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Old 03-01-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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brake upgrade

whats a good upgrade to the brakes for running 35+ tires? i have a TJ with an auto 4.0

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Old 03-01-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
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Depends on your budget. The widely accepted best brake kit for the TJ that restores braking for 35/37" tires back to what it was with small tires is the Big Brake kit made by powerbrakes hydroboosts vacuum boosters everything for your extreme braking needs

If you can't afford that kit, the next best thing is a set of Black Magic brake pads and rotors from BlackMagicBrakes.com and those pads are amazing. I've run both, Vanco's Big Brake kit in my previous (stolen) TJ and now run Black Magic pads in my replacement TJ.

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Old 03-01-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #4
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do i upgrade the front or rear first or do both?
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TJDrillSergeant View Post
do i upgrade the front or rear first or do both?
fronts first. Call Savvy Off-Road & Vanco.
www.savvyoffroad.com
www.vancopbs.com
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:14 AM   #6
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do i upgrade the front or rear first or do both?
Your choice. But if it were me I would get rid of drum brakes first. That is if u have drums on the back.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:49 AM   #7
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Unless the back brakes are not working at all rear discs won't change much. The fronts are where the stopping is.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Depends on your budget. The widely accepted best brake kit for the TJ that restores braking for 35/37" tires back to what it was with small tires is the Big Brake kit made by powerbrakes hydroboosts vacuum boosters everything for your extreme braking needs

If you can't afford that kit, the next best thing is a set of Black Magic brake pads and rotors from BlackMagicBrakes.com and those pads are amazing. I've run both, Vanco's Big Brake kit in my previous (stolen) TJ and now run Black Magic pads in my replacement TJ.
Jerry, you well know my driving motivation is always helping folks be safe with their rigs and why I've spent thousands of hours building better brakes, but I don't recommend any part of the stock brakes on the knuckles for 35" tires. I know a lot of folks do it and it works for them, but it's too unpredictable to make a recommendation that it will work for everyone.

When you get to 35's, you really should be looking at the Vanco kit or similar.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:00 AM   #9
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The rear drums first. olllllo
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:08 AM   #10
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The rear drums first. olllllo
Why?

You know that silly thing called weight transfer? When you slam on the brakes, the weight transfers to the front. Your front brakes do about 80% of the braking. Improve the parts that do the work, not the ones that just assist.

On that note, drums suck so when you get around to it, swap some ZJ discs in.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:15 AM   #11
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thanks guys. ZJ discs would probably be the cheapest route, just hit up a junk yard. just gotta see what all goes into it
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
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The rear drums first. olllllo
As has been said a couple times in this thread, converting the rear drums to disk will not give a noticeable improvement in braking performance. Before I learned that first-hand, probably 13-14 years ago, I converted my first TJ's rear drums to disk and noticed no change whatsover. Not even a smidgen.

As was explained above, the front brakes do the majority of the braking, approximately 80%. If you want noticeably better braking, upgrade the fronts.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:52 PM   #13
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Disc brakes are generally considered superior to drum brakes for several reasons. First, they dissipate heat better (brakes work by converting motion energy to heat energy). Under severe usage, such as repeated hard stops or riding the brakes down a long incline, disc brakes take longer to lose effectiveness (a condition known as brake fade). Disc brakes also perform better in wet weather, because centrifugal force tends to fling water off the brake disc and keep it dry, whereas drum brakes will collect some water on the inside surface where the brake shoes contact the drums.

This is why I think replacing the weakest link the durms is the way to go..
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:56 PM   #14
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Disc brakes are generally considered superior to drum brakes for several reasons. First, they dissipate heat better (brakes work by converting motion energy to heat energy). Under severe usage, such as repeated hard stops or riding the brakes down a long incline, disc brakes take longer to lose effectiveness (a condition known as brake fade). Disc brakes also perform better in wet weather, because centrifugal force tends to fling water off the brake disc and keep it dry, whereas drum brakes will collect some water on the inside surface where the brake shoes contact the drums.

