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Old 09-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
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Teraflex Big Brake Kit & Master Cylinder install notes

G'day everyone,

I thought I'd post a few thoughts and ask for a couple of opinions of my brake upgrade. Here are the products I installed today into my 2012 Wrangler Unlimited Altitude:

TeraFlex Front Big Brake Kit with Slotted Rotors
TeraFlex HD Brake Master Cylinder

I decided on the overhaul after a few sketchy 'quick stop' moments on the 405 freeway where some idiot caused me to brake quickly and run off to the side as my brakes failed to pull me up quick enough. I know this is a common complaint with the US version of the Wrangler (international versions apparently have 13" discs vs the 11" we get in the US). So I did some research and settled on the Teraflex product because:

- It's bolt on with no mods needed, and brake pads are readily available as their from a Ram 1500
- 13" slotted rotors and twin piston calipers fit the performance bill
- The kit comes with great instructions and proven performance
- I didn't have $4500 to get Brembos

INSTALL
The install was really easy, just follow the instructions and you'll be fine. They also made a useful instructional video on their post here, I'll reserve my judgement of the acting and direction tho. In all it took about 3.5 hours including the full system bleed and bedding in the pads. Got some strange looks from my apartment block manager (jeeps with no wheels on jack stands next to $100k Mercedes raised some eyebrows) ... but I got the job done.





PERFORMANCE
After following their notes about how to bed in the brakes and letting them cool I took them out for a test run. It's worthwhile noting that my Altitude does not have anything in the way of lift kits, winches, bumpers or other heavy items added to the factory weight, so I was hoping to see a significant boost to braking power. Teraflex's own video shows about a 25% reduction in stopping distance for their modified Jeep.

I'm still yet to really put them through their paces but on my test track (next to the airport) I went from a stopping distance of approx 130ft to 100ft at 60mph. That's pretty much spot on the 25% improvement that the video promised and I think it would be even better If I really laid into it. I'll run them for a couple hundred miles and then post an update after the pads are fully bedded.

NOTES and QUESTIONS
(Teraflex, it would be great if you could chime in here)

I have a couple of concerns and gripes
  1. Even after installing the recommended larger master cylinder the pedal still feels a bit soft, softer then the stock brakes anyway for sure. I checked and rechecked the system. The install is exactly to specs and the bleed is spot on. I also checked the seal on the brake booster and it all looks fine yet I can pretty easily depress the pedal at least 50% of the way to the floor before I feel any real brake action and even then the pedal keeps going without feeling really solid. Is this normal? I really wanted a more positive pressure to the pedal. I may be asking too much but I'd hoped to really feel an aggressive bite to the pedal... maybe I'm just too used to driving my Mercedes?
  2. I'm wondering if the brake lines need changing? At full turn the ends of the brake lines are bunched up and dangerously close to the suspension (see image). I copied the instructions and video to the exact placement of the Banjo Bolt but I'm not too stoked with how they lie and I'm worried about them getting caught or wearing, has anyone had the same experience or can recommend swapping the brake lines?
  3. The video and the instructions have contradictory torque settings for the banjo and caliper pin bolts. I went with the printed instructions.
  4. The Calipers in the video have the Teraflex logo painted red, but they don't come like that. I did it anyway, but it would be nice if they came that way from the factory.


Image shows driver side wheel at full outboard turn and the brake lines bunched up too close to the suspension

Anyway, so far I'm happy with them and will probably update this post after I've really put them through their paces.

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Old 09-22-2012, 08:35 PM   #2
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Very nice write up.It makes me wonder if the brakes changed from 08 Jeeps to the current ones.I have 37s and all the armor i need and it stops on a dime.

I cant say the same about my TJ.Lots of pucker up moments for sure.

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Old 09-22-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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Freakin sweet but I thought slotted rotors were bad off road, grit and crap getting all in the slots ?
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Freakin sweet but I thought slotted rotors were bad off road, grit and crap getting all in the slots ?
I've heard the same but I spoke to Teraflex and they recommended them for my use which is 80/20 road/offroad and a lot of snow conditions in the winter. Apparently drilled rotors are definitely to be steered clear of but slotted hold their own offroad. I'll let you know if putting it to the test proves otherwise
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rogerg View Post
Very nice write up.It makes me wonder if the brakes changed from 08 Jeeps to the current ones.I have 37s and all the armor i need and it stops on a dime.

I cant say the same about my TJ.Lots of pucker up moments for sure.
Not sure man, its' quite possible but this is my first Jeep so I don't have much to compare it to. As I said before, maybe I'm expecting too much but something definitely needed to be done about the stock brakes which were IMO mushy and inadequate. They're still not perfect, but they're much better now. I'll probably also upgrade the rear rotors and pads sometime soon.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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You might consider going to a braided brake line. Also,what brake fluid are you using? if I were upgrading my brakes I would use a braided line and use Motul or something of that quality. MHO of course.

