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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One on my biggest complaints with the Taco has been the mushy-feel, non-progressive brakes. I'm currently on a business trip with a coworker in St.Louis and asked if I could drive his Taco to compare. When I came to the first stop, I nearly planted our heads into the windshield with his brakes. They weren't mushy and required much less force to stop and as well as less force to keep the vehicle stopped. I felt like I was in a totally different vehicle. I'm now wondering if maybe rather then going through the expense of changing the pads/lines/rotors if bleeding the brakes is all that is needed? His setup:Access/V6/Manual/4WD...Mine: Prerunner/Access/V6/2WD/Auto/Offroad. I realize that my Auto still has the lunging/RPM hang issue his manual does not have, but the brake systems I would think have to be identical in both vehicles.
 

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I've been wondering about the mushy brake complaints for awhile. The brakes on my 07 seem about as firm as any vehicles I've driven.
 

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My wifes '05 Camry has mushy brakes. I drove a couple of other '05 Camrys at the dealer and they were all mushy. I suspect it has something to do with ABS. The Camry was the first car we had with ABS. The '07 Taco has ABS but I havn't really noticed whether the brakes are mushy or not. I'm probably getting use to them.

There is one thing I have noticed about ABS: They don't feel like "Old Fashioned" Non ABS which have a good solid feel when they are "Air Free".. TacoGuy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, good catch.. I posted this at 3:25am central. Brain was in overload. I'll make the change. :sleep:
How can 4WD be a PreRunner ?
 

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Does the automatic transmission use engine vacuum at all, or is it all electric?
 

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It is all electric/electronic. Older models used a vacuumm modulator, but it used very little vacuum. Why are you asking?, because or the lockup TC and the stoplight surge some have? The earliest GM 350C's and 7004R's used a vacuum switch to lock/unlock the TC. My first new truck was an 83 S-10 with the 7004R and once I had to hit brakes due to deer in road and TC failed to unlock, acting just like a manual tans and I turned into an old closed down gas station and truck just chugged to a stop just like a manual. Once it died and no load was applied to trans, the TC unlocked/unstuck and worked as normal.

As for spongy brakes i have seen NEW vehicles that benefitted from being bled. Mid 90's GM's always felt like they neded bleeding, but it was just the design. Flyman, I would bleed/have bled the brakes, using the proper procedure as far as the antilock sequence goes, then I would check the adjustment on the back brakes. I have an 07 Tacoma with an OK pedal, but I can hear one side of the rear moving quite a bit more than it should. I can back out of my garage or barn and while rolling very slowly pull up the parking brake: 1 notch does nothing, 2nd also does nothing, the third will grab hard as if the shoes are "wedging". When I release the brake nothing happens for about 2-3 seconds, then the right rear "pops" as it releases. Drum brakes "self energize" by the wedge effect, and loose shoes amplifie this. One day I will pull the rear drums and check everything out myself, even though it has only 4000 miles. It does the same thing forward, go 5MPH on driveway and gently set parking brake, it goes from nothing to a very quick lockup on the right rear. Excessive shoe travel means more fluid displacement which means more pedal travel. Check the rear brakes and adjust a needed, then if not happy, bleed system
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LRH, thanks for the info. Funny you mention the parking brake. I ran a similar test in the parking lot today. Pushing the e-brake 1 or 2 clicks you can feel minimal activation, nothing at the 3/4 and more pronounced 5+. Same way with normal braking...push the pedal some..braking is minimal, push a little more...no effect..push harder and you can feel the engagement. My mileage is also right around 4K, so I'm going to take it to the dealer and have them tighten up the rears as well as have them bleed the system. I plan on staying to observe to make sure they do both. I'll update the post on Friday.
It is all electric/electronic. Older models used a vacuumm modulator, but it used very little vacuum. Why are you asking?, because or the lockup TC and the stoplight surge some have? The earliest GM 350C's and 7004R's used a vacuum switch to lock/unlock the TC. My first new truck was an 83 S-10 with the 7004R and once I had to hit brakes due to deer in road and TC failed to unlock, acting just like a manual tans and I turned into an old closed down gas station and truck just chugged to a stop just like a manual. Once it died and no load was applied to trans, the TC unlocked/unstuck and worked as normal.

