After I put 35″ tires and new wheels on my Jeep Wrangler JKU Rubicon, I noticed braking was not as good as it was before. Frankly, I think the factory brakes on the factory wheels and tires were barely suitable for off road use (felt like it faded too quickly when warm to hot on the trails in 4LO). Given my thoughts about the factory brakes on factory wheels and factory (32″) tires, you can imagine that the factory brakes felt even worse to me on 315/70R17 tires.
After looking into various brake upgrades including more elaborate big brake kits that replace the master cylinder, brake booster, along with the calipers, I decided to try out the simpler, yet highly regarded Dynatrac ProGrip Brake System.
The Dynatrac ProGrip Brake System for the Jeep Wrangler JK is a kit that comes with four larger brake rotors, four brake pads, and larger caliper brackets.
From the Dynatrac ProGrip product page:
– 13.50-inch front rotors with unique pillar-vented cooling designDynatrac Progrip Product Description
– 14.25-inch rear rotors with integral parking brake surface
– Stronger caliper brackets designed using CAD/FEA and advanced engineering tools
– Unique front and rear brake pads for optimum friction performance
The premise behind the design is that the brake rotors are larger in diameter resulting in more surface area and the caliper brackets offset the pads farther out. This means the pads contact more surface area during a revolution of the brake rotor.
The system utilizes the factory calipers and thus there is no removal of the brake lines to install new calipers. Thus, the Dynatrac ProGrip is a very simple install since you’re simply swapping out the rotors, caliper brackets, and pads.
It is important to note that the Dynatrac Progrip requires at least 17″ wheels with 4.75″ backspace or less. Dynatrac also has a template that you can print out in order to check if your wheels will clear the brake system. I highly recommend doing this.
Most 17″ wheels and 4.75″ backspacing (or less should be fine) but there are always exceptions based on wheel design. For those wheels that do clear, there is also one other factor to consider: wheel weights. Wheel weights on the inside lip of the wheel (lip closest to the vehicle) may cause clearance issues. The template will help identify this. In these cases, you will want to have wheels rebalanced by a tire shop where the wheel weights are placed at a different location such that there are no clearance issues.
After following a brake bedding / break-in process of 25 mph to 5 mph gradual braking with no complete stop and holds (holding down on brakes) followed by 40 mph to 5 mph braking with no stop and holds, the brakes are essentially bedded.
The day after I installed the brakes and bedded them, I drove out the range to run the monthly NRL22 match at my club’s range facility and immediately noticed the brakes have far better braking response. While it wasn’t very hot that day, the brakes didn’t feel as weak as they felt when running the factory brake system and I didn’t experience any brake fade symptoms.
When it comes time to replace the pads, it is ideal to use Dynatrac ProGrip replacement pads, but if you find yourself needing pads immediately and cannot get Dynatrac brake pads in time, Jeep Wrangler JK OEM (or compatible aftermarket) will work.
After about two months of running the Dynatrac ProGrip Brake System for the Jeep JK, my one complaint is that I am experiencing an intermittent squeal when braking. Sometimes they’ll squeak/squeal on either hard or soft braking. I did apply Permatex Ceramic Brake Lubricant on the backs of the pads, between the pads and shims, and the pad ears, but it will still squeal from time to time during braking. While the braking power feels more effective than stock, the squeal does get annoying.
I have read that sometimes the brake pad (anti-rattle) clips can be the cause of squeal, but I did use the ones that came with the kit. I might replace them to see if it resolves the issue.
Anyway, that sums up my experiences with the Dynatrac ProGrip Brake System for the Jeep Wrangler JK. It is a very straightforward install as it is a rotor, caliper bracket, and pad swap with no changes to the caliper or other brake system components, and appears to increase braking performance over stock.