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Thread: Front Brake Pads

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    Front Brake Pads

    I need to replace the front brake pads on my 87 4wd van. My van is a daily driver/long road trip vehicle. There are soo many options out there, what is the ideal one? Is there a brand that TVT people prefer? I am under the impression I should avoid semi-metalic...I am confident I can tackle this job myself in a few hours.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    When it comes to brake pads I strongly recommend genuine Toyota. They charge a bit more but IMO they are a very high quality. I'm sure there are other good brands, but there are others that aren't so good. Rather than try to sort all that out, I just purchase Toyota as I know they are of a high quality. Tim

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Fair enough. My local Toyota dealership quoted me $56.99 and Rock Auto suggests $44.79 for Original Equipment. That seems like a lot, considering there are brake pads for $11. However, today I called rockauto and was told they sold the last pair of OE pads yesterday and will not be getting any more as the part is discontinued.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Considering the OEM will most likely last around 50k miles, I'd rather spend the $57. For a better price try an on-line Toyota parts place like www.1stToyotaParts.com or ToyotaPartsZone. Tim

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    +1 to OEM.

    I made the same call with thermostats, buying the cheap NAPA ones. I finally listened to Tim and others and bought the 3x more expensive Toyota and I am getting better cooling.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Are the little metal plates original/required equipment on these? I am having a heck of a time getting everything squished in there. My pads were worn past the wear mark but the rotors look pretty good I think. I put a old pad on the piston and pressed it in as best I could with a heavy screwdriver. I still had to bang the caliper down with a hammer. Maybe if I cleaned them off really good and banged a littler harder I could squeeze the little metal pieces in but it will be tough. I can't tell if they came with the other brakes our not. They seemed to have some sticky adhesive holding them on. School me?

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    The brakes will still work without the shims but I would recommend getting a kit that has those new parts in it. They are there mainly to eliminate brake noise (disc brakes can squeal). They are a bit spendy from Toyota but www.RockAuto.com sells them for pretty cheap. Right now you can get the shim kit (BECK/ARNLEY Part # 0842022) for $1.50 or get the complete hardware kit (BECK/ARNLEY Part # 0841331) that includes all the little spring clips for $8.50. The silicone stuff is also there to help eliminate squealing, but I don't like it and don't use it. I don't have issues with squealing, so I guess it's not necessary. Tim

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Thanks Tim. I think I am going to leave them off for now. The ones that were on there don't come close to fitting, Well see if they squeal.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Whoa Nellie!! I almost went through the neighbors house again. After I put the new pads on I wasn't expecting no brakes again... at least the first time I hit them. The got a little better but they ARE NOT RIGHT. Did I introduce air into the system somehow? If I have to bleed these it will be a PITA because I only have one little jack and two stands. If that is what I need to do maybe point be to some info. I am a rookie.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    There's a lot of things it could be. Unless you opened a bleeder or cracked a brake line there shouldn't be any air in the system. You may need to pump them once or twice immediately after replacing pads due to piston movement inside the calipers. Once the pistons get the pads up against the rotors they should stay put. If the rotors are grooved then you might not have the surface area you need until the new pads break in (minor grooves okay). If you're not sure then they should be taken into a machine shop for inspection and/or turning. There are different types of brake pads out there as well. Some compounds are softer (stop better but wear faster) and some are harder (require more pedal pressure but last longer). If you got any brake fluid, oil, or grease on the rotors (or the pads) this can be a big issue. Brakes are serious business so if there's anything you're not sure about have it checked by a professional. Tim

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Quote Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
    Whoa Nellie!! I almost went through the neighbors house again. After I put the new pads on I wasn't expecting no brakes again... at least the first time I hit them. The got a little better but they ARE NOT RIGHT. Did I introduce air into the system somehow? If I have to bleed these it will be a PITA because I only have one little jack and two stands. If that is what I need to do maybe point be to some info. I am a rookie.
    You don't need to jack up the van to bleed the brakes, other than room to work (so you could drive up on a curb, or something). I threw together some ramps, using some 2" x 12" lumber that I had laying around, for raising the vehicle up to work on it. I cut one about 30", then one about 26", then one about 22", then one about 18" and I get about 8" of lift, then. Nail the pieces together with the one end flush and you have some nice ramps. You just need a partner to step on the brake pedal while you do the bleeding.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Thanks for the advice. I think I must have gotten some of the brake lube (a little packet they sold me at the auto store) on the pad itself. I went around the block a few times. The brakes work they just don't stop the way I thought they should. I couldn't get them to lock up. I noticed it pulled to the driver side some so I am suspecting the grease need to be cleaned off the passenger side. I felt the wheels and the two front felt very warm the back cool. My the looks of my front brakes I bet my rear are shot also.

