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New Tires/brakes/rotors help please

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Old 03-28-2011, 09:40 AM   #1
Maina [OP] Maina is offline
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New Tires/brakes/rotors help please

I am new to Tacoma World and I actually don't own one. I logged in because I am doing my sister-in-law a favor. She is very low on money and hasn't inspected her car in a few years. I.E. she is driving the car illegally. I found out because I saw that her tires were bald. It turns out her brakes have 100k miles on them as well. She has a 2003 Tacoma 4WD, not sure of the engine size. I would like to do all the maintenance items required that I can in one weekend and would like suggestions on if I am doing the right things.

Replace Tires - found a set of used tires from a co-worker Dunlop AT20 Grand Trek with around 2k miles on them for $250. I know these don't have a great rating, but they are better than bald tires.

Replace Oil - would like to go with synthetic because I don't think she changes her oil, but not sure if putting synthetic this late in the game into an engine will help. Need long lasting oil. I may actually run one batch of oil thru it for a few minutes, then drain it and put in new oil, just to get rid of all the junk that may be in there.

Replace Rotors and Pads - Would like to go with Centric CTech if possible, to lower the cost. BUT, not sure how long they last, since I am sure she will try to use these for another 50k miles. Also, where is a good place to buy them online and how many different sizes are there for a 2003 Tacoma 4x4? She is in a different state so I can't drive over to see her information.

Replace Air and Cabin Filter.

Replace rear differential fluid - Never done this. How hard is it?

Replace auto trans fluid - Also, never done this. Again, how hard is it?

Finally, is there anything I am missing?

I am really sorry for the long first post, but I am hoping to do this either this weekend or next weekend.

Thanks to everyone in advance.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:54 AM   #2
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I won't comment on the complexity since I have a newer model and things will be different. A couple other things would be to change the front differential and the transfer case fluids. The auto transmission fluid change is usually done with a machine that back-flushes the torque convertor although it can be done as a simple drain and re-fill operation. Drain and refill is better than nothing in my opinion. If the transmission isn't in good shape, I wouldn't bother changing the fluid. Sometimes the grit that's in the fluid is what keep the torque convertor functioning and by putting in nice, clean fluid, it may slip more and not function. Just a precaution, I'm sure this won't be the case for you but it is something to keep in the back of your head.

Those tires aren't the best, a lot of people here have them (myself included) and was not overly impressed. I ditched them at 30,000 miles for a set of Coopers. As new tires, they work well but quickly start losing traction in the wet and snowy conditions (not sure where you live). They were great for the first winter, so-so the second winter and I wouldn't go into a third winter with them. Not a bad price for a set of tires though, just keep an eye on them.

I'm sure you know this already, but synthetic will not excuse standard oil changes although it can extend the time between oil changes. Swapping over this late is not too late.

Only other thing I can think of would be spark plugs. Not sure of the 1st gen's maintenance schedule but for some reason they call for them to be changed at 30,000 miles on the newer models.

Good luck!
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:28 AM   #3
Maina [OP] Maina is offline
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Thanks for the feedback. Very useful.

I totally forgot about Spark Plugs. Thanks!

I figured some of the fluids would do better with a machine but I thought (as you indicated) that a drain and refill is better than nothing. I am not sure how I can tell if the transmission is in good shape. That may be beyond me. I did know that the tires weren't good, but the price was too hard to pass up.

Sorry, I should have mentioned, she lives in New England, so snow is an issue.

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Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I won't comment on the complexity since I have a newer model and things will be different. A couple other things would be to change the front differential and the transfer case fluids. The auto transmission fluid change is usually done with a machine that back-flushes the torque convertor although it can be done as a simple drain and re-fill operation. Drain and refill is better than nothing in my opinion. If the transmission isn't in good shape, I wouldn't bother changing the fluid. Sometimes the grit that's in the fluid is what keep the torque convertor functioning and by putting in nice, clean fluid, it may slip more and not function. Just a precaution, I'm sure this won't be the case for you but it is something to keep in the back of your head.