This is why I think replacing the weakest link the durms is the way to go..
There is nothing incorrect in any of what you said. But if you convert properly functioning rear drum brakes to disk expecting better braking performance in normal braking situations, you will be sorely disappointed. As was already said above, the rear brakes only provide 20-25% of the total braking so improving them in the amount disks can provide in normal braking situations, any improvement will be negligible and not even likely to be discernable. The only situation I can come up with where rear disk brakes can significantly outperform rear drum brakes is if you were climbing an exceptionally steep offroad grade and needed to hold your position while ascending or backing down backwards.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:06 PM   #15
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This is why I think replacing the weakest link the durms is the way to go..
I've got disc brakes in the rear. I found the stock brakes dangerous in certain circumstances and downright scary in the mountains, even on 31s. I was running the highly recommended EBC Yellow and Centric Premium rotor combo, and while it was better than the stock equipment, it wasn't anywhere near what I wanted.

Now I've got the Vanco 15" kit . I'm not a jump-on-the-bandwagon nut swinger, but I do appreciate stuff that freaking works....and the Vanco kit plain works. Honestly, it's one of the best upgrades I've done, and I use it everyday. It's right up there with regearing in terms of "wow" factor.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:17 PM   #16
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TJDrillsergeant said he is running 35+ tires and disc are better suited for larger tires, even braking under low speed will put a lot of stress on durms, yes getting better disc system will do a lot to improve braking performance, but if I was go to upgrade my braking system in steps I would start with the drums first then go from there.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:00 PM   #17
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TJDrillsergeant said he is running 35+ tires and disc are better suited for larger tires, even braking under low speed will put a lot of stress on durms, yes getting better disc system will do a lot to improve braking performance, but if I was go to upgrade my braking system in steps I would start with the drums first then go from there.
well, you go upgrade your rear drums to rear discs, and when you come back to say there was little worthwhile improvement because only ~20% of braking is done in the rear and you want to know how to actually get real world braking improvement, we'll all suggest the Vanco brake kit, since ~80% of braking occurs in the front
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:53 PM   #18
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TJDrillsergeant said he is running 35+ tires and disc are better suited for larger tires, even braking under low speed will put a lot of stress on durms, yes getting better disc system will do a lot to improve braking performance, but if I was go to upgrade my braking system in steps I would start with the drums first then go from there.
You are solving a problem that doesn't exist and you are doing it with all the correct terms, reasons, and logic. Your only failing is refusing to believe or even listen when you are being told it really doesn't matter.

In fact, you are even on the verge of being dangerous with your recommendation. Someone who needs serious brake help may take your advice and due to limited funds only do the rear disc conversion first and his braking to keep him safe has not improved one tiny bit.

Unless you have a valid reason to fix broken rear drums, always do the front upgrade first, get the front working and then if you have the wherewithal, fix or upgrade the rear brakes to your heart's desire.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:07 PM   #19
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I did a rear disk conversion on my last jeep. It didn't improve my braking performance at all, but at least there are no 1970s style drum brakes. Drums suck.
I'm looking at the AEV kit with 13" rotors. Its not cheap at all, but comes with knuckles cast for the calipers instead of a funky bracket.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:20 AM   #20
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The only reason to do a rear disc brake conversion is if you hate dealing with drum brakes. I hate drum brakes so I may do the upgrade, but I know it will not help in stopping the Jeep. Listen to Mr. Blaine, aka Black Magic Brakes, he knows his stuff.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:35 AM   #21
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i appreciate all the input. i def learned a good bit of info. for now ill stick with 33's and wait to get 35's till after my Vanco upgrade.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:51 AM   #22
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I did a rear disk conversion on my last jeep. It didn't improve my braking performance at all, but at least there are no 1970s style drum brakes. Drums suck.
I'm looking at the AEV kit with 13" rotors. Its not cheap at all, but comes with knuckles cast for the calipers instead of a funky bracket.
You need to take your digs on a good product elsewhere Joe. That "funky" bracket is very well designed and has not experienced a single problem or failure in the 1000 or so that are in use.

That "funky" bracket also has another very unique to the kit function in that you can buy it when you have 15" rims and get very good brakes, something that AEV doesn't even offer.

