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Rear drum brake upgrade - Larger wheel cylinders?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by racebug68, Apr 5, 2022.

  1. Apr 5, 2022 at 11:09 PM
    #1
    racebug68

    racebug68 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Travis
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    I can't leave anything well enough alone
    Looking for rear brake upgrade advice. I'm not interested in a disc swap at this point, so please don't go there.

    Truck is VERY heavy expedition build dclb trd sport, 35's. I already have a tundra dual diaphragm booster/master upgrade (which made huge difference), as well as the late 5th gen 4runner front brakes with larger rotors, larger pistons in calipers, and aggressive EBC friction components.

    I don't have a big "issue" with the way the truck stops to be honest, but can tell from multiple points that the fronts are working really really good, way better than rear. Looking for a similar upgrade to the rear brakes when I go through and re-do some rear axle items and rear suspension.

    First order of business, can anyone confirm a direct bolt in wheel cylinder upgrade is available? Meaning, I believe the current wheel cylinders are 15/16". Going to 1" is around 15% more area. That would be the ticket I think. I don't want to have philosophical discussions about factory master cylinder diameter, matched sizes of this or that or about hydraulic theory. I feel I have a good handle on that already and my truck is far from stock, working way better than stock for my overweight build, and still looking for more in the back to match with front.
    I see there are 4runners and Tundras that use a 1" wheel cylinder, based on research and part availability on rock auto, ebay, etc where you get pictures and descriptions that are better than toyota online dealerships. The question is if they will fit a Tacoma backing plate and have the same width where it contacts the shoes, same mounting bolt pattern, and same brake line threads? The pics look like they would work, but of course by part number alone the sites would all say not compatible. Wondering if there are any folks on here who can compare both parts side by side in hand and confirm fitment with the stock 2nd gen taco wheel cylinder for 6 lug trucks compared to the below part number:

    Toyota part # 47550-35210
    TOYOTA 4RUNNER 1996-2000 w/ 16" wheels
    TOYOTA TUNDRA 2000-2006

    Haven't seen anything with 1-1/8" wheel cylinders yet, but would like to try 1" first anyway.

    Second order of business, what are the best (most aggressive) drums and brake shoes that can be had for the taco rear brakes? I don't care much about noise, brake dust, wear / lifespan, but I want it to bite, and bite hard, even when cold, without getting fade at higher temps. Not a lot of the same manufacturers of the front components make rear shoes or drums. I'd like to get something like EBC yellow shoes, but they aren't made, and I don't have experience with any of the other manufacturers. Anyone have first hand experience with high performance drum brake shoes? I hope that isn't an oxymoron in itself...

    I already have powerstop evolution coated drums:
    https://www.rockauto.com/en/parts/power+stop,JBD1015P,drum,1744

    For shoes I have two options powerstop semi-metallic B871 or Brembo ceramic s83559n. Not sure which composition is actually better:
    https://www.amazon.com/Power-Stop-B871-Autospecialty-Brake/dp/B004J6VTRY
    https://www.amazon.com/Brembo-S83559N-Rear-Drum-Brake/dp/B00L7THMCW

    Anyone have opinion on bite of semi-metallic vs. ceramic? https://www.bridgestonetire.com/learn/maintenance/ceramic-vs-metallic-brake-pads/
    Ceramic generally doesn't work as good cold or have as high heat tolerance, semi-metallic have better reputation for more broad temp ranges, more brake force/friction, at the expense of noise and dust and wear.

    I'd be willing to sell this stuff if there are significantly better options out there that I don't know about.

    What are your thoughts and why?
    Thanks in advance, your experience and helpful discussion is appreciated.
     
    GilbertOz and Gamma11 like this.
  2. Apr 5, 2022 at 11:23 PM
    #2
    Empty_Lord

    Empty_Lord Toyotaholic

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    Too many trucks and mods to list.. check builds
    Shoes I have no input. But best drums you can get are the factory oem.. I’ve never had any luck with aftermarket drums.

    larger wheel cylinders may help. But I don’t think any will just bolt in. The tundra ones are a decent shot. But I don’t think it’s ever been documented
     
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  3. Apr 6, 2022 at 12:50 AM
    #3
    6 gearT444E

    6 gearT444E Certified Electron Pusher

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    I don’t see how upgrading the cylinder will improve performance anyway. Maybe a marginal percentage which won’t be noticeable since the fronts do most of the work.
     
    maineah, GSHEP4, Key-Rei and 5 others like this.
  4. Apr 6, 2022 at 2:49 AM
    #4
    North7

    North7 Well-Known Member

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    Older fore runners i believe had 1 inchers on the 16 inch wheels. Going all upgraded brake lines may help some. Green pads or hawks. Lose the drilled rotors esp for offroad. Shed vehicle weight, tires gear etc or go disc.
     
