It's all very well dumping as much power as possible into your 4x4; the more you have, the more you want. Brakes on the other hand often get forgotten about. This is just what happened when building my One Tonner – an LS1 or LS2 would have had my face beaming, but an LS3 complete with a stat-write-off VE Maloo R8 ute was too hard to ignore.
Initially I planned to graft the Maloo’s HSV discs and callipers onto the Tonner’s GQ Patrol chassis, but after consulting my engineer I discovered there was no need as the original four-wheeled disc brakes from the GQ were in perfect working order. Plus, the Tonner was kept to a similar overall weight as a GQ Patrol.
That’s when I cracked open Terrain Tamer’s brake catalogue, only to find its high-performance, slotted and drilled rotors weren’t available for Nissans. However, its OE replacement rotors, vented for cooling and mill-balanced to ensure no vibrations, were available. So too were Terrain Tamer’s Nissan GU OE bolt-on replacement brake callipers and 4x4-specific disc brake pads and lines.
With the huge power outputs of the 6.2-litre engine I was confident with the complete new brake system, but the proof would be in the testing and real life use on- and off-road.
After more than 5000km I’m stoked with the braking performance of the two-tonne beast thanks to the Terrain Tamer GU brake kit. Hitting the anchors hard at highway speed sees the whole show pull up quickly and evenly every single time; same goes for slow off-road driving, with plenty of dabs on the brake pedal required given the six-speed auto and petrol engine combo don’t do much in the way of engine braking.
Follow Mark Allen's One Tonner build
While I was keen on using the Terrain Tamer slotted and drilled high-performance disc rotors – available for the range of Toyotas – I’m happy with the machined finish of the standard offerings. Given they are ventilated through the centres, there hasn’t been any brake fade and my engineer doesn’t see the need for further upgrades.
As expected after only 5000km, the semi-metallic 4x4-specific disc pads have shown little wear and, importantly, don’t leave brake dust all over my rims.
If you need replacement brake parts and don’t want to pay exorbitant prices, the Terrain Tamer gear is worth a look.
The latest gear reviewed on 4x4 Gear
Available from: www.terraintamer.com.au
RRP: $144 each (front GU rotors); $100.45 each (rear GU rotors); $70.30 each (front and rear brake pads)
We Say: Quiet; effective; well-designed