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Upgrade the front calipers and make sure you DON'T use ceramic pads......get Semi-Metallic pads and better rotors too, slotted if available.
Agreed about drilled/slotted discs. But why not ceramic pads? Inquiring minds want to know. ;)
 

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I'm not sure how many people know you're suppose to bleed the LOAD SENSING PROPORTIONING AND BY–PASS VALVE (LSP & BV) too after you bleed the rear brakes. Most likely it's probably rusted as shit and you won't notice that there's a bleeder valve there. And it doesn't help that no where does it mention this in the page BR-4 of the 2000-2003 FSM manual.
I just finished my rear brakes (yesterday!) and totally missed bleeding the proportioning valve. That's the very next thing on my to do list. Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Since ABS was standard on mine I figured it was on all 1G Tundras. Maybe because mine is the Limited model?
Exactly. I understand that it was made standard on all models in 2003, but only on the Limited in 2002.

Also, I don't recall ever seeing a 1Ton T100.
Unlike most "truck" buyers, I buy my vehicles for function, not style or for a commuter vehicle. My requirements are reliability and cargo capacity - both weight and volume. I have always lived in the country and way too far out to have an unreliable vehicle. For reliability, I choose Toyota and have done so since 1981. For cargo capacity I buy the biggest/highest payload I can. My 1981 was a long bed (7' or so) 3/4 ton model. In 1995 my business had changed so that I was transporting a lot of very expensive 4x8 materials (slat wall, hardwood plywood) and heavy loads of slate and also full loads of seed. So I bought the T100 1ton. It had a 4x8 bed which I covered with a canopy and it could haul an honest one ton load PLUS a full tank of gas, all of the tools and stuff behind the seat, my overnight bag, and my fat ass through rain and snow without worrying about anything getting wet. I know it would carry that load because I my seed supplier was right next to a rural highway truck scale which was usually unattended, but always on, so I weighed every so often just so I could get a feel for things. The one ton drove like a sports car when empty, like a Cadillac when loaded, had enough HP in the V6 to get me over the coast range in northern Oregon (though no extra!) when fully loaded, and had better brakes when fully loaded than my Tundra does when empty. I got 22MPG when the truck was empty, 23 MPG with about a 400 pound load in the back (better aerodynamics, I guess, as the rear end lowered) and rock bottom lowest ever was 20MPG. Almost all of that was rural highway driving in mountains and on twisty roads. It was the best truck I ever owned and I wish I still had it.

I bought the Tundra because I severely injured my left foot and every time I pressed on the clutch I could feel all of the healing just rip back apart. So I had to add an automatic transmission to my purchasing requirements. When I went to the dealer and told them I wanted a Tundra with an automatic and an 8' bed, they looked on their computer and asked "white or beige?" Turns out that there were only two Tundras in the entire 5 state western region that had both a long bed and an automatic. They also had the V8 engine, 4x4, SR5, and identical options. The white one was in Gresham, the beige one was in Idaho; so I bought the white one.

It has been a moderately disappointing experience. The seats are terribly uncomfortable (I loved the bench seat in the T100.) The gas mileage is terrible (17MPG at best). And the payload is a pathetic 1000 pounds, which seems even worse when you consider how much gas it takes to haul those smaller 1/2 ton loads around. But it has proven to be very reliable and as I've said, I will probably drive it until I die, so I'm just trying to make the best of it. Fortunately, it will actually haul much more than 1000 pounds as long as I don't need to stop. And in my currently retired condition I may never need to haul that much again.
 

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My 2002 4x4 V8 Tundra, which I bought new in 2002, has never stopped well. I measure my stopping distance in fractions of a lightyear. You basically need to make an appointment and put it on your calendar to get the truck to stop. I have never locked up any of the brakes even in extremely hard panic stops. There is no ABS, it just has a very long stopping distance with dramatic brake fade.

I am a good defensive driver and have never been in an accident, but I'm getting old and that means my reaction times must be increasing. I'm also pulling a small trailer a few times a week. It's under 2000 pounds, but does push me just a little farther than the usual stopping distance. So I would like to improve my braking.

I understand that Toyota improved the brakes starting in 2005. And they tacitly admitted to the poor braking of the earlier models by producing an upgrade kit. I talked to the Toyota service adviser about getting the upgrade when I had a brake job a few years ago. He said it cost a butt-load of money and only improved them slightly. I asked around and got mixed feedback. Some loved the upgrade and some agreed with the service advisor. There was still room to turn the rotors, so I decided to wait until I needed new rotors and then upgrade the whole system.

In the mean time I have become aware that there are after market brake upgrades out there. (Sorry, I'm not an enthusiast, just a driver, so there is probably a lot that I do not know about upgrades.)

