POWERSTOP EVOLUTION PERFORMANCE BRAKE SYSTEM: “IF IT DON’T BRAKE, GO FIX IT!”

PowerStop Evolution Performance Brake System Kit For Jeep Wrangler JK – ’07-’12 #K2798

Pros: Sure stops.  Perfect fit.  Quality components at a bargain price.

Cons: My UPS guy isn’t fond of heavy metal.

I was sailing along when it happened without warning – the arching, yellow-trimmed fast food giant was rapidly approaching.  Decisions to be made… should I stop for some fries and a dollar cuppa joe, or continue on without?

Now or never became now.  Braving a sea of tan Caravans, I parked across from an idling tour bus.  Hmm… “meals included” doesn’t mean what it used to.  The sweet smell of compensation.

Upon opening the driver’s door, I was assaulted by a smell of a different kind – the left rear wheel of my Jeep Wrangler was hot enough to grill a Quarter Pounder. Crouching for a closer look, I could hear the hot, sputtering hiss of bubbling brake fluid.  The caliper had seized and the resulting friction could well have resulted in auto-self immolation – had I resisted the call of the fries.

Genuine Jeep

Defying all logic, the local dealer offered the best price on a new set of calipers.  Installing new pads and rotors is a given in such an instance – but no one appears to offer ceramics for the rears.  Aftermarket performance rotors will run a buck-fifty… each.  It’s a hundred degrees, the “local” dealer is 23 miles thatta-way and the new, comfy, air-conditioned JK Wrangler is in a rare state of disable.  But the old black TJ Wrangler Sport, with its matching hardtop and no A/C, is eager to be a rolling furnace in my midsummer quest for resolution.

Psycho-Ceramic

If the thriving Jeep aftermarket is awash in parts for every generation of Wrangler that rolls, why is there no ceramic pad option for the JK’s rear axle?  Answer:  Go to the site that sells everything.

Amazon Prime Directive

Thanks to the proper keywords and reliable Amazon search, I located a long-winded solution:

PowerStop K2798 Front/Rear Ceramic Brake Pad and Cross Drilled/Slotted Combo Rotor One-Click Brake Kit.

Contained within are four vented, drilled and slotted “silver zinc” plated rotors and a set of ceramic pads for each axle.  The success of the pad search aside – finding vented rear performance rotors for this vehicle at a reasonable price is like meeting Sasquatch at the Seven-Eleven.

What can Brown do?

Being a Prime member, I received my shipment within 48 hours of ordering.  As an organizational asset, all four cardboard-clad rotors had been tightly bound together with yellow tape resembling that used to encircle crime scenes.  For reasons of liability (I suspect), the UPS guy refused assistance and muscled the awkward, 40 pound parcel to the front door.

Worrywart

Of course, the main concern at this point is one of compatibility.  When Phil the mechanic removes the old components, what happens if the new parts don’t fit?  It’s not as if the local NAPA will apologize and deliver the right ones – I will have to re-wrap them with a new roll of tape and go through the return process.  Inconvenience… wasted time… hourly rate… What have I DONE?

Phil da’ Man!

It took Phil about ninety minutes to install the calipers, pads and rotors.  He was so impressed with the quality, finish and precision of the PowerStop Evolution Performance Brake Kit, he asked for the details of my purchase.  When appropriate, he planned to recommend the product to his SUV and truck-driving customers.

The kit arrived with a set of instructions – 14 detailed steps, each with photo assist.  Since Phil did the heavy lifting while I raided the snack machine, there was no need for me to closely examine said brochure.  However, the concluding recommendation, printed in red and preceded by a giant exclamation point, did draw my attention:

Proper Pad Bedding?

Essentially a break-in exercise, Pad Bedding involves a series of five “moderately aggressive” stops from 40 down to 5 miles per hour without letting the brakes cool or coming to a complete stop.  For step two, five additional stops from 25 mph down to 5, letting the brakes cool between stops.  As stated, proper Pad Bedding of ceramics can prevent warping and/or cracking of the drilled and slotted rotors.

Braking Good

I was impressed with the increased stopping power and decreased stopping distance observed with the PowerStop system installed.  The ceramic pads wear longer, contain no harmful asbestos and produce little dust.  Best of all is the fact that their high impact carbon ceramic formula allows them to operate in virtual silence.

After more than eight months of everyday use in the snow belt, the Silver Zinc coating gleams as if new behind the 18 inch steel Wrangler wheels.  The rotors show no sign of grooving, warping, wear or corrosion.

The most attractive feature of the PowerStop Evolution Performance Brake Kit is the price – I paid around $325.00 (US).  Purchased separately, the local parts peeps wanted as much for the original equipment replacements – and more than double for their performance rotors – bundled with conventional rear pads!

Phil is one of the best mechanics in the business.  His role in this successful exercise earned him $67.50 – 1.5 hours labor @ $45.00 per hour (yes… you’re reading that right) here in our fine rural reality.

The PowerStop (K2798) Kit fits the 2007-2012 Jeep Wrangler (JK).  Keyword your vehicle’s year, make and model with “PowerStop” to assure a proper fit.

PowerStop backs the Evolution Performance Brake Kit System with a 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty.

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