Toyota Brakes ?????

Brian McVickers

Administrator
Staff member
Hi
Our 1997 Toyota Rav4 4-door 4wd
Needs new brakes. The setup is discs on the front and drums in the back.

So I have two questions:

1- does anyone have any recomendations for a shop in Phoenix AZ to have the brakes changed? How much should this cost, assuming new pads only?

2- Can I, should I, do this myself? -- I do have the Chilton Manual for the vehicle.
I have never changed a set of brake pads before but I am mechanically inclined or so I think! Is there a significan cost advantage to doing it myself?
Are the parts readily avialable at Napa or Autozone? Or should I go OEM with parts from a dealership.

Of course safety is key here!

Any other advise or knowlege you have to offer is more than welcome!

Thanks
Brian
 

Nullifier

Expedition Leader
well there are a few variable but yes this is an easy job to do yourself. all the parts will be available at a napa or other auto store. Just don't skimp on pads and shoes. There are usually a couple of bolts and or pins to remove the front disc brake calipers. Then pop out the pads and heat shields. then put in the new ones. About 15 minutes per side. You will need a large c clamp to do the front. This is for compressing the pistons to fit the new pads.

The rear the drum are a little more complex. you will need aset of good needle nose prefer vise grip style myself and ascrew driver Just remove the drum and then if you have a camera take a digital pick just incase you forget how all the springs were conected. If the drum is stubborn you can you shuld see 2 threaded holes in the center of the drum. I think they are 12mm so get 2 12mm bolts about 2.5" long ands run them in to push the drum out. once you have replaced the shoes reinstall the drum and then adjust the emergency brake using a small straight screwdriver as a lever. There is a hole in the backing plate and you will see a small gear, rotate it untill there is a slight amount of friction in turning the drum.

AFter your done check brake fluid then start it up pump up the brakes and slowly drive and stop several times. It takes about 6 stops for the brakes to readjust. Then do several in reverse this will help readjust the rear brakes as well.

Now if you see any scaring on either the disk or the drum you wil need to take them to napa to get turned.If you notice scaring you may want to take it to a shop if your not comfortable removing the disk which is a little more involved
 
Last edited:

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
Also, Toyota's with vacuum assist braking in my experience bias quite a bit of braking to the front and thus the rears may not need as much attention. Fronts are super easy to do (and may be the only that need it), at least save yourself some $ and have a shop do the rears if need be. I suggest Toyo Motors on Bell (pricey but honest, and they know their Toys).
 

Mlachica

TheRAMadaINN on Instagram
For a daily driver I like to stick with OEM stuff. It may cost a little more but performance is usually better than some off brand from an autoparts store. For toyota stuff I usually order from toyota of dallas 800 442 4349, ask for barbara. Her husband also works there and I believe he's the Texas Chapter ttora president. Really nice people...

And do the front brakes yourself, it's typically really really easy. Does the chiltons manual have directions?

The rear is more intense but still can be done. But like mentioned earlier you can save time and have somebody else take care of the drums.
 

BogusBlake

2006 Expedition Trophy Champion
Mlachica said:
For a daily driver I like to stick with OEM stuff. It may cost a little more but performance is usually better than some off brand from an autoparts store.

And do the front brakes yourself, it's typically really really easy. Does the chiltons manual have directions?

The rear is more intense but still can be done. But like mentioned earlier you can save time and have somebody else take care of the drums.

X2 on using factory parts.

I ONLY use factory parts for hydraulics, bearings, and seals / gaskets. They just work better.

A tip if you do the rears yourself- don't take both sides apart at once. Do one side at a time so if you get confused, you can always look at the other side to see how it's supposed to go back together!
 

flyingwil

Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
Theil's Automotive... is about the best non-dealer Toyota shop in the valley. They are over near Ikea, and might be a hike for you though.
 

IZZYDUSIT

Adventurer
Being in the automotive service industry, I've seen many times where DIY
made some mistakes especially in rear brakes-For exemple,common one is to install the shoes backward where there is a primery and secondery shoes(front shoe and rear shoe).

nothing is wrong with chalanging one's ability and trying to save a buck, but I belive where safety is an issue, leave it to the pros.
(Avoid the one who try to sell you complete front and rear for $ 99.00-they will try to sell you calipers, rotors and other crap you don't need!)
also, I always recommend to resurface the rotors and the drums.
since a rotors and drums could be warpped and eventually you will feel a pedal pulsation.
also, if the rotor is glazed(shiny like a mirror) it will be prone to make a sqeaking noise.
For the last 25 years, I've tried both OEM and aftermarket pads and shoes-I've found that if you stick with quality parts,the aftermarket parts will perform just as good or better the then OEM.
But to each is own!
Some pads come with the hardware kit as well.
 

Brian McVickers

Administrator
Staff member
My neighbor is a head mechanic at a Honda dealership here in the valley.
He suggested this little service station about a block away from our place. As a profesional mechanic he would trust them to work on anything. I'll be stopping by there to get a price and see how it compares to the dealershop.

I'm sure I could replace the pads and shoes without too much difficulty but from what I am understanding to do this right and safe the rotors and drums should be turned. I obviously don't have that equipment and since the vehicle is a daily driver I can't afford the time to take the parts off myself and take them someplace to be turned.
 

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
For what we do I think its in your best interest to learn as much about your vehicle as possible. It would suck to have to leave a vehicle on the trail for a minor repair. Real risk of coming back finding it laying on its side with the guts ripped out of it. You doubt that then go look on Pirate4x4. Search "Fordyce".

