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RT Offroad's New Big Brake Kit: Initial Review

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Brakes are something most people take for granted when it comes to maintaining a vehicle. You usually go for upgrades that are clearly visible like fenders, bumpers, lifts or cosmetic parts. As long as your Jeep stops, you're golden, right? Wrong, so wrong! Have you ever been driving a vehicle when the brakes fail? I have and it's not fun. Yeah, I should have taken care of my hand-me-down Corolla (thanks mom & dad) but I'm just going to chalk it up to the fact that I was young and dumb...and knew little to nothing about vehicles back then. Now that I'm a little older and a little wiser, I can truly understand the importance of proper brake systems and how to keep them maintained.

When upgrading your brake system on your Jeep Wrangler JK, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. When adding heavier modifications and larger tires, you automatically add a few hundred extra pounds to your already heavy Jeep. With the additional weight comes the additional force and stress being put on your current brake system. For the most part, brakes aren't an issue as slower speeds. It's mostly an issue at faster speeds when you have only a split second to react before you slam into the vehicle or structure in front of you. Big brake kits allow for more stopping power and take the stress of bigger tires off the rotors.

This past July we decided to upgrade my factory front brake system on Frankie Van Halen, a 2015 Jeep Wrangler JK Sport, with the all new RT Offroad Big Brake Kit. Until now, my poor OEM brakes had suffered the stress of my 37s and beadlocks and had done their job. But I could tell the stopping power was lacking and needed a solution fast.

The RT Offroad Big Brake Kit features calipers with a par of 54mm pistons for increased clamping forces, resulting in increased piston area over the single piston calipers. The 13" vented rotors give the braking system greater leverage with an end result, when compared to OE brakes, of 22% shorter. 17" wheels are required to run this set up. Estimated installation time was around 2.5 hours, which is fair and pretty on-point and the installation itself was pretty straightforward.

Eric asked me right off the bat what I thought of the new brakes after I had returned from running a few errands. My initial response was "Well, they stop...!". In my defense, I had only driven from the shop, to our home, and back again, which is only a total of 1/4 mile so I really couldn't give an honest opinion just then. Jump to a few days later, the brakes were finally wearing in and I was traveling a little further than just home and back. The braking system has a whole lot more beef and power over the OEM brakes and if I press down too quick or too hard (I have a habit if having a lead foot and need for speed at times), the Jeep stops on a dime and I catch myself jerking forward and being almost nose-to-glass with my windshield but that means my brakes are working, right? After a few trips in the Jeep, I've gotten used to how sensitive and responsive the whole system really is.

Since installing the RT Offroad Big Brake Kit, I have only had on-road experience. Frankie Van Halen has gone under the knife a few times in the past couple of weeks getting the Rock Krawler Trail Gunner Coil Over Upgrade (be on the lookout for that review soon) and will be going back under within a few short weeks. Once my Jeep is trail-ready again, I will do an updated review and keep you posted on how this big brake kit holds up on the rocks!

Interested in getting this setup on your JK? Click here! Have more questions about the kit? Feel free to give us a call 774-826-9948 or send us an email to sales@offroadelements.com!

As always, check back here for all the latest and greatest Jeep and offroad updates!


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