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Unread 10-25-2011, 10:38 AM   #1
SoK66
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JK "Big Brake" upgrade possibilities

By now many of you who've upgraded your JKs, particularly the heavier Unlimiteds, have experienced the marginal capabilities of the stock brakes. Mine were incapable of holding my JK Unlimited on a steep grade. Even with the pedal mashed all the way to the internal stop the rig would creep backwards on any significant grade. So, last summer I decided to to pop for the Teraflex Big Brake kit, including their upsized master cylinder. Works like a charm, but pretty pricey. The Teraflex master cylinder is visually identical to the stocker, just with a larger piston bore. It's obviously ff another Jeep vehicle, but which one I have no idea.

So, I started to wonder if there wasn't some off the shelf Chrysler bits that could accomplish the same thing at a reduced cost, with readily available replacement parts from Chrysler. I haven't gotten too far with this because I don't have access to a dealer parts catalog or some bins where could match stuff up side by side. But, got some interesting looks at a new Ram 1500. It's calipers look virtually the same as the Teraflex Big Brake calipers, and the rotors are about the same diameter, just with 5x5.5 bolt pattern. Looks like the rotor height is a bit taller, like 1/4" which may be a show stopper. Commander also has some similar stuff, dual piston calipers with 12.9" rotors.

Anyway, this is just a conversation starter. If you've done a parts bin upgrade with Jeep or Ram bits let us know. The Teraflex kit is a bang-on simple upgrade that yields immediate wow" improvement, BUT costs around $850. If there are Jeep or Ram equivalent bits available you could potentially do this much cheaper even at dealer prices.

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Unread 10-25-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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To me, this is a bit of a mute point. Agreed the brakes don't exactly shine, but have been fine in highway situations, even running 35's. As for the steep grades, I prefer to just drop it to 4-low and let my transfer case do the work, I've been down some pretty intense grades and the 4:1 in the rock-trac is golden.
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Unread 10-25-2011, 12:26 PM   #3
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I went with the Teraflex Big Brake kit to and love it but I may have went with the Rebel Offroad brake upgrade package first due to cost.

I also wish I would have replaced the Master cylinder when I did the upgrade as the pedle is just a little too soft
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Unread 10-25-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
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I have the Teraflex Big Brake kit and I know it uses Ram 1500 pads. Not sure if that helps.
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Unread 10-25-2011, 01:51 PM   #5
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Thanks, yes that does help. When I looked at the calipers they are dual piston and look much the same, just obviously different castings fro TF. Looks like the caliper support bolt spacing is the same as well. So, if we wanted to take a chance on it we can say the Ram 1500 calipers & support brackets will bolt up.

The TF Big Brake rotors are approx. "13" diameter, with the same height as the stockers. They are dual drilled for 5x5 and 5x5.5" bolt pattern. So, if the Ram 1500 rotors are as I suspect 13" they'd probably work with the calipers & supports and may even be dual drilled. Just need to see a set up close to find out.

Neglected to mention that I adapted the TF rotors to work with my Spyntec hubs, which necessitated having the center hole opened up to 4.005".
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Unread 10-25-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArticRubi View Post
To me, this is a bit of a mute point. Agreed the brakes don't exactly shine, but have been fine in highway situations, even running 35's. As for the steep grades, I prefer to just drop it to 4-low and let my transfer case do the work, I've been down some pretty intense grades and the 4:1 in the rock-trac is golden.
It's not the grade descent holding that's the problem, it's when you have to stop on a steep ascent. They simply won't hold and of course the x-fer case isn't going to be much help when you're having to hold it steady. Weight of the vehicle transfers to the small rear rotors & pads and the fronts become secondary. Master can't move enough fluid under enough pressure for the rears to hold all on their own.

I didn't have bad highway braking with the stockers, although it was nothing to brag about. Improvement in hard braking with the TF kit is significant.
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Unread 11-05-2011, 04:25 AM   #7
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Would really like to hear more on this if anyone has any input!! I'm about to put my rig up on 37's and I'm sure I am not going to like the braking on my 2007 Rubicon Unlimited!!! I have soft pedal now with it stock, let alone after I lift it and put it on 37's!
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Unread 11-05-2011, 05:02 AM   #8
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I installed the Hawk Performance pads all around and they made a big difference from the stock pads. Total cost was around $150.
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Unread 11-05-2011, 06:40 AM   #9
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The ****ing JK Brakes

SO good to be back

I am in a world of **** with my brakes right now. They've just never been right, and ebrake has never worked. So now the ABS Warning light has lit and throws codes for the front driver wheel hub & bearing as well as steering angles.