Then if you go to 16" rims, you don't even have to pull the knuckle, simply remove the "funky" bracket, put on the "funky" bracket for the 16" caliper and rotor and bolt everything back up. Later if you go to 17" rims, again, remove the "funky" bracket from the knuckle, bolt on the new one and bolt up the 13" rotor and Dodge Ram 1500 dual piston caliper.

Brackets for installing brakes onto stuff are common in the OEM realm and if that's funky, then I'm pretty okay with being funky.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:32 PM   #23
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Its great that there are no failures out of 1000 parts installed, and I'm sure it works just fine. I'd rather have a one piece setup like 99% of OEM stuff, but that is just my opinion. I don't mind paying more for a simpler design when my life may be on the line. If 15" wheels are mandatory, then your kit is the only option for upgrading to bigger tires.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:23 PM   #24
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Its great that there are no failures out of 1000 parts installed, and I'm sure it works just fine. I'd rather have a one piece setup like 99% of OEM stuff, but that is just my opinion. I don't mind paying more for a simpler design when my life may be on the line. If 15" wheels are mandatory, then your kit is the only option for upgrading to bigger tires.
You are a bit confused on the 99 percent. All pad driven calipers are two piece in that you have to have a bracket that carries the pads that in turn bolts to the knuckle. There are also designs like the older YJ and XJ stuff that use a two piece knuckle and a non pad driven caliper similar to what the TJ has.

Then there is the myriad of styles that use the older GM stuff which has a large bracket that bolts to the face of the knuckle either in front of or behind the spindle and use a couple of bolts to carry the pads.

There is also the fixed caliper with floating pistons and rarely does the caliper bolt directly to the knuckle but instead bolts to some sort of bracket that is bolted to the knuckle.

Trust me, I get that you don't like me and will take every opportunity to jab me and the products I've helped to develop, but to insinuate that what we do is somehow dangerous or life threatening when we have a flawless track record is wrong.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:41 PM   #25
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I had my brakes checked and the pads and rotors still have some life to them;however, I'd like to improve the braking. Would better quality pads improve the braking on my 04 Sport? I only have 31" tires.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:04 PM   #26
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I like your avatar. It looks like some of my friends on Radical Hill. Radical Hill
If you click this link and read about the experience, you will understand what I mean.
Happy Trails.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:27 PM   #27
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I had my brakes checked and the pads and rotors still have some life to them;however, I'd like to improve the braking. Would better quality pads improve the braking on my 04 Sport? I only have 31" tires.
Get some Black Magic Pads and you will notice a world of difference with your 31s. That is the combo I run currently and it is night and day difference. I was able to lock them up at 45 MPH on 10th West. (Only have done that once and it was just a test) I even was able to use my stock rotors, but I am sure new ones would be even better. Mr. Blaine can get you a great deal on both. Best upgrade I have ever done and totally worth the money.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:43 PM   #28
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Thanks for sharing your experience with the Black Magic pads. What pads are you using for the rear brakes? Thank you!


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Get some Black Magic Pads and you will notice a world of difference with your 31s. That is the combo I run currently and it is night and day difference. I was able to lock them up at 45 MPH on 10th West. (Only have done that once and it was just a test) I even was able to use my stock rotors, but I am sure new ones would be even better. Mr. Blaine can get you a great deal on both. Best upgrade I have ever done and totally worth the money.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:58 PM   #29
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I like your avatar. It looks like some of my friends on Radical Hill. Radical Hill
If you click this link and read about the experience, you will understand what I mean.
Happy Trails.
thanks....cool story. yup, i've done Red Cone, Radical Hill & Saints John a couple times...i've taken lots of pics up there, including the avatar goat.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:31 PM   #30
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Its great that there are no failures out of 1000 parts installed, and I'm sure it works just fine. I'd rather have a one piece setup like 99% of OEM stuff, but that is just my opinion. I don't mind paying more for a simpler design when my life may be on the line. If 15" wheels are mandatory, then your kit is the only option for upgrading to bigger tires.
It would be nice if you could provide actual facts or proof of your claims. I know it's a public forum, but when you make claims like this it's always nice to have actual information to back up what you're saying. It's not the first time you've said something like this, and I've yet to see any actual proof of what you're saying.

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