Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour
February 17, 2017
Great Looking Trim For Your Wheels
As 2016 wound down, I considered several upgrades for my 2014 V6 Mustang. One modification I saw on several Mustangs that looked distinctive yet subtle was adding brake caliper covers. These do not change the handling of your Mustang, but they add sophisticated details usually seen on higher priced cars.
I knew this upgrade would be done by my mechanic as it involved lifting my car and removing its wheels to access its brake assemblies.
The American Muscle site offers many caliper covers for both V6 and V8, in red, black and matte black, along with different logos. I chose Item# 81137, MPN# 10198SM37BK. These were gloss black covers with silver lettering for "MUSTANG" on my front brakes, and "3.7" for the rears. My car has silver painted wheels and my exterior is Sterling Grey, and so the shiny black with silver trim complimented my paint. These covers are powder coated aluminum. They look great in their nicely packaged box.
The first question arising when reading AM's product reviews is, do I need spacers? The comments are pro and con. Several owners with my set up said they were not needed, but I ordered four spacers (they are sold as pairs, and I ordered two pairs), just to be safe. I would be working with my mechanic and my car would be on a lift, and then we would determine if spacers were needed. This proved a wise decision.
So now my Mustang was on a lift and its rims were off. We first noticed that my front brakes had retainer wires. The supplied instructions said, "Use pliers to bend and flatten these wires so that they do not protrude past the front of the caliper. This will not damage or affect your brakes." That seemed strange, but no one had an issue in the reviews, so we removed them (be sure your eyes are protected).
The covers were then placed on the calipers, and stainless steel clips were inserted to hold them. Locknuts then secured these clips, and the clearance between the clip and the brake rotor was checked. (Note that there is also a helpful customer installation article on AM's site, along with other reviews with suggestions.)
Next the wheel was reinstalled and the lugs were tightened, but, "If your wheel and caliper configuration requires additional clearance, 3mm spacers may be required." The problem is that you will have the caliper covers installed before reinstalling your rims, and that is when the clearance problem may occur. This was why I ordered spacers if my rims rubbed my new covers. If they rubbed at all, the spinning wheels would quickly scar the new covers.
What we found was that I needed a pair of 5/16" wheel spacers, also sold by AM, for my front brakes only to have clearance to avoid rubbing my new caliper covers, but on the rear, no spacers were needed, and the clearance was fine. This was fortunate because my rear lugs were not long enough to hold both the spacers and rear wheels, and I never used my other spacers. What your experience may be is not known, but when your rims are off and you are half way through this modification, it is very convenient to have those spacers handy to finish the job.
Since completing this modification, my rims, tires and paint look nicer with these great looking caliper covers, and I am in favor of any change that makes my base V6 look better for the shows!