Jeeps, particularly older models, are coveted for their rugged charm and off-road capabilities.
However, some classic Jeeps might still be equipped with drum brakes, which can be less effective than modern disc brakes.
Upgrading to a disc brake system can significantly enhance stopping power, safety, and overall driving experience.
If you’re considering this upgrade, here’s a user-focused guide on the best Jeep disc brake conversion kits available.
1. Why Convert to Disc Brakes?
Before diving into the top kits, it’s essential to understand why many Jeep enthusiasts are making the switch:
- Improved Stopping Power: Disc brakes dissipate heat more effectively than drum brakes, providing better stopping performance.
- Maintenance: Disc brakes tend to be easier to service, with more visible components and fewer parts that can wear out or need adjustment.
- Wet Weather Performance: They typically perform better in wet conditions since they can shed water more efficiently.
2. Top Jeep Disc Brake Conversion Kits
1. TeraFlex Disc Brake Kit:
- User Benefit: Ideal for those who have larger tires or frequently venture off-road.
- Features: This kit is known for its superior stopping power, thanks to its larger rotor size. It also comes with all the necessary hardware, making installation straightforward.
2. G2 Axle & Gear Disc Brake Kit:
- User Benefit: A perfect fit for users looking for a budget-friendly upgrade without compromising on performance.
- Features: This kit offers a comprehensive package with rotors, calipers, and pads. Its straightforward design ensures a hassle-free installation process.
3. SSBC Performance Brakes A136:
- User Benefit: Best for those looking for a high-performance upgrade and improved aesthetics.
- Features: Besides improving stopping power, this kit comes with a sleek, powder-coated finish that enhances the look of your Jeep.
4. Crown Automotive Disc Brake Conversion Kit:
- User Benefit: Ideal for Jeep owners who prioritize brand reputation and longevity.
- Features: Crown Automotive is a trusted name in the Jeep community, and their brake conversion kit lives up to expectations. It comes with high-quality components and is designed for a long service life.
5. Alloy USA Performance Rear Disc Brake Conversion Kit:
- User Benefit: For Jeep owners who desire an all-in-one kit with a focus on performance.
- Features: This kit not only converts the rear brakes but also improves braking performance due to its high-quality components.
3. Things to Consider Before Purchasing
- Vehicle Model & Year: Ensure the kit is compatible with your specific Jeep model and year.
- Installation: While many kits advertise ease of installation, if you’re unfamiliar with brake systems, it might be best to have a professional handle the conversion.
- Maintenance: Look for kits that come with clear maintenance instructions and have readily available replacement parts.
- Budget: While it’s tempting to opt for the cheapest kit, remember that brakes are critical for safety. Weigh the price against the kit’s quality, brand reputation, and user reviews.
Upgrading your Jeep’s braking system is not just about enhancing its look or value; it’s also a significant move for safety and performance.
By choosing the right disc brake conversion kit, you can enjoy more confident driving experiences, whether you’re cruising city streets or tackling rugged off-road terrains.
ALSO SEE: TeraFlex Delta Brake Kit Review
Jeep Disc Brake Conversion Kits: FAQs
- What is a disc brake conversion kit?
- It’s a kit that allows you to change your vehicle’s brake system from drum brakes to disc brakes, offering improved stopping power and maintenance advantages.
- Why should I convert my Jeep’s drum brakes to disc brakes?
- Disc brakes offer better stopping power, improved performance in wet conditions, and typically require less maintenance than drum brakes.
- Is converting to disc brakes a DIY project?
- While some experienced DIY enthusiasts can handle the conversion, it’s often recommended to have a professional undertake the process to ensure safety.
- Will any conversion kit work for my Jeep?
- No, it’s crucial to choose a kit designed for your specific Jeep model and year.
- How much does a disc brake conversion typically cost?
- Prices vary based on the kit’s quality and brand, but they can range from $300 to over $1000.
- Do disc brakes last longer than drum brakes?
- Generally, disc brakes can offer a longer lifespan than drum brakes, especially with proper maintenance.
- Does a disc brake conversion kit come with everything I need?
- Most kits will come with essential components like rotors, calipers, and pads, but always check the product description to be sure.
- Is the conversion process time-consuming?
- Depending on experience and the kit’s complexity, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day.
- Can I use my existing wheels after the conversion?
- Most disc brake conversion kits are designed to be compatible with existing wheels, but always check to ensure compatibility.
- Are there legal restrictions on converting to disc brakes?
