This DIY is for a 2000 Camry LE, 6cyl, 1MZ-FE with 220,000 miles on the clock.
I try to do maintenance before stuff breaks, so once a year I pick out some area of the car that could use a little TLC, and this year it's the brakes. Usually the fronts need more attention than the rears, and that's where I originally intended to start. But as things turned out, I ended up doing the rear brakes first. Getting parts for brakes is usually pretty straight forward, but this go round was a little different, and annoying at times. Most all of the parts currently on the car are original, with the exception of the front pads and rotors, and while I could just change the rear pads and be done with it, I felt it was time to replace all of the original parts with new ones. So that means doing the rotors, pads, bearings, brake lines, the emergency brake shoes (for the rear), and do a complete brake fluid flush.
One day I was leaving the local flea market, and there was a guy standing at the intersection with a sign that said "Pick-N-Pull - 50% off all parts today." Well I couldn't pass that up. There was a 2001 Camry there that I had been pulling parts from, but I couldn't remember what shape the brakes were in. I already had the front rotors from my car's last brake job, but didn't have the rear ones. Fortunately both the rear rotors were still on the car at Pick-N-Pull, and looked to be pretty much brand new, so I got them. Pick-N-Pull usually wants $15.00 for a single rotor, but that day I only had to pay $15.00 for the pair. Having them turned would be another $15.00 per wheel, so the final cost would be $45.00 for both rotors, about half what new ones would have cost. I measured the rotors and they were both 10mm, and the spec called for 9-10mm so I had plenty of meat on the rotors. I also got some misc parts, springs, bolts, etc, in case I broke or lost something. Having those extra parts saves an emergency run to the parts store. Total cost for all of these parts was only $9.00.
Provided the existing rotors are not cracked, or badly scored, I like to re-use them. Most machine shops will charge about $15.00 to turn your old rotors, which is much less than a set of new rotors. New rotors are fine, but they haven't been subjected to thousands of cycles of heat and cold, wet and dry, stops and starts. All rotors are cast iron and the wear and tear of daily use will get them out of spec as time goes by. All of this gets fixed when you take a used set of "seasoned" rotors and turn them. You eliminate any run-out, any thickness variation that develops over time, and since the rotors have been through thousands of heat cycles, that essentially heat treats the rotors, they should hold their shape after they have been turned, better than new rotors that haven't been subjected to thousands of heat cycles. I just had the rotors turned, not the emergency brake drum surfaces. The drum surfaces really don't get much wear, and replacing the shoes usually isn't necessary, but for $20.00 for a set of 4, I decided to replace them. It is also easier to get everything cleaned up without the shoes in the way.
With the rear rotors out of the way, off to Autozone to get the rest of the parts. I noticed on the reciept for the prior set of pads that they came with a "Limited Lifetime Warranty." I asked the guy at Autozone what exactly did that mean. He said, if I brought my old pads back, they would give me a credit for them against a new pair of pads. (??) So the new pads would be free? Yep, just bring the old ones back. That was a pleasant surprise. Along with the brake pads, they had the emergency brake shoes, but didn't have the brake lines or a caliper rebuild kit. They said that another store had the brake lines, but the computer said they couldn't have them delivered for some weird reason. So I had to go pick them up. Fortunately they are lots of Autozones around here, and the one that had the brake lines was only a few miles away, so off I went. When I went to check out, I asked that they add the clips that hold the brake lines to the body. I figured that maybe the spacing for the clips on the new brake lines might be different than what Toyota used, and they shouldn't cost too much. Well the guy said that they didn't have any in stock but they checked other stores, and you guessed it, the one that I just came from was the one that had the clips. So off to the first store to get the clips. The guy at the second store was nice enough to give me a 10% discount on the brake lines so that saved me $5.00, and helped pay for the gas to run back and forth between AutoZone stores. Unfortunately the brake lines didn't fit, more on this later.
