After selling the South African VW "big brakes" for many years, and then the Audi based “Generation II” system that was available after the SA parts dried up—and dealing with endless warranty and supply issues with both systems—we decided that enough was enough! We rolled up our sleeves, put on our mechanical-engineering hats, and solved the problem once and for all. The GoWesty system is simply the best, most reliable front disc-brake system on the market for the Vanagon, and for which parts will most likely be available for years to come, for sure. Don’t be fooled by false claims that these brakes are somehow not compatible or ideal for use with the rest of the original Vanagon system. They are properly engineered from the ground up, no corners cut.
Features at a glance:
• Improved stopping power
• Greatly decreased brake fade
• Improved pedal feel
• Direct bolt-on kit that is 100% complete
• Better performance, better long-term availability, and better value
• (2) Single piston calipers and custom-designed carriers
• (2) Vented rotors (284mm)
• (2) Stainless steel braided brake hoses
• (1) Semi-metallic brake pad set (Bosch BP884)
• (1) Installation hardware
Performance: This GoWesty system is a major upgrade to your stock set-up, especially in terms of our massive rotors. This component of the front brake system is by far the most important in terms of performance. The rotor is what absorbs and dissipates energy (heat) when a large, heavy vehicle slows down. These rotors offer an additional 3mm of thickness and an extra pound of steel over what the competition offers—and they're over 5 pounds heavier than stock—and this is very, very significant. As a percentage, our rotors offer 45% more thermal mass than a stock rotor! Now that's massive! This means no more warping, brake fade, or vibration. Your vehicle simply STOPS.
Long-term availability: This is probably the most important element of this endeavor. We set out to create not only the best direct-fit system on the market, but one with long-term availability of components. Over the past decade, we have offered several brake systems that were cobbled together by other companies. These "kits" mostly worked well, but availability was routinely spotty. Replacement parts were hard to obtain, and we often found ourselves out of stock on critical components several times per year. We finally decided to take on the task of developing our own in-house kit to relieve ourselves and our customers of the supply chain headaches once and for all.
Unlike the Audi-based alternative (among several others), this kit does not rely on another production vehicle to keep this system’s components in stock. We went straight to one of the largest OEM manufacturers for these components and had them made specifically for us. Starting with their most common and reliable single-piston caliper drawing, we developed the biggest and most robust package that could be shoe-horned onto the Vanagon platform. Every component in this kit (with the exception of the brake pads) is batch produced piece-by-piece for GoWesty. This ensures that replacement parts can always be manufactured at the low volume levels that a small company like ours requires.
Value: This is the most affordable front brake upgrade on the market, but—even more importantly—it is also the best in the business in terms of performance, which makes it an exceptionally good value. To add a further level of completeness to this kit, we also include our custom-made stainless steel brake lines to fully dress out your upgraded brake system.
If you have concerns about whether or not this kit will fit with your particular wheels, we have a very handy template that you can print, attach to some cardboard, and use to check if this Bigger Brake system will work with your specific wheels.
If you already own our GoWesty designed bigger brakes, make sure that you print the correct template (Rev. 1 or Rev. 2) for your brakes. Refer to the picture below to identify which revision you own. Our revision 2 calipers allow for more clearance and will fit more wheel types. If you are purchasing a new kit from our website, you will be receiving Rev. 2 calipers and should only use the Rev. 2 template.
Performing brake work is inherently dangerous. This brake system should only be installed by a competent mechanic. Failure to install this product correctly could result in serious injury or death.
Bigger Brakes Installation Instructions
• This system requires the use of a 15" or larger diameter wheel. Check out the Wheel Fitment tab for more info. This kit will NOT work with German Mefro brand 15" steel wheels, European OEM Syncro-16 steel wheels, Rhein wheels, and some other non-VW wheels.
• Is not compatible with Syncro 16" models.
• Due to the enormity of this system, clearance on 15" alloys can be tight. In some cases, internal stick-on wheel weights may cause interference. If that is the case, external bead weights can be used.
• There is a slight interference between the caliper and the dust shield. You can do one of three things: 1) Trim the edge of the dust shield slightly, 2) remove the dust shield, or 3) install our new stainless steel dust shields (linked below) that are shaped to accommodate these calipers.
• If you drive a 2WD Vanagon—and you do not currently have a big brake system installed—you'll also need our hub conversion kit (available separately below).
• 2WD vehicles require ten (10) lug nuts (as opposed to the lug bolts you currently use). You can find nuts here—and in the related items section below.
• 1980-85 vehicles require spindles and caliper bolts from a 1986-91 Vanagon to fit this brake kit. [Reference numbers: 251-407-311AG, 251-407-312AG]