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Upgrading Willys Jeep Brake Parts

Aug 21, 2008
Some Willys owners like to add modern upgrades to their vehicles while many feel it borders on sacrilege to use anything other than original Willys Jeep parts. Regardless of where you stand on this debate, the issue of safety has to be paramount.

Some of the original Willys Jeep parts just don't stand up to modern driving. Because of this, even many owners who restore their Willys to original specifications end up using different Willys Jeep brake parts.

Willys Brakes May Not Be Up To Today's Roads

The original Willys Jeeps weren't designed for modern driving habits. They were meant for rugged off road use and not expected to get up to much speed. They were built to be reliable and cheap.

Stock Willys Jeep brakes aren't inherently dangerous but don't provide the same stopping power as the brakes on modern cars. It's not something every stock Willys owner needs to be concerned about, but a little extra stopping power doesn't hurt.

The real problem comes with Willys that have overdrive systems. Jeeps were not designed to get up to modern highway speeds and some owners install overdrives to give them extra velocity. Doing so without upgrading the Willys Jeep brake parts is asking for trouble.

Vacuum Assisted Brakes

A few models had vacuum assisted brakes and on many others the owners have added these Willys Jeep brake parts to aid stopping. The operation of a vacuum assist is simple. There is a chamber divided by a diaphragm.

While the engine is running, air is pulled from both sides of the diaphragm creating a vacuum. When the driver steps on the brake, air is let into the rear half of the chamber while a vacuum is maintained on the front. This causes the diaphragm to move forward where it pushes on the brake cylinder push rod, assisting brake application.

Contrary to popular belief, vacuum assist doesn't make the brakes work better. It just makes the brake pedal work better. It requires less force to push the pedal, but the brakes have no more stopping power than before.

Bigger Brakes

To improve braking, the Willys Jeep brake parts needed are simply larger brakes. Most Willys were fit with 9" brakes and upgrading to 11" will substantially increase stopping power. Optimally you should replace both front and back brakes. However if money is tight, you will still see a significant improvement by replacing either.

If you have 15" wheels rather than the more common 16" wheels, you may have trouble fitting your rims back on after installing the larger brakes.

Your brakes are critical components and should be tinkered with only if you are an experienced Willys mechanic. If you aren't, try to find someone who is and can oversee the project to be sure you don't make any important mistakes.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Willys Jeep Brake Parts and Willys Jeep Parts
please, visit http://www.walcks4wd.com.
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