I think my rotors are shot now and it's time to decide. Can anyone answer any or all of these questions?

1. Given that I want the maximum braking and safety, should I go with the Toyota upgrade or with an aftermarket upgrade, and which one? Preferably both rotors and calipers as I think these calipers are pretty wimpy. And please say why. I'm really not well versed in this at all. I'd especially be interested in your assessment of how much improvement I'd see and of the reliability of the system.

2. Is there a reasonable upgrade for the rear drums? I have always felt like they work for the first 100 miles after a brake job, then quickly go so far out of adjustment that they don't seem to do much. I base this on the quick loss of effectiveness of the parking brake, which may not be the best indicator. I am not interested in doing a lot of customization to accomplish this. (I've read about upgrading to discs elsewhere in this forum.) Bolt on improvements is what I need.

3. What safety issues do I need to think about? Will changing the front/rear balance make the truck more or less safe? Will aftermarket units be as reliable as the Toyota upgrade?

4. Will my stock master cylinder be adequate for higher performance brakes?

5. What haven't I thought about?

Please note that cost is not my primary concern here. Safety is. If I'm dead, I can't spend all that money that I saved.

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!
I have a 2000 Tundra, same brake problems. I have not done the caliper upgrade but I did do the rear brake star adjuster upgrade, TSB BR006-00. The TSB is applicable to 2000 to early 2001, so maybe not an issue with your 2002. It is a simple DIY if you can do a rear brake shoe replacement. It made a big difference in how the front and back work together. The rear brakes are adjusted by engaging the parking brake. The new star adjuster has 26 teeth rather than 30.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I have a 2000 Tundra, same brake problems. I have not done the caliper upgrade but I did do the rear brake star adjuster upgrade, TSB BR006-00. The TSB is applicable to 2000 to early 2001, so maybe not an issue with your 2002. It is a simple DIY if you can do a rear brake shoe replacement. It made a big difference in how the front and back work together. The rear brakes are adjusted by engaging the parking brake. The new star adjuster has 26 teeth rather than 30.
Thank you. I will look into it.

I did find that the star on the passenger side was rusted and wouldn't turn. Loosening it up allowed manual adjustment, but I'm not sure it's free enough to auto adjust.
 

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Agreed about drilled/slotted discs. But why not ceramic pads? Inquiring minds want to know. ;)
Ceramic pads were designed for CLEAN and Quiet braking not Great braking. With ceramic you will get less brake dust on your wheels and less squalling but also less grip on them rotors that's important to stop heavy loads. I haven't use ceramic pads in my truck since the first OEM pads worn out many many years ago. I tow a 3k boat without brakes and I want the very best braking power I can possible get on my truck........so slotted rotors and semi-metallic / carbon metallic pads are only used on my vehicle.
 
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Discussion Starter #28
I have no level or even nearly level place to work on my truck. The steep driveway goes almost directly into the garage with just a drainage swale across the front of the garage door. With a lot of maneuvering I can get the truck crosswise in front of the door, straddling the swale. It is not a good setup. So I have most of my work done for me.

I have consulted with two shops. One will only do stock work.

The other is very good and is open to modifications. He has also owned a 1st Gen Tundra and remembers the crappy brakes, though he never did anything about his. He is strongly opposed to drilled or even slotted rotors, claiming that they warp and crack more readily than smooth rotors. He regaled me with a story about a customer who insisted on slotted rotors and he ended up having to go out and rescue the guy in the desert after his new rotor broke. He also said that drilled or slotted rotors break the cutting tools in his rotor turning lathe. That means replacing rotors instead of turning them.

He is proposing the newer Toyota calipers, aftermarket smooth rotors with better than stock cooling, and good quality pads (though he wasn't specific about the pads.)
 

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Update. I just drove a 1,000 trip after refreshing the rear brakes on my 2002 Tundra at 274k miles. It was a good test in that the truck probably weighed its full 6k GVW plus towing a 2.5k trailer. The rebuild included all new drums, shoes, springs kits, wheel cylinders, final leg rbrake lines and bell crank mechanisms. With the parking brake working I'm forcing a new habit of using it (every time I remember). The brake pedal finally got firmer. The truck stops better than it has in a long time. Very pleased! All stock spec parts BTW.

Note. Brake mods were (1) during last work unlinked rear proportioning valve from axle and locked to "fully loaded" position, since the truck mostly is. (2) Going on 4 years ago, redid front brakes with ceramic pads and drilled/slotted rotors; then (3) last August both calipers replaced because left inside started sticking. Stock calipers, not upgraded. Pads and rotors still look fresh.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Update. I just drove a 1,000 trip after refreshing the rear brakes on my 2002 Tundra at 274k miles. It was a good test in that the truck probably weighed its full 6k GVW plus towing a 2.5k trailer. The rebuild included all new drums, shoes, springs kits, wheel cylinders, final leg rbrake lines and bell crank mechanisms. With the parking brake working I'm forcing a new habit of using it (every time I remember). The brake pedal finally got firmer. The truck stops better than it has in a long time. Very pleased! All stock spec parts BTW.
Thank you. Very good information.

