Installing big brakes on a vehicle that needs them is a great modification. Is it the right modification for your vehicle, though? Let’s find out.
What Is A Big Brake Kit?
A big brake kit is something you install when you want to improve braking by increasing the contact area between the brake pad and the brake rotor. Depending on your vehicle’s braking system, a big brake kit will usually noticeably improve your vehicle’s stopping power.
A big brake kit includes all the components necessary to upgrade your vehicle’s braking system. All the parts in a big brake kit are bigger than stock brakes. A quality big brake kit usually also has more sophisticated braking components than stock brakes. A typical big brake kit includes:
- Larger rotors, which may be two-piece rotors
- Larger calipers, which may have multiple pistons
- Larger brake pads
- Brake fluid
- Brake fluid lines
Big brake kits are usually applicable to serious high-performance needs including:
- Full-stop racing
- Street performance
- Any other vehicle that needs to go fast and have reliable stopping power
Why It’s Important To Install Big Brakes On Both Axles
A lot of people describe big brake kits as nothing more than beefier brake components. It’s not that simple, though. In the world of high-performance braking, it’s a little more complicated. Big brake kits need to maintain the right balance of braking power between the front and rear of the vehicle.
Big brake kits used to only consist of beefier brake components. But then some customers would install big brake kits only on the front axle to save money. This altered the vehicle’s braking balance. What happens when a vehicle’s braking balance is thrown off? You end up with poor tracking when under hard braking. If the rear brakes are not producing stopping power that is proportionate to the front brakes, the rear end can wander side to side in heavy braking.
This widespread problem led many big brake kit manufacturers to redesign their systems with balance in mind. They did this by developing big brake kits for two situations:
- Front axle only kits. These kits are for people who are only planning on upgrading the front brakes. The brakes are larger, but not so much that they create a balance problem between the front and rear brakes.
- Four wheel kits. These kits are for people who want the absolute maximum braking power that they can get. They are designed to keep the appropriate balance between front and rear braking power.
Balance means the vehicle can brake faster and more safely under any condition. A balanced big brake kit is worth the cost because it’s safer to drive in many different conditions.
Does Your Vehicle Need A Big Brake Kit?
Not every vehicle needs a big brake kit. We recommend not getting a big brake kit unless you’re certain that your vehicle needs one.
The harder you drive, the more likely you are to notice poor braking performance, or brake fade. When you’re at that point, you need to figure out which brake system it needs to create a balanced and optimal performance.
When you need to upgrade your brakes, you have two options:
- Performance brake pads
- Big brakes
We always recommend trying performance brake pads first. They are much cheaper solution, with less potential drawbacks. But, if you’ve tried performance pads, and you really need bigger brakes, you should be aware of some of the tradeoffs.
The Pros And Cons Of Using A Big Brake Kit
If using big brakes makes sense in your situation, you may want to know the pros and cons of this solution. A lot of people know that bigger brakes mean more stopping power. Yet, many don’t realize that there are some potential drawbacks depending on your situation:
- Brakes need to get to a certain operating temperature in order to work well. As bigger brakes have more material to absorb heat, it is harder to get them to heat up. So in daily driving, the brakes may actually provide less stopping power than stock brakes. Bigger brakes need hard use in order to perform well.
- The bigger rotors and calipers will weigh more than the stock parts they replace. This can affect ride quality, particularly on a lightweight vehicle.
- Larger brakes may require firmer pedal pressure to stop your car. This means if you’re not used to driving with stiffer pedals, braking could be uncomfortable and difficult at first.
On the other hand, larger brakes often provide better control and braking feel in hard use. If you’re really pushing the car, this is important. But, the biggest pro about using big brakes is safety. If you drive your vehicle at high speeds, the brakes are its most important safety feature. So if you need an advantage in stopping power, bigger brakes are the best solution.
If you want a little more information, this post weighs the pros and cons of upgrading to bigger rotors (and other brake components). But, if your car really needs big brakes, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If your car needs them, get them.
Find The Right Big Brake Kit For Your Vehicle At BuyBrakes.com
If your vehicle needs big brakes, you can get them at BuyBrakes.com. Our online shop offers only the best big brake kits by reputable brands like:
In addition to quality big brake kits for all sorts of vehicles, we offer:
- Price match guarantee
- Fast shipping
- Free brake concierge team that’s happy to help you
If you need help finding the right big brake kit for your vehicle, please get in touch with us.