How Do I change my front brake pads?

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Thread: How Do I change my front brake pads?

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    Exclamation How Do I change my front brake pads?

    I have a double cab 2003 tacoma. I really need to change my brake pads. I still have the original stock ones on. Can anyone give me a quick step-by-step how to change the pads? I want to make sure that I am changing them correctly. Yes I tried searching and the threads dont have a quick how to.

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    Default Re: How Do I change my front brake pads?

    It is really pretty easy, but it has been sometime since I did my last one, but I will give it a shot.

    Just do one side at a time, that way you can always go back and look at the completed side to make sure you are putting it all back together correctly.

    1) Go buy some pads at the local auto shop (I usually use the cheapies from AutoZone or whatever, they have a lifetime warranty.) If this is the first time you have ever changed them or serviced them, you might need some rotors too. If they are deeply grooved and you can't get them "turned" or smoothed out, then you will have to buy them. You will also want to buy some brake cleaner and brake pad anti-squeek.

    2) Jack up both sides of the truck. You are going to want to pull both tires so you can check and make sure you put it back together.

    3) Remove the 2 bolts that hold the caliper to the rotor.

    4) Next remove the spring clamp that holds the little metal shield on.

    5) Pull the caliper off of the rotor. The pads should just fall off or take very little work to pull off.

    6) Compress the caliper back in using a c-clamp or I personally like quick grips. Hold it there until you are ready to install the new pads or it will keep coming out.

    7) Inspect the rotors. If they have any deep gouges simply pull them off the hub (they may take a little working to get loose, use a rubber mallet) and take them to your local parts store and have this "mic" them or measure them to see if they can be "turned" or smoothed over. Having them turned is much cheaper than buying new rotors. If they can not be turned, buy new rotors.

    8) Install the new or turned rotors if you needed to have this done.

    9) put some anti-squeak on the pads and install them on the caliper.

    10) Slide the caliper back over the rotor.

    11) Install the metal shield and spring clamp

    12) Install the 2 bolts. Torque to the designated amount (should be in your owners manual).

    13) Hose off rotors and caliper with brake cleaner.

    14) Do the other side.

    15) Reinstall wheels and torque lug nuts.



    That is a quick "How-To", they are not hard to do, just go slow and you will figure it out.

    -c
    Last edited by kf4mnc; 07-29-2007 at 08:38 PM.

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    Default Re: How Do I change my front brake pads?

    Great guidance post. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by kf4mnc View Post
    It is really pretty easy, but it has been sometime since I did my last one, but I will give it a shot.

    Just do one side at a time, that way you can always go back and look at the completed side to make sure you are putting it all back together correctly.

    1) Go buy some pads at the local auto shop (I usually use the cheapies from AutoZone or whatever, they have a lifetime warranty.) If this is the first time you have ever changed them or serviced them, you might need some rotors too. If they are deeply grooved and you can't get them "turned" or smoothed out, then you will have to buy them. You will also want to buy some brake cleaner and brake pad anti-squeek.

    2) Jack up both sides of the truck. You are going to want to pull both tires so you can check and make sure you put it back together.

    3) Remove the 2 bolts that hold the caliper to the rotor.

    4) Next remove the spring clamp that holds the little metal shield on.

    5) Pull the caliper off of the rotor. The pads should just fall off or take very little work to pull off.

    6) Compress the caliper back in using a c-clamp or I personally like quick grips. Hold it there until you are ready to install the new pads or it will keep coming out.

    7) Inspect the rotors. If they have any deep gouges simply pull them off the hub (they may take a little working to get loose, use a rubber mallet) and take them to your local parts store and have this "mic" them or measure them to see if they can be "turned" or smoothed over. Having them turned is much cheaper than buying new rotors. If they can not be turned, buy new rotors.

    8) Install the new or turned rotors if you needed to have this done.

    9) put some anti-squeak on the pads and install them on the caliper.

    10) Slide the caliper back over the rotor.

    11) Install the metal shield and spring clamp

    12) Install the 2 bolts. Torque to the designated amount (should be in your owners manual).

    13) Hose off rotors and caliper with brake cleaner.

    14) Do the other side.

    15) Reinstall wheels and torque lug nuts.



    That is a quick "How-To", they are not hard to do, just go slow and you will figure it out.

    -c
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    Default Re: How Do I change my front brake pads?

    Quote Originally Posted by kf4mnc View Post
    It is really pretty easy, but it has been sometime since I did my last one, but I will give it a shot.

    Just do one side at a time, that way you can always go back and look at the completed side to make sure you are putting it all back together correctly.

