4x4 - Home

Vanco 16" Big Brake Kit for 15" Wheels - Upgrade


With the caliper removed, the pads (red arrows) are simply slipped out of the pad clips (yellow arrows) by moving the pad out and away from the rotor.

Note that I did not replace the existing saddles (blue arrow).  The existing saddles are a direct fit for the new caliper.  Since a small amount of clearance grinding must be done on the saddle when fitting it to the adapter bracket, there was no reason to go this route and make extra work for myself.  So, the slightly used saddle was left in place.


Almost done.....the two new pad clips (yellow arrows) are pushed into their position on the saddle.  Note that the new pad clips are slightly different in design compared to those previously removed.  The Black Magic pads are then slid into position against either side of the rotor. 


Don't forget to orient the new caliper so that the bleed screw (red arrow) is positioned at the top!  Yes, there really is a left and right side caliper.  Not doing so will cause you much grief when it comes time to bleed your brakes.

All that is left is to replace the two caliper mounting bolts (blue arrows) that were previously removed.  The service manual suggests a light coating of silicone grease on the bolt.  Torque specs, per the factory manual, is 11 foot pounds.

With the caliper bolted back into position, the brake line is properly positioned and the banjo bolt (yellow arrow) is torqued to 23 foot pounds.  Tightening the bolt seals the copper washers and provides a leak proof connection.  The tire is remounted with the lug nuts torqued to 100 foot pounds.

This is a good place to mention a situation that occurred to a Jeep buddy while we were working on his front axle swap.  We had just finished mounting a junk yard pull axle and were getting down to the final steps.  He installed a pair of Autozone re-built calipers since those that came on the pulled axle were in terrible shape.  We did a quick bleed on the front calipers (engine NOT running, of course) and he started it up to take it for a short test drive through his subdivision.  Two minutes later, he shows back up in the driveway and turns off the engine.  I noticed some fluid dripping down onto the driveway.  It was brake fluid.  What the heck?  It turns out that the mounting surface where the inner copper washer mates against the caliper housing had a deep gouge in it.  As such, it was impossible for the washer to make a full seal.  Once the engine was running and the vacuum booster was increasing brake pedal pressure, the banjo bolt fitting started leaking. 

That wrapped up the actual installation of the upgrade kit. 

The final task was to properly bed the new Black Magic brake pads.  Blaine supplies a well written and easy to follow instruction sheet that is packaged with the brake pads.  It takes about 45 minutes (one 30 minute session, and one 15 minute session) to season the pads and get them up to nearly their full stopping potential.  As you continue to drive your vehicle, you may notice an improvement in stopping performance but at some point, the pads will have been fully broken in and you will be a max performance. 

So....if you are wondering how this latest upgrade works....the answer is absolutely GREAT!  There is a noted improvement between my old PF pads and the new Black Magic pads.  Blaine wasn't kidding when he said the PF pads really are down at the bottom of the list compared to what is available today. 

If you are still driving around on stock brakes (you know who you are), it's time to get some brakes that are capable of stopping those oversized tires.  Swing by Savvy Offroad and get a Vanco Big Brake Kit that fits your needs.  If you already have a Big Brake Kit but don't have the latest pads, check out Black Magic and get yourself the best pads you can put on your Jeep. 




4x4 Off-Road    Homestead    Firearms    RC Models