Welcome to the JeepSpecs.com in-depth page on WJ Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee front brake rotors. We have organized as much information as we could find into a helpful article below. Is something incorrect or missing? Please get in touch with us and we’ll fix it!
1. Grand Cherokee front brakes – warped rotors
All 1999-2002 Grand Cherokee WJ models built through May 10, 2002 came equipped with brake calipers made by Teves. They are black in color with an open-sided bracket design. Due to poor caliper centering, the Teves calipers caused the rotors to warp, a problem that has plagued Grand Cherokees. At the very end of the 2002 model year, Jeep changed to “fully-closed” style calipers designed by Akebono. All Grand Cherokee models produced on or after May 11th, 2002 feature the new calipers. International models built on or after August 16th, 2002 also feature the new calipers.
To address the warped rotor problem Jeep issued a TSB, #05-003-02. The TSB provided the following information:
TSB 05-003-02B – FRONT BRAKE PULSATION DURING LIGHT TO MODERATE BRAKE APPLICATION
Date: 12/16/02 (supersedes 0500302A Dated June 10, 2002)
Model Year(s): 1999-2002 (WJ models built through May 10, 2002)
Description: Brake roughness or pedal pulsation when the brakes are applied. The customer may experience a vibration of the steering wheel, floor, seat, instrument panel, or a minor pedal pulsation (brake roughness) under light to moderate pedal application. The condition may be caused by excessive thickness variation of the brake rotor surface.
Details: This bulletin involves the replacement of both front brake rotors and caliper assemblies. NOTE: NEW BRAKE ROTORS MUST BE USED WITH THE NEW BRAKE CALIPERS.
1. Determine if the front brake vibration/pulsation is caused by excessive thickness variation of either front brake rotor.
2. If excessive thickness variation of the front brake rotor is at fault perform the Repair Procedure.
3. If this bulletin has already been performed, and front brake pulsation/vibration is present, do not perform the Repair Procedure. Investigate other possible cases for front brake pulsation/vibration.
If a vehicle comes back for front brake pulsation after performing TSB 05-003-02 Rev B, it is likely that the TSB was not performed in its entirety. Do not perform the TSB again.
It is imperative that the following items are checked:
1. Thoroughly clean the surface of the wheel hub/bearing assembly where it mates to the brake rotor. The hub surface must be free of corrosion and dirt so that the brake rotor rests flush against the hub.
A. Make sure the back of the rotor (mating surface) is clean prior to installation.
B. Make sure the rust preventative is removed (cleaned) from the rotorsprior to installation
2. Each front brake rotor must be match mounted to the wheel hub/bearingto obtain the least amount of rotor lateral runout. The assembled lateral rotor runout of each rotor and hub assembly MUST BE verified to be 0.001 inch (0.025mm) or less. IF THIS CAN NOT BE ACHIEVED THROUGH MATCH MOUNTING THE ROTOR, THE ROTOR MUST BE MACHINED USING AN ON-THE-CAR LATHE.
3. The surface of the wheel where it mates with the rotor is cleaned of any corrosion and dirt.
4. The wheels are torqued to 100 ft/lbs.
2. Warranty – Models built through May 10th, 2002:
ALL Grand Cherokee models built through May 10th, 2002 (featuring the original style Teves calipers) are covered against rotor warpage for THREE YEARS OR 36,000 MILES. There has been a lot of confusion in this area, dealers have been telling customers that the warranty is only for 12 months/12,000 miles. This is not correct. 100% proof of the 3/36 warranty is provided in a document sent to dealers in August of 2002:
Global Warranty Administration Bulletin No. D-02-19
Date: August, 2002
To: Dealer Principal, Service Mgr, and Claims Admin Mgr.
Subject: 1999-2002 grand cherokee front brake pulsation, Ref: TSB 05-003-02 Rev A
Purpose: To clarify warranty coverage for brake rotors replaced under TSB 05-003-02 REV A.
Policy: The owner’s Warranty Information booklet states:
“…The Basic Limited Warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair any defective item on your vehicle supplied by DaimlerChrysler Corporation that is defective in material, workmanship or factory preparation. …These warranty repairs or adjustments — including all parts and labor connected with them — will be made by your dealer at no charge…”
Action: If proper diagnostics determines that TSB 05-003-02 REV A is applicable to the vehicle, the left and right brake rotors must be replaced along with the front brake caliper package. This package contains, among other parts, the left and right front brake calipers, which according to the TSB are to be identified as the causal failed part. Brake calipers are covered for 3 years / 36,000 miles.
