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-   -   CJ7 brakes are now fantastic, my experience (https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/cj7-brakes-now-fantastic-my-experience-4432855/)

ScroungerLee 05-14-2021 05:29 AM

CJ7 brakes are now fantastic, my experience
 
When I bought my CJ7 (33" x 12.5 tires) it was dangerous to drive since the brakes were so ineffective.

I went down the route so many have followed. New rotors/pads, already had all new brake lines, dual diaphragm booster, tried a smaller bore Corvette master cylinder, I even drilled a new hole and made a brass bushing to change the location of the master cylinder rod on the brake pedal to add leverage.

All I got from all that was a pedal that was somewhat lower. In a hydraulic system you trade increased travel for higher pressure of course.

I did find the proportioning valve was sticking but it was not the solution. Note: It was still pushing enough fluid to the rear brakes to make it seem like it was able to bleed them, but despite fluid flowing there was little pressure. Alas the new proportioning valve made very little improvement.

It turned out the fix was a little surprising to me, although it shouldn't have been.

I found when talking with a friend at NAPA that they have pads intended for police and emergency vehicles and vehicles towing heavy loads. Quite a bit more expensive then their other product lines but I gave it a try.

Amazing results! Doing nothing else but putting in performance pads I am now able to lock up the front wheels at 20 MPH! Over a year later the stopping performance is still excellent.

I hope this long story will be of use to someone who has bought $$$ brake parts with no improvement like I had.

Thanks,
Lee

sonnychiss 05-14-2021 07:37 AM

Do you have the part # for those pads?

robblue6412 05-14-2021 10:11 AM

Thanks for sharing. What is the name of the product line at Napa? Do they make heavy duty shoes to match the pads?

StoneTower 05-14-2021 10:39 AM

My experience has been somewhat different. I put the thicker 1-1/8 rotors and the Chevy caliper conversion on my CJ7. When I did that, the guy that sold the backing plates (that are required for the conversion) told me to go to Oreilly's and buy the cheapest organic pads that I could get for the particular calipers that I was running. I believe the pad set with a lifetime warranty was $13.00. He told me that what are thought of a "higher quality" pads are often designed for high performance high speed automotive use. A Jeep is typically used at lower speeds. I have had the pads and the caliper conversion on my Jeep since around 2014 and they stop great. I drive it on the street hard (5.0 Mustang EFI conversion) and it stops great. I have had it in the California mountains and it stops great. I am sure the pads would not do repeated high speed stops as well as a high performance semi-metallic pad for repeated high speed stops. Organic pads do not have to be warmed up like semi-metallic pad and they stop great when they are cold or when used at low speeds when on steep off-road trails.

I am glad you found something that works great for your situation.

ScroungerLee 05-14-2021 04:36 PM

Hi StoneTower. Anything that works is correct! I wonder how the effort of stopping large heavy tires compares to stopping at higher speed? Either way makes heat. Not important though.

ScroungerLee 05-14-2021 04:37 PM

To all who are asking I will try to look up the pad #s at Napa. I don't know about shoes though

ScroungerLee 05-15-2021 02:24 PM

Tried posting this twice earlier. Napa looked up the purchase on my account and they are no longer available. Bummer

Mohr68 05-19-2021 10:49 AM

Thanks ScroungerLee. Re: your rear brakes have fluid flowing, but little pressure... i'm having exactly that same issue with my '81 CJ7 after rebuilding/replacing everything inside the rear drums including the rear circuit hose. With a homemade proportion valve lock threaded into the brake light port on the valve, i can bleed the rears completely without unseating the proportioning valve. But still have no movement out of the new wheel cylinders, apparently due to lack of hydraulic pressure to push them outward and actuate the shoes in any way.

Your explanation of the fix sounds like you significantly improved the performance of the front... what happened in back? Thanks for sharing!

StoneTower 05-19-2021 11:17 AM

Mine stop great from 70 mph on the freeway. The potential problem I see is that organic pads were phased out because with repeated high speed stops, organic pads start to fade before semi-metallic pads. The guy who sold me the backing plates for the front caliper conversion said that with organic pads you have really good brakes at low speeds without the brakes being hot and that a Jeep is not a race car. I drive my Jeep very hard and I just keep in mind that I have organic pads when I am driving on the steep highway roads in the California mountains. I am not someone who rides my brakes in the mountains. Slow the Jeep down and then let the speed build back up. You need time between stops to cool your brakes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ScroungerLee (Post 41271599)
Hi StoneTower. Anything that works is correct! I wonder how the effort of stopping large heavy tires compares to stopping at higher speed? Either way makes heat. Not important though.


John Strenk 05-19-2021 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StoneTower (Post 41275073)
Mine stop great from 70 mph on the freeway. The potential problem I see is that organic pads were phased out because with repeated high speed stops, organic pads start to fade before semi-metallic pads. The guy who sold me the backing plates for the front caliper conversion said that with organic pads you have really good brakes at low speeds without the brakes being hot and that a Jeep is not a race car. I drive my Jeep very hard and I just keep in mind that I have organic pads when I am driving on the steep highway roads in the California mountains. I am not someone who rides my brakes in the mountains. Slow the Jeep down and then let the speed build back up. You need time between stops to cool your brakes.

This reminds me of a time in my GLH Omni Turbo. Going up and down the mountain backroad, I found out a low compression 4 cylinder engine does not provide sufficient resistance to slow you down. Had to pull over to let the brakes cool off. Kinda scary when you are in first gear and the RPMs are still rising and your foot hasn't touched the gas..

I switched drum/drum to disk/drum and I think I lost some braking efficiency. I think it's the pads also. Couldn't find any organic pads at the time and went up to metalic. Of course it could be the extra 1000# of plowing equipment but hey...

ScroungerLee 05-20-2021 06:21 AM

Before paying for a proportioning valve I jacked up the rear end. The brakes wouldn't stop the rear wheels no matter how hard I pressed, with it just idling in first gear.

I did everything I could to the old valve while still in the car before I decided I was being silly and just replaced it.

After that bleeding the rear brakes was normal, much pressure.

However, even though that did improve stopping somewhat, the rear brakes don't do much of the work as we all know.

Soon after that I changed pads and was finally satisfied.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mohr68 (Post 41275045)
Thanks ScroungerLee. Re: your rear brakes have fluid flowing, but little pressure... i'm having exactly that same issue with my '81 CJ7 after rebuilding/replacing everything inside the rear drums including the rear circuit hose. With a homemade proportion valve lock threaded into the brake light port on the valve, i can bleed the rears completely without unseating the proportioning valve. But still have no movement out of the new wheel cylinders, apparently due to lack of hydraulic pressure to push them outward and actuate the shoes in any way.

Your explanation of the fix sounds like you significantly improved the performance of the front... what happened in back? Thanks for sharing!



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