sure what the passenger side one is, as I was able to get that side together.



Away from V6's for now........
Interesting enough, the Cobra caliper as nearly the same size as the factory 99-04 V6/GT calipers, even the pistons are the same size or damn close.

I would be curious to see if anyone knows if the Cobra caliper might have more clamping force? If anything they may only be different bracketing just to accommodate the bigger rotors.


Retired Speed Racer Mod. Suck It!
The pistons in the Cobra caliper are slightly smaller (40mm vs 44mm). For that reason, they actually have less clamping force given the same input. The gains are made through a larger leverage arm and better heat management (bigger rotor). Can't remember the difference in pad size.

Also, any performance oriented people out there may want to try going to a different brand rotor. It looks like that has much more surface area that is not used than the OEM Brembo rotors. Looks like that is one heavy rotor.

As an FYI, if you do get used calipers, you can completely rebuild them for about 6 bucks with a rebuild kit from Rock auto. The only problem these calipers really have is "clam shelling" open during super hard braking for extended periods (think road racing). If the caliper has not been used for racing then you should be good to go.


Wow, the pad doesnt cover much of the rotor with the cobra brakes. looks to be less than the stock brakes actually. what do you mean a larger leverage arm diller? the reason i dont upgrage mine is because of the extra weight and from the pics, doesnt seem to be that beneficial to do the swap.


Retired Speed Racer Mod. Suck It!
Wow, the pad doesnt cover much of the rotor with the cobra brakes. looks to be less than the stock brakes actually. what do you mean a larger leverage arm diller? the reason i dont upgrage mine is because of the extra weight and from the pics, doesnt seem to be that beneficial to do the swap.

Think of a rotor as a stick. The longer the stick, the easier it will be to turn the hub. So, the larger the rotor, the less friction needs to be applied to get the same braking force. The increase in weight is well worth the performance advantage of the larger rotor.


Away from V6's for now........
Plus the weight difference is only in the rotor, and its not that much weight. I wish I had weighed the rotors, but it didn't seem to be very much.

For me, the stock stuff is fine. This car will never see a road course, nor autocross. I mainly did it because my factory V6 rotors were shot, and the pads were almost done as well, I didn't want to put the same **** back on it. I would have considered the Cobra R set up with the 4 piston Brembos if I was a little more serious about it.

Other than that, those tiny factory brakes in those huge Saleens looked bad, now I have some big brakes to fill the wheels.


New Member
Nice write up. I recently got some Baer brakes. And I love the stopping ability I have now. I had sticky stock needed new ones and well with upcoming motor upgrades I feel safer with these bigger brakes... But you got me beat on only paying $300. I won't tell my price haha
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Active Member

"13" Cobra rotors: There is some advantage to going with this larger rotor when it comes to brake function. The first being a larger surface area in which to distribute/extract heat. The second being a mechanical advantage due an improvement of leverage from the caliper location relative to the rotor axis. The '99~'04 GT front rotors, are just under 11" diameter and the same year Cobra's are 13", so they look good, but will not be much advantage beyond this. One more thing to consider is clearance of your wheels and a 13" rotor. The Cobra uses a 17" wheel, but YOUR 17" wheels may not clear. You will need to do research to confirm fitment/clearance of your wheels in such a case."

"Cobra rear brake upgrade: As mentioned earlier, a larger rotor is beneficial due to improved leverage that is inhearent in the caliper being farther away from the axis of the rotor. It also retains a larger surface area in which to absorb/discipate heat. The rear Cobra rotor is not much larger than the OEM GT one, but has one more advantage over the OEM GT one... it is vented "

Brakes mainly work by dissipating heat. Because the cobra brakes are vented... they will keep your brakes cooler allowing more stopping power.


Polishing my banhammer
abs isn't related to the calipers or discs themselves and that is all you're changing. So I wouldn't expect any difference for abs/non-abs cars.


Away from V6's for now........
I've tried to see a trend in ABS V6 cars, but I'm not sure what year/models they come on.

I have noticed a lot of convertibles have ABS.