LJ - I'm buying BM Brakes, questions to nail down my needs - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-06-2015, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
Pentara
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LJ - I'm buying BM Brakes, questions to nail down my needs

I was going to e-mail this to MrBlaine but then instead asked him if he can check out this thread. Hopefully he will and will respond. I searched the forum already and couldn't find these specific questions so I thought that anyone else buying these brakes in the future might benefit from seeing the answers here.

Hi Mr. Blaine,

We spoke a couple of weeks back and I was very impressed with your friendly yet humourously sarcastic banter, and great customer service. I would like to purchase some brakes from you and appreciate if you can help me with product selection, recommendation and inputs to the below questions:

My profile is filled in, but in summary I'm driving an 05 LJ weighing 2,050kg (4,500 lbs) with just me in it. I have 33" / 12.8" LT tires on 18"x9" rims with 1.5" wheel spacers on the front and 1" wheel spacers on the rear.. As far as I know have stock unitbearings (whatever they are).

For my driving profile I am a conservative driver. I will when possible start braking gently but firmly 4-5 seconds before I need to stop, and then apply the remaining braking at full in the last second. I don't get thrown into my seatbelt much. My concern is that three times now I've had people jump out in front of me this summer and at full press my brakes were still spinning and I barely avoided hitting them. My LJ is a daily driver but I don't drive much, averaging 5,000-8,000 km (3,000-5,000 mi) a year so far. I haven't off-roaded much so far and hope to do more, but it won't be extreme or very frequent.
  • Front - I want to replace everything (rotor, pads, calipers, knuckles, etc). I am debating between VANCO 16" Big Brake Kit and VANCO 17" Big Brake Kit
  • When we spoke you mentioned that bigger is not always better and I may not drive aggressively enough for the 17" kit. With the above details can you add any more information / provide a recomendation?
  • It looks like the BBKs have all the necessary parts including pads, is there anything else I'll be needing other than tools for the install?
  • What is the rotor size in the 16" BB kit? (16" has 48mm dual calipers) vs (17" has 13.25" rotors with 54mm dual calipers)
  • Is there a minimum required backspacing to comfortably install the 16" / 17" kits?
  • Are non BM brake pads compatible with the 16" / 17" BBKs? What size/type are they?
  • What is the benefit or why might I want to consider the front BBK with a new master cylinder?
  • Rear - I want to do my rear brakes too. Is there any benefit to replacing my stock rear calipers with yours? (I think they're working well)
  • If I don't need calipers for the rear, is there anything else I'd need other than the Rear Disc Posi Quiet Brake Pads and Rear Rotors package? Or is there another better option I'm not seeing?
  • If I replace the rear brakes, do I need to also replace the parking brake shoe/hardware? Or will the stock hardware work with your rear components?
  • If I order next week, what is the availability / shipping ETA for these going out?

Thanks again, and once I've decided on the options I'll be giving you a call to place the order.

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post #2 of 10 Old 06-06-2015, 12:02 PM
MisfitSeven
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Stock TJs and LJs actually stop sooner if you don't press the pedal down all the way. Crazy, I know. Anything you order from Blaine will be quality, and a definite upgrade from where you are now. Good luck.

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-06-2015, 12:19 PM
windkn0t
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I use Mr. Blaines super 16 kit on my TJ with stock 16 inch moabs and 33's with 1.25 spacers (no spacers are needed for the brake kit). The kit has the larger 54mm dual piston calipers. I wheel and the kit was necessary. With 33's on step technical trails, the stock brakes were a joke. They would not hold and after a few hours, brake fade was so bad it would take both feet and the peddle to the floor to slowly go over a drop off.

I am confident Blaine can match up the appropriate hardware for your needs.

- Stock moab backspacing works with the super 16 kit.
- Only Blaine would know the non BM pad requirement. I have no clue what the caliper came from
- front calipers and master will increase your stopping power. The calipers and master are matched for performance.
- rears, no benefit over stock. i replaced my back pads, rotors and parking brake shoes with Blaines stuff because it needed it. I did not expect, nor do i see a performance benefit. Also, you dont have to replace the parking brake shoes unless they are toast. FYI, the break in process and adjustment for the new parking brake shoes takes time. Be prepaired to be jacking up the rear and fiddling with adjusters till you get it right. if you dont and they are too tight, you will overheat and ruin them

-
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-06-2015, 03:09 PM
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisfitSeven View Post
Stock TJs and LJs actually stop sooner if you don't press the pedal down all the way. Crazy, I know. Anything you order from Blaine will be quality, and a definite upgrade from where you are now. Good luck.
Not crazy at all. The stock system is capable of generating pressures that flex the caliper open. Once that happens, the face of the pad loses the critical even distribution of clamping force across the face and you essentially are losing surface. Not really but the result is the same.