Those tires aren't the best, a lot of people here have them (myself included) and was not overly impressed. I ditched them at 30,000 miles for a set of Coopers. As new tires, they work well but quickly start losing traction in the wet and snowy conditions (not sure where you live). They were great for the first winter, so-so the second winter and I wouldn't go into a third winter with them. Not a bad price for a set of tires though, just keep an eye on them.

I'm sure you know this already, but synthetic will not excuse standard oil changes although it can extend the time between oil changes. Swapping over this late is not too late.

Only other thing I can think of would be spark plugs. Not sure of the 1st gen's maintenance schedule but for some reason they call for them to be changed at 30,000 miles on the newer models.

Good luck!
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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as far as the complexity of the trans and diff fluid change I would check the "stickies" for the write-ups...

a fluid change is a lot easier than a flush but I've been contemplating doing it myself or paying the stealership for these 2 particular items...

I would also add: (optionally)
1) grease the drive shaft...it is really easy to do and can get rid/ prevent random (probably un-noticed by her) vibrations

2) replace coolant...might not need it, but shit your doing everything else...!

3) brake fluid along with the brakes? again why not if your already doing the pads/rotors!

4) steering rack bushings...look in the sticky section for the how to...its really easy to see if the bushings are going bad or not, and its really cheap/easy to fix if there really loose/worn!

btw major props for doing such extensive work for a family member...I hate to say I probably wouldnt wanna do the same for a lot of my family!
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
Maina [OP] Maina is offline
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Coolant!! Didn't think of that one either.

OK, there's another one. Didn't put down coolant. Also, I still don't have the exact model yet. She didn't call me back with all the info, but I did give mis-information, sorry about that. It's a 2005 with 100k miles on it, V6 4x4. She doesn't think it's an S or anything like that. Anyway, thanks for that one as well (the coolant idea). Or, do I really mean thanks...oh well, got myself in this far, might as well do it right. I talked to my brother and he will help me, he knows more about cars (no relation to my sister in law, she's on my wife's side). Thanks again. Not sure about the brake fluid. Don't really want to go there if I don't have to. Not that I disagree, just not really want to try a brake fluid flush myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subtleshift View Post
as far as the complexity of the trans and diff fluid change I would check the "stickies" for the write-ups...

a fluid change is a lot easier than a flush but I've been contemplating doing it myself or paying the stealership for these 2 particular items...

I would also add: (optionally)
1) grease the drive shaft...it is really easy to do and can get rid/ prevent random (probably un-noticed by her) vibrations

2) replace coolant...might not need it, but shit your doing everything else...!

3) brake fluid along with the brakes? again why not if your already doing the pads/rotors!

4) steering rack bushings...look in the sticky section for the how to...its really easy to see if the bushings are going bad or not, and its really cheap/easy to fix if there really loose/worn!

btw major props for doing such extensive work for a family member...I hate to say I probably wouldnt wanna do the same for a lot of my family!
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:54 PM   #6
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If your sister-in-law is low on money, your list can get pricey. Make sure that you stick with a quality product for any of the tasks. I like to use either Mobil 1 or OEM (Toyota) oil filters. I used to use Mobil 1 Fully Synthetic oil, but I am test Castro Syntec with the next oil change. If the rotors aren't warped or have grooves in them, you may be able to leave these go for now. As for the brakes, are they squealing? If there is plenty of pad left, leave these go. Air filter and plugs are good tune up items. I personally use the K&N drop in, but use whatever you prefer. There is a good thread that shows the amount of dirt that doesn't get filtered by air filters. I don't remember where I saw it. Remember, you get what you pay for. Check your local tire dealers for any sales (ie. buy 3 get the 4th free). You might be able to find a better set of tires. Differential fluid change is fairly simple. I found a good writeup online. Just make sure that you remove the fill plug first to make sure that you can get it off before you drain the fluid. Once the fluid is drained, put the drain plug back in and refill. You may be able to get away with not using a pump, but their cheap if you need to purchase one. A transmission fluid exchange is something that needs to be done at a shop as it pulls out all the fluid which allows all fresh fluid to be installed (about 11 quarts).

Long winded, but I would prioritize your list. Check to see what services are the furthest out and do those first.
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