As for the brakes. Cheap haynes manual will get you through most of it. the Toyota Service manual is the bomb and worth every penny if you do your own repairs and want to learn everythign about your truck. They show up on Ebay a lot or the local deal can order you one. The factory manual will show you where to lube, what to look for etc.
http://www.cygnusx1.net/Supra/Library/TSRM/MK3/manual.aspx?Section=BR&Page=1 that is a factory manual for a Supra. Read throught that to get an idea how a factory manual is.

Always flush the fluid when you change brakes. Brake Fluid absorbs moisture and the more it has in it the lower the boiling point.
Always turn your rotors for the best performance
Alway check your mainatance schedule. Some vehciles should have wheel bearings serviced and durring a brake job is a good time to do it.

Rear brakes...like was pointed out there is a leading and trailing. Pay close attention to how the old ones are set up before rmoving them. Make sure the long lined pad goes back on where the long came off.

Calipers and wheel cylinder you can usually get 150-200k out of them as long as that fluid gets changed regularly. That moisture makes the fluid acidic and will rust the cylinder bores. Be very carefull when pressing them pistons back that they don't get cocked sideways. pull the dust boot and look for any obvious leaks. if its wet under the dust boot rebuild it or put a reman or new caliper ow cylinder on it.

Auto mechanics is really not hard if you have a good manual. It is just a series of steps so if you can read and comprehend what you read and have the tools...things like brake jobs are no big deal.

I don't take my vehcile to anyone but alignment and tires. I even rebuild my own transmissions. Marlin gets $1100 plus shipping to do my w56. The parts are $220 from him.
 

Brian McVickers

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Grim,
This is actually a Toyota RAV4, my wifes daily driver, never sees anything rougher than a maintained dirt road.

I've decided to look for a shop to do it.
I'd like to do it myself for the experience and the savings but the problem I run into is the time and the tools. I want ot have the rotors and drums turned but dont hav ethe equipment for that and don't have the time to take the parts off and take them out for turning. That could take a few days wich doesn't work for a daily driver!

Besides that is sometimes makes my wife cringe when I take stuff apart! :p
 

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
mcvickoffroad said:
Thanks Grim,
This is actually a Toyota RAV4, my wifes daily driver, never sees anything rougher than a maintained dirt road.

I've decided to look for a shop to do it.
I'd like to do it myself for the experience and the savings but the problem I run into is the time and the tools. I want ot have the rotors and drums turned but dont hav ethe equipment for that and don't have the time to take the parts off and take them out for turning. That could take a few days wich doesn't work for a daily driver!

Besides that is sometimes makes my wife cringe when I take stuff apart! :p
Yeah I know the feeling. My wife finaly backed off when I got mad at the TV. My youngest thought it was great to hit the power button a Gazilion times when she was 2. Well after that the TV would just randomly shut off. So I am watching a movie and its on the finally and the damn TV keeps shutting of. Missed the last 5 minutes. Got mad pulled it out of the enterainment center. Threw it on the kitchen table and proceed to take it apart. Now understand I hold a FCC GROL and repaired wirelss phones for the last 10 years. we have been married. I might actually have a clue. I own a $700 Metcal solder station and another $300 Weller.

So she freaks out I am pulling the TV apart. I have the back off 2 ft of dust in it. carry it out to the drivway. Lay it on the hood over her car fire up the compressor blow all the crud out. Drag it back in pull the main board out.

So she is questioning everything I do. I write down the model number send her off to Google it. I mean while find a bunch of cold solder joints on the power relay and a couple other high draw components and start reflowing about every connection I can. She yells for the other room whats a Cold Solder joint? hehehe She finds that model TV has major compaints of cold sonder joints. I tell here to come here and I will show you one. ;)

Worked fine ever since once it got so decent solder. US solder is a LOT better then you see coming out of Japan. They run a high tin content to save moeny on the lead.

Now the kids have burned out the guns with the video games.

Bottom line is even if you are not sure of yourself make damn sure she thinks you are and go for it. :victory:
 
Last edited:

BogusBlake

2006 Expedition Trophy Champion
Grim Reaper said:
Bottom line is even if you are not sure of yourself make damn sure she thinks you are and go for it. :victory:

That statement applies to MUCH more than car or TV repair :D
 

asteffes

Explorer
I really do not understand why people insist on turning rotors for every brake job. I ran the same rotors on a track-driven car until they were worn past the factory-spec limit. They endured countless heat-cool cycles without warping, cracking or any other problems.

The only time I can see needing to turn rotors is if you switch from a more aggressive pad compound to a *less* aggressive one, since the less aggressive compound won't clean off the more aggressive compound's deposits embedded in the rotor iron. Puting a more aggressive compound on after using a lesser one will instantly wipe off the less aggressive compound after a few firm applications.

I don't get it. I've never had to do it on any vehicle. Why does my Toyota need its rotors turned every brake job? Someone please help me here.
 

Robthebrit

Explorer
I don't understand it either, its probably just playing of the paranoia most people have about the brakes. Of course if they are badly scored due to wearing pads down to the bolts, cracked, or damaged in any way then machine and/or replace them. Turning the brakes every time you change the pads is just going to cause them to be replaced sooner.

I have 2 33 year old trucks, one with drum brake and one with disk brakes and while the brakes are often serviced both of them have all the original brake rotors/drums and they are in perfect condition, they can stop 15000 pounds on dime and I see no need to machine or replace any of them.

Rob
 

asteffes

Explorer
On the vehicles I owned, replacing the rotors entirely was never more expensive than the quotes I received to have them turned (I asked around out of curiosity.) Maybe an hour of shop labor is just really expensive in the Bay Area, but I couldn't see messing around with turning them. I just ordered new ones and threw them on.
 
Top