Good luck!
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancientpath View Post
You might consider going to a braided brake line. Also,what brake fluid are you using? if I were upgrading my brakes I would use a braided line and use Motul or something of that quality. MHO of course.

Good luck!
You read my mind man, I'm on Quadratec right now trying to figure out what length I need! I'm thinking that might help a little with the pedal and I found another post where they mentioned removing the brake line from the factory bracket, which I believe will solve the bunching issue. BTW I'm using the best fluid that autozone had .. but I'll probably replace that with something more high performance when I replace the lines. Thanks for putting me on the right track!
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by crypple View Post
You read my mind man, I'm on Quadratec right now trying to figure out what length I need! I'm thinking that might help a little with the pedal and I found another post where they mentioned removing the brake line from the factory bracket, which I believe will solve the bunching issue. BTW I'm using the best fluid that autozone had .. but I'll probably replace that with something more high performance when I replace the lines. Thanks for putting me on the right track!
I think the braided line will give you a tad more feel as the line won't expand as much as the stock rubber line will not to mention it will last forever. The fluid on the other hand will hold it's temp better not that you're racing it or anything but you would be surprised under normal day to day stop and go conditions how hot the fluid can get especially with the weight of our jeeps.

Just today while wheeling when I'm stopped with my foot on the brake I could feel the pedal soften up after a few minutes and move to the floor about an inch or so. I'm going to try a different fluid and see if that helps. I already have braided lines so the fluid should help. At least in my corvette racing days it worked
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by crypple View Post
You read my mind man, I'm on Quadratec right now trying to figure out what length I need! I'm thinking that might help a little with the pedal and I found another post where they mentioned removing the brake line from the factory bracket, which I believe will solve the bunching issue. BTW I'm using the best fluid that autozone had .. but I'll probably replace that with something more high performance when I replace the lines. Thanks for putting me on the right track!
I think the braided line will give you a tad more feel as the line won't expand as much as the stock rubber line will not to mention it will last forever. The fluid on the other hand will hold it's temp better not that you're racing it or anything but you would be surprised under normal day to day stop and go conditions how hot the fluid can get especially with the weight of our jeeps.

Just today while wheeling when I'm stopped with my foot on the brake I could feel the pedal soften up after a few minutes and move to the floor about an inch or so. I'm going to try a different fluid and see if that helps. There could be a bit of air in the line too, I may bleed the brakes and see what happens. I already have braided lines so the fluid should help. At least in my corvette racing days it worked
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:57 PM   #10
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Cheers AncientPath, new braided lines are now on order for the whole system
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:45 PM   #11
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Cheers AncientPath, new braided lines are now on order for the whole system
Let us know how it works out!

Cheers to you Crypple
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:22 PM   #12
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So what's the status? Did the brake lines come yet? Was there any change? I have this kit high on my to do list.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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I've actually gotten pretty used to the brakes and, after reassessing my initial reaction, I think that most people would be satisfied with the performance of the stock brake lines. They're a little spongy but after a couple of days of driving they actually firmed up quite a bit. Maybe it's me getting used to it but it could also be the brakes just bedding in properly.

Regardless I ended up buying stainless steel brake lines from Crown Performance as I'm still a little uncomfortable with the crimping of the stock lines plus I want the brakes as firm as possible. I'll be installing in the next couple of days and will post new images and results.

If you're contemplating the Big Brake upgrade, I say go for it, they're really great. I know for sure it's already saved me from an accident already (a car ran a stop sign and I had to really get on the brakes to avoid the moron. I think with the stocks on I would have gone straight through him) and I'm really enjoying the extra control and braking power offroad (no noticeable slip or clogging to the slotted discs in mud BTW)
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:29 PM   #14
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Thanks for the update and mud report, that is all there really is here in Charleston, SC. Right now they are going to remain high on my wish list, I maybe getting new lines due to my spring I have on order. But, depending on your review after the brake line install, I may tell the wife I have to have them now.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:41 PM   #15
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So if the pads are from a Ram truck are the calipers as well ? Might be a cheap upgrade if the stock Ram caliper and pads work.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ohioviper
So if the pads are from a Ram truck are the calipers as well ? Might be a cheap upgrade if the stock Ram caliper and pads work.
I thought so too, in doing my research though it appears the calipers are similar but the mounting points are different. The entire bolt on kit is only $680 including pads and rotors. To me that's a pretty good deal and I'm not one to mess with untested mods on something as important as brakes. Just out of interest though I'd be interested to hear about any other bolt on solutions. I did see a few people that were ordering the Jeep 13" rotors and calipers from Australian and European dealers. Apparently the US is the only market that got the 11" front rotors and single piston calipers, I can't fathom why that would be but JK's apparently have better brakes overseas.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:29 PM   #17
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Update after Stainless steel brake line install

A quick update after installing a set of Crown Performance custom stainless brake lines. I had them made 1" over stock to account for the larger discs and the install was relatively simple.

