The rougher conditions you put your Jeep Wrangler through, the better your brakes should be. Learn how to upgrade your brakes here.By Bassem Girgis – November 25, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
The Jeep Wrangler is designed for hard driving conditions. It is equipped with great stock brakes; however, there is always room for improvement. Nothing will make you feel safer when you’re off-roading than top of the line brake upgrades. Your Jeep stops due to your brake pads clamping on your rotors. This is done through your brake calipers, and it is all pressurized in a system connected with brake lines. As you can tell, between pressure and friction, the brake system is one of the hardest working systems in your car. This guide will shine some light on what you can do to modify your brakes and take your Jeep to the next level.
The three modifications we will talk about are aftermarket brake pads, durable steel brake lines, and big brake kits for your big, strong Jeep. Read on to learn about these mods.
#1 Brake Pads
DIY Cost – $50-180
Professional Cost – $90-250
Skill Level – Moderate; this job requires raising the car and removing the wheels.
Brake pads come in a variety of purposes, prices, and levels. Depending on your type of driving, you can get pads that work specifically for you. There are some pads that are noise-free, some are dust-free, while others are simply performance pads that can withstand a lot of heat from friction.
If you don’t mind the noise but you want the performance, you can have that, or if you don’t care about the dust on your rims but you want that long-lasting pads, you can have that, too.
A lot of aftermarket brake pads, such as Hawk, EBC, Powerstop, along with many others, have been known to increase your stopping power by 30%. If you use your Wrangler for its intended value—which is off the road,—it’s recommended you look for the high performance pads because off the road, dust and noise don’t make a difference, but performance makes all the difference. Recommended for its performance.
#2 Steel Brake Lines
DIY Cost – $60-200
Professional Cost – $200-400
Skill Level – Moderate; this job requires working with corrosive brake fluid.
Nothing says strong like steel. The rubber brake lines tend to wear and crack over time, which causes tiny small brake fluid leaks, but more importantly, it causes air to get into the pressurized brake system and alters its performance.
Weather you live in an area with rough weather conditions, or if you do any types of off-roading, steel lines are a wise decision. As you off-road, the bottom of your Jeep gets exposed to all sorts of things, from debris to actual scratches. The steel brake lines are designed for that purpose. They’re made of durable steel that can withstand weather conditions, rocks, debris, or anything for that matter.
To install these, you will have to measure your old, rubber lines so you get the right sizes, and you will always have to bleed your brakes after.
There are numerous of great brands that make steel lines for your Jeep Wrangler, and to name three: check out Rugged Ridge, Rough Country, and Russell, then choose based on your budget and needs. Recommended for its durability.
#3 Big Brake Kits
DIY Cost – $700-4,000
Professional Cost – $1,500-6,000
Skill Level – Moderate; this job requires the removal of various components and working with corrosive brake fluid.
When it comes to giving your Jeep no excuses, the big brake kits is what comes to mind. These kits can go up in price, but for good reasons. These kits come with everything you may need to increase your Jeep’s stopping power, from aftermarket, durable pads, slotted rotors, performance calipers, to steel brake lines.
The Brembo is one of the most popular brands to make big brake kits, and they have been known to tremendously increase your brake feel and performance.
The slotted rotors allow the heat to escape, the performance pads can withstand rather high temperatures, and the calipers are as responsive as you can imagine a pricey kit should be. Whether you want to feel safe on the road or you want to do the most extreme off-roading—if you can afford it—these kits are probably the best thing you can do for yourself, your Jeep, and for everyone riding with you. Recommended for its performance and durability.