4Runner Brake Replacement
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By: Bill O'Laverty. May, 2002

To begin with, brake dust may be hazardous to breathe in, make sure you only clean parts with brake system cleaner in a well-ventilated area. You may need at least 2 cans if you are going to do front and rear brakes. Never use compressed air or blow with your mouth, and always do both left and right sides at the same time.

Parts (these are part numbers for 15" rims):


Replacing Front Brake Pads and Turning Rotors

1. Apply parking brake, raise front end, place jackstands under frame or a-arms to hold wheels off ground. Remove the wheels.

Pin retaining clip. Pad retaining pins. Retaining spring.

2. Caliper may be cleaned with brake parts cleaner at this point if necessary. Remove the pin retaining clip.
3. Remove the pad retaining pins. Be careful as the pad retaining spring may fly out at you.
4. Lift out the retaining spring.

The pads will slide out. Push the pistons in. Two 14mm hex head bolts secure the caliper.

5. Slide out the two pads with the shims.
6. At this point you can just press the pistons back with a screwdriver or small pry-bar and install new pads or remove the caliper and have the disc turned, which I highly suggest, it only runs about $10 per disc. Don't forget to remove the brake fluid resevior cap and some fluid before pressing the pistons back. I use a turkey baster to remove fluid from the reservoir.
7. To remove the caliper just take out the two 14mm bolts on the backside, no need to disconnect the brake lines. You do need to remove the brake line retaining clip to allow the line to move without bending.

Caliper secured to upper control arm. The new brake pads. Turning the rotor is recommended.

8. Do not let the caliper hang by the brake line, I use zip ties to the upper a-arm to hold it up out of the way.
9. After a thorough cleaning of all parts, you are ready to reassemble. First up is to press the 4 pistons back to allow rooms for the new thicker pads. If not done already, remove the brake fluid reservoir cap and remove some brake fluid. Auto parts stores sell caliper piston spreaders, simple tool but not absolutely necessary. I use two c-clamps with small metal bars to squeeze back the pistons. It is also a good idea to open the brake bleed fitting at this point so that when you aqueeze the piston any debris that has settled at the bottom of the line is forced out the fitting and not back up the line.

Push the pistons in for pad installation. New pads with caliper / anti-squeal grease. Pads reinstalled with retaining spring.

10. Place the rotor back on the hub over the lug nuts, reinstall the caliper. Apply Loctite to the caliper bolts, and torque them to 90ftlbs.
11. After cleaning with brake cleaner, reuse the shims off the old pads on the new ones. Be sure to use some anti-squeal/caliper grease at contact points (but not on the pad itself!).
12. Slide the new pads in, reinstall the the retaining spring, pins, and retaining clip.

Completed reassembly with turned rotor. Take a moment to bleed your brakes when complete.

13. The turned rotor. The marks you see on the rotor are a non-directional finish that is burnished into the surface of the disc. This eliminates the directional finish left from the brake lathe that looks like the grooves on a record. If the non-direction finish is not applied the disc will start to sing like a record player which you can hear as a squeal.
It is also important to wash the disc with soap and water before the caliper and pads are reinstalled. This washes away any bits of metal left over from the resurfacing process and if not done these bits of metal will become embedded in the surface of the pads and they will never stop squealing.
14. Don't forget to bleed the brakes! This is not 100% necessary but in my opinion you never know if you got an air bubble in there or not and it only takes a second. Refill the fluid reservoir to proper level and replace cap. Install wheels and take it out for a road test.

Replacing the Rear Brake Shoes

A good cleaning is a great first step! Remove the top return spring. Remove the retaining spring.

1. Chock front tires securely. Remove wheel, then slide off drum. Be sure e-brake is off. Brake drum may slide off but if not there are two 8x1.25mm threaded bolt holes that you can run bolts through and it will push off the drum. First thing you will want to do when the drum is off is give a good cleaning with brake cleaner, it wil be pretty nasty in there.
2. Remove the top return spring from the pad opposite the pad with the e-brake attachment.
3. Remove pad retaining spring from the same pad. They have special tools for these springs at auto stores, I just grab the green disc with vise grips and push and turn. There isn't a whole lot of tension on these springs.

With the shoe removed, the bottom spring can be removed. Shoe completely removed. Apply caliper grease to the contact points.

4. Remove the shoe and disengage the bottom spring.
5. Remove the other shoe and take off all springs and adjuster assembly. There are two clips that hold on the e-brake lever, just pry these off with a screwdriver, there should be new clips in the brake shoe kit so don't worry about damaging the old ones. Reinstall the lever on the new brake shoe.
6. Rub some caliper grease on these pad contact spots. Also clean and lube the adjuster.

The reassembled rear brake system.

7. Reassemble the springs to the pad with e-brake lever, make sure the space on the top return spring is over the adjuster wheel. Install the pad with the retaining spring. Connect the bottom spring to the opposite pad and install the pad with the other retaining spring. Hook up the top return spring.

8. Reinstall the drums. On the backside there is a rubber grommet that will allow access to the adjuster wheel. Use a screwdriver to turn the adjuster wheel untit there is slight rubbing of the shoes while turning the drums and then back it off a hair so the shoes don't rub. This can also be accomplished by repeatedly applying the parking brake until it stops clicking and you feel some resistance; or by adjusting the shoes and test fitting the drum at reassembly. Reinstall wheels and take it for a road test.

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