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When you add larger tires, you can be guaranteed that your braking performance is going to be diminished. The inertia created by the increased mass of the tire, along with the larger diameter, requires more braking power to do the same amount of work. And so, you have a choice: You can ride around with worse brakes, making you and everyone around you a little less safe, or you can add some better brakes.

The best plan: An entire brake package upgrade that includes larger calipers and rotors. You’ll see better braking performance and have a better feel at the pedal. But those brake package kits can be expensive.
If you’re not ready to purchase an entire brake package yet, a pad-and-rotor change can still make a big difference. While an entire brake system upgrade will yield the most impressive results, installing a high- quality EBC disc rotor and brake pad set can be a great way to make some cost-effective braking improvements in under an hour. There are a few different options in pads and rotors for 4x4s and trucks, but all will yield better performance.

Whether you’re choosing to break open the brake lines and install an entire brake system or just looking to upgrade to a high-quality pad and rotor, it is always money well spent to help slow your off-road toy down.

If you’re spending money for a suspension system and larger tires, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to invest in a whole brake system. Kits can vary from front caliper, pad, and rotor systems to ones that include all four corners.

Some kits contain a larger diameter rotor for better braking leverage. These usually include a specific upgraded caliper that fits the bigger rotor. If you’re going this route, make sure you have a wheel large enough to fit the brake package you want.

Newer 4x4s and trucks have much improved brakes over their predecessors, but braking ability can still be improved by simply replacing the stock rotors and brake pads with a set of high-quality parts like those from EBC. Whether you choose the Green Stuff, Yellow Stuff, or Orange Stuff EBC pads, they all have a red “brake-in” surface coating for instant safe braking after the install.

A new rotor should install quickly if it is a slide-on rotor. Rotors captured behind the hub via the studs can take a lot longer. EBC rotors come in a few different models, but you’ll likely upgrade to the slotted GD Sport Rotors if you decide to swap the rotors as well. They have a thermic black finish that resists corrosion where the pads are not contacting the rotor.

The generally accepted minimum pad thickness (not including the backing plate) is 2.5mm. Try and replace your pads before they get this low, as we’ve seen the pad material break off the backing plate under extreme use when the pad is low (well worn).

Can you do a pad change without changing the rotor? Yes. If the rotor looks good with no cracks in it and isn’t warped, it’ll still work. If you’ve had some severe braking situations, you may want to have your rotors scrubbed/turned to remove any glazing before you add new pads. But the best performance will be seen if you match a high-quality brake pad to a high-quality rotor. No matter where your adventures take you, when you’re ready to hit the trails, we’ve got all the gear and expertise you need.  Call or email our helpful team of off road experts, and we’ll get all your questions answered so you can have a great time on the trails without worrying about all the details.