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Brakes. Why drums?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Neural, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Aug 27, 2010 at 5:24 PM
    #1
    Neural

    Neural [OP] Member

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    A little background here.

    I've only had one decent 4x4 in my life, before getting the Tacoma, and that was in the late 90's when I had a 1977 Chevy K5.

    Other than that, I've been more into the sports end of things. My last vehicle was a 2006 Eclipse which I miss a LOT, but the Tacoma has turned out to be a very good move for me. I'm sure many of you know how the demands of life change, and a truck simply makes a hell of a lot more sense in my life these days.

    Anyway, I digress.

    The cars I've dealt with have all had 4 wheel disc brakes. And I've been under the impression for some time that disc brakes were the "new" and drum brakes were the "old".
    Yet here I have a 2010 truck that, according to the manual, has drum type brakes on the rear.

    Is there a specific reason for this?
    Is it just a cheap move by Toyota to cut corners?
    Would disc brakes in the back be better, and if so, is there a way to get the setup changed?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Aug 27, 2010 at 7:07 PM
    #2
    teamfast

    teamfast Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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    Alot of trucks are using drums and I received an answer to this one time which I still believe is fair: Calipers in the rear are exposed to alot of debris and spray that can cause corrosion and general headaches compared to a car which is lower and doesn't throw as much towards the back of the vehicle. Drums being a sealed unit avoids this and especially in winter climates where road salt/calcium is used, it avoids alot of premature brake issues down the road. If I lived in an arid climate however I would choose calipers.
     
  3. Aug 27, 2010 at 7:11 PM
    #3
    Trap

    Trap Well-Known Member

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    One word, ROCKS !

    Drum brakes are protected from flying rocks coming off the front wheels. Disks don't have that protection. If we had disks on the back lots of people would be complaining of chipped rotors.
     
  4. Aug 27, 2010 at 7:35 PM
    #4
    fletch aka

    fletch aka www.BeLikeBrit.org

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  5. Aug 27, 2010 at 8:19 PM
    #5
    S.B.

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    I like drum in †he back because the parking brake is WAY stronger.
     
  6. Aug 27, 2010 at 8:36 PM
    #6
    ctxtaco

    ctxtaco Well-Known Member

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    I have always understood in the past that in order to keep the rear drum brake properly adjusted that the parking brake should be engaged regularly when parking. Is this still the case with the Tacomas?
     
  7. Aug 27, 2010 at 8:50 PM
    #7
    Trap

    Trap Well-Known Member

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    I think it's just back up and apply the brakes. I'm pretty sure it adjusts in reverse, but I could be wrong.
     
  8. Aug 27, 2010 at 9:01 PM
    #8
    ctxtaco

    ctxtaco Well-Known Member

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    Yep--have been told that, also with a Chevy SUV with rear disk brakes to back up and apply the brakes to keep them adjusted, but didn't know if that also applied to the rear drums....
     
  9. Aug 28, 2010 at 3:20 AM
    #9
    Fortech

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    Every vehicle I ever owned with discs in the rear had been a major PITA. I'll keep the drums.
     
  10. Aug 28, 2010 at 4:33 AM
    #10
    Steig

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    To keep drum brakes adjusted, it is by driving in reverse. The adjustment screw is auctualy tightened when wheel is reversed.
    Normal backing out should take care of this.
     
  11. Aug 28, 2010 at 4:48 AM
    #11
    AeroCooper

    AeroCooper Half the strength of ten (microscopic men)

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    This is true, and also, the weight of the vehicle shifts even more to the front during braking. There is no real need for the stopping force supplied by disc brakes in the rear, and it could potentially cause premature rear lockup under hard braking or wet/snowy conditions.
     
  12. Aug 28, 2010 at 5:51 AM
    #12
    Simon's Mom

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    ^^ This is my experience! ^^
    And more expensive it seems.

    The discs on all my hondas did not seem to stop any better fwiw & have driven for a while in all kinds of northeastely conditions. Not driving a upscale sports/highend vehicle in wide open spaces like the autobahn. I drive on crummy pot holed, salted, scraped, and sanded 6 months out of the year, broken pavement most of the time.