Maximum brake torque will be generated when the pad face is in full contact with the swept area on the rotor and the caliper exerts maximum clamping force.

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
Pentara
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So I talked with Mr. Blaine and ordered my brakes today. Due to my driving style I ended up getting the VANCO 16" Big Brake Kit and Rear Disc Posi Quiet Brake Pads because I prefer to have 4 new brake pads instead of 2 new and 2 very old.

Some of the answers he shared with me follow, as best as I can remember them.
* His rear calipers are the same as stock rear calipers
* His rear rotors are the same as stock rear rotors
* The rear is very inconsequential, but you do not want your rear locking up on a slippery highway (Causing skidding) so he doesn't at this time provide replacement components with more than stock performance for the rear
* The master cylinder is in the Super 16" kit (Bigger calipers), not the regular 16" kit.
* The master cylinder upgrade returns the feel of the pedal back to stock, where without it the Super 16" kit will have the brake pedal feeling a little spongier
* The stock rotor size in the front is 11 3/8", the rotor in the 15" kit is 11 6/8" (About double performance over stock), the rotor in the 16" kit - ~12", 12.01 to be exact
* The larger the rotor diameter, the much larger the rotor braking surface/power since you brake on the circumference of the rotor, not the diameter
* In addition to buying the kits, I'll need brake fluid (since I'll lose some during the install), the tools to bleed brakes, and a grinder with a flat sanding disc to machine the unit bearing so it fits
* After installing the brake kit, it's mandatory to do an alignment check

Thanks Blaine!
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-12-2015, 09:30 AM
windkn0t
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Did he share how to adjust the brake push rod when installing the master cylinder? do this before bench bleeding.

take the O ring off the back of the master.
put the master onto the brake booster
gently rock the master up and down. If thee is play, the rod is too long not allowing the two surfaces to mate (dont check side to side, because the brake booster mating surface is not level in that direction)

take a pair of needle nose vice grips and hold the rod, then use a wrench to turn the adjuster in like 1/4 turn increments and recheck after every adjustment.
do this till all movement is gone. I fiddle with it to where i am just touching the rod, then back off a very small amount. with the seal reinstalled on the back of the master, it will put a little play in the system along with the initial rod slack. To me, this is just about right.

Then, re install the o ring seal on the back of the master cylinder. If you dont, you will have a massive vacuum leak. Ask me how i know?


If you do not adjust the rod and the length is too long, this could cause the brakes to drag. Dragging the brakes cause heat to build up. Too much heat expands the fluid, then all of a sudden, you have a jeep that does not want to go down the road because the brakes are locked up.

Too much play can cause excessive movement in the pedal. Its amazing how much play 1/4 turn off can put into the brake pedal.....
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-13-2015, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
Pentara
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So several months after I picked them up I finally got my new brakes installed. I went to a shop and it ended up costing me ~$600 in labour, the majority of which was time spent grinding my wheel bearing housings (I think that's the name). The mechanic told me that if I ever need to replace these, I'll need to get the new one(s) ground again which I didn't realize and is the only downside I can see right now to these fantastic brakes.

I completed my brake burn in procedures. Gotta say, accellerating to 60 km/h and then braking, repeating 5 times with increasing braking aggressiveness, then driving around for 15 minutes without using my brakes, and repeating 3 more times...
1) I can't share how nauseous I was by the 4th time
2) Boy are these great brakes, that I can brake so hard as to get sick
3) Do you know how hard it is to drive for 15 minutes on a non-highway road in a city without using your brakes?!?

The great news, I managed to brake and lock my wheels, finally. Not that this is something I want to ever do, but it's something I couldn't do with my stock brakes at all! Twice I had to change lanes/hop the curb to avoid smacking into someone that pulled out in front of me last second because fully braking, I wouldn't slow down in time (and the wheels wouldn't lock). This alone proves to me how great these brakes are, that they are capable of locking my 33" monster wheels on a 5,500 lbs LJ.