    Are the rear brakes harder to do? I might try to tackle that today also if I can find a good thread. The family mechanic might be helping me build a custom hitch. If I can get in I might have him look at the brakes.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Contamination of brake components should be avoided at all costs. When pads or shoes get contaminated they should be replaced . I've heard of people cleaning and re-using but this can be a bit risky. Depending on the extent of contamination, when the brakes get hot the oil (or whatever they're contaminated with) can "ooze" back out of the pours and interfere with the brakes ability to apply friction. If it's just one side then the vehicle will have uneven (and possibly dangerous) braking.

    Over the years I've become pretty picky with the way I work on brakes. If I don't know history I automatically replace the calipers. I don't have a problem with aftermarket calipers or rotors but I much prefer Toyota pads. I typically replace all the brake hardware every time I do pads (new shims and spring clips). Rotors are inexpensive enough that I will often replace those too, but if they look good and don't vibrate then I will sometimes re-use without turning. Unless a problem arises I will usually go through 4 or 5 sets of pads before I consider replacing calipers and rotors again. I flush out all the old brake fluid and replace with new each time I replace calipers.

    If your rear brakes are working correctly they will only need to be replaced once per every 4 or 5 sets of front pads. This is due to more surface area and far less demand. When you stop, about 80% of the job is done by the front brakes. That being said, on a 25 year old van it's not unusual for the backs to do nothing. This is due to an improperly adjusted or failing LSP & BV (Load Sensing Proportioning and Bypass Valve). Here's a good thread that explains more about that: http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...d-Bypass-Valve. Another thing to consider when servicing rear brakes is wheel cylinders (should be replaced with every set of shoes). These can also be rebuilt, but with the surplus of parts on the market, new ones can be had for about $7 each from RockAuto.com. Tim

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    I appreciate your safety first attitude Tim. I am however confident in my mad skills as a grease remover. Had acne as a kid.

    I cleaned them over and over. I used SuperClean. I used brake cleaner. I used the holy Miracle Soap II. (Has anyone ever used that stuff?) soaked and rinsed them in boiling water and when I was done I did it again. I cleaned all of the parts. Put latex gloves on to install.

    But the big news is I bled brakes for the first time!!! I must have done it right. With the clean brakes and bled lines my only worry now is going over the handlebars. They work great!

    My van (aside from some power steering noise) runs (and stops) so nicely. So fun to drive!

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Quote Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
    Had acne as a kid.

    I cleaned them over and over. I used SuperClean. I used brake cleaner. I used the holy Miracle Soap II. (Has anyone ever used that stuff?) soaked and rinsed them in boiling water and when I was done I did it again..............
    Dude! Didn't that hurt?

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    I was adolescent... everything hurt.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Okay, Okay, I'll fess up,......
    I am a cheap bastard-o.
    When installing the rack the other day, I put on new pads as they were down to about 4mm.
    I opted for the cheapo generics from AutoZone, (it's the only ones they carry for the van) and they work awesome. Oh yeah, $14.99. doesn't hurt either.
    I would rather have soft pads that need changing every 40K than expensive ones that eat my rotors. I also buy the cheap-o batteries. Been doing it that way for 37 years and it's always worked great for my stock applications.
    As an ex-mechanic AND parts counter man, nothing cracks me up more than listening to hapless customers believing all the up-selling spewed to them at the counter.
    Sometimes the hype is true, but mostly.....not.
    THATS Just MY OPINION of course.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    I like that logic. Especially since I went that route already. The brake work great. I just got back from a week vacation with the think loaded to the max. Two bikes and a motorcycle inside... lots of tools... Stops great even overloaded.

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    did it run hotter with the MC in the back?

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    Re: Front Brake Pads

    Probably did some. I had little experience with driving the van before I took off. I was surprised actually at how cool it ran. Most of our travels were in the desert. Even when I had my hose issue it didn't overheat. It runs left of center on the gauge. We pulled over to check some tourist info when I noticed a leak.

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