As for spongy brakes i have seen NEW vehicles that benefitted from being bled. Mid 90's GM's always felt like they neded bleeding, but it was just the design. Flyman, I would bleed/have bled the brakes, using the proper procedure as far as the antilock sequence goes, then I would check the adjustment on the back brakes. I have an 07 Tacoma with an OK pedal, but I can hear one side of the rear moving quite a bit more than it should. I can back out of my garage or barn and while rolling very slowly pull up the parking brake: 1 notch does nothing, 2nd also does nothing, the third will grab hard as if the shoes are "wedging". When I release the brake nothing happens for about 2-3 seconds, then the right rear "pops" as it releases. Drum brakes "self energize" by the wedge effect, and loose shoes amplifie this. One day I will pull the rear drums and check everything out myself, even though it has only 4000 miles. It does the same thing forward, go 5MPH on driveway and gently set parking brake, it goes from nothing to a very quick lockup on the right rear. Excessive shoe travel means more fluid displacement which means more pedal travel. Check the rear brakes and adjust a needed, then if not happy, bleed system
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE: I took my vehicle in yesterday to have the rear-drums adjusted and the brake system bleed. I noticed when running the E-brake there was a lot of chatter coming from the Rt. Rear and the E-brakes were exceptionally grabby. I watched the tech resurfacing the drums and to my amazement, what appeared to be a paper like product, began flying out of the drums during the resurfacing process. I checked it out and according to the tech this paper is a protection film Toyota installs to protect the drums. I have done a lot of brake jobs before, can't say I've seen paper between the shoes and drums? I have to believe part of the noise I was hearing was the shoes rubbing against this film. The observations since the work has been done:
1) Brakes..sponginess still there but better
2) Brake pedal firmer
3) Brake pedal springs back upon disengagement much firmer and quicker
4) No E-brake chatter

Still..even though not perfect, a definite improvement from what they were. At some point down the road, maybe I will replace the pads/lines/rotors probably in that order until the sponginess is gone.
 

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UPDATE: I took my vehicle in yesterday to have the rear-drums adjusted and the brake system bleed. I noticed when running the E-brake there was a lot of chatter coming from the Rt. Rear and the E-brakes were exceptionally grabby. I watched the tech resurfacing the drums and to my amazement, what appeared to be a paper like product, began flying out of the drums during the resurfacing process. I checked it out and according to the tech this paper is a protection film Toyota installs to protect the drums. I have done a lot of brake jobs before, can't say I've seen paper between the shoes and drums? I have to believe part of the noise I was hearing was the shoes rubbing against this film. The observations since the work has been done:
1) Brakes..sponginess still there but better
2) Brake pedal firmer
3) Brake pedal springs back upon disengagement much firmer and quicker
4) No E-brake chatter

Still..even though not perfect, a definite improvement from what they were. At some point down the road, maybe I will replace the pads/lines/rotors probably in that order until the sponginess is gone.
How many miles do you have on the truck? Maybe the brakes need to be jammed on hard... while driving in reverse to "Clean" the drums when New. I think this procedure is used to adjust the rear shoes every once in awhile as they wear. The front disc brakes do most of the work when braking while driving ahead so maybe with only light use, the paper never came off. Just wondering. TacoGuy
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have about 2800 miles on the truck. My guess is that the rear brakes were too loose to drive the paper off. I know running in reverse and using the parking brake helps keep the rear drums adjusted. Also, some say by slamming the brakes helps keep the rotors and drums seasoned, but with the rear brakes doing a small percentage of the braking, I'm not sure that would helped here?
How many miles do you have on the truck? Maybe the brakes need to be jammed on hard... while driving in reverse to "Clean" the drums when New. I think this procedure is used to adjust the rear shoes every once in awhile as they wear. The front disc brakes do most of the work when braking while driving ahead so maybe with only light use, the paper never came off. Just wondering. TacoGuy
 
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