- Generally, no. However, always consult local regulations to ensure your vehicle remains compliant.
- Will converting to disc brakes improve my Jeep’s resale value?
- It can, especially if potential buyers value the improved performance and safety benefits of disc brakes.
- Are there any downsides to converting to disc brakes?
- The initial cost and potential need for professional installation are common downsides, but the long-term benefits often outweigh these concerns.
- How do I maintain disc brakes after conversion?
- Regularly check and replace brake pads, ensure rotors are clean and free of deep grooves, and monitor brake fluid levels.
- Do disc brakes perform well off-road?
- Yes, disc brakes can offer consistent performance in various conditions, including off-road environments.
- How do I know when it’s time to replace components of my disc brakes?
- Signs include squealing sounds, decreased stopping power, or vibrations when braking.
- Is brake fluid included in the conversion kits?
- Most kits don’t include brake fluid; you’ll need to purchase it separately.
- Can I revert back to drum brakes after converting?
- While possible, it’s uncommon and not usually recommended due to the benefits disc brakes offer.
- Will the conversion affect my Jeep’s ABS system?
- If your Jeep has ABS, ensure you select a kit compatible with the ABS system to maintain its functionality.
- What’s the difference between vented and non-vented rotors?
- Vented rotors have space (or vents) between the two braking surfaces, allowing for better heat dissipation.
- Do all Jeeps come with drum brakes?
- No, many modern Jeeps come equipped with disc brakes. Drum brakes are more common in older models.
- Can I convert only the front or rear brakes?
- While some people choose to convert only the front or rear, for balanced performance, it’s recommended to convert both.
- Do I need to bleed the brakes after installation?
- Yes, bleeding the brakes ensures there’s no air in the brake lines, crucial for proper brake function.
- How does the weight of disc brakes compare to drum brakes?
- Disc brake systems are generally lighter than drum brake systems.
- Are disc brakes noisier than drum brakes?
- Properly installed and maintained disc brakes are usually quieter than drum brakes.
- Can I upgrade the brake pads in the conversion kits?
- Yes, many Jeep owners opt for aftermarket pads for enhanced performance.
- How does altitude or mountain driving affect disc brakes?
- Disc brakes dissipate heat more efficiently, making them more suitable for mountain driving compared to drum brakes.
- Is there a break-in period for disc brakes?
- Yes, it’s essential to follow the kit manufacturer’s guidelines for the break-in process to ensure optimal performance.
- Do disc brake kits come with a warranty?
- Many reputable brands offer warranties, but always check the specifics before purchasing.
- Can I paint the calipers in the kit?
- Yes, but ensure you use high-temperature paint designed for brake components.
- How often should I inspect my disc brakes?
- It’s a good practice to inspect them during regular vehicle maintenance or at least once a year.
- What’s the primary material for rotors in these kits?
- Most rotors are made of cast iron due to its excellent heat dissipation properties.
- Can I use disc brakes for towing with my Jeep?
- Yes, disc brakes can provide reliable stopping power essential for towing.
- Are there eco-friendly brake pads available for disc brakes?
- Yes, several manufacturers produce eco-friendly brake pads with reduced environmental impact.
- How does temperature affect disc brakes?
- Disc brakes perform well in various temperatures, but extreme cold or heat might impact performance slightly.
- Is it easier to replace brake pads on disc brakes compared to drum brakes?
- Generally, disc brake pads are easier and quicker to replace than the shoes in drum brakes.
- Do disc brake conversion kits come with installation instructions?
- Yes, most reputable kits will include detailed installation instructions. If not, it’s advisable to download or request them from the manufacturer.
- Do I need special tools for the conversion?
- Basic hand tools are typically sufficient, but some kits might require specific tools. Always refer to the instruction manual.
- How do disc brakes affect fuel efficiency?
- Disc brakes, being generally more efficient and lighter than drum brakes, can potentially contribute to improved fuel efficiency due to less rolling resistance.
- Can I use disc brakes in competitive events or racing?
- Yes, in fact, most racing vehicles and off-road competitors prefer disc brakes for their consistent performance and reliable stopping power.
- How do I ensure that my disc brakes remain dust-free?
- Some level of brake dust is inevitable, but using high-quality brake pads and regular cleaning can reduce accumulation.
Remember, when considering a disc brake conversion for your Jeep, always prioritize safety and ensure you either have the expertise to complete the conversion or consult with a professional. Proper installation and maintenance are essential for optimal performance and safety.