Slow(ing) motion: Installing Teraflex Rear Performance Big Rotor kit & Hawk pads

If you’ve ever changed your Jeep’s brake pads before, you know it’s among the simplest jobs a shade-tree mechanic can tackle. And installing Teraflex‘s  Rear Performance Big Rotor kit is no exception. The big-rotor kit increases the diameter of the Jeep’s rotor to 13.5 inches, thus increasing braking power by providing more leverage for the factory-sized pads to slow the vehicle. (NOTE: Due to the larger size of the rotor, you must be running 17-inch or larger wheels with this kit.) The rotors are available in a traditional smooth or slotted configuration.

Materials/tools needed:

  • Teraflex Rear Performance Big Rotor Kit  (Part No. 4304450)
  • Hawk Performance LTS (Part No. HB608Y.630)
  • Lug wrench
  • Lug nut adapter, if necessary
  • Vehicle jack
  • Jack stands (2)
  • Wheel chocks (2)
  • Caliper slide grease
  • Ratchet handle
  • Torque wrench
  • 13 mm or 1/2-inch box wrench
  • 15 mm end wrench or socket
  • 18 mm wrench or socket
  • Brake cleaner
  • Breaker bar (optional)
  • Shop towels (recommended)

Step 1: Remove caliper & bracket bolts

Using either the factory jack from the Jeep or a floor jack, lift the rear axle and support with jack stands. Make sure the emergency brake is NOT engaged. Remove the rear wheels and tires. (NOTE: Be sure to chock the front wheels for safety.)

Remove the caliper slide bolts using the 13 mm or 1/2-inch  box wrench while holding a 15 mm on the slide-pin nut. Remove the slide pins by pulling them straight back and set aside for reuse in the Teraflex brackets. Lift the caliper out of the way and discard the old brake pads. Suspend or support the caliper to avoid damaging the flexible brake lines. Next, use an 18 mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the caliper bracket. Save all the hardware for reassembly.

Step 2: Remove & replace rotor

img_0474After the caliper and bracket have been removed, remove any retaining clips that are present and discard, as these will prevent the rotor’s removal. Pull straight away from the vehicle to remove the rotor and set aside. (Now would be a good time to inspect and clean the emergency brake shoes, while you have everything disassembled.)

Mount the new Teraflex rotor over the studs, rotating it (the rotor is drilled for both 5-on-5 and 5-on-5.5 bolt patterns) to determine the correct holes. Avoid touching the rotor’s flat surface to prevent transfer of grease from your hands to the rotor’s surface.

Step 3: Install pads, caliper bracket & slide pins

Transfer four metal clips from the factory caliper brackets to the new brackets. Apply a small dab of caliper grease to the ears of each new brake pad to avoid any rattles or squeaks. Install the Hawk Performance LTS pads into the caliper bracket by snapping the pad ears into the metal clips you just installed. Make certain the semi-metallic side of the brake pad is facing the inside, where the rotor will be. Two of the four pads will include a protruding metal clip to indicate it is time to replace the pads. Install these on the inner side of each rotor.

Next, wipe clean the caliper slides and apply a small coating of fresh grease. Install the slides into the bores of the new bracket by pushing them in until the rubber boot snaps into place along the retaining groove.

Gently spread the pads in the bracket and slide them around the rotor into position. Apply thread-locking compound to the bracket bolts, then install them through the bracket into the appropriate threaded holes. Tighten the caliper brackets to 70 ft.-lbs. Finally, tighten the caliper slide bolts to 30 ft.-lbs. Do not use thread locker on these bolts.

tf-rear-rotorStep 4: Reinstall wheels & tires

Wipe away any extra grease, then spray down the rotors with brake cleaner. With the new pads and rotors in place and properly torqued to spec, reinstall both wheels and tires, doing a final tighten to 105 to 110 lb.-ft. You’ll likely spend more time cleaning up your work space and getting grease off your hands than you did in actual wrench time.

Turn the ignition to accessory, then pump the brakes two or three times to establish proper pressure.

Step 5: Break-in

After a thorough dousing with brake cleaner to make sure any grease I’d accidentally transferred to the rotors was removed, I followed Hawk’s suggested break-in procedure for the new pads. It called for six to 10 stops from 30 to 35 mph at moderate pressure, followed by a few stops from 40 to 50 mph at moderate pressure. No other break-in is needed.

First impressions

Smokey’s new Teraflex 13.5-inch rotors and Hawk Performance LTS pads work as advertised. I’ve not done any braking-distance tests, but with light 33-inch tires, I doubt I’d lost much performance over the stock 32s, anyway. So far, I’m pleased with the purchase, and I’ll be upgrading the front rotors and pads in the not-too-distant future.

Total time to complete

Less than 1 hour

Total project cost

$468.98 ($399.99 rotor kit, $68.99 pads)

 

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4 comments

  1. Brakes are a great upgrade especially if you need a break job anyway. Plus it looks like you spent what it would cost most shops to the same job with inferior parts. My jeep had the rear brakes redone shortly before I bought it, but that was 20,000 miles ago. Most of that was highway miles over 6 months so I’m not really surprised the pads and rotors are holding up so well. Glad to know that a break job like this is so easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, it’s a simple job, and while I could’ve gotten much cheaper parts, I like that I’m prepared the Jeep for my eventual transition to 35s, when that extra braking power will really be beneficial.

      Like

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