The rapid worldwide growth in modifying civilian 4×4 vehicles has created a significant need for well-engineered brake upgrade solutions.
Overland enthusiasts are fitting roof-top tents, bull bars, long-range fuel tanks, water tanks, additional battery systems, storage systems, additional spare wheels etc. All of these accessories significantly increase vehicle weight, which severely affects brake performance and results in increased stopping distances. Larger wheel and tyre packages are also becoming increasingly popular.
These generally weigh a lot more than the factory-fitted wheels and tyres. This additional rotational mass again severely affects brake performance, leading to increased stopping distances. Many 4×4 enthusiasts are also tuning their vehicles, adding significant horsepower. More speed = more energy, resulting in increased brake temperatures and ultimately brake fade.
What will a big brake kit do for you?
Powerbrake X-Line 4×4 big brake kits are engineered from the ground up to be the ultimate brake upgrades available on the world market for 4×4 vehicles. They deliver significantly improved brake performance, reduce brake fade and vastly improve pedal feel and modulation. The performance gains achieved when fitting our big brake kits vastly outweigh the benefits that can be achieved by fitting upgraded, standard diameter discs and pads.
Our civilian X-Line 4×4 big brake kits feature direct technology transfer from our R-Line off-road race brake systems that have been used by works race teams to win multiple FIA Cross Country World Championships as well the infamous Dakar Rally (which is regarded by many to be the most gruelling motorsport event on earth).
Why choose Powerbrake?
Our World Championship winning R-Line off-road race brake systems have proven themselves over a period of more than a decade in race conditions ranging from the scorching deserts of South America, the Middle East and Africa to the snow-covered forests of Northern Russia, to the fast gravel tracks of Mongolia in the hands of the world’s best off-road race car drivers. Our civilian X-Line 4×4 big brake kits were designed by the same team that designed our renowned R-Line off-road race systems and they are manufactured on the same state of-the-art equipment, in the same factory.
All design features found in our civilian X-Line 4×4 big brake kits were directly developed through our extensive involvement at the highest levels of international off-road racing. The exact same technology, features and materials found in our Dakar Rally winning R-Line off-road race brake systems can be found in our civilian X-Line 4×4 big brake kits. When we claim “direct technology transfer” from our race to our civilian brake systems, we mean it. Every single feature in our X-Line 4×4 calipers can also be found in our current production R-line off-road race calipers that we supply to leading Dakar Rally teams.
What does a (Stage-1) X-Line 4×4 Big Brake Kit include?
- X-Line billet 6-piston off-road calipers (featuring stainless steel pistons, internal fluid crossovers, protected bleed screws, internal wiper seals, ultra high-temp pressure seals, all stainless steel hardware, MTR max temp recording system and pad anti-rattle springs).
- High-performance brake pads, pre-loaded into the calipers (featuring OE quality anti-squeal shims).
- Large 350x34mm 1-Piece slotted discs (featuring 48 x curved / directional cooling vanes per disc, MTR max temp recording system and our proprietary black coating that ensures fastest bed-in time).
- Billet caliper mounting brackets (featuring stainless steel thread inserts for the radial mount bolts for max service life).
- Stainless steel braided brake lines (featuring stainless steel end fittings, PVC protective cover, Teflon hose inner and 32 x braid structure).
- All necessary mounting hardware for quick, easy bolt-on installation.
- Comprehensive fitment and bed-in instructions.
At Powerbrake, we believe strongly in the benefits of machining our multi-piston calipers from solid billet. All of our championship winning X-Line and R-Line race calipers are machined from high-grade aerospace aluminum billets, and we’ve chosen to manufacture the X-Line 4×4 range from the same material. Machining from billet is admittedly an expensive way to manufacture calipers but it results in a finished product that exhibits exceptional levels of strength and rigidity.
How do we bring our billet X-Line 4×4 calipers to the market at such competitive prices? Through significant investment in state-of-the-art 5-axis CNC production equipment that allows us to machine the calipers with maximum efficiency. The fact that we machine all of our calipers from billet, matched to the FEA enhanced caliper designs themselves, results in calipers with an impressive rigidity to overall size ratio. The slim profile of the calipers reduces un-sprung weight and aids with wheel clearance.