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  5. Apr 6, 2022 at 8:19 AM
    #5
    Empty_Lord

    Empty_Lord Toyotaholic

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    It changes how the pressures applied. Honestly more pressure will likely lead to overheating the brakes easier. But eh
     
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  6. Apr 6, 2022 at 8:57 AM
    #6
    racebug68

    racebug68 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can't leave anything well enough alone
    Hoping to hear from folks that have any information regarding high performance shoes, rear drum brake upgrades they have seen/heard of, or the concept of compatibility of larger rear wheel cylinders. Going to give one-time comment on the replies so far, but not wanting to head in any philosophical directions on hydraulics, OEM brake Bias, or how you think my truck doesn't need rear upgrades or how those upgrades would be somehow bad. I'm telling you I have front brake upgrades, and the impact of them was huge, so much so that the rears are hardly doing anything in comparison even though the bulk of my extra weight is in the rear, and I have heavier rotating mass with larger rubber footprint to the road, all of which justify better brake performance than stock. If I could somehow get the rears to lockup before the fronts, I would happily put an aftermarket bias adjuster, or go back to a smaller rear wheel cylinder and admit that the upgrade is not needed.

    Please keep the responses coming, especially if you have any input on the topic of improving rear braking force. I don't want to go with discs... I know several with conversion kits and there are drawbacks and problems, aside from cost that I'm not willing to go that route.


    Thanks for your thoughts. I will look into OEM drums but at this point I think I will try the higher end units available in the aftermarket. If they are still inferior, I can put OEM drums on easily without changing anything else. In terms of the upgrade and documentation, I'd like to push forward and see what can be done to improve rear brakes. I can search, and see that in 3rd gen 4runners the rear wheel cylinder size upgrade is common place, especially when they are doing the early tundra front brake rotor/caliper upgrade, they upgrade the rears to use 1" cylinders as well.

    I'm not here to convince you of hydraulic theory and how it works. All I am saying is that I carry a lot of extra weight in the bed, and I've done front upgrades so the fronts are doing an even higher ratio of the braking compared to stock, and I want to make changes that improve rear brakes. I'm seeking information, not suggesting that this should be done for every Tom/Dick/Harry with a stock brake system or truck weight.

    Yes I see the 3rd gen 4 runners and early Tundras had 1" cylinders. Question is if they are compatible with Tacoma backing plates, shoes, and brake lines. Can they bolt in. I'll look into Hawk shoes. I already have stainless braided flex lines front and rear, assume that is what you are talking about. And yes, I am trying to shed weight, but that has limited effect, as the truck is a very heavy build when loaded out for the expeditions I routinely do with the family. I'm not going to remove the main stuff from the truck and I'm not going to get a different truck. It is not a daily driver. Even ignoring the loaded curb weight, a 35x12.5 tire alone can benefit from having better brakes compared to the p265/70 stock street tires.

    Uh -- Yes? The whole point of the brakes is to turn kinetic energy into heat. If you brake with more friction, you generate more heat, which is what I want. The other way to brake better is with larger leverage, like a larger diameter drum/rotor, but that isn't part of this discussion. Higher performance friction components can tolerate more heat, which is the whole idea. Literally any brake upgrade of enhancing the coefficient of friction, or the pressure applied, is going to "overheat the brakes easier". My job as a driver to ensure I don't get into brake fade situations on long hills, etc. What I want, honestly, is for the rear to generate more heat and stopping with more force when I try to bring my 7500 pound rig to a stop, either on the highway, or the trails, panic braking or general slowing.
     