    1) Go buy some pads at the local auto shop (I usually use the cheapies from AutoZone or whatever, they have a lifetime warranty.) If this is the first time you have ever changed them or serviced them, you might need some rotors too. If they are deeply grooved and you can't get them "turned" or smoothed out, then you will have to buy them. You will also want to buy some brake cleaner and brake pad anti-squeek.

    2) Jack up both sides of the truck. You are going to want to pull both tires so you can check and make sure you put it back together.

    3) Remove the 2 bolts that hold the caliper to the rotor.

    4) Next remove the spring clamp that holds the little metal shield on.

    5) Pull the caliper off of the rotor. The pads should just fall off or take very little work to pull off.

    6) Compress the caliper back in using a c-clamp or I personally like quick grips. Hold it there until you are ready to install the new pads or it will keep coming out.

    7) Inspect the rotors. If they have any deep gouges simply pull them off the hub (they may take a little working to get loose, use a rubber mallet) and take them to your local parts store and have this "mic" them or measure them to see if they can be "turned" or smoothed over. Having them turned is much cheaper than buying new rotors. If they can not be turned, buy new rotors.

    8) Install the new or turned rotors if you needed to have this done.

    9) put some anti-squeak on the pads and install them on the caliper.

    10) Slide the caliper back over the rotor.

    11) Install the metal shield and spring clamp

    12) Install the 2 bolts. Torque to the designated amount (should be in your owners manual).

    13) Hose off rotors and caliper with brake cleaner.

    14) Do the other side.

    15) Reinstall wheels and torque lug nuts.



    That is a quick "How-To", they are not hard to do, just go slow and you will figure it out.

    -c
    Hate to disagree with this post but...

    Only remove the calipers if the rotors need to be turned. Leave them in place for just a pad change. It's much easier and quicker. I machine the rotors only when needed usually every 2nd or 3rd pad change. Check the surface and if it is rough with deep pits or if there was any metal to metal contact then machine the rotors. It costs about $5 each and only takes a few minutes at the local tire shop or auto parts store. You should get 2 or 3 machinings from each rotor before they go below specs (which is about .026 I believe).

    I NEVER buy after market cheapo pads. They wear horribly and I end up changing them twice as much as original Toyota pads. When it comes to brake pads, you truly get what you pay for! With cheap pads, you'll change your rotors more often and at $120 a piece your not saving anything.

    Its really easy to change the pads:

    1) Remove tire
    2) Remove the retaining clips from the end of the upper and lower pins then remove pins. (Make sure to note how the "W" spring is installed BEFORE you remove it)
    3) Slide out one pad, they usually need to be pried a little bit but not much. Then remove the shims and place them on the new pad. No need to use any goop on the shims. They don't require it.
    4) Take two pry bars, wrenches, socket handles anthing that will fit between the pistons and the rotor (I used wire cutters and neddle nose pliers on my wife's Sequoia just today) then carefully and slowly pry both pistons open SIMULTANEOUSLY. Try to keep them as even as possible and only open them enough to slip in the new pad. This pushes brake fluid back into the resevoir so don't overdo it or the res could overflow. (This could happen anyway if the res was full to start with).
    5) Slide the new pad in and repeat with the other pad.
    6) Insert pins throught the holes on the caliper and both pads. Make sure to reinstall the W spring correctly. Start by inserting the wire ends into the holes then swivel the loops down where the pin goes through them.
    7) Insert retaining clip into the holes in the end of the pins.

    Repeat on other side.

    If you do have to remove the calipers do it only after you have removed the pads and don't try to install the caliper with the pads in. Its just so much harder to do it that way.

    If you have to take off the calipers make sure you remove the clip on the brake line first so you can swing the calipers up out of the way and tie them up with wire. To remove the clip pry it straight up with a flathead screwdriver under the lip.

    Good luck.

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    Default Re: How Do I change my front brake pads?

    VikingTundra, thanks for the info. I have changed pads on a number of vehicles, and have always pulled the calipers. Never knew you could change pads with calipers in place. Maybe it's only on certain vehicles? At any rate, I'll try that from now on when I change pads.

    I'd like to add one more step for the OP. After the job is complete and before moving the truck, pump the brake pedal two or three times. This moves the pads close to the rotor, so the brakes will work properly. If you forget, you may need to pump the pedal in order to stop the truck.
    Last edited by Splicer; 08-04-2007 at 10:20 PM.

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    Default Re: How Do I change my front brake pads?

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingTundra View Post
    Hate to disagree with this post but...

    Only remove the calipers if the rotors need to be turned. Leave them in place for just a pad change. It's much easier and quicker. I machine the rotors only when needed usually every 2nd or 3rd pad change. Check the surface and if it is rough with deep pits or if there was any metal to metal contact then machine the rotors. It costs about $5 each and only takes a few minutes at the local tire shop or auto parts store. You should get 2 or 3 machinings from each rotor before they go below specs (which is about .026 I believe).