I replaced the wheel hub & bearings yesterday. I'm screwed on the steering angle codes though b/c I drilled out my passenger steering knuckle and installed a drag link flip adapter. I'm going to level the rig before I panic though. I think worst case here is replacing the knuckle, but I will try to get away with fliping the flip adapter first.

Anyway... my neighbor owns Undercar Express (http://www.ucx.com/) - a disc brake caliper remanufacturer. I'll see if I can get his input on this ram 1500 caliper thing, and I have zero issue looking for a rotor dual-drilled.

The only question left is when can I get to it.
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Unread 11-05-2011, 07:10 AM   #10
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I am really curious about the dual piston Dodge Ram 1500 caliper idea. That would be a cheap upgrade if it were a bolt on. I did some research on a couple of dodge sites and it looks like the 1500 calipers swap out for the 2500 and some talk of maybe even certain 3500 calipers.
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Unread 11-05-2011, 07:39 AM   #11
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I went with the TF big brake kit in front with their master cylinder and Powerstop rotors and Evolution pads in rear plus all ss lines. Made a big difference in holding power.
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Unread 11-06-2011, 05:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince1 View Post
I went with the TF big brake kit in front with their master cylinder and Powerstop rotors and Evolution pads in rear plus all ss lines. Made a big difference in holding power.
Thanks but we are trying to figure out what of the shelf parts with bolt on to the JK to improve braking without having to spend the big $$$ on a kit like TF big brake kit. I don't think their calipers are made specific for them to go on the JK. But then again I don't know either. I am guessing they figured out that a dual piston caliper and rotor off of "????????" will fit the JK and will be a big improvement to the brake system.
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Unread 11-06-2011, 06:13 AM   #13
SoK66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmannj View Post
Thanks but we are trying to figure out what of the shelf parts with bolt on to the JK to improve braking without having to spend the big $$$ on a kit like TF big brake kit. I don't think their calipers are made specific for them to go on the JK. But then again I don't know either. I am guessing they figured out that a dual piston caliper and rotor off of "????????" will fit the JK and will be a big improvement to the brake system.
Pretty sure all the Big Brake Kit components are made for Teraflex. At this point from my research I'm inclined to thing Teraflex copied the calipers & rotors from the military J8. The stuff looks and specs out identically, except for the slotted rotors Tera now uses.

The shelf options seem to be Commander and Ram 1500, EXCEPT, the hat on the Ram rotor is about 1/4"+ too tall. May not make a difference if combined with the Ram calipers and supports, but I can't say for sure.
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Unread 11-06-2011, 06:17 AM   #14
SoK66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindness View Post
SO good to be back

I am in a world of **** with my brakes right now. They've just never been right, and ebrake has never worked. So now the ABS Warning light has lit and throws codes for the front driver wheel hub & bearing as well as steering angles.

I replaced the wheel hub & bearings yesterday. I'm screwed on the steering angle codes though b/c I drilled out my passenger steering knuckle and installed a drag link flip adapter. I'm going to level the rig before I panic though. I think worst case here is replacing the knuckle, but I will try to get away with fliping the flip adapter first.

Anyway... my neighbor owns Undercar Express (http://www.ucx.com/) - a disc brake caliper remanufacturer. I'll see if I can get his input on this ram 1500 caliper thing, and I have zero issue looking for a rotor dual-drilled.

The only question left is when can I get to it.
We've been able to correct this kind of problem via axle centering. Take a tape measure and see if the rig is centered over the axles. Use a frame to inner sidewall reference at each wheel, the measurements should be within 1/8" side to side. Correct the rear first, then the front. Adjustable track bars are needed to get this right.
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Unread 11-09-2011, 04:45 AM   #15
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Bump, I am interested in this mod as well.
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