  7. Apr 6, 2022 at 9:26 AM
    #7
    6 gearT444E

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    upgrade to rear discs then. Nothing short of that will improve the rear drum performance
     
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  8. Apr 6, 2022 at 9:43 AM
    #8
    racebug68

    racebug68 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can't leave anything well enough alone
    Thanks for your input. Not sure how you come to that conclusion though. Higher friction materials and more force will change performance... and yes heat could become an issue in some situations. Discs are better at dissipating heat, but I'm not going that route.

    I have recent experience on a 70's f-250 with dana 60s and 40" tires, hydroboost master (since the 468 engine with big cam didn't make much vacuum), disc front drum rear. For those you can order whatever wheel cylinder size you want off a chart since there were so many variants of work trucks, vans, and other vehicles that came with that basic rear axle setup... the factories basically made every size wheel cylinder in 1/32" increments. We increased rear cylinder size until the rears locked up first, then reduced it by one increment. Now the rears don't lock until just after the fronts do, but have WAY more impact on the stopping power, less weight transferred forward in braking (level braking) and overall a great feeling braking system. That first hand knowledge of the impact, and how well rear drums can work is leading me to want to do something similar to the Taco. If I heard from someone that they increased the rear wheel cylinder diameter, and had issues with rears locking up all the time or abs not operating correctly, or someone said they have tried all these different pad compounds and found the best brake power with OEM parts... I would want to listen. Until then, I want more brake power from rear. Hopefully this thread can get to the right people who have gone before me, else I will have to order parts and see if they will work myself...
     
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  9. Apr 6, 2022 at 10:06 AM
    #9
    6 gearT444E

    6 gearT444E Certified Electron Pusher

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    You will need a BPV to make that happen on these trucks. I’ve worked on the drums plenty and they are the same brakes on the Toyota trucks from 1983 when the trucks weighed half what the 2nd gens do. There are simply no upgrades that will be noticeable on these trucks. I am telling you from experience but feel free to waste your money on a larger wheel cylinder. You can put lipstick on a pig if you like.
     
    Raylo likes this.
  10. Apr 6, 2022 at 10:30 AM
    #10
    racebug68

    racebug68 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can't leave anything well enough alone
  11. Apr 6, 2022 at 10:49 AM
    #11
    racebug68

    racebug68 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can't leave anything well enough alone
    Interesting perspective. Would you mind sharing what rear brake upgrades you have done or tried? Also is your truck a vacuum booster or ATRAC equipped?

    My perspective is that I can see many manufacturers including toyota, change wheel cylinders to optimize rear brake performance, even in the same model and same year for different packages and uses. I want to try that and I don't think that more hydraulic force on the pads is a bad thing especially if you are willing to have shorter service life. If you have put 1" cylinders on a 2nd gen, I would certainly like to know what you used and why you feel it was wasted effort. But saying that nothing can be done to the factory arrangement to improve seems odd, and would insinuate that the factory designed the brakes for max braking effort with no regard to cost or service life? If it were on the cusp of doing the max braking it possibly could, then wouldn't you expect more wear from the rears? I know my brakes are OEM, have checked them recently and still lots of life left. Have heard many stories of 250k miles or more without needing rear brakes. Maybe it is different with trdsport vs trdoffroad since there is a different brake master cylinder system and anti-lock system entirely?

    Just trying to understand the data behind your opinions...
     
  12. Apr 6, 2022 at 12:31 PM
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    SUMOTNK

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    I dont think I've seen one of those brands (hawk, stoptech, ebc, etc) sell an aftermarket brake shoe for the tacoma. Front pads are aplenty.

    Only aftermarket brake shoe that I've seen marketed as an HD upgrade are these.

    https://www.beefedupbrakes.com/product/2005-2018-tacoma-trail-rated-rear-drum-brake-shoes/
     
  13. Apr 6, 2022 at 1:16 PM
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    racebug68

    racebug68 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can't leave anything well enough alone
    interesting, thanks for the link, I hadn't seen those. Ceramic in compound. I currently have a set of Powerstop semi-metallic, as well as Brembo ceramic to test with.

    I'm sure there are differences from one set of ceramic to the other ceramic, but generally speaking ceramic stuff excels in low dust, low noise, long life/good wear. But they aren't particularly great at extreme temps and not known for aggressive friction. Not sure why they are marketed as heavy duty/beefed up. The stock brake shoes are ceramic also.

