It would be stating the obvious by pointing out that brakes are kind of an important feature of any vehicle. This is especially true with modern four-wheel drives, which are tasked with towing, carrying heavy loads as well as dealing with tough terrain such as sand and mud which puts extra stress on these vital components. If you have been considering a brake upgrade, read on.
For this reason, we’re stoked to see Terrain Tamer has announced a wide range of new four-wheel drive brake upgrade kits and components. These are vehicle specific, so solve problems many owners have reported with their pride and joy.
Terrain Tamer is so confident about their range of braking upgrades, they even feel they have solved the issue with the famously terrible 70 Series LandCruiser handbrake. But how I hear you ask? As those cute little meerkats on that TV ad say, Simples! Let’s take a closer look at some of the gear on offer.
A Toyota with a working handbrake?
Terrain Tamer has developed an Electronic Secondary Park Brake (ESPB) kit, which is a secondary inclusion designed to work with the factory handbrake, not just replace it. Supplied as a kit, which includes calipers, wiring, controller, control switch and all accessories required for fitting.
The ESPB kit is compatible with factory Toyota-size brake pads and rotors, making it easy and cheap to track down replacement parts when maintenance is required. An in-dash switch is also supplied for easy activation, and the hand brake warning light on the dashboard will still work as per the factory.
Another key feature is auto-safe engagement, causing automatic activation when the vehicle’s ignition is switched off. This is done to prevent potential roll-away.
Installation is a plug-and-play affair, with the Terrain Tamer team recommending roughly three hours of labour to fit the kit. Best of all, fitting this kit does not require ADR engineering compliance, and it’s covered by a 2-year 40,000km warranty.
Terrain Tamer modified handbrake strut
It’s often the case that the best ideas are the simplest. This modified handbrake strut is as simple as it gets, yet solves a very real issue. Toyota Handbrakes being ineffective.
A deeper groove has been machined into the strut (also known as a Dog Bone). This pushes the handbrake shoes further apart when compared to the factory part. This means the handbrake shoes bite harder, with less cable pull required. Handbrake feel is said to be more precise, and there is less movement required to get the job done.
Considering they cost roughly $25 each (you’ll need two per vehicle), it’s definitely worth looking into if you own a Toyota LandCruiser or Prado up to 120 Series.
Performance brake rotor
It really seems like Terrain Tamer wants to make a big impact in the four-wheel drive brake upgrade category. One look at these performance brake rotors shows that. They sure look the part!
Key features include a drilled and slotted design, a non-directional pattern and a ground finish to eliminate runout and taper. This results in better braking performance as well as cooler temps to reduce brake fade and heat spots under heavy braking. These performance rotors are a solid inclusion for anyone wanting to improve the braking performance of their vehicle.
Big brake upgrade
Bigger brakes make a huge difference in braking performance. This is especially true when combined with an upgraded brake booster, high-performance rotors and brake pads. Think of it as a package deal. Terrain Tamer tells us their Big Brake Upgrade kits increase braking performance by up to 14%.
These kits are made up of enlarged two-piece forged aluminium calipers, and a pair of 6 pot (for the front) or 4 pot (rear). 6 or 10 slot and dimpled rotors are also included, with Terrain Tamer saying these alone offer up to a 40% increase in swept area compared to the rotors your four-wheel drive came with.
Kevlar ceramic low dust brake pads are supplied, as are stainless steel braided hoses. The Big Brake Upgrade kits will need to be fitted by a qualified mechanic, and signed off by an automotive engineer.
Terrain Tamer fortified brake pads
Brake pads are often overlooked, which is a shame as they are the cheapest but one of the hardest-working components in your braking system. These Fortified brake pads from Terrain Tamer are made in Thailand from a copper-free ceramic formulation. They feature a unique red coating designed to assist with the bedding in process.
But who are these brake pads designed for I hear you ask? Essentially, if you have a GVM upgrade or carry significant loads, you’ve found your next set of brake pads. While they can absolutely be used in everyday applications, the benefits of Terrain Tamer Fortified Brake Pads are most apparent in extreme braking situations according to the Terrain Tamer team.
As well as stopping heavy loads, Terrain Tamer tells us other benefits include reduced brake dust, improved wear resistance and braking capacity. They go so far as to say the Fortified Pads perform beyond industry standard and surpass OE equivalent.
Braided hose kit
Upgrading to braided brake hoses results in better pedal feel and overall stronger braking performance. So, it’s a no-brainer that Terrain Tamer offer braided brake hose kits in their four-wheel drive brake upgrade range.
Braided brake hoses won’t swell like rubber hoses under heavy braking. This is good for durability, as well as braking performance. Speaking of durability, Terrain Tamer’s braided hose kits are constructed from three layers of material, including stainless steel.
Another exciting product from Terrain Tamer is their heavy-duty brake booster upgrade. Designed and engineered in Australia to be a bolt-in replacement for the vehicle’s original booster.
The main feature is a dual diaphragm that basically doubles the diaphragm surface area. What this means in the real world is reduced pedal effort and improved stopping power. To offer an easy install, the overall size of the booster isn’t much bigger than a stock unit.
And what sort of results can you expect from fitting the upgraded booster to your braking system? Terrain Tamer has found in their testing a claimed improvement of up to 30%. This is for vehicles with and without ABS.
Disc brake conversion kit
Most modern dual-cab utes still come with drum brakes on the rear end, something that many owners complain about. Drum brakes are more complicated to work on, and many will argue less effective than disc brakes. Terrain Tamer now offers rear disc brake conversion kits to suit a range of four-wheel drive, so you can put your drums in the bin where they belong.
These kits are designed to bolt on but need to be installed by a qualified mechanic and will need to be signed off by a licensed automotive engineer. The effort is worth it too, with Terrain Tamer claiming a 29.7% increase in braking performance.
This is just a small overview of the huge range of brake upgrades available from Terrain Tamer. If you are looking to improve your stopping power, check out www.terraintamer.com for more information.