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Brake pedal and Steering Wheel Vibrations

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by safes0c, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. Jun 26, 2020 at 8:26 PM
    #1
    safes0c

    safes0c [OP] Member

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    Vehicle:
    2003 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner V6
    Make: Toyota

    Model: Tacoma V6 3.4L Pre-Runner 2WD

    Year: 2003

    Current Mileage: 137K


    Hello everyone, first post here on Tacoma world. I got brake pedal and steering wheel vibrations. I'm not sure if I wrote this in an acceptable format, but I hope everyone can understand it.


    Happens During:

    • Vibration Braking from speeds of 35+

    • Vibration more pronounced during the initial pedal press...tapers off once the pedal sinks deeper

    • At low speeds, I can feel a "bump scraping" on the pedal when I apply the brakes lightly. As if the brake pads are pressing in to an uneven rotor, causing me to feel a bump as the rotor rotates. Scales with rotor RPM increase/decrease. Disappears at around speeds of 30ish.
    History:

    • When I first bought the truck 3 years ago, the front rotors were warped. Mechanic replaced them. Vibration disappeared.

    • I noticed vibration came back about 15K miles since last rotor replacement. I replaced the rotors and pads. Rotor wasn't deeply pitted. Pads had about 65% of meat left. Vibration disappeared.

    • Vibration came back after only around 8-10K miles since last rotor replacement. This is where I am at now. Vibration has steadily gotten worse the more I drove. Pads still have 70-75% meat left.
    Maintenance done on vehicle:

    • The second front rotors replacement, I installed aftermarket slotted rotors and pads. New pad shims. Grease applied to pad back side, metal-to-metal contact points, caliper guide pins. New retaining pins.

    • Set of 4 new tires installed at 123K miles in. Balance and rotation at 130K miles.

    • Rear drum shoes replaced at 124K miles in.

    Other observations:

    • Hubs with rotors turn by hand with some resistance; don't turn at all when I press in the brake pedal.

    • No "brake pad burning" smell.

    • No deep "pitting" of old rotors.

    • Examined the old brake pads; no inconsistent wearing. Measured thickness at each side of pad. At max, up to 1.2mm variation.

    • No hindrance of vehicle momentum when put in Drive.

    • Brake fluid has remained constant since I got the vehicle 3 years ago. I have never changed brake fluid yet though.

    • When I took off rotor, there was some rust built up on hub face. I did minor cleaning, but not 100%.

    • When braking while cornering the vehicle, vibration seems to stay the same as braking while going forward.

    • When braking, my steering wheel does vibrate left and right slighly about 3mm. Increases distance when braking at higher speeds. But wheel never pulls to a certain direction.

    • No ABS light, never turns on.

    • Brake pedal travel scales as pads get worn down. Travel never sinks all the way down. Pedal never seems overly mushy.

    • My driving job of delivering pizzas for a year did put a lot of city driving braking and acceleration on the vehicle.

    Alright, hopefully I included enough info. I'm about to take it apart again. I found a few possible suggestions others have mentioned online. I listed them below. What do you guys think? Which choice would be logical to start at?






    Some Possible Causes I've found online:


    • Bad bleeder screw

    • Contaminants in the brake fluid/Bad brake fluid

    • Blockage in brake fluid lines

    • Faulty Caliper piston

    • Faulty Caliper Guide Pins
     
  2. Jun 26, 2020 at 8:31 PM
    #2
    JaCado

    JaCado In honor of a fallen brother

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    Reinstate @StunGun
    What color is the brake fluid in the reservoir?
     
  3. Jun 26, 2020 at 8:35 PM
    #3
    safes0c

    safes0c [OP] Member

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    Black lol. Havent changed it in 3 years...possibly more, since I dunno when the previous owner changed it.
     
  4. Jun 26, 2020 at 8:39 PM
    #4
    JaCado

    JaCado In honor of a fallen brother

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    Do a complete fluid change it. The fluid should be clear to light brown. That's the first issue. Second maybe a caliper issue. You may want to have a look at upper and lower ball joints to make sure there is no play in the wheel.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2020 at 8:42 PM
    #5
    safes0c

    safes0c [OP] Member

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    Alright sounds good. I guess its the least labor intensive method to eliminate one possible cause. And its also well past the recommended maint. schedule. Thank you, I'll report back with results later.
     