Caliper Surface Finish
Our X-Line 4×4 calipers are available in two finish options. Either a Red anodize (type-2) or a Dark Grey hard hard anodize (type-3). The anodize dyes used for our Red finish have been carefully selected to offer the maximum UV and temperature resistance to ensure long-term colour retention. The Dark Grey hard anodise is our most durable finish and is the finish that we use on all of our R-Line off-road race calipers.
Our logos and other markings are applied to our calipers using advanced laser technology. This creates visually appealing contrast between the logo and the caliper colour. The logos on our X-Line 4×4 calipers will not be damaged by heat, brake fluid or solvents, as is the case with paint in-lay logos used by many of our competitors. Brake calipers operate in a very challenging environment. They are exposed to dirt, carbonised brake pad material, constantly fluctuating temperatures and constantly changing environmental conditions. Powerbrake has focused on ensuring that our X-Line 4×4 brake calipers will remain looking good under the widest possible range of operating conditions.
The high-tensile caliper cross-bolts used in the assembly of our X-Line 4×4 calipers are European sourced and coated with a silver zinc flake coating. This coating offers exceptional corrosion resistance, while having no negative effect on bolt strength at all. The bolt positions of our X-Line 4×4 calipers are the result of extensive FEA analysis and deliver optimum caliper rigidity. The cross-bolts are inserted into the caliper from the inboard side resulting in maximum wheel clearance.
Powerbrake X-Line 4×4 calipers all feature stainless steel pistons. Stainless steel is significantly more expensive to manufacture caliper pistons from than the aluminum pistons used by many of our competitors but the benefits are well worth the investment. Stainless steel transfers heat far slower than aluminum. The result is that stainless steel pistons slow the transfer of heat from the brake pads to the calipers seals and brake fluid, hereby reducing the chances of boiling brake fluid and also extending seal life.
Our caliper pistons are manufactured by a special grade of stainless steel that is more than twice as strong as regular 304-grade (in terms of yield and ultimate tensile strengths), while maintain the same levels of corrosion resistance.
Internal Fluid Crossovers
Our X-Line 4×4 calipers (like their Dakar-spec R-Line counterparts) feature internal fluid crossovers and hidden bleed screws for protection against damage from stone impacts. Every part of the X-Line 4×4 caliper is aimed at maximum usability and durability in tough off-road or 4×4 conditions.
Caliper Maximum Temperature Recording (MTR) System
All Powerbrake X-Line 4×4 big brake kit calipers feature our MTR system. The system provides a permanent record of the maximum operating temperature reached by the caliper. Feedback from our R-Line race customers has been extremely positive with regards to the MTR system over the years. We therefore decided to apply this same technology to our X-Line 4×4 calipers. Customers will really appreciate this feature as it provides valuable data in the support of brake fluid choice etc. The inclusion of a Max Temp Recording system on civilian big brake kit range at no extra charge is unique to Powerbrake on the world market.
All other caliper hardware components (including: pad retaining pins, bleed screws and pad abutments) are manufactured from stainless steel to ensure highest levels of corrosion resistance.
The 1-piece discs used in our (Stage-1) X-Line 4×4 big brake kits are cast from a proprietary high-carbon cast iron alloy that provides excellent durability and stability under the high thermal loads experienced under fast-street or off-road driving. The discs feature 48 x curved, directional cooling vanes. The design significantly increases cooling vane surface area and air-flow when compared to factory / OEM disc designs, resulting in vastly improved cooling.
The slot pattern chosen for our X-Line 4×4 discs is our well-proven “AT” slot pattern that provides a good balance between functional aspects such as efficient removal of sand, mud and water (when driving in the rain or after river crossings) and practical aspects such as low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) under braking. The slot pattern also provides good bite and release characteristics.
Every single Powerbrake disc is measured for run-out and disc thickness variation (DTV) using Swiss measuring equipment. When it comes to QC, there is no batch or statistical quality checking of Powerbrake discs. Every single disc is measured. Our machining tolerances are up to three times tighter than the industry norm.
Disc Surface Coating
All our X-Line 4×4 disc rings are coated with a proprietary black surface coating. The discs are chemically de-greased before the application of this coating to ensure that no machining fluids or other contaminants that can be absorbed the brake pads and negatively affect brake performance are present on our discs at all. The coating is able to withstand extremely high temperatures and is flexible enough to expand and contract without flaking or peeling off of the disc surface during the constant thermal expansion and contraction cycles experienced by the brake disc.