    All my toyota trucks since 87 have had drums & never had a problem or spent a dime & have stopped very well. I do not think this is where toyota cheaped out (rear spring tsb cough cough)
     
  13. Aug 28, 2010 at 6:17 AM
    #13
    shawnd2

    shawnd2 Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more.
    I just replaced my wifes rear brakes on her 2008 civic with just 50,000 miles (the fronts still had almost 50%).
    My 96 tacoma had 200,000 miles on the drums and they were still fine.

    I'll glad there are drums on my 2008 Tacoma.

    Shawn
     
  14. Aug 28, 2010 at 6:25 AM
    #14
    Larry

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    A truck should have drums in the rear.

    4 wheel discs are for heat dissipation...on cars...especially sports cars.

    When I see big 'ole Chevy and Ford pickups with rear discs, I just shake my head. Just another effort to make trucks into cars.

    A Ford Lightning or a Chevy SS is a different story. IMO
     
  15. Aug 28, 2010 at 7:00 AM
    #15
    0wrx2

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    im glad i read through this.

    my last car, 2002 wrx, had rear discs. my dads sequoia has rear discs. when i got the tacoma i felt like i was taking a step back in the braking department.

    i feel better about my drums now :)
     
  16. Aug 28, 2010 at 7:04 AM
    #16
    Johnny M50

    Johnny M50 Well-Known Member

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    All I know is, the Breaking system on this 09 and my 00 Tacoma work fine. Thats all I care about.
     
  17. Aug 28, 2010 at 7:09 AM
    #17
    beachbumberry

    beachbumberry Well-Known Member

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    personally, i can't stand the drums. never have seen the benifit of having drums over discs. i had discs on my expeditions and they worked great in every setting (street, mud, high speed sand etc.). with my drums, every time i go off road they get mud in them and develop a squeak until i pull them apart and clean them. the fj and 4runner both have dics on them, and the first chance i get to get ahold of a rear axle from one, im going to swap it all over
     
  18. Aug 28, 2010 at 7:20 AM
    #18
    Creemore

    Creemore Well-Known Member

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    The guys who say it's about debris hitting the rear brakes are correct (although I imagine cost and weight distribution played a role along the way). We have a house in the country, lots of gravel roads. I had to do a brake job on my wife's MINI this past spring, and the rear rotors were literally crumbling in my hands. A friend has a Lincoln pickup with discs in the rear, and they take a terrible beating. I think in a real truck environment, drums at the rear are just smart engineering, IMHO.
     
  19. Aug 28, 2010 at 7:43 AM
    #19
    ctxtaco

    ctxtaco Well-Known Member

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    A lot of good info and thoughts on here. I did not like the rear drums at first, but have been better informed. Thanks...
     
  20. Aug 28, 2010 at 9:02 AM
    #20
    buddywh1

    buddywh1 Well-Known Member

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    Drums are terrible in flooded conditions. I remember some old cars I used to drive with drums in front: they were holy terrors as they pull first one way then another until fully dried out on both sides after hitting deep water. And immediately on exiting the water, you had NO brakes no matter how hard you pushed down, for several hundred feet!

    We used to ride the brakes in heavy rains and running through deep puddles, just to keep 'em dry. I remember my Dad telling me to "hit the brakes and dry 'em out... and be careful cause she'll pull".

    They'd pull even dry if not adjusted exactly the same. Tuneups every 3k then-and they were important: dress points and adjust gap, clean plugs adjust gap, oil, filter(s) adjust timing, adjust brakes. Drums haven't changed, it's just they aren't on the front and there's Anti-Lock Brakes Systems to keep from smoking tires as you stop.

    All in all I would prefer disks in back on the Tacoma. But having seen just how capable the quad piston, fixed caliper front disks are I'm content with the drums, especially since ALB keep the rear drums from locking if not adjusted evenly. Actually, I think the rear brakes are just along for the ride anyway... especially since the shoes seem to last nearly forever. Oh...and they are the parking brake! need that I guess!

    Still, for the life of me, I can't figure why Toyota'd want drums: they have a ton more parts and much more difficult assembly so they must cost more than disks. But maybe the precision of machining needed for the disk, caliper and caliper mounts offset the assembly and part costs of the drums.
     
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