Being an avid four wheeler, I live by my motto of restore, break, rebuild. My latest challenge was rebuilding the many years of abuse and neglect associated with my recent purchase of a Jeep CJ 7. Among many things needed that were purely cosmetic, I decided to get it up and running. My Jeep was equipped with a strong V 8. This is a common swap for some,but it was the selling point for me. The engine was running fair and the drive train was fine. No over heating proved that the coolant system was functioning and it visually seems to be holding tight on all other fluids because there were no puddles on my driveway. The only thing left for inspection was the brake system. A stronger engine means faster acceleration and sometimes the ability to tow, as the CJ’s chassis is rated to tow up to 2,000 lbs. However, the ability of the Jeep’s brake to bring things to a safe halt may be below what it should be. This is a scary issue for me coupled with the fact that I will be putting larger tires and rims on my rig. Most people forget that bigger tires and rims may call for a brakes upgrade.
As a general rule, if the brakes on your Jeep were good before the swap, they will probably adequate after the swap. However, many CJ’s had questionable brakes from the factory. It is up to the individual doing the conversion to ascertain whether or not to upgrade the braking system.This is where I fail. Being a Bronco fan I had no knowledge of Jeep brakes but was willing to learn.
I heard stories of the ultimate bulletproof rebuilds, brake upgrades,substituting Nissan Maxima and 300z brake parts but being a novice to Jeep brake replacement I chose to go with a stock rebuild. Taking pointers from the Jeep gurus on many forums,I set out to rebuild with stock parts and upgrade where my pocket book or my wife would allow. I found a web site called Xtremeterrain.com and began to root through for the much needed parts. After hours of looking and cross referencing I located the parts. The Xtremeterrain website was clear and fully stocked for any option. I surfed and checked out many parts that were labeled with enough info for me to make an intelligent decision and not break the bank.
Days went by as I waited to be assisted by anyone who stopped by my house. I’m not a master mechanic so it did take much longer than I thought but the parts went on without a hitch. Today I kinda smile when people say “hey nice rig”. I put in many hours. Restore, break, rebuild. Jeep life!