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View Full Version : Question re: 4 wheel disc brake conversion for Tacoma



cwvandy
12-29-2011, 08:41 PM
I have an '09 Tacoma which is significantly modified (translation: much additional weight!) which I use to often tow a Horizon trailer. I was wondering if anyone has had experience installing rear discs kits on the Tacoma? There are some suggestions floating around on other sites that, in addition to the kit, that it is necessary to change the master cylinder to take advantage of the discs. Is there enough additional braking performance to make this conversion worthwhile? Thanks in advance for any information, guidance, links to relevant threads or advice!!
cwvandy

01tundra
12-29-2011, 09:03 PM
FWIW - I've ran a several different rear disc set ups on my old Tundra and I don't think it's really worth the effort or money to swap out the drum brakes. The only real advantage to rear disc are that they hold up a little better to mud and are slightly more maintenance friendly. I've had transfer case e-brakes, as well as traditional caliper e-brakes.....and honestly, none really worked worth a damn when compared to the factory set up. You won't really gain any "stopping power" by going with rear disc and can mess around and decrease your braking abilities if you don't get the hydraulic ratio of master cylinder to calipers dialed in right. You couldn't pay me to convert the rear brakes on my Tacoma to disc personally.

If you do decide to take the plunge, this page may help you out when messing with the master cylinder. It's spot on -

http://home.4x4wire.com/erik/4runner/brakes/

cwvandy
12-29-2011, 09:20 PM
Good information and great advice! Thanks much.

Jeff Wanamog
12-30-2011, 02:21 AM
I too am way over weight with my FWC and have been looking into rear disks.
I am heading toward swapping in a 03+ 4Runner rear axle. I also own an 03 4Runner that I can measure from.
This will work because the axles have the same tone rings for the ABS.
I talked yesterday to some guys at All Pro and they said they tried it and the truck didn't like it at all.
Then I found out they never changed the master cylinder. I am trying to figure if the 4 Runner or Land Cruiser master would fit.
I am changing my rear springs again and have been thinking heavily about the brakes.

Jeff

PirateMcGee
12-30-2011, 02:28 AM
I think both of you would be better off going with larger front brakes from willwood, stoptech or something vs. changing out the back. If you need more braking force, the front is the place to start not the rear even if they are drums.

Jeff Wanamog
12-30-2011, 02:41 AM
I think you may not have driven very many vehicles with nice 4 wheel disc brakes.
There really is no comparison.
I have an 03 4Runner V8 with 4 wheel discs.

Jeff

PirateMcGee
12-30-2011, 02:52 AM
I've driven plenty of vehicles (large trucks to autocross cars) with nice 4 wheel discs....in fact my monty has a great 4 disc setup. However, I also have a number of friends who have gone the conversion route and it's always been a pain especially the e-brake portion. It's all do-able but in the end you don't have much more braking force vs. the drums...on a sports car the conversion is worth it just for heat reasons. On a truck that's overloaded, I vote larger front rotors/calipers.

Saiyan66
12-30-2011, 05:23 AM
Also look at the FJ Cruiser brake parts as they have 4 wheel discs with identical fronts to the Tacoma. If you really want to do it properly, a rear disc setup with the appropriate master cylinder AND an adjustable brake proportioning valve is the right way to do it. With a vehicle that has a much higher than factory rear weight bias, it needs to have the brake force dialed for the load on it. The factory drums will work good when empty or lightly loaded, but max that thing out weight wise and the factory system can't put enough fluid pressure to the rear brakes therefore compensating by overtaxing the fronts which leads to warping, overheating, etc. I think more drivers need to spend some time thinking about their brakes as it tends to be a component that we ignore until something goes wrong (often a very scary scenario).

alan
12-30-2011, 06:16 AM
One question is the Tacoma the same as a Toyota hilux in Australia?

upcountry
12-30-2011, 01:29 PM
As a Class A driver with training (paid my way througb college driving short haul) brakes should really only be a last resort to avoid an emergency. Even with an overloaded vehicle (mind you don't exceed vehicle payload rating) smart driving is the first place you should start. Try taking your time and start into a descent slowly not at max speed. I have a quad cab 07 and have towwd all sorts of trailers including premixed wet concrete, sod, gravel, sand, bobcat, snowmobiles, etc and yoh are right, the truck wont stop in an instance. But I don't think even with a bigger brake kit it will. Maybe it will take less space, but good safe driving with correct following space is a FAR better safety measure than mechanical "upgrades" that make you less conscious of your situation.

