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2012 Jeep Wrangler Brake Upgrade

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I have looked at upgrading my Jeep’s brakes. I’m still running my factory 32 inch mud terrain tires with a little over 32,000 miles on the Jeep. My brakes still have life but leave me wanting. I’m also planning ahead. 37’s are in my future and the current setup is less than desirable with a larger, heavier, rig.


Perhaps it’s just because it is top of mind, last week I  heard a slight squeak when the brakes are applied and a noticeable amount to fade when the Jeep is fully loaded. It is probably just my way to justify an upgrade.

There are a few different routes I looked into.

  1. Big brake kit
  2. Upgrade to J8 or European spec Jeep Brakes
  3. Transplant parts from a Dodge Ram
  4. Replace factory parts with performance parts

Drilled, Slotted or Not

I’m not a brake expert, but from what I understand, drilled rotors are designed to help dissipate heat and gasses quickly. This is handy on a track, but might not be ideal while off-road. When rock crawling, the more brake surface the better. At the moment, my rotors are in great shape. Plenty of  life in them and no grooves. So, for now, I’m not going to replace them.

Brake Kits

I like this idea, but they are expensive and maybe a little overkill for my Jeep at the moment. Road Race Motorsports offers a 1″ larger front rotor and caliper brackets to compensate for the larger part. The kit runs $549.00.

Rebel Offroad offers their Restraint Complete Brake Upgrade. This kit has high quality drilled stock size rotors and pads. Customers state that stopping power is 40% better than stock. The kit comes in at $524.95.

Wilwood makes a really nice 4-piston caliper upgrade for the front. You can select the rotor style you prefer (slotted and/or drilled). Plus they offer the caliper in lots of colors. This upgrade only focuses on the front. It comes in anywhere between $1,750 – 1,900 depending on your caliper color options and rotor type.

Teraflex also makes a kit. It boast dual pistons up front and high performance rotors (solid or slotted rotors). It runs $690 – $720. Some Teraflex customers have complained about a “squishy” brake pedal. Teraflex recommends adding their Oversized Master Cylinder, which also adds another $200 to the setup.

Jeep Brake Pads

Most people seems to install Hawk brake Pads or EBC. I’ve heard good and bad things about both.


My Plan

For now, I’m just upgrading my Jeep’s brake pads. I’ll reassess when it is sitting on 37’s. So far, I’m pleased with the result.



My lug nuts were on really tight, too tight. My friend, Travis, haussed  my old lug wench into two pieces. When everything went back together we made sure they were torqued to 100 ft/lbs.

As the pads break in I’ll report back.


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