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Old 11-09-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
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Brakes Heads up for 1999 Wrangler Owners

About two years ago with about 120,000 miles on my 1999 Wrangler just after buying it used, I was having an issue with the brakes pulling a little to the left. I pulled all four wheels and replaced both front rotors, calipers, pads, rear shoes, rear drums and rear wheel cylinders. Since my wife works at a local body shop, I had her order the parts from the local Napa dealer using my VIN number.

After the install, although the brakes worked good, I still noticed a slight pull to the right, plus there was always a slight odor of warm brakes particularly on the driver's side. I then replaced the hoses and had the entire system pressure bled and all new fluid installed. The problem remained. I noticed there was a very small notch in the machined seat where the pads rode, so I sanded that smooth, and it didn't really help. I've noticed over the past two years that it pulls less and less often.

Since I'm now using 33" tires, I recently decided to switch out my front brakes to Black Magics and upon visiting their web site, I learned that there was a rotor change made sometime in 1999 that required one to measure their stock rotors to determine whether they had early or late rotors. After some further research, I found that I currently have late (cast) rotors on hubs that were designed for the early (composite) rotors.

That means that while they work, the face of the rotor is sitting approximately 1/4" more to the outboard side and right at the limit of the pad travel. I've found that this 1/4" is what most likely had caused my brakes to run warm (from the extra drag), and as the pads have worn, they don't run warm any longer, but now the rotor is heat checked.

Moral of the story, is if you own a 1999, and need new brakes, Whether you get them from Blaine or anyone else, make sure you check the stock rotor dimensions with the new ones. If you've already changed rotors and don't know if they're right, pm me, I have the early and late hub measurements.

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Old 11-09-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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Post your measurements here, it'll help someone in the future without having to pm you...

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Old 11-09-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
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Yep, the unit bearing changed dimensions mid-1999.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
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Thanks Jerry that'll help someone who searches later...
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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Great Information! I just purchased a 99 and I suspect I have one of each hub. I discovered this because I tried replacing rotors and saw that the two front wheel hubs were very different looking. When I tightened the lugs on my passenger side the rotor smashed against the back break pad. The driver's side worked fine.

I couldn't even figure out how to pose this question to the board so I really appreciate you posting this.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Dog View Post
About two years ago with about 120,000 miles on my 1999 Wrangler just after buying it used, I was having an issue with the brakes pulling a little to the left. I pulled all four wheels and replaced both front rotors, calipers, pads, rear shoes, rear drums and rear wheel cylinders. Since my wife works at a local body shop, I had her order the parts from the local Napa dealer using my VIN number. After the install, although the brakes worked good, I still noticed a slight pull to the right, plus there was always a slight odor of warm brakes particularly on the driver's side. I then replaced the hoses and had the entire system pressure bled and all new fluid installed. The problem remained. I noticed there was a very small notch in the machined seat where the pads rode, so I sanded that smooth, and it didn't really help. I've noticed over the past two years that it pulls less and less often. Since I'm now using 33" tires, I recently decided to switch out my front brakes to Black Magics and upon visiting their web site, I learned that there was a rotor change made sometime in 1999 that required one to measure their stock rotors to determine whether they had early or late rotors. After some further research, I found that I currently have late (cast) rotors on hubs that were designed for the early (composite) rotors. That means that while they work, the face of the rotor is sitting approximately 1/4" more to the outboard side and right at the limit of the pad travel. I've found that this 1/4" is what most likely had caused my brakes to run warm (from the extra drag), and as the pads have worn, they don't run warm any longer, but now the rotor is heat checked. Moral of the story, is if you own a 1999, and need new brakes, Whether you get them from Blaine or anyone else, make sure you check the stock rotor dimensions with the new ones. If you've already changed rotors and don't know if they're right, pm me, I have the early and late hub measurements.
i did an axle swap and had the same issue but I could clearly hear the rotor dragging on the knuckle and it had slightly grooved it. Blaine and I talked and sorted it out. Great customer service!
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
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Yep, the unit bearing changed dimensions mid-1999.
Thanks for posting the pics, Jerry. The later hub is also about 1/4" shorter to the rotor mounting surface. When the change was made, they wanted to keep the same side to side wheel base and the newer cast rotors have a thicker mounting surface than the older composite ones.

The newer rotors will go on the older hubs, but not work correctly (as I found out). If you try putting the older rotors on the newer hubs, it will lock up the wheel.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:28 AM   #8
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Yup well known common problem since a lot of the parts computers at auto parts stores are wrong. Gotta match the unit bearings with the rotors. Figure out what you have, then order parts for old style (98) or parts for new style (00).

XJ's had the same issues. The HP D30 I swapped in my LJ was from a 1999 CFC trade-in. Axle was in great condition, including brand new brake pads & rotors. In the process of pulling the knuckles to swap to a Vanco BBK, I discovered why - somebody had installed the wrong unit bearings....one side was new style, one side was old style - with old style rotors. Brakes didn't work on the XJ, so they traded it into CFC. Worked out for me, since I sold the unit bearing, calipers & pads
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:49 AM   #9
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Thanks WaterDog. I have 01 model. Replaced caliper and brake pads two times and still have little pull towards left side. I'll check the hub size and see if it's a similar issue like '99 model.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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Thanks WaterDog. I have 01 model. Replaced caliper and brake pads two times and still have little pull towards left side. I'll check the hub size and see if it's a similar issue like '99 model.
That shouldn't be an issue on your "01". You should have the new style unit bearing hubs (unless someone changed those out to old ones) and the new style rotors are the only ones that will work on those. You may have a bad rotor, or want to try replacing your front hoses.

Just FYI, the measurement on the old style center hub in Jerry's pic Post#3 is closer to 1/2" rather than 3/4".
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:19 AM   #11
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That shouldn't be an issue on your "01". You should have the new style unit bearing hubs (unless someone changed those out to old ones) and the new style rotors are the only ones that will work on those. You may have a bad rotor, or want to try replacing your front hoses.

Just FYI, the measurement on the old style center hub in Jerry's pic Post#3 is closer to 1/2" rather than 3/4".
Yah, I'm pretty sure that I've new style unit bearing hubs but I want to make sure that PO didn't switch to old ones.

Thank you, once again :-)
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #12
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Got my new Black Magic rotors and pads on today and have completed the first 4 steps of the break in procedure. I will finish that tomorrow morning. All I can say is, Wow..! What a difference. It's really nice not to have to fight a pull to one side any longer, and they work great also. I really liked the different sized end clips that allowed for a really nice fit on the pad.

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