Now ill get off my soapboax and agree that the brakes could use some improvement but agree that the place to focus is front. Don't put too much on rears or they'll break free when you don't want them to and end in catasrophy.

4xdog
12-30-2011, 01:35 PM
One question is the Tacoma the same as a Toyota hilux in Australia?

No, they're not at all the same. Maybe the grille badge is interchangeable, but I'm not even sure about that...

Jeff Wanamog
12-30-2011, 01:43 PM
Also look at the FJ Cruiser brake parts as they have 4 wheel discs with identical fronts to the Tacoma. If you really want to do it properly, a rear disc setup with the appropriate master cylinder AND an adjustable brake proportioning valve is the right way to do it. With a vehicle that has a much higher than factory rear weight bias, it needs to have the brake force dialed for the load on it. The factory drums will work good when empty or lightly loaded, but max that thing out weight wise and the factory system can't put enough fluid pressure to the rear brakes therefore compensating by overtaxing the fronts which leads to warping, overheating, etc. I think more drivers need to spend some time thinking about their brakes as it tends to be a component that we ignore until something goes wrong (often a very scary scenario).

Yes, the proportioning valve is something I have not checked into. You see, the 2010 Tacoma uses the ABS system to do the front to back bias. There is no valve as far as I can tell.
Jeff

alan
12-30-2011, 11:09 PM
I have a 2006 Toyota Hilux which I think is the same as a Tacoma and run these
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh227/acdc351/toyotabrakes009.jpg
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh227/acdc351/toyotabrakes007.jpg

NothingClever
12-31-2011, 12:19 AM
Mmmmm.......yummy!

I've been pondering a disc conversion to the rear of my '02 Taco (it's portly like Jeff's with a FWC) but this thread confirms the direction I think I need to go....I'm going to simply improve the existing components with some aftermarket rotors and pads up front and better drums and shoes in the rear. Wilwood didn't appear to have anything for the 1st gen Taco but the Stoptech website was right up my alley with high-quality OEM replacement parts.

I'm so happy I didn't have to go to TTORA to do any research. Thanks to the forum members here who saved me an hour of my life I would never get back had I gone there to sort through hundreds of posts by angry kiddies just to find a start point !!

PirateMcGee
12-31-2011, 02:58 AM
sounds like you're on the right path! One other thing that will help with feel and a little more force are some stainless lines.

cwvandy
12-31-2011, 10:21 PM
Thanks for all the good information and advice. I, too, think that my best strategy to increase the stopping power of my truck is to simply improve upon the front brakes rather than mess with changing out the rear drums. Both TRD and Rotora appear to make front disc upgrade kits. Anyone have experience with either of these?

TACODOC
01-01-2012, 04:15 AM
Wheelers Offroad in OR sells some good brake upgrade parts

fourfa
01-01-2012, 05:17 PM
Different but same size front discs will make zero difference. The Tacoma has good diameter discs with plenty of thickness. The calipers are a sturdy 2-piston design. The problem is the pads are too damn small. Go for a upgraded front caliper with much bigger pads, or save your money.

SST brake lines have nicer brake feel (I have them) but don't actually affect stopping distance.

Cackalak Han
01-06-2012, 07:29 PM
This is a complex and an expensive way to fail at solving a problem. Try a simple/cheap solution first. Maybe some fresh rotors (I always go Duralast blanks for trucks and also used them on my past race cars with great results. Do not get slotted or drilled, unless you like them for looks only), and good pads, like Hawk LTS. But remember that the brakes really aren't the weak point here. Anyone NOT able to lock up their tires when braking?

Also remember that if you go with a BBK (Big Brake Kit), you may have to get bigger rims to clear the calipers. Then, of course, you have to buy new tires.