1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

ideas for dealing with "self adjusting" rear brakes?

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by phrog46, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Mar 15, 2011 at 1:10 PM
    #1
    phrog46

    phrog46 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Member:
    #53084
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Randy
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    '04 Tacoma doublecab 4x4
    I'm guessing this question might be "old hat" for most tacoma owners, but I could use some advice . I have an '04 doublecab 4x4. Its rear brakes need to be adjusted about every two months (I know this due to symptoms, not a mechanics advice). I religiously set the parking brake. I've tried backing up and hitting the brakes periodically. The guys at the dealership and another shop just sorta shrug and say "yep, these Tacomas do that." Wonderful. So, has anyone dealt with this? Does anyone have a recommendation for some aftermarket rear calipers? I've been a Toyota owner since I was 16, and quite frankly I'm in denial that they could produce something that performs this poorly- especially on a component this basic. Words of wisdom anyone?
    Thanks in advance,
    Randy
     
  2. Mar 17, 2011 at 8:18 AM
    #2
    DGXR

    DGXR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Member:
    #22094
    Messages:
    1,136
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Friend
    Sacramento, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 2.7L SR5 2-wheel drive
    aFe Pro Dry air filter, magnetic oil drain plug, synthetic seat covers, steering wheel cover
    I have heard the Tacoma rear drums are not as good as they should be, and really, how good can a drum brake be? I don't know why drum brakes still exist anyway, other than they are cheap. Adjusting every two months is really often and it sounds like your self-adjusters are not doing their job. Who knows, mine might not be either. I use the parking brake only on moderate or better inclines. Here's what I mess with on the rear drum brakes:

    1) Every tire rotation (every other oil change), I pull the drums and do a quick visual check. If it's really dirty, I pull back the adjuster tab and move the star wheel, making sure that it's turning fairly easily and smoothly. If it's not, I remove it and clean/grease the threads a little. (Only had to do this once -- there should be some resistance and the wheel should not turn super easy.) It also helps to confirm the presence of hi-temp grease on the brake shoe backing plate. And before replacing the drum I adjust the star so the drum will be tough to put on unless it's lined up with the shoes, and there is a tiny bit of drag when turning. Tapping the drum *lightly* with a hammer will set some vibrations and help the drum slide on with a little twisting, but don't use the hammer to pound the drum on. LOL More often than not, all I do is just a quick look, wiggle the star, then adjust it a few clicks so the drum is tighter, check the backing plate for some lube, then reinstall drum & wheel. And of course note how much friction material is left. :)

    2) Every morning when backing out of my driveway, I hit the brakes medium-hard going backward about 5-8mph. This is not messing with the brakes, just giving the adjusters a daily chance to do their job.

    1) Keep them as clean as possible. Brake dust can really build up inside the confined drum brake environment and can get really nasty, causing some of the components to not work as designed. That is the part I really hate, it's just a bad design because there's just no chance for that dust to get out and sometimes it's a filthy mess when pulling the drums. Ack!

    Good luck. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Mar 17, 2011 at 11:57 AM
    #3
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Member:
    #1138
    Messages:
    14,256
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Jandy
    Lancaster, PA
    Vehicle:
    2016 GMC Canyon SLT w/ LineX and....
    Have you thought about buying a *spring rebuild kit* for the drum brakes?

    And - buy and install a new *adjuster*?
     
  4. Mar 18, 2011 at 5:57 PM
    #4
    phrog46

    phrog46 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Member:
    #53084
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Randy
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    '04 Tacoma doublecab 4x4
    Right on. Thanks guys! DGXR, if what you laid out doesn't work, I think I'll go with a new kit. But from the sounds of it, I think your technique and process should make for serious improvement. Thanks again!
    Randy
     
To Top