I had to decide if I want to replace the caliper or rebuild it. I've always rebuilt brake cylinders and calipers. It's easy, cheap, and usually only costs less than $10. There's only 3 parts in a rebuild kit for a disk caliper. An O-ring inside the caliper, the boot on the outside to keep out crud, and a spring to keep the boot secured. That's it, not rocket science. But for some reason, nobody but Toyota makes a rebuild kit for the rear Camry Disks. No way was I gonna shell $120-$200 for new calipers when I didn't need them. I called around, and sure enough, no caliper rebuild kits were available. Kragen had one, but it was a special order, that I had to pay for in advance, and I couldn't return it. Screw that. Toyota shows one, but I called my local Dealer, and they didn't have one. And if they did, they wanted like $45.00 for it. So I called ToyotaPartsZone, and they couldn't tell me whether it was in stock but if I placed an order they would let me know. So I placed the order, and with tax, and shipping the $27.00 set became $39.00. The order was placed on a Friday, and I didn't hear anything from them so I just figured everything was fine. Well the following Thursday I get an eMail from ToyotaPartsZone, and they say, "hey, we don't have the part you ordered last week, but we're gonna try to get it." Swell. The next day I get a confirmation that it was shipped and will arrive in about a week. It might have been better in this case to have ordered it from my local dealer and avoided the hassle. As it turns out, the re-build kit arrived on the following Monday, so it wasn't all that bad after all.
I had replaced one of the bearings few years ago, when one of them was growling. The parts are EXPENSIVE. The bearing alone was $75.00 at Autozone, and the dealer wouldn't sell the bearing, but wanted $375.00 for the hub/bearing assembly. Screw that. What I did the first time around, was go to a local wrecking yard, and got the entire rear axle carrier assembly for $55.00, remove the hub/bearing and installed it in my car and got rid of the growling. After I did that I took the growling one apart to see how hard it would be to replace the bearing. It's not all that bad, so I figure that I'd just get two bearings, and replace them, since I knew one bearing had 220,000 miles on it, and who knows how many miles were on the junkyard bearing.
Another TN member, BMR did a write-up on how to replace the rear wheel bearings. The link is farther down. He mentioned that he got his hub/bearing assembly from www.AutoPartsDirect2You.com
Hmmm, that name sounded familiar. I had done business with them in the past, and was pleased with the service, and quality of merchandise so I thought I'd give them a look see. So off to eBay to check it out. The prices were all over the place. The part number for my hub/bearing was 42450-33020 and turned up prices that ranged from $50.00 to $175.00.
I ended up getting this one:
I received confirmation promptly, got a tracking number, and the parts were delivered within a week, and it was indeed the hub/bearing assembly, just as pictured in the auction. Initially I was worried as to the quality of the part, or if it was really going to be just the bearing, not the hub/bearing assembly. When I opened the package, I was pleasantly surprised. It was the hub/bearing assembly and they were indeed brand new, and from what I could see, very good quality as well. The part number on the bearing was 512310 which matches a National bearing, a division of Fedral Mogul, so it should be OK. I was very pleased with the quality, service, and follow up from AutoPartsDirect2You. To be honest, I really don't understand how this bearing assembly can be sold for $50.00 shipped. It almost has to be a mistake, but there are other people selling them on eBay for the same price. They come with a lifetime guarantee, so I'll just keep my old ones around in case they self destruct. I really like the chromate finish on the studs. I wonder what the guys at Les Schwab will think when they take off the tires and see the gold studs staring at them. They'll probably figure I'm some sort of nut case, that had his wheel studs gold plated on his DD Camry.
There's one more thing that I needed to add to the bearing package. There is a large diameter, but very thin, O-ring, and it is a dealer only item. The O-Ring seals the bearing from the outside elements. It fits on the hub and seals against the backing plate. I could probably re-use the one that was in there, but since I'm going through this much work, why not replace it with a new one. The local Toyota dealer has a 10% discount on Sunday purchases, so I got there Sunday to order two O-rings. With my 10% discount the two O-rings cost $10.00 !! And they only had one of them. They have to back order the other one. It came in 4 days later, and I picked them both up. Two trips to the dealer for two O-rings. Sheesh.
