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How To: Changing 4th Gen Rear Brakes

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by wnelax04sr5, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. Jun 28, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] New Member

    Apr 6, 2014
    First Name:
    2004 SR5 4X4 Galactic Gray
    So brakes are potentially the easiest piece of maintenance to do on your vehicle next to changing air filters and oil, but the brakes on the 4th gens can be a bit tricky because of where the adjustment for the parking brake is.

    First step, acquire the parts you'll need. its recommended to do pads and rotors at the same time, but if your pads are good or the rotors are fine, you don't need to adhere to this principal strictly.

    I picked up rotors and pads from my local napa, about $120 out the door

    Step 1: Remove the wheel/tire and set aside
    Step 2: Place a jack stand under the axle, remove the wheel and tire from the other side. (For the method I'm detailing, this makes things much easier)
    Step 3: Remove the calipers on each side. There are two bolts holding it on, they are 17mm.
    Step 4: Place the caliper in such a way that there isn't tension or kinking of the rubber brake line
    Step 5: This is where things can get tricky, rotate one of the rotors until a hole lines up at about 6:00.
    *So that the axle can rotate, both wheels need to be off the ground and the vehicle needs to be in neutral.*
    Step 6: Inside that hole, with a flat head screwdriver, there is a small adjustment wheel, rotate the wheel downwards (IIRC) to loosen or contract the parking brake shoes. This is what the wheel itself looks like
    Step 7: Remove the old rotor by taking a dead blow hammer and hitting the mounting surface until it brakes loose. On new cars and old, this step is always needed.
    Step 8: Take the caliper and remove the brake pads by pushing them out towards the middle, a gentle tap with a punch and a hammer will pop them out if they are stuck in.
    Step 9: Most brake pad kits come with replacement clips. Although your old ones may not be bent or deformed, why not just replace them.
    Step 10: Insert the new brake pads the same way the old ones came out. After this step take a screw clamp and compress the piston of the caliper for ease of reinstallation
    Step 11: Take brake parts cleaner and thoroughly clean the surface of the rotor, on both sides, do not skip this step
    Step 12: Reinstall the rotor on the hub flange. Do the opposite of the process for loosening the parking brake. It should still be able to move, but not be loose enough for the rotor to come off.
    Step 13: Reinstall the caliper, and loosely tighten its bolts.
    Step 14: Move to other side and repeat the process
    Step 15: Once completed, tighten everything down and test the brakes out. I usually go through sequences of hard braking to bed in the pads.

    If you can't get the parking brake adjustment method to work, there are two threaded holes on the front of the rotors. Simply screwing in bolts can press the rotors off the flange. If the parking brake is tight though, this method can pull apart the assembly within and cause damage to the springs.
    stnick, Mohoman and Bob like this.
  2. May 15, 2021 at 5:16 PM

    4runnergal04 New Member

    May 14, 2021
    Can you change the stock brake to a smaller brake to put smaller wheels on?

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