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Old 09-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
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Upgrading brakes

I recently went on a 1,400 mile trip the last few days to the mountains in TN. I was towing my #6000 trailer/truck the entire time. Now where I am from it is flat land and easy peasy towing due to no hills. Well when I got first hand experience towing in the mountains I will say it sucked. The taco was horrible towing in the mountains. It just putted along and did it's thing (pretty much expected it being it's towing heavy)

But my main concern and safety issue I am worried about is stopping. I am almost at the point of selling the tacoma to buy a diesel. I tow at least #5000 miles a year and the tacoma is taking a beating.

The trailer does have trailer brakes and I have toyed with them to where I figured out they are perfect on the brake controller. My main question is, is there upgraded brakes for the tacomas for towing? Larger rotors/pads/calipers and stuff to help reduce the wear on the stock brakes pretty much?

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Old 09-04-2012, 06:14 AM   #2
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Have you considered hydraulic disk brakes on the trailer? They're self regulating and should be more effective than electric brakes.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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You can upgrade the pads and rotors and go with stainless steel lines to help the brakes feel better. A diesel would make for a much more comfortable tow vehicle if it's within your means to buy one.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Have you considered hydraulic disk brakes on the trailer? They're self regulating and should be more effective than electric brakes.
Didn't even know about that set up.. But probably would cost a fortune. I really have no money to spend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
You can upgrade the pads and rotors and go with stainless steel lines to help the brakes feel better. A diesel would make for a much more comfortable tow vehicle if it's within your means to buy one.
I realize I can upgrade the pads and rotors, but who makes the best ones for towing?

A diesel would be cheaper as the Taco is worth 16k and I would find an older 7.3l diesel ford for under 12k... But I hate big trucks.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supra TT View Post
Didn't even know about that set up.. But probably would cost a fortune. I really have no money to spend



I realize I can upgrade the pads and rotors, but who makes the best ones for towing?

A diesel would be cheaper as the Taco is worth 16k and I would find an older 7.3l diesel ford for under 12k... But I hate big trucks.
Google surge brakes. Those are the self adjusting hydraulic brakes mentioned earlier. Uhaul has them on their heavier trailers. They're not a bad setup. I don't know how expensive they are to retrofit onto a trailer or if you could reuse the stock parts to the brakes or not.

Personally, I don't tow that heavy with the Tacoma but I'd still stick with blank rotors. I'm using Duralast pads and ceramic pads from Autozone and they seem to grab better than the stock brakes. I don't have SS lines yet either. Brembo seems to be a popular choice for the rotors and Hawk for the pads. I've heard some of the Hawk pads can really eat up a set of rotors which is why I stayed away from them.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #6
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Hawk LTS pads were a HUGE upgrade for me on the Taco, especially when towing (two bikes on a utility trailer w/o brakes).

SS lines will improve feel, but do no help stopping power

Rotors are rotors. Slotted/drilled etc look cool .... but they don't really help much for a truck.

I would do the Hawk LTS pads and look into upgrading your trailer brakes
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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Also make sure your rear brakes are properly adjusted. Don't rely on any auto-adjusting mechanism on those. Jack up the rear, spin the wheel, and adjust them as needed. That will help tremendously when towing.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManMan View Post
Hawk LTS pads were a HUGE upgrade for me on the Taco, especially when towing (two bikes on a utility trailer w/o brakes).

SS lines will improve feel, but do no help stopping power

Rotors are rotors. Slotted/drilled etc look cool .... but they don't really help much for a truck.

I would do the Hawk LTS pads and look into upgrading your trailer brakes
Instead of the Hawk LTS I was thinking about the super duty pads, the ones they say are for towing.

http://www.hawkperformance.com/truck/superduty.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp2 View Post
Also make sure your rear brakes are properly adjusted. Don't rely on any auto-adjusting mechanism on those. Jack up the rear, spin the wheel, and adjust them as needed. That will help tremendously when towing.
Good tips... I will have to check them out.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supra TT View Post
Didn't even know about that set up.. But probably would cost a fortune. I really have no money to spend
They aren't very expensive, all things considered.
Certainly not "free", but it isn't as if you would have to replace the axles.

You usually buy them in a kit, which has the actuator (replaces your coupler), a couple of disk hubs, a couple of calipers, and hoses. A typical kit will run you about $400 (10" disks) - $500 (12") for galvanized parts, and that will cover one axle. If you want to step up to all SS, you would probably end up looking closer to $1000. I wouldn't suggest the SS unless you were using it for boat launching in salt water.

You don't necessarily need brakes on both axles. I run 10" disks on the front axle on my flatbed, and as far as braking goes, you can hardly notice that the trailer is there. In fact, I can feel a 2000 pound boat without brakes far more than 6000-7000 pounds on the flatbed.
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