Our X-Line 4×4 discs require no cleaning or preparation using solvents at all. Simply ensure that the car’s hub is clean and fit the discs as they come out of the box. The black coating will be removed by the brake pads in the pad track areas within the first 4-5 brake applications. The un-swept areas of the disc will remain coated.
While our disc coating was primarily designed to ensure that there was zero presence of oils and contaminants on our disc surfaces at the time of fitting (and was not in fact designed to provide corrosion protection), practical experience has shown that the non-swept areas of our coated X-Line 4×4 discs will in fact resist the common formation of unsightly surface rust on the non-swept areas of the discs quite well (depending on environmental conditions in your area). This results in a far more visually appealing assembly visible through the car’s wheels.
Disc Maximum Temperature Recording (MTR) System
Unique to Powerbrake, all X-Line 4×4 big brake kit discs feature our MTR system that provide a permanent record of the peak operating temperature reached by the discs. This information is extremely valuable when selecting correct pad compounds for your application. The thermal-paint tabs are applied to the outside diameter of all X-Line 4×4 discs (on both the inboard and outboard disc plates).
Each single-change paint colour (4-levels: Blue, Green, Orange and Pink) changes to white when a specific temperature is reached, hereby providing a record of the peak operating temperature of the disc. We also add a multi-change paint that can be used with a provided colour gradient chart to further refine the results to a more specific temperature. The simple information required to interpret the results recorded by the MTR system on our X-Line 4×4 discs is provided in the instruction manual that accompanies every X-Line 4×4 big brake kit.
Caliper Mounting Brackets
X-Line 4×4 caliper mounting brackets are machined from billet aircraft grade aluminium alloy, FEA enhanced for strength and rigidity and (type-3) hard anodised. One detail to note is that we use stainless steel thread inserts for the radial mount bolts that secure our X-Line 4×4 calipers to the caliper mounting brackets. Since our X-Line 4×4 calipers feature a solid caliper re-enforcement bridge, you need to remove the two caliper radial mount bolts in order to change pads.
For this reason we use thread insert in our mounting brackets to achieve maximum thread strength and durability. Similar thread inserts are used extensively used in the aerospace industry due to their increased strength over conventional aluminum threads.
The brake lines included with our X-Line 4×4 big brake kits feature an extruded Teflon inner lining that is highly resistant to the aggressive chemical properties of modern brake fluids, as well as being able to handle far higher temperatures than rubber. The Teflon lining is covered by 32 strands of tightly woven stainless steel braid that acts as the muscle of the hose, providing incredible resistance to expansion under pressure.
Our stainless braid is covered with a polymeric outer layer that prevents dirt from getting between the stainless braid and the Teflon inner lining. The end fittings on our hoses are all machined from grade-304 stainless steel as opposed to the plated, mild steel fittings used by many of our competitors. The resulting hose assemblies offer the best possible pedal feel, matched to excellent durability and corrosion resistance.
Brake Simulation Software
As with all Powerbrake big brake kits, each X-Line 4×4 big brake kit is tailored to the specific target vehicle. This involves careful software modelling of correct brake balance, brake torque outputs and pedal feel using our proprietary brake simulation software (developed in-house) which is a key element in the success of our X-Line 4×4 big brake kits. The software allows us to enter all aspects of the factory brake system on the car as well as all key data affecting chassis dynamics under braking. Our engineers can then simulate braking events at various negative G’s and analyse dynamic weight transfer for the chassis in question.
They are then able to perfectly optimise brake torque outputs delivered by our big brake kit by changing disc diameters, caliper piston ratios and brake pad friction co-efficient. The result is that the caliper piston diameters / ratios, disc sizes and pad compounds in each kit are tailored to the vehicle platform in question. Our X-Line 4×4 big brake kits will perfectly integrate with the ABS, EBD and other stability control systems on the vehicle. When driving a vehicle fitted with a Powerbrake X-Line 4×4 big brake kit, you will feel this attention to detail coming through by the way that the vehicle chassis reacts under braking.
The Powerbrake X-Line big brake kit 4×4 calipers are designed around a pad profile which is available in wide range of brake pad compounds from most pad manufacturers worldwide.