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Best way to improve brakes?

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Old 06-02-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
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Best way to improve brakes?

It has come time to do a little break work on my tacoma, after reading countless threads here I need a little help deciding where to start. I definitely need new pads (if I only do pads think I will replace with oem) but am thinking of doing the slotted rotors and hawk pads. A few threads have stated this is for looks only and adds little to no stopping power. Would I benefit more from new pads and rotors or maybe new pads and stainless brake lines? I also plan to change the fluid while I am at it as it has 60k on it and probably should be replaced.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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It will add some stopping power but don't expect to stop like a Porsche.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, not expecting a miracle but always thought the tacoma's brakes were a little mushy. No need to stop on a dime and I don't trailer heavy loads but if I am going to do the brakes thought I would consider other options before I decide. Also how hard are the rotors to swap out on a 4x4? Did my old bronco years ago and the auto hubs were a pain. I know the taco is a different style but could not find a thread explaining how to remove the rotor.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:36 PM   #4
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Tires and traction decide how much braking you can do.
If they kick in the ABS thats as good as they will get for one stop.
Now if you are running on a road course then you might need bigger and better brake to remove the heat. Otherwise OEM should be fine.

If they are mushy more likely than not they could use a good bleeding.
Fluid picks up moisture and needs to be changed to keep air out of the lines.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
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steel lines will probably give a bit stiffer pedal feel but won't really change stopping performance.

as others have said, slotted rotors and such are designed to help dissipate heat and reduce fade from high-frequency repeated application (such as during rally or road course racing). You might get more stopping force from bigger diameter rotors, but those will almost surely require new calipers and probably bigger rims and stickier/lower profile tires to get the whole benefit. Outside of that, stopping will be mainly a function of speed and wieght do get lighter (as a vehicle) and/or drive slower.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:35 PM   #6
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I've done slotted rotors, Hawk pads, and SS lines on other vehicles (an Altima and an Explorer) and they definitely made an improvement (I actually measured before and after on the Altima). I will be doing the same here shortly as I'm at 41K miles and braking has definitely gone downhill a bit.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:05 PM   #7
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I stuck in a set of Centric Posi Quiet Pads from Wheelers And they make a noticeable difference. I did not turn the rotors or even bleed the brakes, Just a pad slap up front and a quick inspection and adjust of the rears. I have about 5000 miles on them and they seem to be getting even better. Like I said for just a set of pads up front, it made a big difference. If anything its a cheap way to get substantially better performance. If you want more you can try the rest of the suggestions as you see fit. I don't have many miles on them so I cant really comment on longevity but I am impressed so far!
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redgrom View Post
Also how hard are the rotors to swap out on a 4x4? Did my old bronco years ago and the auto hubs were a pain. I know the taco is a different style but could not find a thread explaining how to remove the rotor.
I'll be into the front brake repair soon as well. Nothing special, just functional and not 4x4. Is there any mystery to removing the rotors or is just break the rust? Thanks
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:23 AM   #9
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Thanks for the help, anyone know who hard the rotor is to change on a 4x4? Is it the same as a 4x2?
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:34 AM   #10
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I just replaced my brake lines with goodridge ss lines and man it's a huge difference. Check our my sig for the group buy, anyone who has done this will tell you it's worth every penny.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:17 PM   #11
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Just do ss lines and new pads. Blank rotors are more than capable. The x-drilled/slotted are gimicky imo.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:32 PM   #13
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SS lines and a good bleed will do the most to resolve mushy pedal feeling. Pads can/will help with overall biting power.

Drilled and slotted are as stated, more for preventing heat fade. They will eat your pads quicker, and the rotors will wear faster. You also need to be careful on how they slot the rotors so that they do not go to the edge. It was a pretty common issue with 3000GT's to have slotted rotors go to the edge only to literally explode on the track due to cracking on the thinner exterior part of the rotor. May not be an issue on our trucks, then again it might be I haven't looked into it. I'd still avoid it.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:48 PM   #14
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+1 on the SS lines. If I had to choose one brake mod out of the 3 I've done, the SS lines would be it. They made a huge difference in my other cars and bikes as well.

Like everyone has said, they won't stop you any faster, they will make the brakes feel firmer. If you need to replace pads anyway, might as well get Hawk HPS or similar pads.

Cost for return, the SS lines make the most improvement in brake feel. I would do rotors last, if at all. They do make a small difference but for $200+ its not worth it unless you want to really go all the way.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redgrom View Post
Thanks for the quick reply, not expecting a miracle but always thought the tacoma's brakes were a little mushy. No need to stop on a dime and I don't trailer heavy loads but if I am going to do the brakes thought I would consider other options before I decide. Also how hard are the rotors to swap out on a 4x4? Did my old bronco years ago and the auto hubs were a pain. I know the taco is a different style but could not find a thread explaining how to remove the rotor.

The rotors are very easy to remove. Once you get the caliper off (it's held on by 2 17mm bolts) the rotor should fall right off, unless it's rusted on, then you'll need a hammer. Otherwise these brakes are just like doing brakes on any normal vehicle.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:29 AM   #16
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Rotors.... work great if you are racing or towing.....will help reduce warping ONLY.......

Padz........you'll never notice the difference other then noise

SS lines....you'll never notice the difference....Ah well in your head you will....and they look cool

I tested my brakes with OEM....55mph slammed them the floor board......Put all the above shit on the truck and tested again........did 3x per set and used the average................ THERE WAS AVERAGE OF 3 FEET DIFFERENCE EITHER WAY......

The only way your going to get better feeling brakes, shorter stopping is to increase your ROTOR diameter AND or change the Calipers (4-6 pistons)!!!!!


The better braking most are probably feeling is IN THERE HEAD...and the fact that just changing and bleeding the brakes made an improvement!!
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:11 AM   #17
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What about changing the rear brakes from drum to disc, has anyone done this yet, and how difficult is it?
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdon38 View Post
What about changing the rear brakes from drum to disc, has anyone done this yet, and how difficult is it?
People have done this and were very disapointed, really the SS lines are the best way to go.
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