Upgrade: Teves to Akebono (99 WJ) - North American Grand Cherokee Association
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
85IrocZ-28
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Default Brake Upgrade: Teves to Akebono (99 WJ)

After years of dealing with the warped rotors, it was time for the upgrade. The stealership told me the teves were the better calipers, and I didn't need an upgrade. This is an example of why I will never trust the "experts" at the stealership. The pads I had didn't perform adequately either, I needed something that would stop the 35's better. Because I was upgrading the fronts, I replaced the rear pads and rotors as well. The rear pads were only 1/2 worn, but I wanted the higher friction pads.

Here is what I started with, front teves calipers, worn rotors, and worn pads. The front pads were on the Jeep when I bought it (3 years ago) and still had 1/3 of the pad left. They were way too hard with little stopping power. Here is what I was looking at with the tires off. Notice on the Teves Caliper, it has a spring on the front.


To remove the caliper, you will need an 7mm allen wrench. After that, you need to remove the caliper bracket, two 18mm bolts. When using a socket, you have to move the ABS wire off of its retainer prong and out of the way. Also make sure the front of the rotor is turned slightly inward towards the Jeep so that you can reach the upper bolt easier (the knuckle can get in the way).


All four rotors (I replaced all brakes front and rear) needed persuasion to come off. Here is the persuader:


You NEED Akebono caliper brackets for this upgrade, look at the difference. The Akebono caliper bracket is fully enclosed, much more rigid.


You can clearly see the difference in the caliper castings, the Akebono has ridges on the top of the casting. This will make the caliper itself more rigid, and provides larger cooling surface. The Akebono is on the ground, the Teves is in my hand..notice its smooth top.


Notice the writing on the back of the Akebono caliper:


Side comparison of the calipers:


The new calipers came with 5 small clips. I was confused at first, and really couldn't find anything online about how they went on. After simply looking at them and the caliper bracket though, they were self explanatory. Four of them slide on where the pads ride, and the fifth was just a pad life indicator that clipped onto the brake pad.


I have seen some people spread anti squeak all over the back of their pads, but I have always thought this was unnecessary. I just apply it to the pistons and the inside lip of the caliper where the pads rest. Then you don't see it all over the pad when you are done. My brother works for an automotive shop, and has countless stories of people who apply this to the pad surface!!!! Do not do that.


I used Hawks LTS pads as I LOVE Hawks, they have always performed extremely well on my Camaro. The LTS pad with Y Compound is the pad with the highest coefficient of friction that Hawk produces for the WJ, so I went with it to stop the 35's.


This was the first time I had replaced calipers on an ABS vehicle. The bleeding process was very similar to any other, but you don't pump up the pedal. You have someone apply pressure to the brake pedal, then loosen the bleed valve, the brake pedal will go to the floor. You then tighten the bleed valve, they release the brake pedal and let don't touch anything for a few seconds. Then the pedal man should apply pressure to the pedal again while you open the bleeder valve. Then close the valve again before telling the pedal man (or woman, my wife is a great help with this) to let off of the brake pedal. So instead of pumping like on the non abs setups, you don't pump as this can introduce air into the ABS system. This isn't an in depth description, make sure you read the directions. They should be included with your calipers.

I went with a flat surface rotor as drilled slotted seem to reduce pad life on my Camaro. And with occasion, I may heat these rotors up fairly warm when towing and coming down the canyon. I don't want to have a rotor fail on me and break.

The rotors are the Premium rotors offered by Napa. I also bought the Calipers there b/c it came with the bracket included.

Total Cost of new brakes

Rotors (F&R) $212 at Napa
Front Calipers (Akebono Upgrade) $145 at Napa
Brake Pads (Hawks LTS Pads F&R) $160 from Summit Racing
1 Can Brake Fluid - $3 at Autozone
1 Can Brake Parts Cleaner - $3 at Autozone

TOTAL = $523

The braking is now amazing. It stops much faster. I don't think I could have activated the ABS on dry pavement before, but it stops very quickly now. It is much safer and more comfortable. No more warped rotors...
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Last edited by 85IrocZ-28; 06-30-2009 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:45 AM   #2
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good write up and good with the prices so people can know what to expect to pay.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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*knock on wood*

I had a 99 new back in march of 99, and at 10k miles the rotors warped and the dealer turned them off-vehicle. At 15k they warped again and the dealer turned them on vehicle. And at 20k they warped yet again and the dealer finally replaced the rotors, and then about 15k miles later I sold it and the brakes were still good.

My current 99 has 145k miles, and had about 122k when I bought it. I should check and see what calipers are on it, but I haven't had one single issue with the thing yet. I mean, aside from the driver's seat falling apart and then someone chucking a rock through the window, and the seal on the rear quarter window drying up, and breaking things while wheeling that is. :lol:
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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It is pretty easy to spot the caliper, you won't even have to take your wheels off. Just look at the side by side pic (7th pic). If you have the spring all along the side of the caliper, those are the older style. If there is no spring, but you can see the caliper bracket that is connected on the outer side of the rotor, then you have the newer style.
The calipers don't make a braking difference, it is really in the pads. The calipers will just help prevent future warpage.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:42 AM   #5
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Default Teves-Akebono Rotor Sizes?

Thanks for a very helpful post with excellent pictures. Twice in 4 months last year having been off-road in the mud I found one of my front callipers were sticking. The second time I had two hundred miles to drive home by which time the pads and rotor were shot. Both times I just installed the same type again. I then read somewhere that Teves were prone sticking and was looking for definite information on the Teves-Akebono swap. My old “breaker” Jeep has Akebono’s so I shall refurbish them and swap them over.
Do you know if the same rotor can be used for both types of brakes?

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Old 07-02-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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Sorry for the long time on the reply...I believe the rotor is the same. Your local parts store will know, just call them and have them look it up to see if the rotor pulls up different for the different calipers. 99 had Teves, and I think Mid 02+ had AKE.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:48 AM   #7
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Just upgraded mine. The slide system on the Ake's seems like it will require less maintenance and be less inclined to lock up as well as the other benefits given. Any design requiring a wire spring for support while rubbing against moving parts, has got to be asking for problems. Do yourself a favor and replace the brakelines too, if you can swing it. Easy job for peace of mind.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:30 AM   #8
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Did you replace your lines with new factory lines, or with Stainless Steel? I need to make this change, my lines are old. I just noticed that a shop that did my gears twisted the brake lines all up as they put the caliper back on...I just want to replace them know. I am always frustrated by the "work" others do on vehicles.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:31 AM   #9
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OEM style from Auto-value. They come with all the hardware installed, so the $40 a piece isn't as bad as it seems. The end might be frozen in the connecter on the hard line. If so, just unbolt your flexible line from the caliper and unthread it from the axle and control arm. Then you can just spin the whole flexible line off the end off the steel line so you don't crush or split it while trying to brake the nut loose.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:26 PM   #10
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So it sounds like it's a direct swap, right?
I'm thinking about getting it done soon.

Last edited by redbluff; 07-22-2010 at 06:29 PM.
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