Best brakes and rotors for the buck 05 unlimited - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 55 Old 08-21-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
Atomcross1
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Best brakes and rotors for the buck 05 unlimited

Hello all! Thank you for having me and I apologize in advance if this topic has already been covered. My question is in regards to the best brakes and rotors for my '05 lj. I am looking for something for normal daily driving and also towing our small RV across the country. I do not do much off road. I have gotten both the Jeep and camper road worthy and this is the last component I think I need. Just did a haul from RI to TN and everything was perfect except the lack of responsiveness from my brakes and I even have brake assist in the RV. Please help if possible. Blessings

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post #2 of 55 Old 08-21-2017, 07:59 PM
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For the fronts, most here (myself included) will say Black Magic brakes with Centric Premium rotors (blackmagicbrakes.com). EBC also gets good recommendations. Go with Black Magic if you tend to brake hard, EBC if you are a soft braker.

For the rears, just about anything will do, as the rears only give you 10-20% of your total braking power.

Avoid parts store house brands, especially any with a "lifetime warranty."
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post #3 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 08:13 AM
1longcj
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I'm running Centric Premium rotors with Hawk Performance LTS pads (probably similar to EBC) on a hardtop LJ with 33s. $150 from Amazon. I noticed a good improvement over stock.
I wasn't ready to pull the trigger on a Black Magic setup (yet).
Can't remember what's on the rear.
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post #4 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 08:16 AM
biffgnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1longcj View Post
Hawk Performance pads (probably similar to EBC)
Prior to BM pads being available the EBC v. Hawk debate was more common. Personally, I believe Yellowstuff materially better, but at this point I only go with BM (with Vanco Big Brake Kits).
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post #5 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 08:38 AM
Racer-X
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I put Bendix CT3 ceramics on the front of Sir (our 2006 WK Commander). They were a big improvement over the mystery pads that were on it (probably cheap parts place house brand pads). A few weeks after replacing/upgrading the pads, my wife, who is more used to driving sports cars and higher performance sedans and coupes made the comment, "I don't know what you did to Sir's brakes, but they feel really good, almost as good as Roxy (the 2nd gen RX-7) or Heidi (the Mercedes 560SEC coup)." My wife wasn't ever very comfortable with the brakes on the Commander, but she really likes what's on there now.

For rotors, everything I found was Made in China. I went with Dura-Go rotors with the black coating on the hats. Centric makes some like that as well.

The Hawk vs. EBC debate has been going on for a decade or more. I've never tried the Black Magic stuff, but maybe. I'm not sure I'd use any of those for a Jeep, especially with a trailer pushing it.

IMO, for a heavier vehicle like a truck or a Jeep, especially one towing a trailer, I prefer ceramic pads. If you need "stickier" high performance pads, look at the Akebono Performance Ceramics if those are available for your application. I think it's ASP981 for yours, but I could be wrong on that.

I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why my position is correct.
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post #6 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 09:00 AM
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer-X View Post
I put Bendix CT3 ceramics on the front of Sir (our 2006 WK Commander). They were a big improvement over the mystery pads that were on it (probably cheap parts place house brand pads). A few weeks after replacing/upgrading the pads, my wife, who is more used to driving sports cars and higher performance sedans and coupes made the comment, "I don't know what you did to Sir's brakes, but they feel really good, almost as good as Roxy (the 2nd gen RX-7) or Heidi (the Mercedes 560SEC coup)." My wife wasn't ever very comfortable with the brakes on the Commander, but she really likes what's on there now.

For rotors, everything I found was Made in China. I went with Dura-Go rotors with the black coating on the hats. Centric makes some like that as well.

The Hawk vs. EBC debate has been going on for a decade or more. I've never tried the Black Magic stuff, but maybe. I'm not sure I'd use any of those for a Jeep, especially with a trailer pushing it.

IMO, for a heavier vehicle like a truck or a Jeep, especially one towing a trailer, I prefer ceramic pads. If you need "stickier" high performance pads, look at the Akebono Performance Ceramics if those are available for your application. I think it's ASP981 for yours, but I could be wrong on that.
The issue with using a term like "ceramic" to predict a pad's performance is it has no basis in reality. There is no accepted guideline or industry standard that gives the percentage of ceramic fiber that has to be used in the compound make-up of the pad in order for it to be called ceramic. I've tested "ceramic" pads like the ones from Centric and found them to be pretty acceptable if you don't need top performance and others like Morse Ceramic from AZ that were almost as good as putting grease on your rotors.

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post #7 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomcross1 View Post
Hello all! Thank you for having me and I apologize in advance if this topic has already been covered. My question is in regards to the best brakes and rotors for my '05 lj. I am looking for something for normal daily driving and also towing our small RV across the country. I do not do much off road.
Best brakes that last forever on the street with hundreds of stops nightly with small stock size tires = Wagner Thermo-quiet ceramic pads. Best brakes to stop large tires ,towing weight and panic stops= Black Magic.