    Based on this article and others, I'm tempted to use the semi-metallic, at least to try... supposedly the ceramic can reach the same friction as a metallic, but there are two paragraphs that make me feel like a semi-metallic is the right choice.
    https://www.bridgestonetire.com/learn/maintenance/ceramic-vs-metallic-brake-pads/

    upload_2022-4-6_13-0-53.jpg

    For many drivers, especially those who value high-performance, the choice between ceramic vs. semi metallic brake pads is easy. Performance-driven drivers tend to prefer the metallic brake pads because they offer improved braking performance in a much more comprehensive range of temperatures and conditions. Because metal is such a good conductor of heat, metallic brake pads tend to withstand more heat while simultaneously helping braking systems cool back down more quickly. They also don’t compress as much as organic brakes, meaning less pressure needs to be applied to the brake pedal to affect stopping ability.

    If you have a high-performance sports car, or at least drive your vehicle like one, you’re likely better off choosing semi metallic brake pads. On the other hand, if you do a lot of urban commuting, you might find a solid ceramic brake pad to be the better option. If you don’t put a lot of mileage on your vehicle, an organic brake pad might be the best, low-price option for your driving habits.

    upload_2022-4-6_13-7-53.jpg

    Obviously I'm going to get familiar with changing rear brake shoes, and/or wheel cylinders before I'm done with this journey. But thinking a 1" bore wheel cylinder and a semi-metallic pad might be where I start, but have to say those beefed up brakes which are ceramic have piqued my interest.
     
  14. Apr 6, 2022 at 3:28 PM
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    Goldwrench

    Goldwrench Well-Known Member

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    As a retired AirForce hydraulic tech, you’re on the right track (F=AxP).
     
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  15. Apr 6, 2022 at 3:41 PM
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    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    If you ask the rear drums to do any more more work than they already set up to do , which is not much on these trucks you will more than likely lock them up under hard breaking. Best bet is the rear disc upgrade.
     
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  16. Apr 6, 2022 at 3:46 PM
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    fxntime

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    Drum brakes work far better then people think, their biggest drawback is fade when used hard in short order.

    If Op wants more rear brake pressure, maybe an adjustable proportioning valve would work. How well that would work with modern ABS...........I don't know.
     
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  17. Apr 6, 2022 at 4:06 PM
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    6 gearT444E

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    I don’t think the abs would mind as long as you don’t overdue the proportion where the rears are locking up before the fronts do. i agree they aren’t terrible if designed correctly but the marginal upgrade to a larger cylinder won’t be noticeable, unless I’m proven wrong I’d like to see some some data to back it up. For example, braking distance with same conditions before and after a larger cylinder upgrade. Without a controlled test the “upgrade” will still just be seat of the pants change and a mental victory only.
     
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  18. Apr 6, 2022 at 4:46 PM
    #18
    XSplicer62

    XSplicer62 Well-Known Member

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    And their wet performance suffers. Drum brakes don't work well when wet. Back when drums were common, you'd ride the brakes hard to dry them after a creek crossing.
     
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  19. Apr 6, 2022 at 5:05 PM
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    racebug68

    racebug68 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can't leave anything well enough alone
    based on your profile picture you have nothing in the bed of the truck. When you have WAAAAY over 1000 pounds added, some of it cantilevered behind the rear axle (swing out bumper), and loaded with food water and fuel for a 5 day remote camping expedition, with much larger tires and rotating weight, then talk to me about locking up the rear brakes. I've already done some pretty heavy brake upgrades to the front, and can tell how much better it is than it was stock. If I get even 10% of that change by upgrading the rear with a combination of parts... I'll be happy.
     
  20. Apr 6, 2022 at 5:13 PM
    #20
    racebug68

    racebug68 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can't leave anything well enough alone
    I agree with you that drums can have an awful lot of stopping power, especially when they begin to bite and pads rotate slightly. There is a reason Semi trucks have drums not discs I think. But drums are less predictable, the brake force is less linear, and they wear differently, suffer when wet, and don't dissipate heat like a vented rotor does. But they can be made to work with a lot of braking force for sure.

    I don't want to use a proportioning valve though, that would be to restrict pressure to the front brakes to make the rears take more of the pressure. would rather let the fronts do thier thing and increase rear stopping force with other means.
     
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