Since the brake caliper caused the brake rotors to fail, the brake rotors are automatically covered under the 3 year / 36,000 mile brake caliper warranty.
In accordance with the steps of the TSB, record the thickness variation specification for both rotors on the back of the hard copy of the repair order.
Any application of TSB 05-003-02 REV A beyond the 3 year / 36,000 mile New Vehicle Basic Limited Warranty requires authorization. Please ensure all dealership personnel are aware of this bulletin.
3. Warranty – Models built on or after May 11th, 2002:
As best we can determine, Grand Cherokee models built on or after May 11th, 2002, featuring the new style Akebono calipers, are covered by only a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty. Models with the new calipers have continued to have rotor warpage problems, although at a much lesser percentage. We have not been able to determine if the new calipers have anything to do with the rotor warpage issue. Any new information will be reported on this page as it’s received.
4. WJ front disc brake part numbers
1. Original (from 1999 model production through May 10, 2002 (Teves, black color with open-sided bracket)
P/N 5011973AA Left front caliper MSRP: $141.00
P/N 5011972AA Right front caliper MSRP: $141.00
P/N 5018592AA Pad kit, front MSRP: $177.00
P/N 52098672 Rotor, front MSRP: $ 65.10 (each)
2. New (from May 11, 2002 production onward: (Akebono, silver color “fully closed” style)
P/N 5093181AA Left front caliper (all-new) MSRP: $140.00
P/N 5093180AA Right front caliper (all-new) MSRP: $140.00
P/N 5093183AA Pad kit, front (revised) MSRP: $ 177.00
P/N 52098672 Rotor, front (unchanged) MSRP: $ 65.10 (each)
3. New kit package (fits all 1999-2004 Grand Cherokees)
P/N 05093174AA Front caliper & pad kit package – (Includes left P/N 5093181AA and right P/N 5093180AA Akebono “fully closed” style calipers, revised P/N 5093183AA brake pads, P/N 5012437AA attachment bolts, and P/N 6035832 banjo sealing washers). MSRP $309.00
Alternate front disc brake parts sold by Mopar
P/N VWJA3183 Brake kit, front, model “Make It New” (MSRP $142.00)
P/N VOEA3183 Brake kit, front, model “Make It Original” (MSRP $225.00)
P/N V1013183 Pad kit, front. “Value-line” (MSRP $50.70)
P/N V3013183 Pad kit, front. “Value-line”, Ceramic (MSRP $83.75)
Pedal Ratio: 3.86:1
Booster: Teves 8+8
MC Bore/Stroke: Teves 25.4 / 39
ABS: 3-Ch Standard
6. Miscellaneous information
GRAND CHEROKEE 1999-2002 BRAKE ROUGHNESS/JUDDER PROBLEMS
The problem is excessive rotor thickness variation generated by poor caliper centering. This causes steering wheel shake. Grand Cherokee brakes up through May 10th 2002 were designed by Teves. Same brakes used on BMW & Ford Expedition but the Grand Cherokee was the first to use a twin piston caliper design. Chrysler wanted twin pistons because of the weight of the vehicle. The caliper spring causes the inboard pad to drag.
It takes a LOT of heat (cherry red) to warp rotors, so the main cause of rotor variation is NOT heat but uneven wear.
Chrysler uses damped cast iron, better than the standard gray iron. However, iron is softer and wears more when aggressive aftermarket pads are installed. Rotor quality and noise characteristics vary a great deal with the quality of the iron alloy & cooling process. If the rotor alloy is made harder to extend the rotor life, it reduces the rotor’s ability to handle heat without heat cracking.
Chrysler only uses phenolic pistons. They are very smooth and won’t rust. The only way that the piston can be damaged is if the boot seal is damaged and dirt gets inside. Pistons should normall last 150,000 miles. Chrome plated steel pistons are not as smooth, plating wears away and the pistons rust. Steel also transmits heat to the brake fluid, increasing the risk of fluid boiling.
HUB & ROTOR RUNOUT?
Usually not a problem with Chrysler vehicles. Hub runout is in the 15 micron range, very tight build and assembly tolerances. A human hair is 90 microns thick. So if somebody uses grease between the rotor and hub and any dirt or grit gets into the joint, it will cock the rotor and cause runout.
Average runout on most Chrysler vehicles is only 25 microns on hubs/rotors, the Jeep Liberty is 30 microns. Lateral runout spec is 25 microns. (0.001 inch).