There are certain parts of your vehicle that most people don’t give a lot of thought. Brakes, tires, engine oil, air filters and more are maintenance items that have regularly scheduled intervals but you don’t normally pay attention to otherwise.
That’s a good thing, those items have a job to do and when everything is going right it should allow you to focus on more important things… like driving.
We covered our upgrade to the Dynatrac ProGrip brakes in a previous article here and today we are going to focus on the daily usefulness of the system.
A little refresher first. Our test Jeep is fitted with a 4.5-inch ICON Vehicle Dynamics Stage 4 lift. It is running the new 37-inch Falken WILDPEAK MT01 mud terrains on Method Race Wheels Hole faux bead lock wheels. The combination weighs over 100lbs per wheel and that much-rolling rubber was difficult for the stock brakes to stop quickly.
There were several occasions that quick stops were far more of a pucker factor than they needed to be. The stock brakes just did not have the ability to give maximum stopping and we could not get the ABS to activate, under controlled conditions, unless the pavement was wet or very dirty. That’s not very safe at all. When you can’t get more stopping power out of your brakes than the tires can handle you are, quite literally, headed for an accident.
When the price tag of an upgrade is north of $900 you have some pretty high expectations for it. First you expect it to be a quality made item, you expect it to last, and you expect it to at least meet if not exceed the performance it promises.
The quality of the ProGrip brakes was evident the moment we pulled it out of the boxes, no extraneous machine marks, castings were clean and flash free, and the components had no signs of wear, rust, or deficiencies prior to installing them.
The basis of why the system provides more braking capability is simple. Larger rotors multiply the calipers ability to stop the wheels from moving. It’s like a hand wheel to move a gear set. The larger the wheel you turn the easier the gears turn. In this case, you use that larger item to stop motion but the principle is the same.
Which brings us to performance. Last time we showed you a video of just how much less distance the ProGrip system stopped our big JK, now it’s time to talk about what that “feels” like.
Stock Jeep Wrangler brakes are utilitarian and functional. They don’t provide great feedback and they do the job of stopping your Jeep good enough. The more aggressive brake pads and that larger rotor with the new setup adds an element of brake feel to the mix. You can slow down and use your brakes to control the attitude of the Jeep much easier and with confidence. They allow you to quickly and easily scrub off corner speed with finesse and much more controlled touch. They have more than enough power now to engage the ABS on dry pavement, letting you know that you have maximum stopping for every situation is comforting.
Off road the additional stopping and holding grip allow you to keep the vehicle stationary on steep obstacles where previously they wheels may have rolled when the brakes just couldn’t exert enough force on the rotors. Very handy when you are balanced on several rocks and you can’t afford to roll when you don’t want to.
If we had any complaint with the system it would be the brake pads. To get the aggressive grip you want the pads do produce a lot of dust. We aren’t normally into cleaning the wheels often or making the Jeep pristine every day, but they are dirty even for us. It’s a small price to pay for the performance but if you rock expensive shiny wheels you need to know about the extra maintenance you will need to keep them shiny.
We will continue to update as we drive and test the system. In the coming weeks, we have several off-road excursions planned and will provide more feedback to their usefulness in harsher terrain than the Maryland highway system!
If you want a set for yourself click here and get them direct from Dynatrac.