PERFORMANCE
Night and day compared to the last review. The softness to the pedal is completely gone and the brakes are more responsive resulting in even slightly improved stopping performance. Most importantly I now feel like I have control over the pedal again. There is now a definite floor to the pedal (where it would ever so slightly continually sink to the floor on hard braking) and it feels nice and firm. I'm stoked.

If you're thinking about doing this mod I highly recommend it. With the Big Brake Kit, new master cylinder and new brake lines it all came in at around $950. It'll pay for itself in peace of mind if not prevented damages

CROWN BRAKE LINES
I'm very impressed with the performance of these lines but it's worth noting a couple of things.
  • They use their own brackets and you will need to bend your brake lines slightly to allow them to fit properly.
  • The front LH wheel suspension bracket is a PITA to install. It's actually slightly different to stock and doesn't quite fit right. Count on needing a pair of pliers to bend the metal tabs around a bit until you can shimmy it in there. You do not need to remove the shock.
  • The ends of the front brake line bends still contact the suspension strut at full lock. I'll keep an eye on it for wear and I'm not overly concerned right now, but I wish they'd made this bend 45 degrees instead of 90. I can see it getting bashed around a bit on the trail but being stainless braid I'm sure it's pretty tough. I may get a pipe bender on it this weekend to correct the problem.
Here's a couple of shots from the install



Condoms are great for collecting brake fluid... do not reuse though (the condom or the fluid )


Crown lines at caliper. Wish this bend was closer to 45 degrees than 90 as it fouls on the suspension at full lock.


Supplied LHS bracket in place. ABS line re-routed and ziptied (discarded bracket)


LHS Suspension bracket in place. Note bent tab on left side. Also straighten the inner aligning tab for ease of fitment.


RHS bracket in place. Repositioned the ABS bracket on this side.


Final routing


Full Lock fouling


Full Lock fouling close up
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypple
A quick update after installing a set of Crown Performance custom stainless brake lines. I had them made 1" over stock to account for the larger discs and the install was relatively simple.

PERFORMANCE
Night and day compared to the last review. The softness to the pedal is completely gone and the brakes are more responsive resulting in even slightly improved stopping performance. Most importantly I now feel like I have control over the pedal again. There is now a definite floor to the pedal (where it would ever so slightly continually sink to the floor on hard braking) and it feels nice and firm. I'm stoked.

If you're thinking about doing this mod I highly recommend it. With the Big Brake Kit, new master cylinder and new brake lines it all came in at around $950. It'll pay for itself in peace of mind if not prevented damages

CROWN BRAKE LINES
I'm very impressed with the performance of these lines but it's worth noting a couple of things.

[*]They use their own brackets and you will need to bend your brake lines slightly to allow them to fit properly.[*]The front LH wheel suspension bracket is a PITA to install. It's actually slightly different to stock and doesn't quite fit right. Count on needing a pair of pliers to bend the metal tabs around a bit until you can shimmy it in there. You do not need to remove the shock.[*]The ends of the front brake line bends still contact the suspension strut at full lock. I'll keep an eye on it for wear and I'm not overly concerned right now, but I wish they'd made this bend 45 degrees instead of 90. I can see it getting bashed around a bit on the trail but being stainless braid I'm sure it's pretty tough. I may get a pipe bender on it this weekend to correct the problem.

Here's a couple of shots from the install

Condoms are great for collecting brake fluid... do not reuse though (the condom or the fluid )

Crown lines at caliper. Wish this bend was closer to 45 degrees than 90 as it fouls on the suspension at full lock.

Supplied LHS bracket in place. ABS line re-routed and ziptied (discarded bracket)

LHS Suspension bracket in place. Note bent tab on left side. Also straighten the inner aligning tab for ease of fitment.

RHS bracket in place. Repositioned the ABS bracket on this side.

Final routing

Full Lock fouling

Full Lock fouling close up
Yup! Just got promoted to my need list. Thanks for the update.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:56 PM   #19
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Update on correct brake line routing

G'day all,
A quick update to correct a mistake I made in the install. I spoke to Crown Performance brake lines who rightly pointed out that I had installed their brake lines 'pointing in' rather than 'pointing up' as they are on the stock setup. I had installed them pointing inwards because:
  1. The Teraflex instructions (and video) said so
  2. The stock lines, when installed 'pointing up' were not long enough and stretched dangerously on full wheel lock.
I quickly flipped them back to stock direction today (make sure you purchase new crush washers, old ones cannot be reused !!) and the install is now perfect. Please note that the brake lines I ordered are 1" over stock, the lines (at stock length) actually give you about 1" more than stock anyway as they are bracketed differently, so the new Crown lines are effectively about 2" longer than stock which now gives me the length I need to turn lock to lock with no fouling and now limiting out of the lines. I also tested them on a high jack with the axle allowed to droop and there is plenty of room in the lines.


