Closing the books on the Brakes - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-20-2019, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
stephens_cj5
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Cj Closing the books on the Brakes

I've read a lot of threads on brake issues and upgrades from various other cars and trucks.

I have a 81" CJ5 with a 4.2. I have drums/disc combination. I'm running 31s but will move to 33s next. I plan to drive it on and off the trail.

I have new brake lines and all new parts on all the wheels. I want a good and reliable braking system. I'm ready to start from scratch.

What MC booster combinations is the most reliable and practical for this ride?


1981 CJ5 ground up restro in progress, finished product will have: 4.2 w/ a 4.0 head conversion, headers, Howell TBI, HEI, D300, AMC 20, D30, 3" lift w/ 33x12.50 BFG. All new hardware, all diffs rebuilt.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-21-2019, 07:52 AM
trailhead2004
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Manual is sufficient for the combo you mentioned. I have been running that same setup for about 9 years and have never had a problem stopping it on the trail or on the road. I wouldn't consider the pedal effort to be excessive either.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-21-2019, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
stephens_cj5
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I have power brakes. My question was more about what brake upgrades should I be looking at? I've read a lot of post about hydroboost and dual diaphragm brake booster setup. I want to keep it as close to the stock but with better components if that,s possible. The overall objective is to have a solid brake system that I can rely on.

1981 CJ5 ground up restro in progress, finished product will have: 4.2 w/ a 4.0 head conversion, headers, Howell TBI, HEI, D300, AMC 20, D30, 3" lift w/ 33x12.50 BFG. All new hardware, all diffs rebuilt.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-21-2019, 10:38 PM
trailhead2004
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I've never had a failure.

Simplicity is, in one respect, reliability. More components logically means more possibilities for failure.

An example I use often to demonstrate this principle is as follows: I was meeting a friend for dinner one evening. He had arrived before me and was waiting in front of the closed restaurant parallel parked on the wrong side of the street. I pulled up to him and had to reach across the cab of my Toyota pickup to open the passenger side window to talk with him. He reached down to the switch on his armrest and lowered the passenger window in his truck electrically.

He made the comment that "There's this new invention out called electric windows, you ought to try it!" Two weeks later his passenger window drive system failed and my windows in my 15 years-older truck were still working properly.

My point is just because it's newer and more complicated doesn't make it better.

You could argue that Jeeps have so many points of failure already, and update to the system is going to automatically be better, and I would agree that on some level you are correct. But my counterpoint is that these basic systems found in our early Jeeps are quite adequate and served users well for many decades.The stipulation being that they are properly maintained.

So what I'm seeing you asking is what new doo-dad can I add to my Jeep so I don't have to spend as much time working on it even though it's more complicated and may not be any more reliable than what you already have. Hell, even adding a vacuum booster to your brakes adds a level of complexity that my experience has shown to be less reliable.

Bottom line, simplicity is reliability. Partly because it's generally less prone to failure, partly because if it's easier to troubleshoot and repair in an unforeseen situation, it's better.

This isn't going to be a popular opinion, but I don't have any problem putting it out there.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-21-2019, 10:46 PM
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Great dissertation on complex systems trailhead, I just say KISS (either Keep It Simple Stupid or kiss my derriere)

You already have the boostered M/c with the special bracket to align the brake pedal arm to the booster. If the booster is not working, I would go for the dual diaphram in a heartbeat but from a reputable maker, not an ebay clone. An original M/C is fine, good for 20 years, get a goo dmake to replace or it may last weeks. With all brake parts, the quality of the parts, the use of silicon grease in assembly and fitting and correct fitting of dust seals and use of synthetic brake fluid contributes to reliability (ordinary DOT3 can break down / crystallise in light use CJs which then buggers the seals, or so my shade tree mechanics say)

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post #6 of 8 Old 07-22-2019, 05:23 AM
John Strenk
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Two upgrades on my CJ brake system are Stainless Steel lines and Braided SS tubing to replace the rubber tubing.

I think those two upgrades are the best one I put on the brake system.

Also sanding the top of the MC on a glass plate get it to seal properly.

@trailhead2004 you've got hand cranks to open and close your windows?
When did they come out with that?

Mine just slides to open. Less complicated.

What new complicated system will they think of next? Zippers? I hope not. Those are always ripping or jamming up.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-24-2019, 05:43 AM
HackFabrication
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I have hydroboost braking on my 76 CJ5. It stops extremely well. But upgrading to that does come with some challenges. And expense. There are options to use parts from a variety of vehicles, so you could junk yard some of the components. Or go with a kit.

If you're doing the whole system, I agree with John, that the best upgrades are lines. Both hard and flexible. Go with stainless if you must, but newer materials have made regular lines pretty good. And regular steel easier to work with. I put stainless hard lines in my 76 CJ5. And braided stainless flexible lines. It's a bit of overkill on the hard lines to be sure. I got mine from Inline tube, pre-bent. But still needed to 'tweak' them a bit to work. They are somewhat local to me, so that's one of the reasons I went with them. Also they could make me a kit that had lines for an 84 CJ in the front, and a 76 CJ in the rear, as I converted to disc brakes in the front (from an 84 CJ7).
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-24-2019, 06:01 AM
John Strenk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HackFabrication View Post
.... But still needed to 'tweak' them a bit to work. They are somewhat local to me, so that's one of the reasons I went with them. Also they could make me a kit that had lines for an 84 CJ in the front, and a 76 CJ in the rear, as I converted to disc brakes in the front (from an 84 CJ7).
This is exactly what I did.

84 front and 76 rear lines. (a CJ5 is shorter and has narrow track axles on the rear.)

They still look brand new after years of snow plowing.
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