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Thread: Question re: 4 wheel disc brake conversion for Tacoma

  1. #1
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    Bend, Oregon
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    Question Question re: 4 wheel disc brake conversion for Tacoma

    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

  2. #2
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    Hendersonville, TN
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    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/

  3. #3
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    Good information and great advice! Thanks much.

  4. #4
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    Upland, Ca.
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    Default Same boat

    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
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"
    Hunter S. Thompson

    2010 Tacoma DC 4x4 lb
    FWC Eagle highly modified SOLD AND MISSED.
    2003 4RUNNER V8,
    2000 UZJ100
    5X10 Haulmark trailer done and ready to rock
    Heart attack survivor 2/23/2011

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Ft. Collins CO
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    935
    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.
    "When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. There is no other way for land to survive the impact of mechanized man, nor for us to reap from it the aesthetic harvest it is capable, under science, of contributing to culture." - Aldo Leopold

    01' Mitsubishi Montero Sport 3.5XS - 265/75R16 Cooper ATP's and Aisin Manual Hubs
    81' Honda CT110
    1990 Bianchi Bicycle - the daily driver

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Upland, Ca.
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    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
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"
    Hunter S. Thompson

    2010 Tacoma DC 4x4 lb
    FWC Eagle highly modified SOLD AND MISSED.
    2003 4RUNNER V8,
    2000 UZJ100
    5X10 Haulmark trailer done and ready to rock
    Heart attack survivor 2/23/2011

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ft. Collins CO
    Posts
    935
    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.
    "When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. There is no other way for land to survive the impact of mechanized man, nor for us to reap from it the aesthetic harvest it is capable, under science, of contributing to culture." - Aldo Leopold

    01' Mitsubishi Montero Sport 3.5XS - 265/75R16 Cooper ATP's and Aisin Manual Hubs
    81' Honda CT110
    1990 Bianchi Bicycle - the daily driver

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atascadero, CA
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    477
    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).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    992
    One question is the Tacoma the same as a Toyota hilux in Australia?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Seattle
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    512
    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.

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