- In 2019, Ford reintroduced its Ranger model after an 8-year hiatus.
- Adding power mods, significant curb weight changes, or large tow loads necessitate better braking performance.
- Since 1950, the team at Pedders has played a prominent role in the Australian automotive aftermarket industry.
- Pedders new TrakRyder eXtreme Brake Kit for the 2019+ Ford Ranger changes the truck’s driving experience.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it. Brakes are important. They’re the reason we can move forward in our vehicles and prevent crashing into whatever is in front of us. They shouldn’t be an afterthought, and with the addition of modifications to any road-going transportation, guaranteeing your brakes are up to the challenge should be high on the list. Such is the case for the new 2019+ Ford Ranger (T6-chassis). The brakes equipped from the factory should suffice for the truck in stock spec, but add a larger set of off-road wheels and tires, some performance mods, armor bumpers, or even a fat tow load, and it’ll need an upgrade. Because of this, we’re installing Pedders Suspension & Brakes TrakRyder eXtreme Brake Kit (PED-PEBK05) to establish a higher braking potential for this new mid-size truck option from the Blue Oval.
WHO IS PEDDERS
Since 1950, the team at Pedders has played a prominent role in the Australian automotive aftermarket industry. Providing solutions for enthusiast drivers is the company’s primary goal, and while its parts perform exceptionally well on the race track, each is still suitable for the street. Pedders tries to create the perfect balance between civility and performance by approaching projects with the precision of OE engineers without the constraints of big corporate finance departments. When the company focused on the new Ford Ranger mid-size pickup, they knew what to improve immediately: the braking system.
WHERE ARE WE
We are fortunate to be located close to such a trusted technical source as R/T Tuning in Montgomeryville, PA. They’re our local gurus for any performance needs. Typically, shops specialize in one aspect of automotive modification, but the team at R/T does it all — and well! Dyno tuning, check. Engine builds, check. Performance motorsport and road-going alignments, check. They even have online parts sales. They’re also skilled installers with a modern shop space that can accommodate our needs for trucks or cars.
THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION
In 2019, Ford reintroduced its Ranger model after an 8-year hiatus. Classified as a mid-size pickup truck, the new Ford Ranger is available in three trims: XL, XLT, and Lariat. Ford equipped the lot with a 270hp turbocharged 2.4-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, and a factory 4WD system. It has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, which makes it quite capable right out of the box. However, our nature as enthusiasts is not to keep things stock; it’s to modify. So when this 2019 Lariat example gained some beefier off-road tires and wheels, it was only fitting to enhance the braking system.
THE PEDDERS BIG BRAKE KIT
Pedders Suspension & Brakes TrakRyder eXtreme Brake Kit (PED-PEBK05) offers the company’s same innovative race-spec automotive big brake kit in a truck application. This kit includes larger 6-piston two-piece forged aluminum front calipers, high-tech low-dust TrakRyder eXtreme kevlar ceramic brake pads, and 10-slot dimpled and Geomet-coated 14-inch large-diameter front rotors. Compared to the OE 12.2-inch front rotor, this kit enables a larger braking surface for improved performance in many scenarios.
WHY GET A BBK FOR THE RANGER
The first reason is increasing the surface area of brake pad material. Just like increasing the width of a set of tires on a vehicle will enhance the mechanical grip by providing a wider surface for the rubber to contact the road, the same can be said of brake pads. The stationary friction material that makes up pads uses its contact patch on the spinning rotor to grip the surface and slow the rotation. A larger diameter rotor provides more vertical room to expand brake pad surface area, thus increasing the pad’s mechanical grip.
The second reason is to deal with excess generated heat in braking situations. At a scientific level, slowing your vehicle is the act of transferring kinetic energy into heat. That’s why rotors remain heavy and thick and get bigger each year despite advances in construction materials. The rotors act as a heatsink and centralize a braking system’s heat into a quickly cooled unit. A larger rotor equals a larger heatsink, which means keeping high temperatures from spreading outward to other areas of your brakes (like your fluid) is more manageable.
For these reasons and more, once you start changing fundamental pieces of your Ranger, like its total curb weight (via heavier bumpers or a large tow load), rolling mass (via larger wheels/tires), or its performance characteristics, it’s time to upgrade brakes.
INSTALLING IT ALL
Like other technical install pieces we’ve published here, the Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme Brake Kit was straightforward and didn’t require anything out of the ordinary. This install is for you if you can use hand tools and perform standard vehicle maintenance.
The factory wheel and tire combination was already replaced before this installation, making improved brakes all the more critical. To start the process, Pat from R/T removed the new wheels from the truck, cut out the Pedders brake clearance template, and ensured the new brakes would fit beneath the new wheels. From there, Pedders’ simple diagram walked him through the order in which each element is meant to be installed. The components are specific to this kit but standard in their installation.
The only outlier particular to this kit is the heat shield that protects the outer tie rod end boot from damage, given its proximity to the oversized rotor. Because the kit includes a thicker rotor with deeper channels for cooling, the OE heatshield wouldn’t clear, so Pedders includes this nifty small replacement to cover what really matters.
Following the remainder of the instruction sheet, Pat assembled all of the pieces in order, tightening the included brake line into the factory bulkhead to complete the addition of parts. From there, a bleed of the brake fluid throughout the system and a crucial test drive to confirm all items are operational and this installation is complete.
An independent Australian engineer test showed an average improvement in braking distance by up to 14 percent with this big brake kit. That’s all well and good, but what did the real-life test reflect? If it’s possible to measure human reactions, Pat’s surpassed the claimed 14 percent. He exclaimed he was shocked at how much better the brakes on this Ranger performed. The modulation, initial bite, pressure, and stopping power all improved so drastically that he mentioned it felt like a different truck, which was the goal Pedders had when creating this product. It’s nice to see well-engineered products that over-deliver, and the Pedders TrakRyder eXtreme Brake Kit for the 2019+ Ford Ranger does just that.