Here is the back story. I have a 5yo Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.

I do a lot of long-distance driving as well as off-roading whenever possible.

My vehicle is mostly stock with the exception of an extra 200 pounds of weight due to an aftermarket winch and bumper.

I'm about due for new front brakes.

I've been saying for years that I wanted to upgrade to a better braking system when this day came because the stock brakes have horrible stopping power. Far worse than any vehicle I have ever owned.

I was originally targeting the Mopar big brake upgrade, because it's just over $1000.

I recently learned that the "Mopar Big Brake" kit, is the stock Rubicon brakes.

Every other kit I look at is Comperable to what I have, worse, or $2000 per axle.

I'm considering what would happen if I were to go with some Baer 13.5" brakes in the front.

Eventually I would replace the rear, but it might take another year. Bad Idea? Is there any way to compensate?

1 Answer 1


It's not a great idea. Brakes are generally balanced to have 70% of the braking power in the front and 30% at the back, if you make your front ones very powerful you get unbalanced braking which can lead to handling problems under hard braking. You also have to think about your master cylinder, you can't just put bigger calipers on without upgrading that too, but if you put a more powerful one on it will be pushing a lot more pressure on the back brakes and locking them up easier. You really have to look at the whole system.

As an alternative you could look at swapping to performance rotors and pads that use the existing calipers. It's much cheaper and may get you the extra stopping power you want. Performance pads are made of softer compounds and sacrifice wear for better braking, they don't last as long as stock pads but they stop better. Better braking creates more heat, so you need to dissipate that, hence the drilling. Slotting helps remove dust between your pad and rotor, increasing brake performance. You can generally find either.

  • Its not what I wanted to hear, but what I expected. Here is my concern with the alternative. The surface area wouldn't change unless the pad size does. I don't see how sport rotors could contribute at all except possibly more efficient heat dissipation. Without changing calipers, I believe this is only accomplished by drilling and slotting which has diminishing returns in passenger applications and actually removes surface area.
    – mreff555
    May 19, 2020 at 23:12
  • That's not quite true @mreff555, see my edits for explanation.
    – GdD
    May 20, 2020 at 7:07

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