And if you are contemplating getting some BMB brake kits as well, another huge plus is that Blaine will buy your old elbows if they are in good shape which helps reduce the overall price a little more, and pass on the opportunity for someone else to get great brakes too.

I'll share more details if I notice/remember anything else!
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-13-2015, 07:38 AM
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentara View Post
So several months after I picked them up I finally got my new brakes installed. I went to a shop and it ended up costing me ~$600 in labour, the majority of which was time spent grinding my wheel bearing housings (I think that's the name). The mechanic told me that if I ever need to replace these, I'll need to get the new one(s) ground again which I didn't realize and is the only downside I can see right now to these fantastic brakes.
Your mechanic made much ado about nearly nothing. Nearly the smallest labor operation in the install is the "grinding" of the unit bearing flange so much so that it literally takes less than 3 minutes per side start to finish.

But, we now have a test run of them done and on the website. We paid 69 and change for the bearings, 15 bucks each to have them machined, 4 hours transportation to deliver and fetch, a small percentage for mark-up and then included shipping. I suspect they won't sell because of how easy they are to grind but we had some requests so we'll try it for awhile and see how it goes.

Quote:
I completed my brake burn in procedures. Gotta say, accellerating to 60 km/h and then braking, repeating 5 times with increasing braking aggressiveness, then driving around for 15 minutes without using my brakes, and repeating 3 more times...
1) I can't share how nauseous I was by the 4th time
2) Boy are these great brakes, that I can brake so hard as to get sick
3) Do you know how hard it is to drive for 15 minutes on a non-highway road in a city without using your brakes?!?

The great news, I managed to brake and lock my wheels, finally. Not that this is something I want to ever do, but it's something I couldn't do with my stock brakes at all! Twice I had to change lanes/hop the curb to avoid smacking into someone that pulled out in front of me last second because fully braking, I wouldn't slow down in time (and the wheels wouldn't lock). This alone proves to me how great these brakes are, that they are capable of locking my 33" monster wheels on a 5,500 lbs LJ.
The break in process can be a PITA but unfortunately is quite necessary. Glad you were able to get it done.

Quote:
And if you are contemplating getting some BMB brake kits as well, another huge plus is that Blaine will buy your old elbows if they are in good shape which helps reduce the overall price a little more, and pass on the opportunity for someone else to get great brakes too.
Not elbows, steering knuckles and it won't be long before we discontinue that program. The only product we need them for at this point is the Super 16" kit and we are currently in the process of modifying the current knuckle design to work with that kit. That will kill the need for core knuckles which is the intent because they do nothing for us except let us build one kit.

By the time we are done getting them ready to use, they cost more than the new knuckles by a small amount. In other words, if you're on the fence about a kit and planning on the core buy to generate a nice discount, don't dilly dally.

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post #9 of 10 Old 10-13-2015, 09:32 AM
biffgnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Your mechanic made much ado about nearly nothing. Nearly the smallest labor operation in the install is the "grinding" of the unit bearing flange so much so that it literally takes less than 3 minutes per side start to finish.
Completely agree with Blaine on this one. If you ever have to to do it again buy yourself an angle grinder for a fraction of what you just paid the mechanic. Have somebody spin the tire on the other side of the axle while you apply the grinder to the unit bearing. Would be hard to be easier. IIRC my daughter did it when we put the BBK on her XJ.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-13-2015, 11:16 AM
hokahay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Your mechanic made much ado about nearly nothing. Nearly the smallest labor operation in the install is the "grinding" of the unit bearing flange so much so that it literally takes less than 3 minutes per side start to finish.
I bet the large amount of "billed time" is they didn't read the directions, tried to put it all together without turning them. Wonder WTF for a while. Double check part numbers, finally RTFM (TLA for read directions), spend the small amount of time to turn the unit bearings and then reassemble.

My mechanic's called me up and said I had the wrong parts. I said read the directions, in there is says turn them down a little. "Ummmm, ok". They chucked them in a lathe, later saying it was no big deal to do.


P.S. the brakes work great, BTW. And I have the original 46mm caliper 15" kit.
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