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TheBoogieman is a jerk.
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post #8 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 10:27 AM
Racer-X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
The issue with using a term like "ceramic" to predict a pad's performance is it has no basis in reality. There is no accepted guideline or industry standard that gives the percentage of ceramic fiber that has to be used in the compound make-up of the pad in order for it to be called ceramic. I've tested "ceramic" pads like the ones from Centric and found them to be pretty acceptable if you don't need top performance and others like Morse Ceramic from AZ that were almost as good as putting grease on your rotors.
You have a valid point. I should have been more specific.

For trucks and Jeeps, I've used Wagner Thermo Quiets a lot, and the Bendix CT-3 ceramics recently on our Commander. Both were more than adequate for stock wheels/tires, and I wouldn't feel that they under perform even for heavy loads and towing, or for oversized tires. I'm not sure about oversized tires plus towing, though.

For higher performance, the Akebono "Super Premium" Performance Ceramics have been very good in my experience. Mostly, that experience is on heavier, higher performance cars, though. Every car I've owned that I've installed them on has been an S-class Mercedes of some sort. Heavy, fairly quick, and "sporty" in the handling department, especially compared to any Jeep. Still, those heavy cars are pretty demanding on brakes, ant the Akebono performance pads are up to the task. In the past I've run Hawk HPS or HP+ on those cars, and in my experience and opinion, the Akebono "super premium performance ceramic" fall somewhere between those two in braking performance, with much less dust, plus they are quieter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
Best brakes that last forever on the street with hundreds of stops nightly with small stock size tires = Wagner Thermo-quiet ceramic pads. Best brakes to stop large tires ,towing weight and panic stops= Black Magic.
I didn't mention the Wagner Thermo-Quiet ceramics, but those are also pretty good pads. I have put them on a number of trucks and SUV's, and always had good results. They seem to be a cut above "house brand" stuff from the big chains.

I haven't ever tried the Black Magic pads, so I can't speak to the performance of those. I'll let others with actual experience with the Black Magic pads discuss the merits of those.

I have used the Akebono "super premium" performance ceramics on some applications with heavier, faster, more demanding cars, and I've had excellent results with those. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend those for a Jeep or truck based on my experience with them with heavy but still fast and "sporty" cars.

I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why my position is correct.
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post #9 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 02:24 PM
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Go Black Magic. I put them on my son's Jeep and he's ecstatic on their performance plus I got tube of coconut strawberry lip balm (which my daughter loves) in a bag as a bonus, thanks Blaine!

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post #10 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer-X View Post
You have a valid point. I should have been more specific.

For trucks and Jeeps, I've used Wagner Thermo Quiets a lot, and the Bendix CT-3 ceramics recently on our Commander. Both were more than adequate for stock wheels/tires, and I wouldn't feel that they under perform even for heavy loads and towing, or for oversized tires. I'm not sure about oversized tires plus towing, though.

For higher performance, the Akebono "Super Premium" Performance Ceramics have been very good in my experience. Mostly, that experience is on heavier, higher performance cars, though. Every car I've owned that I've installed them on has been an S-class Mercedes of some sort. Heavy, fairly quick, and "sporty" in the handling department, especially compared to any Jeep. Still, those heavy cars are pretty demanding on brakes, ant the Akebono performance pads are up to the task. In the past I've run Hawk HPS or HP+ on those cars, and in my experience and opinion, the Akebono "super premium performance ceramic" fall somewhere between those two in braking performance, with much less dust, plus they are quieter.

I didn't mention the Wagner Thermo-Quiet ceramics, but those are also pretty good pads. I have put them on a number of trucks and SUV's, and always had good results. They seem to be a cut above "house brand" stuff from the big chains.

I haven't ever tried the Black Magic pads, so I can't speak to the performance of those. I'll let others with actual experience with the Black Magic pads discuss the merits of those.

I have used the Akebono "super premium" performance ceramics on some applications with heavier, faster, more demanding cars, and I've had excellent results with those. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend those for a Jeep or truck based on my experience with them with heavy but still fast and "sporty" cars.
If you have a TJ with the Akebono's on it, send me an address via PM and I'll send out a set of ours for you to test.

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post #11 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 03:08 PM
Jerry Bransford
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X2 to the Black Magic pads and Centric Premium rotors which BM sells together as a kit.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #12 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 04:30 PM
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x2 great improvement
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post #13 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 05:39 PM
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I'll also say Black Magic. I've had mine on for 6+ years, 28k miles and they're still grabby. The stock brakes at this same mileage were junk.


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post #14 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 08:33 PM
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My Jeep runs on 35s with a full-size spare tire out back and also has 1/4" STEEL under-armor front to back. It also has the Bank's Turbocharger/Intercooler set up. Despite the overload, it moves quickly and it goes fast. Thanks to the Big Brake / BM pads kit, it also stops when needed, and fast. I am sure I could not run this set-up safely without the kit.

This mod should be done when going to 33-35 tires. No better way to protect (and anyone riding in them) the bottomless money pits our Jeeps are.
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post #15 of 55 Old 08-22-2017, 09:01 PM
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I've been daily driving mine with Black Magic brake pads for about 3 years. They are very good. If I ever make any kind of change, it will be to a Vanco Big Brake Kit.

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