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Thread: Front Rotors

  1. #1
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    Talking Front Rotors

    New owner of a 4WD Toyota Van. After inspecting break pads and hoping to just simply change those I noticed my pads were completely gone and grinding began to show on rotors.

    Has anyone changed front rotors on a 1988 Toyota 4WD Van?

    Need some help knowing where to start once the van is chalked, the wheel is off, & on jack stands.

    Any steps is much appreciated.

    I have decent mechanical skills.

    Thanks,

    George

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    Re: Front Rotors

    Remove the wheel, brake calipers and caliper brackets.
    Remove the 6 (or 8) nuts that hold the locking hub.
    *using a brass drift* tap the studs with a hammer to vibrate the cone washers out.
    Remove the locking hub assembly.
    Use a steel punch or screwdriver, bend the locking tab of the lock ring up. Use the hammer and screwdriver to drift the hub lock nut off and do the same for the hub nut. Take note of the tightness (looseness) of the hub nut.
    Remove the hub assembly taking note of the order of bearing plate, bearing and so on.
    Ensure you remove the inner and outer bearing. Clean the old grease out and regrease before you install.
    Turn hub assembly over and remove the 5 (?) bolts securing the rotor to the hub. You may need to tap the rotor off with a hammer.
    When you install the hub nut, ensure you do not overtighten. You will burn the bearings up.
    You may want to consider rebuilding the brake calipers.
    The calipers are dual piston (at least they are on mine), ensure you have appropriate tool to compress a dual piston caliper.

    Take it slow. Complete one side first and then the other.

    Good luck.

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    Thumbs up Re: Front Rotors

    Bikeregg! Thank you!

    Looks like only the passenger side needs a rotor replacement (think I'm going to get it resurfaced for $20) but after seeing how dry the grease was I might repack the driver side bearing as well.

    How difficult is it to rebuild a caliper?

    I have used a piece of wood and a C-clamp to compress in the past to fit break pads in easily with other cars. This was after I would unscrew the top to the break reservoir.

    Thank you for the step by step walk thru. I'm half way into the disassemble. Going smooth so far. Thank you for all the help

  4. #4
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    Re: Front Rotors

    For me, it is best to replace rotors in sets, if it comes to that. If the pistons push easily back into the calipers and are not leaking and the dust boots are in good shape rebuilding isn't necessary. If you do, rebuild as a pair.

    Calipers are fairly easy. You can do a youtube search. I'd get some line/hose clamps and 2 caliper rebuild kits. The rebuild kit should run less than $10 each Harbor Freight carries the line clamps. Once you decide to do it, open the caliper kit and get the square rings out. Soak them in clean brake fluid while you work on other stuff.

    There's a couple ways to do it. Clamp off the brake line, remove the caliper, disconnect the brake line and use compressed air to push the pistons out. I'd put a piece of wood in front of the pistons to prevent them from being damaged when one of them pops out. OR, after you remove the brake pads, press on the brake pedal to push the pistons out further, but don't let them pop out because brake fluid will spray all over. Once you hit your comfort zone, stop, clamp off the brake line and use pliers to pull the pistons out. You may need to pry a bit with a screwdriver or something. It was quite difficult to get the pistons out when I did mine. If you plan to replace the brake fluid, don't worry about the line clamps, let the fluid drain out.

    Remove the dust boot and keeper. Kind of difficult because the keeper has been there for a long time and won't want to leave.
    Remove the square ring.
    Clean the caliper thoroughly with clean brake fluid. Some people use other stuff, but brake fluid is a decent cleaner and there is no concern with chemical compatibility. Pay attention to the square ring groove and get all the trash and corrosion out. You can use a brake cylinder hone or scotchbrite to clean up the cylinder. Use scotchbrite to clean up the piston, unless it is damaged or severely pitted. Blow the caliper out with compressed air.
    Install the square rings then push the pistons into the cylinders. Then install the dust boot and keeper (kind of tricky).

    Your caliper kit should have come with new bushings for the caliper pin/bolt. Make sure you replace these and use some good disc brake grease to lube the pin and bolt.

    After you put it all back together (you can fill the caliper up with brake fluid before reattaching the line to speed up bleeding), get a friend to drink beer and push on the brake pedal while you bleed the brakes.

    And, I'm not really that smart, I recently did this very same job to my van and the work is fresh in my head. Those cone washers really threw me for a loop...

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    Re: Front Rotors

    just a heads up : i took the time to rebuild both my front calipers (2wd) this past year - i was pretty careful and meticulous but the original brake problem persisted after rebuild (brakes would grab and hold on for a bit longer than they should) i ended up buying and replacing with new calipers and now they work great. if i had it to do over again i would just get the new calipers from the get-go. they were 34.00 each (not sure if 4wd are more tho)

  6. #6
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    Re: Front Rotors

    4WD rotors are a pain to change, they are also expensive and getting harder to find.
    That said, I wouldn't waste the time machining them.
    I also would not action just one side.
    Replace the rotors, install new pads and make sure your ride is safe.

    There is absolutely NO substitute for front brakes at 60mph, no how.
    This aint the place to be cutting corners or economizing.

    The bit about the drift and cone washers only holds true for some of the hubs, I know mine doesn't have the cone-washer set-up.
    Just know: some do, some don't.

    Having a 54mm socket is really handy for setting the preload on the wheel bearings.
    Last time I replaced fr bearings the parts were on the order of $300(can), I didn't feel like guessing if I had the preload right.

    Use a quality grease, use new seals for the bearings wether you repack or replace.

    The callipers are indeed dual piston.
    While PNW had great success with remans, my experience went the other way and I only rebuild my own stuff now.
    Your course of action will depend on how bad your callipers are, if the bores are damaged or the bleeders seized/broken off, reman will be your only choice.

    Seized pistons are actually the easy part of the equation.
    Sliders cause more problems than most realize and the real issue is the interface between the calliper body and the rubber boot itself,
    rust forms in that interface and as the brakes heat up, the sliders start to bind then the brakes get hotter.......
    Cleaning and replacing that slider boot is the most overlooked service point and also the cause of most sticky callipers.

  7. #7
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    Re: Front Rotors

    On a 2WD drive front rotors, are you able to only remove the brake caliper in order to remove the rotor, or do you need to remove the entire back bracket that looks like it might be blocking the rotor from sliding out?

    I'm asking because I have rust and those bolts might be difficult to remove.

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Re: Front Rotors

    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherUser View Post
    On a 2WD drive front rotors, are you able to only remove the brake caliper in order to remove the rotor, or do you need to remove the entire back bracket that looks like it might be blocking the rotor from sliding out?

    I'm asking because I have rust and those bolts might be difficult to remove.

    Thanks
    Yes, the caliper bracket would need to be removed. Those bolts are always quite tight. I use a breaker bar with an extension pipe to break them loose. You might want to soak them with PB blaster or other penetrating oil for a day or two before you try to remove them.

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