I actually do use the parking break every time I park, always have, and I can assure you that it will not keep your brakes adjusted. :(

Note. Brake mods were (1) during last work unlinked rear proportioning valve from axle and locked to "fully loaded" position, since the truck mostly is.
I am probably going to remove the overload springs and see if I can get the proportioning valve to work correctly. I think that is something I can do in my steep driveway.

(2) Going on 4 years ago, redid front brakes with ceramic pads and drilled/slotted rotors; then (3) last August both calipers replaced because left inside started sticking. Stock calipers, not upgraded. Pads and rotors still look fresh.
Do you remember what brand of rotors you put on and where they were made? Also, have you ever had them turned? My mechanic is pretty strongly opposed to slotted and/or drilled rotors. I think it is partly due to his experience with some that he put on a truck and which he subsequently had to go out into the desert and rescue. He also mentioned drilled rotors tendency to crack. And he complained about Chinese made drilled/slotted rotors. (Though I bet that's where the Toyota brand stock replacements will be made.) But mostly I suspect it is that they tend to break the cutting tools on his rotor turning lathe.
 

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Thank you. Very good information.

I actually do use the parking break every time I park, always have, and I can assure you that it will not keep your brakes adjusted. :(
Well, it did. Previously I've refreshed the rear brakes but nowhere near as thoroughly. More like do the minimum; don't fix what aint broken. This time I went full OCD on it. Sweated every detail about the parking brake works from pedal to shoes. Even found the turnbuckle under the driver seat that Haynes manual didn't mention. The end result was a parking brake that actually keeps the truck from rolling. I got used to relying on the Park pall.

I am probably going to remove the overload springs and see if I can get the proportioning valve to work correctly. I think that is something I can do in my steep driveway.

Do you remember what brand of rotors you put on and where they were made? Also, have you ever had them turned? My mechanic is pretty strongly opposed to slotted and/or drilled rotors. I think it is partly due to his experience with some that he put on a truck and which he subsequently had to go out into the desert and rescue. He also mentioned drilled rotors tendency to crack. And he complained about Chinese made drilled/slotted rotors. (Though I bet that's where the Toyota brand stock replacements will be made.) But mostly I suspect it is that they tend to break the cutting tools on his rotor turning lathe.
Sorry, I can't find any paperwork on the drilled/slotted discs. Probably because I got them from RockAuto.com. I haven't had them turned. No need. They still look like new. Maybe because ceramic pads. I know, Billy Bob said don't, but I already did, and they're actually working great for me, so I'm not inclined to make any changes at this point. Anyway, I did find a pic on my laptop from when I installed them in May 2017.

154648


HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Sorry, I can't find any paperwork on the drilled/slotted discs. Probably because I got them from RockAuto.com. I haven't had them turned. No need. They still look like new. Maybe because ceramic pads. I know, Billy Bob said don't, but I already did, and they're actually working great for me, so I'm not inclined to make any changes at this point.
I'm starting to find that there are no absolutes with brakes. Everyone seems to have widely differing experiences with all of the various options. And I think they are all valid experiences. There are just so many options for so many different vehicles.
 

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Well, it did. Previously I've refreshed the rear brakes but nowhere near as thoroughly. More like do the minimum; don't fix what aint broken. This time I went full OCD on it. Sweated every detail about the parking brake works from pedal to shoes. Even found the turnbuckle under the driver seat that Haynes manual didn't mention. The end result was a parking brake that actually keeps the truck from rolling. I got used to relying on the Park pall.



Sorry, I can't find any paperwork on the drilled/slotted discs. Probably because I got them from RockAuto.com. I haven't had them turned. No need. They still look like new. Maybe because ceramic pads. I know, Billy Bob said don't, but I already did, and they're actually working great for me, so I'm not inclined to make any changes at this point. Anyway, I did find a pic on my laptop from when I installed them in May 2017.

View attachment 154648

HTH
As long as you already have the ceramic pads go with them until they need replacement. As far as problems with slotted rotors I have NOT experience that in any way. It's about 6-7 years now that they have been on the truck and I'm extremely happy the way the truck stops with a extra 3k pounds being towed with it. The rotors were purchased from RockAuto manufactured by Centric and are only slotted not drilled because my research steered me to avoid drilled rotors for heavy braking in a truck.
 
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