So after all of that, here's the breakdown of the costs:
Two Bearing/hub assembly (AutoPartsDirect2You).......99.00
Rear Brake Lines (Autozone)...................................50.00
Rear Brake Pads (AutoZone)...................................38.00
Brake Pad Credit (Autozone lifetime warranty)...........-38.00
Emergency Brake Shoes (Autozone)..........................20.00
Two cans of Brake Cleaner (Autozone)........................6.00
Quart of Blake fluid (Autozone)..................................6.00
Turn 2 rotors (local machine shop)............................30.00
Two rear rotors (Pick-N-Pull).....................................15.00
Misc brake parts, springs, bolts (Pick-N-Pull)................9.00
Caliper Rebuild kit (ToyotapartsZone).......................39.00
Two O-rings hub/bearing assembly (local dealer)........10.00
No special tools are needed for this project. But if you want to replace just the bearings, and not buy the complete bearing/hub assembly then you will need a bearing puller, and a press. If you don't have a press, you can use your vise provided it will open wide enough. Otherwise just take it to a local machine or auto shop and have them press the new bearing on the old hub. More on the bearing re-build later. Here's pics of the parts involved in this project:
Disk brake pads, emergency brake shoes, brake lines, caliper re-build kit, and some brake grease for the pins.
Rear bearings, and O-rings along with a couple of cans of brake cleaner, and a quart of DOT 3 brake fluid.
Miscellaneous rear emergency brake parts, bolts, and springs. I also purchased some rubber caps to seal off the brake lines and to add to the bleeder screws since two of mine were missing caps.
Jack up the rear end of the car, and support it with jack stands. Remove the rear wheel. Use a wire brush to get all of the built up crud off the flare nut, and then apply a liberal amount of Liquid Wrench/PB Blaster to where the flexible brake line joins the hard brake line to help loosen things up.
Slide a 17mm wrench on the flats machined into the end of the flexible brake line, and a flare wrench to the hard line, and then a quick turn should break the flexible line free from the hard line. There will be brake fluid in the lines, so have a drain pan handy. You should be able to unscrew the flare nut from the flexible line with your fingers. After the brake line is free, remove the clip that holds the flexible brake line to the mounting bracket. There's a lip on the clip that you can slip in a screwdriver and wiggle it free.
To stop the hard line from leaking apply one of the rubber caps. Gently bend the brake line out a bit, and then push back the threaded nut on the hard line, and slip the cap over the hard line, and that should stop any dripping. If it leaks a little bit, tie a shop rag to the end of it to absorb any drips.
Remove the one bolt that attaches to the flexible line to the strut. Then remove the flexible line where it attaches to the brake caliper. Be careful not to mung up that bolt. It's hollow, and drilled. There are two copper washers on either side of the banjo fitting. Discard the washers, but save the bolt. The new brake line should come with new copper washers. I didn't have a metric flare wrench set, so I went to Harbor Freight and picked up a nice five piece set. Just for the fun of it I compared the Harbor Freight one to my SAE Craftsman flare wrench side by side. Much to my surprise the Harbor Freight had more meat on it than the Craftsman did.
You should always use a wrench specifically made for flare fittings. The brake flare nut is hollow and can distort easily. You should never use pliers, a crescent wrench, or open end wrenches to remove flare fittings. You can see that flare wrenches are much thicker around the opening than regular wrenches to compensate for the wrench being open on one end.
If you're not familiar with a flare wrench here's how it looks on the brake fitting. The image on the left shows the flare wrench on the flare nut. The image on the center, and right shows the end of the brake line and the flat machined into so you can hold it with an open end wrench, while you loosen the flare fitting with a flare wrench.