  6. Jun 26, 2020 at 8:44 PM
    #6
    JaCado

    JaCado In honor of a fallen brother

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    Most use a Turkey baster or hose to drain from the reservoir and then refill it. Let it mix then repeat until clear. Otherwise you could be in for a surprise with the abs system. Basically don't run it dry.
     
    safes0c [OP] likes this.
  7. Jun 27, 2020 at 6:52 AM
    #7
    mulishan909

    mulishan909 Well-Known Member

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    I did a brake flush fluid exchange and used like 32 oz but my brake reservoir is light brown. The fluid that bleeds out is clear but when I look inside the brake reservoir it's light brown, is that normal since it's "stain" on to reservoir plastic? I got a straw and slurp and drop on napkins and it's super clear?
     
  8. Jun 27, 2020 at 7:00 AM
    #8
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF This statement is false.

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    Since you've been through several sets of rotors, I'm thinking they're a symptom more than a cause (unless they're the super cheap ones). Are they both getting warped, or is it just one? If its just the one, I'm thinking a bad caliper. If its both....then I dunno, master cylinder?
     
    JaCado and DaveInDenver like this.
  9. Jun 27, 2020 at 7:09 AM
    #9
    DaveInDenver

    DaveInDenver Not Actually in Denver

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    Warped rotor was my first thought, too. Classic symptoms anyway. Do the brake fluid change, check calipers and pads, ball joints, wheel bearings, tie rods, etc. Could be the knucklehead (it usually is our fault) behind the wheel riding the brakes or they're just cheap, got overheated towing or descending a long hill. A stuck or bad caliper could be the cause but I think the rotors are the culprit.
     
    safes0c [OP] likes this.
  10. Jun 28, 2020 at 11:51 AM
    #10
    safes0c

    safes0c [OP] Member

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    I'm not sure, the mechanic told me they were warped. How would you test that anyway? With a machinist dial gauge? I visually could not see any obvious warping or pitting on the old rotors.
     
  11. Jun 28, 2020 at 11:53 AM
    #11
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF This statement is false.

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    Yeah a dial guage.


    Another possibility is overtorqued lugnuts.
     
  12. Jun 28, 2020 at 11:57 AM
    #12
    safes0c

    safes0c [OP] Member

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    Ok! I dont think so, I torqued the lugnuts down to spec. using a torque wrench. Hmmm...should I just buy OEM rotors next after the brake flush?
     
  13. Jun 30, 2020 at 9:24 PM
    #13
    Akkording

    Akkording Well-Known Member

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    I did a TBU, tundra brake upgrade and never looked back, just something to consider.
     
  14. Jul 1, 2020 at 1:53 AM
    #14
    loudboy

    loudboy Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TW, and huge props on your first post. I laughed when I read the above about "acceptable format"; dude you put more detail and clarity into your post than anyone ever does. Bravo! Usually we get "Truck broke and maked weerd noize WHAT DO!??!? NEED ANSWERS NOW! Cant spend more than $40 lol"

    Good luck finding a solution to your issues.
     
    Black DOG Lila likes this.
  15. Jul 1, 2020 at 2:31 AM
    #15
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    If these Rotors saw your pizza delivery career speaking from experience it is brutal on brakes.

    If you have any hills even more so .
     
  16. Jul 1, 2020 at 3:32 AM
    #16
    smithlaketaco

    smithlaketaco Well-Known Member

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    I'm going with cheap rotors. I went thru a rash of warped rotors, finally coughed up the money for new ones problem gone. But be sure they prep the new rotors well (rough them up well with course sand paper) lack of this step puts a lot of heat on the new rotors until they get worn in.
     
    DaveInDenver likes this.
  17. Jul 1, 2020 at 7:01 AM
    #17
    DaveInDenver

    DaveInDenver Not Actually in Denver

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    I wonder if people know the prep and that you have to bed (or break) in new rotors and pads.
     
    smithlaketaco likes this.

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