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cvd 07-25-2013 05:21 PM

Black Magic Brakes- JK Front Very Large Brake Kit
 
I’ve been using the new Black Magic “JK Front Very Large Brake Kit” for several weeks and thought I’d share my observations:

Background: My jeep is a TJ with JK Rubicon axle’s front and rear. It’s has a frame stretch, 3 link front, triangulated 4 link rear. You can read details in my profile, but the key point is its running JK axles, axle shafts, and brakes. They are turning/stopping 37” Goodyear MTR’s on Raceline beedlocks (approx. 115 lbs per corner).

First Brakes: As part of the build that included the JK axles and 37” tires, we installed the only JK brake upgrade on the market (this was early 2011), the Teraflex “JK Big Brake Kit”. The kit looked impressive: dual piston calipers, 13+” rotors, and fresh pads. We also installed a larger bore master cylinder, per Teraflex recommendation.

I was unimpressed with the braking performance. It wasn’t terrible, but was about on par with how my TJ previously had performed with 33” tires and completely stock brakes. It did stop (wasn’t a disaster waiting to happen), but didn’t provide a lot of confidence.

2’d Brakes: After about year, I tried a prototype set of brakes that used OEM calipers (single piston), a 13” rotor, and Black Magic pads (a custom bracket positioned the OEM calipers properly for the oversized rotors).

This new setup provided a clear improvement over the first kit. Once broken in (which all pads need), I did have reasonable braking in a panic situation. I now had more confidence. But they still weren’t what I’d call impressive. Blaine, the prototype designer, kept asking for feedback. All I could say was “they are better than before, now they are ok”. This combination was never marketed. By looking at the components, it’s similar to the “Road Race” kit (which I haven’t used).

3’d Brakes: Blaine called about 2 months ago and said he’d finally traced down the suppliers to assemble what he hoped would be a bolt-in JK kit that he could stand behind. He installed it and I’ve been driving now for approx. 6 weeks. This is now in limited release as the "JK Front Very Large Brake Kit” (link below).

This setup exceeds braking performance on anything I’ve previously had with any configuration of brakes and tires (i.e. stock brakes and 30” tires, EBC yellow stuff pads and 33’s, Teraflex kit and 37’s, etc.). Once broken in, I have easy stopping in normal situations and plenty of reserve stopping in panic situations.

One way to describe them is via panic stop testing. I’d get up to 50 – 55 mph and stomp on the brakes. I’d go into a full skid. This was not my intent and I’d immediately release a little pressure to make it a more controlled stop. My point is I could now control the stop to what ever rate of braking I wanted. With either of the previous brakes, a “full stomp” would result in decent braking, but not something that needed to be controlled or modulated. BTW – my TJ doesn’t have ABS. I’d imagine a JK with these brakes and ABS would be very impressive.

Bottom line – this Black Magic kit is the only JK braking solution I’ve tried that I can call impressive.


http://shop.blackmagicbrakes.com/JK-...BK-JK-VLBK.htm

Filthy-Beast 07-25-2013 05:26 PM

Thanks for the review, Mr blaine know his brakes. I added this to my list of future mods.

SoK66 07-25-2013 05:39 PM

I've had the TF kit on for nearly three years and 20k miles now. Major improvement over the stock 12" single piston setup. Only gripe I've had is overly long pedal stroke. How would you compare the two systems performance wise?

cvd 07-25-2013 10:07 PM

For me, the Teraflex brakes were marginal stopping my 37’s(see “First Brakes”). Major improvement with the new Black Magic kit (“3’d Brakes”).

SoK66 07-26-2013 07:40 AM

What was "marginal" about them? I have 37" MTR/Ks.

cvd 07-26-2013 09:08 AM

Too much peddle pressure required; and even when "stomped on", too little braking. Again, not terrible, but I expected more. "2'd Brakes" above definitely were an improvement. "3'd Brakes" was major improvement.

BamaJeepman21 07-26-2013 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cvd (Post 15720879)
Too much peddle pressure required; and even when "stomped on", too little braking. Again, not terrible, but I expected more. "2'd Brakes" above definitely were an improvement. "3'd Brakes" was major improvement.

I've always like more pressure compared to tapping the brakes and being able to lock up. IMO it just feels more in control and balanced.

mrblaine 07-26-2013 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BamaJeepman21 (Post 15721099)
I've always like more pressure compared to tapping the brakes and being able to lock up. IMO it just feels more in control and balanced.

There is some confusion. More pedal pressure in this case means you push them all the way to the floor as opposed to increase pedal feel where you have a higher harder pedal due to improper master cylinder bore size.

None of these products are able to have the pedal "tapped" and lock up the brakes at 55 mph.

Now, OTOH, if you did want some that could do that, give me a call and I'll build them for you. Bring lots of money. :D


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