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How to Upgrade Brake on Jeep TJ? (Cost, Explained)

The braking system of any automobile is an important safety feature that needs constant service and maintenance to prevent major failure. JKs are large jeeps, weighing between 3,879 and 4,439 pounds.

Most Jeep drivers increase the size of their tires to 33″, 35″, or 37″+ in addition to the stock weight. Increased tire size adds a significant proportion of spinning mass to the vehicle.

Upgrading your Wrangler’s braking system is probably a smart idea to adequately regulate this increase in weight and rolling mass.

I will discuss the braking systems of JKs, how they function, and how to enhance them.

Can You Upgrade Brake on Jeep TJ?

Your Jeep TJ’s brakes can be changed. If your Jeep is an older model with drum brakes, you can change to a modern disc braking system using one of the numerous conversion kits.

The manufacturer will typically upgrade most vehicles with a good medium grade of equipment. These will allow you and your travelers to feel safe. Your braking performance will be improved by upgrading your brakes.

Your best option here is to go for semi-metallic or ceramic pads. Your towing vehicle’s brake rotors and pads must be replaced. When you add weight to the total haul, the pads and rotors are put under extra strain.

Various additional brake system elements can be improved, in addition to bigger rotors and multi-piston calipers. The oversized hole essentially allows you to run more braking fluid.

If you’re looking for a brake kit, you’ll probably come across a number of pricey choices. Depending on your application, many kits might cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 or more. However, it is very dependent on how you want to utilize the vehicle.

When Should You Upgrade Brake?

Brake maintenance is a vital aspect of good Jeep upkeep. When you look after your brakes, they will look after you when you need them the most. Even with routine maintenance, your Jeep TJ’s brakes may require a professional examination.

Here are several signs that you need to upgrade your brakes.

1. Squealing and Grinding Noise

Brake noises aren’t necessarily an indication of a problem. A foreign object may have been trapped in your brakes (a pebble or debris). It might be the wear indicators on your brake pads.

When you press the brakes, these metal particles in your brake pad make contact with the rotor, causing a high-pitched screech. This indicates that your brake pads need to be changed.

Grinding noises from disc or drum brakes may indicate that your brakes require immediate attention. The brake pad or shoe might be scraping against metal contact points.

2. Vibration While Braking

The thickness of your rotor may be uneven if your steering wheel or jeep rattles or vibrates when you use the brakes. Brake rotors are huge plates that reside inside the wheels and serve as brakes.

When you apply the brakes, the brake pads contact the rotors, preventing the wheels from rotating. It’s natural for the rotor area to deplete and become inconsistent over time.

If the material is left uneven, it will continue to develop on the uneven regions, worsening the condition over time. The rotors will need to be replaced if they are too worn to be maintained.

3. Fluid Leak

When you put your Jeep TJ’s brakes on, a lot of things can happen at once. Brake fluid, which is used to provide hydraulic pressure against the brake piston, is an integral aspect of the operation.

You will not be able to stop safely if your jeep lacks brake fluid. If you observe a drop in fluid level or a leak in your vehicle’s braking fluid, check it frequently.

4. Leaning While Braking

It might be a faulty brake hose or a caliper issue, while it could be caused by any number of jeep difficulties. When this occurs with the front brakes, one brake may operate while the other does not.

This generates a pull in the direction of the braking force-producing. A single faulty rear caliper may go overlooked.

5. Burning Smell

Overheated brakes can produce a harsh, chemical stench. Pullover to a secure position and let the brakes cool down to avoid brake failure. Make sure the parking brake is turned off.

If you see smoke coming from a tire, it’s possible that the brake caliper has failed and is stuck in place. In this instance, traveling without urgent repairs might be dangerous.

How Much Does It Cost To Upgrade Brake On Jeep TJ?

The cost of replacing the brake rotors on a Jeep TJ ranges from $346 to $501. The cost of labor is projected to be between $105 and $134, with parts costing between $241 and $367.

Because the wear and tear on your Jeep TJ brake pads are typically the same on both the left and right sides of the vehicle, brake pads are usually sold in pairs.

The cost of a set of luxury car brake pads may range from $150 to $250, whereas the cost of most other brake pads is between $75 and $120. This, too, varies greatly depending on the manufacturer and does not cover installation.

Other maintenance to look out for includes your rotors, which may need to be changed if your jeep’s brake pads are severely worn down.

Our Top Recommendation on Jeep TJ Brake Upgrade

Here is our recommendation on upgrading the braking system of your Jeep TJ.

EBC Brakes

  • Exceptional stopping power.
  • Braking is quiet.
  • Brake fade is reduced.
  • Rotor damage is reduced.

Power Stop Z36 Brakes

  • Provides excellent stopping capability.
  • Noiseless and dust-free.
  • Carbon fiber ceramic in brake pads

Ceramic Thermo Quiet Brake Pads

  • Reduces brake fade by spreading out sound, vibrations, and heat.
  • Because of its unique design, it reduces rotor wear.
  • Minimize wheel dust caused by reduced pad and rotor wear.
  • High braking performance and stopping power.
  • Laser-shaped pad-to-rotor contact.

How to Upgrade Brake on Jeep TJ?

The following is a step-by-step guide to replacing the brake system on your Jeep TJ:

  • Using a ratchet, release the caliper bolt heads. Then, if the bleeder screw is provided, remove and store the rubber cover, and loosen the bleeder screw using a box-end wrench.
  • Remove the caliper bolts and reset the bleeder screw. Disconnect the steering wheel. Then, using a socket and ratchet, release the caliper retention bolts.
  • Then, unscrew and softly reset the caliper bleeder screw. When you retract the caliper piston, you’ll loosen it again. The caliper should then be lifted off the rotor and placed on top of the caliper mount.
  • Center the C-clamp jaw on the pad and place the inboard pad against the piston. On the rear side of the caliper, look for the clamp screw. Withdraw the piston and open the bleeder.
  • Place one end of the drain tube in a catch jar and the other end on the bleeder screw. Then, with the C-clamp, open the bleeder and drive the caliper piston back into the bore.
  • Adjust the bleeder and unplug the drain line after you’re finished. While you finish the brake work, use a mechanic’s wire to secure the caliper to the coil spring or strut. Never allow the caliper’s hose to dangle.
  • Then, to replace the rotor, remove the caliper bracket. The thread locker is frequently applied to the caliper bracket bolts, which are rather big. To remove them, you’ll need a big ratchet or breaker bar, as well as an impact wrench.
  • Tighten the screw to the specified torque. Reinstall the caliper bracket after applying the proper thread locker to the caliper bracket bolts.
  • Apply a little layer of brake lubricant to the rear of the noise reduction shims before sliding them into the caliper bracket and installing the springs. Install the caliper again.
  • With the engine turned off, depress the brake pedal numerous times until you receive a firm pedal. Then take a test drive at a modest speed to ensure that the brake pads are in good working order.


Your Jeep’s braking system is a key component that guarantees you have complete control over your vehicle. When you change the size of your Jeep’s tires or the performance of the engine, it’s necessary to think about brakes as a critical enhancement. Investing in braking performance is never a bad idea. The cost of a braking system improvement, whether it’s a set of enhanced pads or a large brake kit, is far less than the expense of poor brake performance.

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