    I NEVER buy after market cheapo pads. They wear horribly and I end up changing them twice as much as original Toyota pads. When it comes to brake pads, you truly get what you pay for! With cheap pads, you'll change your rotors more often and at $120 a piece your not saving anything.

    Its really easy to change the pads:

    1) Remove tire
    2) Remove the retaining clips from the end of the upper and lower pins then remove pins. (Make sure to note how the "W" spring is installed BEFORE you remove it)
    3) Slide out one pad, they usually need to be pried a little bit but not much. Then remove the shims and place them on the new pad. No need to use any goop on the shims. They don't require it.
    4) Take two pry bars, wrenches, socket handles anthing that will fit between the pistons and the rotor (I used wire cutters and neddle nose pliers on my wife's Sequoia just today) then carefully and slowly pry both pistons open SIMULTANEOUSLY. Try to keep them as even as possible and only open them enough to slip in the new pad. This pushes brake fluid back into the resevoir so don't overdo it or the res could overflow. (This could happen anyway if the res was full to start with).
    5) Slide the new pad in and repeat with the other pad.
    6) Insert pins throught the holes on the caliper and both pads. Make sure to reinstall the W spring correctly. Start by inserting the wire ends into the holes then swivel the loops down where the pin goes through them.
    7) Insert retaining clip into the holes in the end of the pins.

    Repeat on other side.

    If you do have to remove the calipers do it only after you have removed the pads and don't try to install the caliper with the pads in. Its just so much harder to do it that way.

    If you have to take off the calipers make sure you remove the clip on the brake line first so you can swing the calipers up out of the way and tie them up with wire. To remove the clip pry it straight up with a flathead screwdriver under the lip.

    Good luck.
    To each his own. I have purchased the cheap lifetime warranty/no questions asked pads/shoes/rotors for years now and never had any problems. I am not aware of Toyota offering any of their brake system products with that kind of warranty, and they come with a much higher price tag.

    I would suspect that the wear or any problems has more to do with individual driving patterns (hard stops, towing loads, on-road vs. off-road, etc) and with the installation process more than the particular hardware.

    For instance, on my 97 Tacoma - It is driven the same or more than our 03 4 Runner. The 4Runner needs brake work much more frequently than the Tacoma. And before you say something about size/weight - the 4Runner is equipped with bigger/heavier braking system than the Tacoma. I also know that the primary driver of the 4Runner is a "late braker" and therefore has many more "hard/panic" type stops putting more of a load on the brake system. This vehicle uses all OEM products vs. the Tacoma that uses all "cheap" products.

    Regarding my previous instructions for changing the pads - I find it easier to pull the caliper - it is only two bolts and much easier to work with in my opinion. And I always add some anti-squeak (although new vehicles do not have this problem as often) because I hate to have to take it all back apart if they do end up squeaking.

    But whatever works

    Also do you feel that you risk damaging the rotor by prying on it to push the caliper back in? Just curious.
    Last edited by kf4mnc; 08-05-2007 at 10:21 AM.

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    Default Re: How Do I change my front brake pads?

    Quote Originally Posted by kf4mnc View Post
    Also do you feel that you risk damaging the rotor by prying on it to push the caliper back in? Just curious.
    I don't think so, they seem to be very hard steel. I've always pushed the caliper pistons back in by prying against the rotor with big screwdrivers -- never used C-clamps, and never so much as scratched a rotor.

    I agree that it's easy to remove calipers -- like I posted, it's the only way I've ever done it. But I will try it with calipers in place next time just for comparison. Never too old to learn!

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    Default Re: How Do I change my front brake pads?

    Quote Originally Posted by kf4mnc View Post
    Also do you feel that you risk damaging the rotor by prying on it to push the caliper back in? Just curious.
    Not really. It takes very little pressure to move the pistons.

    I have come to this method after many years of doing my own brakes. In fact, the first time I attempted this job myself on my old 1990 (pre-Tacoma) Toy truck I took the calipers APART to change the pads. Very dumb idea!

    I then went to removing the calipers and it works to do it that way but you have a 20lb piece of metal dangling by the brake line that becomes harder to work with. Then a Toyota mechanic showed me how to do it without removing the caliper and now the hardest part is removing the tire.

    Also wanted to mention that I know this works for 00-06 Tundras, all Sequoia models and 05+ Tacomas and probably plenty of other models it's just that I don't have any experience with anything else.

    Viking

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    Default Re: How Do I change my front brake pads?

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingTundra View Post
    you have a 20lb piece of metal dangling by the brake line
    No, you don't want that -- I always have a block of wood or a ramp handy to support the caliper.

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