Easy Jeep JK Wrangler Brake Upgrade

    Bigger Brakes for your Bigger Jeep

    It's a fact. Adding larger tires to any off-road 4x4 is one of the first things people do. And with the extraordinary popularity of the JK Wrangler as a daily driven off-road platform, there are tens of thousands of lifted JK Wranglers running around in need of better braking performance.

    The idea is simple: Larger tires equate to more ground clearance underneath the lowest point of your 4x4, but along with the positives comes the fact that larger tires (and wheels) reduce both the acceleration and braking of just about any 4x4. Bummer.

    Luckily there are solutions. We've talked many times about regearing axles to regain some of the acceleration, economy, and feel when larger tires are added. That is a great, albeit expensive and intense, solution. We've also talked about improving the brake system to make your brakes slow down your big-tired 4x4 better. There are several ways that the average dirthead can do that, but as with regearing, most brake modifications aren't necessarily quick and easy.

    The Dynatrac ProGrip Brake System for Jeep JK Wranglers comes with larger rotors, new larger (and beefier) brake caliper mounts, and new proprietary brake pads for both front and rear. The Dynatrac rear rotors are 14 1/4 inches; stock are 12 1/2. The fronts are 13 1/2 inches; stock are 12. The brake caliper mounts are taller, allowing the factory calipers to clear the larger disc diameter.

    Some JK Wrangler owners are more than willing to get fancy with lots of aftermarket brake modifications, but Dynatrac has an easy bold-on brake upgrade that doesn't even require bleeding the brakes. And despite our lack of scientific acumen, our simple tests showed that this simple solution dropped stopping times from 60 mph by nearly 15 percent compared to factory brakes. The Dynatrac ProGrip Brake system is available for all 2007-2018 Jeep JK Wranglers and includes new larger-than-factory brake rotors, new brake caliper mounting brackets, and new proprietary brake pads to give your Wrangler's factory front and rear brakes a huge improvement in both material and mechanical advantage.

    The kit comes with detailed instructions, and the same basic steps apply to installation of the new parts for both the front and the rear. The front brake pads do come with anti-rattle pads that need to be trimmed to fit where the pads interface with the piston and caliper. We also noticed that the front pads have a break-in coating to help the new pads bed to the new rotors. The instructions suggest using some thread-locking compound on the hardware that holds the calipers to the slide pins, and the caliper brackets to the axle or knuckle. We've seen the larger bolts vibrate loose and fall out on the trail, causing lots of problems.
    The Dynatrac instructions clearly explain all the hand tools you'll need to get the job done. Box end wrenches, 15mm and 13mm, are used to reattach the caliper to the slide bolts. You will also need an 18mm (we used a box end wrench), 21mm (we used a socket and a breaker bar), a brake caliper compressing tool (or C-clamp), and the necessary hardware to remove the wheels and tires from the Jeep.
    The Dynatrac ProGrip Brake System fir JK Wranglers is compatible with most aftermarket 17-inch wheels, but wheel spacers are required when using factory 17-inch wheels. We were already running the best spacers available from Spidertrax Offroad just to help keep the larger tires out of the fenders and control arms on our relatively low JKU. Both the Dynatrac installation instructions and the company's website have a brake profile template that you can trim to check clearance with your wheels. With the brakes all buttoned up, we drove the Jeep and snuck in some nonscientific, timed 60-0 mph braking tests to compare with the baseline times of factory brakes. After four runs the results were in, with a 14.4 percent improvement in 60-0 stopping times. This should only improve because we didn't even give the new brake pads time to seat in on the new rotors. Pedal feel was also noticeably improved with the new brakes.
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