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Discussion Starter #1
It started about a year ago with pulsing rotors. Warped I thought so I replaced them.

Foolishly I did not replace the pads and 8 months later, pulsing brakes again. Thought to myself "Rotors cant warp that fast" so I just replaced the pads.

Noticed the brakes were really squishy and could not get any grip on the brakes. It would take the pedal more than half way to stop from 25 mph. Needless to say I baked the brakes trying to bed them and now my rotors are all orange.

Bled the brakes.

Now the pedal travel has improved, but isnt rock solid. Also the pedal is really firm when the engine is off, but gets squishy as soon as the car is turned on.

Rotors and pads will be replaced, but my problem is this.

Could it be possible that my brake master cylinder is dead? Could that have happened from changing the pads?

Thanks in advance for any advice or help!
 

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01 Solara/12 Highlander
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Maybe your power brake booster is going? There are a couple tests for that .... with the engine running push the peddal all the way down and hold it then turn the engine off.... if it floats up and you can't keep it down then its bad... another is with the engine off, and you push on the brake 3 times, if the peddal goes down further each time then the booster is bad..
 

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Before replacing the power booster I would make sure you don't have any vacumn hoses leaking going to it. My 2 cents on the matter. That could also be a possible problem.

Dave
2002 Sienna XLE

:chug:
 

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01 Solara/12 Highlander
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Funny Dave... but my son asked me the same thing when I changed the power booster last night on my Sienna! lol Definately....
 

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Make sure the front pads are seated correctly.

Years ago I had an old car that I changed the brakes in and one of the pads slipped down while I got in to pump the piston closed. I didn't notice. Then the pedal was strangely squishy. I thought that I had air in the system. I bled it from all four wheels and that didn't help. I had extra parts so I changed the proportioning valve and master cylinder and that didn't help. Then I took it to an old dude and he went around the car clamping the brake hoses one by one. Finally he got to the one with the poorly seated pad and clamping that one made the system work correctly.

If you never opened the system then odds are you don't have air in there. When replacing pads do one side and pump. This pushes the fluid from the master cylinder back into the first caliper that you compressed. If you do one at a time you probably won't push any fluid out of the master cylinder reservoir.
 

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DriftedTofu:

Did you ever get your brake problem figured out? It great for everyone to hear the end result feedback. Hope you got it fixed.

Dave

:clap:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DriftedTofu:

Did you ever get your brake problem figured out? It great for everyone to hear the end result feedback. Hope you got it fixed.

Dave

:clap:

So it turned out that I didnt bleed it well, and my rear shoes were gone. Changed the rear shoes and adjusted them, bled the brakes again, and pedal feel improved greatly. Pulsing sensation still exists, and a full rotor and pad change will have to be done when I get time. But i got that sucker back on the road
 

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Glad you figured it out. I am going to check my rear brakes tomorrow or Sunday. I have heard a little squealing on it lately. they have around 125,000 or so miles on them since being replaced by the dealer under warranty at 35k due to brake squeal. They had a TSB which called for heavier rear drums. Replaced them back in about 2004 or so. Has around 160k on it now. I will get new drums if they are scored up bad if not, just have them turned a little. Have a good weekend!

:chug:
 

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Rear drum brakes, unless the lining on the shoes has worn down to metal touching the drum, the drums should be fine.
I bought the "improved" drums from a Online Toyota parts department (reduced price from list) but they were still on the order of around $200.
The original drums were "finned" and the "improved" ones are NOT finned.
I noticed that ALL the aftermarket drums that I looked at online are also not finned.
I wanted to be SURE to get the most improved part, which is why I got the Toyota ones, although it is likely that the current aftermarket are the improved type (the good ones).
The squeal problem was some sort of harmonic between components, not an actual problem.....just an anoying sound.

As an added improvment, I painted the non-friction surfaces of the new brake drums with Eastwood Rust Encasulator, which is a PAINT, not a rustproofer or undercoating.
The paint serves as a primer and top coat all in 1.
I washed the protective oil off the drum first, dried them, and then sprayed the paint on.
The idea was rust prevention.

For FRONT brake rotors and pads, I would recommend Raybestos "Advanced Technology" rotors and Akebono Ceramic Pads.
I have not replaced the front pads/rotors on my 2003 yet (they were done before I bought the vehicle), but I have used that combo on another vehicle and they were great.
I got them through rockauto.
Take note that Rabestos has 3 grades, "Service", "Professional" and "Advanced Technology" with the Advanced Technology being their top of the line.
They also have the Advanced Technology Ceramic pads, which is what would be my alternate for the Akebono.
Not all "Ceramic" pads are created equal.

For bleeding brakes, I like the "one man" brake bleeder......cheap and easy to use.
The magnet on mine is not the best, but otherwise very easy to use.
You connect the tube to the bleeder screw, position the bottle at a location that is slightly HIGHER in elevation than the bleeder screw......open the bleeder screw slightly.
Then, you get in the vehicle and pump the brake pedal a couple of times.
When the bottle is near full.....close the bleeder screw and unhook the bleeder, drain the bottle, and repeat the process until clean fluid, with no bubbles, is being pumped out.
The bottle being higher in elevation means that all the air will be in the bottle, with the clear tubing having ONLY brake fluid in it.
For this reason, when you release the brake pedal......you will pull some brake fluid back into the caliper (or wheel cylinder for rear drum brake) and NO air.
Here is a picture of the One Man Bleeder in use.
The first couple bottles of fluid pumped out were dark......this is when clean fluid is coming out.
Of course, don't forget to add FRESH brake fluid to the master cylinder.
The bleeder screw takes a 8mm wrench.
 
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