Now I am fully satisfied with the install and the brakes are awesome. I fully recommend the setup to anyone wanting to impove on stock performance with the caveat that also purchasing longer brake lines than stock should be considered a requirement.


Here are some pics of the final brake line routing lock to lock





Wheel fully turned in



Wheel fulled turned out. Note the clearance that now exists between the elbow bend of the brake line and the suspension
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:42 PM   #20
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Nice write up, the TF kit looks nice. I wonder how it compares to the Wilwood 4 piston kit @ ~$1700?
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:53 PM   #21
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The Wilwood's look better and at 14" (vs 13") would presumably have more stopping power. I'm very satisfied with the TF kit though so in retrospect I wouldn't spend another $1100 on the Wilwood system. If I had a huge lift kit, tires and extra heavy gear though I'd go Wilwood... what's an extra $1k to get the accountant to write off?
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:57 PM   #22
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Great write-up!

That is something I'll have to think about if I ever come into some extra cash.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:07 PM   #23
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I assume this is for the front axle only. Did you price the rear axle conversion?
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:19 PM   #24
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I assume this is for the front axle only. Did you price the rear axle conversion?
They have references to the Rear Brake kit on Quadratec but I spoke to Teraflex and they do not have one in production
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:30 PM   #25
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next question

Looks like you are running the stock 18" wheel and tire setup with planty of clearance.

Obviously a 15" wheel won't work but is there enough clearance to run a 16" wheel? Can you give a measurement of the clearance around the caliper?

And the question from El Cheapo Grande - is the big bore master cylinder mandatory?
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:43 PM   #26
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Not sure about the 16", I'd call Teraflex to check, they're pretty helpful and really knowledgeable about jeeps.

As for the master cylinder, no it's not a requirement, I just took their advice and added it to help combat the 'soft pedal'... but as I noted, I got a soft pedal anyway. That was solved with the braided stainless lines which should be considered mandatory. The stock lines are not long enough to accomplish a safe install.
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Teraflex Big Brake Kit, Crown Performance braided brake lines, Teraflex HD master cylinder, dB Performance Exhaust by Corsa, Banks Ram-Air Intake, Rampage Recovery Front Bumper, Hothead Headliners, Custom front grille, Rampage Taillight Guards & Stainless door handles (black), Rampage locking hood catches, All Sales Big Stick antenna, Auto-dimming mirror with rear view camera
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:52 PM   #27
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Thanksfor the info! Great writeup. Added to my list.

& from my wife: THANKS A HELLUVALOT FOR GIVING HIM MORE REASONS TO SPEND MONEY!
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:17 PM   #28
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Great write up... but how were you able to select brake lines 1 inch longer than stock? I am currently trying to do the same but am unable to find any information on the stock lines' dimension, nor do the aftermarket sellers (including crown) list the lengths available... they only sell based on lift...

finally, I spoke to teralex and they say upgrading the master cylinder is not needed for 12-current models... any thoughts on this? Mine is a 12 and if I can save the extra $200.. why not.

Thx !
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:25 PM   #29
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I would also suggest driving the Jeep for a few days and re-bleeding the system. When doing massive overhaul work like this it's very easy for air to get trapped in the ABS block and give a funky pedal.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:35 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smadja View Post
Great write up... but how were you able to select brake lines 1 inch longer than stock? I am currently trying to do the same but am unable to find any information on the stock lines' dimension, nor do the aftermarket sellers (including crown) list the lengths available... they only sell based on lift...

finally, I spoke to teralex and they say upgrading the master cylinder is not needed for 12-current models... any thoughts on this? Mine is a 12 and if I can save the extra $200.. why not.

Thx !
Brake was soft and awful until I installed the stainless lines. Can't remember the length but crown has them listed on their site, 1" over stock is for the 1" lift kit and vice versa. Call them to be sure. I opted for the master cylinder and am glad I did, bigger is better. But also perhaps unnecessary.

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2012 Wrangler Unlimited Altitude. Deep Cherry Red.

Teraflex Big Brake Kit, Crown Performance braided brake lines, Teraflex HD master cylinder, dB Performance Exhaust by Corsa, Banks Ram-Air Intake, Rampage Recovery Front Bumper, Hothead Headliners, Custom front grille, Rampage Taillight Guards & Stainless door handles (black), Rampage locking hood catches, All Sales Big Stick antenna, Auto-dimming mirror with rear view camera
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