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Thread: 4 wheel disc brakes

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    Default 4 wheel disc brakes

    When did jeep go to 4 wheel disc brakes on the wrangler? I have a '97 tj and would rather use the money for a conversion towards a different tj so I was wondering what year they started 4 wheel disc brakes. Thanks!
    John

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    I think the Rubicon first sported it...but search ZJ brake conversion. Those brakes work and will swap over to the TJ with a little work. I got a whole set-up from a JY for $80 for a friend.
    00' TJ, 60 rear, 44 front, AW-4, Stak D300 with 4.1, Krawlers, Allieds, locked, caged, dented and cut sheetmetal.....and now NOT driven daily.

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    i picked up a 98 zj 35 from the local junk yard for 250. brakes swapped right onto my tj 44 and the e brake cables even worked.
    00 sahara 8" skyjacker lift, 8274, 30 locked warn hub conversion, super 44, 38 kevlars, warn bumpers, or-fab trail cage.

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    Geezer Jeeper Jerry Bransford's Avatar
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    4 wheel disk brakes are easier to maintain but rear disk brakes don't help stop the Jeep any better. In other words, don't convert the rear drums to disks in the hope your braking performance will improve... it won't. You would only see an improvement after the conversion if the rear drums weren't working as designed like if they were out of adjustment, worn brake shoes, etc..
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    Forum Leader ehirner's Avatar
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    2003 is when 4-wheel disc brakes first became available on the Wranglers. However, as other's noted, you can add 4-wheel discs relatively easily from a ZJ Grand Cherokee with rear discs or if you have a D35 rear axle, the Ford Explorer 8.8 swap is a popular option that adds a lot of axle beef as well as rear disc brakes.
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    Registered ABN82MP's Avatar
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    How about a WJ? Just asking because I have an exta WJ axle lying around with disk brakes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
    4 wheel disk brakes are easier to maintain but rear disk brakes don't help stop the Jeep any better.
    Question to you sir... I get a lot of nose dive under heavy braking. Could this be caused by my rear drums not being adjusted properly?

    Having never driven a new one, I have no idea if my expectations are in line or not. 2001 with about 63k on the clock... no abs.
    Jeff - 2001 TJ Sport

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    Geezer Jeeper Jerry Bransford's Avatar
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    A dramatic nose dive under hard braking is normally suspension related, like bad shocks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
    A dramatic nose dive under hard braking is normally suspension related, like bad shocks.
    They're new, so that's not it. Springs seem fine. It's a soft top model so they may be a little softer than a hard top model.

    I have tried (in a safe environment) to get four-wheel lock on the brakes and I cannot. I have had one situation where the fronts locked, but not the rears.

    I'm guessing it's as designed and I just need to remember it's not a car.
    Jeff - 2001 TJ Sport

  10. #10

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    my jeep stops a hell of a lot better with discs in the rear. i stayed on top of my rear brakes when i had drums and always had them adjusted.
    technically drum brakes are better than discs, but they have to be considerably larger than a 35 set.

    just take a look at 18 wheeler brakes. all drum and the shoes are huge.
    00 sahara 8" skyjacker lift, 8274, 30 locked warn hub conversion, super 44, 38 kevlars, warn bumpers, or-fab trail cage.

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    Forum Leader ehirner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABN82MP View Post
    How about a WJ? Just asking because I have an exta WJ axle lying around with disk brakes
    No idea. Disassemble and verify.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehirner View Post
    No idea. Disassemble and verify.
    5 on 5 BP vs. 5 on 4.5 BP I believe.
    00' TJ, 60 rear, 44 front, AW-4, Stak D300 with 4.1, Krawlers, Allieds, locked, caged, dented and cut sheetmetal.....and now NOT driven daily.

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    Registered ABN82MP's Avatar
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    Right, but that sholudn't make any difference on the calipers and such. Just need to use different rotors.

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    Rear discs should perform a little better than drums only because drums don't self adjust very well, and who gets under there every 3k to turn the adjuster wheel...

    Also, discs in the rear are far superior to drums in reverse because the brake shoes don't self energize in that direction. It's worth the swap. Did it on my XJ and I can stop on a dime now, not to mention time it takes to replace pads vs. shoes...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 Jeeper View Post
    Rear discs should perform a little better than drums only because drums don't self adjust very well, and who gets under there every 3k to turn the adjuster wheel...
    Who? Those of us that had rear drums that know the adjusters don't work and notice the brake pedal creeping down every thousand miles or so.

    Also, discs in the rear are far superior to drums in reverse because the brake shoes don't self energize in that direction. It's worth the swap. Did it on my XJ and I can stop on a dime now, not to mention time it takes to replace pads vs. shoes...
    Wrong forum. TJ's shorter wheelbase won't let the performance differences of the rear discs show up because the shorter wheelbase has a higher rate of weight transfer to the front tires under braking.
    If you buy for the warranty, buy two. You're gonna need them because warranties don't get you home.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ABN82MP View Post
    Right, but that sholudn't make any difference on the calipers and such. Just need to use different rotors.
    The housing end shape and bolt pattern on the WJ stuff is a lot different than the TJ. Won't bolt up readily.
    If you buy for the warranty, buy two. You're gonna need them because warranties don't get you home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post

    I have tried (in a safe environment) to get four-wheel lock on the brakes and I cannot. I have had one situation where the fronts locked, but not the rears.
    You don't want the rears to lock up. Have you seen what happens when rear brakes lock up? The vehicle doesn't want to travel in a straight line any more. If you have something really screwed up and only the rears lock up, the ass end will want to beat the front to the finish line.
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    Vanco for greatly improved Jeep TJ stopping - http://www.vancopbs.com/
    05’ Blue TJ Rubi (auto) / RE 3.5 Super-Flex / Bilstein 5100’s / Anti-Rock / JKS BL & MML / 33x13.5 Toyo MT / 15x10 Eagles / Jeeperman Skidz / Skid Row Engine Skid / MileMarker Winch / RockHard Front and ProComp Rear Bumpers / SentryKey+Ravelco / CO2 Tank / CB+HAM / Centramatic balancers

    92' YJ -Lifted, locked, and sold...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dodgen View Post
    5 on 5 BP vs. 5 on 4.5 BP I believe.
    The really important part is the caliper brackets and the axle shaft bolt pattern has no bearing on that. The bolt pattern of the axle flanges needs to match the bolt pattern of the caliper brackets. I don't know if the WJ stuff matches the TJ axle flanges. The rotors would be the only thing that matters with the axle shaft bolt pattern and they can probably be redrilled for the 4.5" bolt pattern. In addition, rotor hat size could be an issue as well.

    EDIT: It's all a moot point. I see mrblaine clarified the WJ brake swap issue to a TJ axle.
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    Thank you to the ones who answered my original question.
    To everyone else, it seems I UNINTENTIONALLY open up a can of worms. (mmmmm. worms)
    My personal experience is 4 wheel disc do stop better. From what I have read, disc is better than drum mainly from the perspective of dissipating heat better and simpler design. Drums are cheaper and have a more simple e-brake setup. (cheaper is probably why big rigs use drum brakes. & don't they have a brake on practically every wheel?) The previous info was to pass along what I learned from recent reading, not to prove anyone wrong.
    I do prefer 4 wheel disc brakes because I think they do stop better and are easier to maintain, plus I have more experience changing them.

    Again, thank you to the ones who answered my original question and the info bout snagging them from other vehicles.
    John

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