When I took a look at the brake lines that I got from Autozone, I was puzzled by the fact that the banjo fittings weren't the same. One had a fitting with concentric circles to mate with copper washers. This is what I'm used to seeing. But the other fitting was smaller, and had no concentric circles. I checked with Pep Boys and the Dorman set was identical to the Autozone set. So I just figured that that's the way the brake lines were designed. Made no sense to me.
Well I wasn't crazy, because when I took off the stock lines, they were the same configuration. One wasn't bigger than the other, both were exactly the same, but didn't have the concentric rings that the large one from Autozone had. Here's what the stock lines look like.
These pics are of the brake lines from Autozone. So they aren't even close to OEM specs, either in design or configuration. On top of that the brake lines from Autozone *don't* fit properly. They have a larger diamater mounting bracket fitting, that won't fit in the stock mount. If you add some washers to compensate then the brake line is pulled tight against the strut, and it will rub, and fail. The only way you could use Autozone's brake lines is not to bolt the brake line to the strut. And that isn't an option. Usually I've had very good luck with Autozone's parts fitting, The brake shoes, and pads from Autozone fit fine, but the brake lines were a bust. I took the brake lines back and got a refund.
So a word to the wise here. Save yourself some grief and lots of time by going with OEM parts for the brakes. I didn't and it added a lot of time to the project. One of TN's sponsors, Gary (Toyotapartsman) got me the right parts, quickly, and they only cost $10.00 more, total, than the brake lines from Autozone. The only reason I didn't order the re-build kit from Gary was that he was sick, and wasn't in the office, and I was in too big of a hurry to wait for him to get back to work. Big mistake on my part, and I paid for it by having to do things twice, and waste a lot of time in the process. So when it comes to brakes, call up Gary, tell him what you need, pay what he asks, and be done with it.
Next remove the two sliding pin bolts that hold on the caliper, and then remove the caliper from the brake rotor. Keep track of where each sliding pin bolt came from. The top one is different from the bottom one. One is called a "bushing" and the other is just a regular pin/bolt. The FSM says to put the "bushing" one of the top if you have a 1MZ-FE, which is what I have, and on the bottom if you have a 5S-FE. I don't see how it makes a difference, but followed the instructions and put the bushing bolt back in the top position.
Tip the caliper upside down and let the brake fluid drain out into the drain pan. Then remove the brake pads and discard them if you are going to replace them with new ones. If you are going to re-use the pads, just clean them up with some brake cleaner. You can see that the back pads don't wear much at all. The old pads had 75,000 miles on them and they almost measure the same thickness as the new ones. But since I had the rotors turned, I didn't want to re-use the old pads. Remove the two bolts that hold the caliper/pad mounting bracket.
Remove the rotor, by pulling straight out and that will expose the emergency brake shoes, and the backing plate which is connected to the bearing that will be replaced. If the rotor doesn't come right off, you will have to remove the small rubber stopper, and back off the star wheel adjuster until the brake shoes contract enough to remove the brake rotor. You will want to move the star wheel clockwise and that means inserting the spoon and prying up, which will move the star wheel clockwise. It's easy to figure out if you're doing it wrong...if the brake rotor will gets harder and harder to turn, well just go the other way.
I'll be returning this rotor for a core deposit, and using the turned ones I got at Pick-N-Pull. The brake specs for this setup is 9mm-10mm. If your rotor meets these specs and isn't scored you can either just reuse it, or have it turned. If you are going to re-use your rotor then you might as well clean it up a bit, or if you are going to have it turned, don't bother. The machine shop will clean it up after they machine it. When I got the rotors back from the machine shop they measured 9.75mm so there's plenty of metal left on the rotors. They only took off .25mm or .010", just enough to clean and true things up. Notice that the old brake rotor didn't have the rubber plug that the "new" one does. So check to see that the plug is there. That probably accounts for why there was so much crud inside the emergency brake drum, ya think?
Before removing the emergency brake shoes and all the clips and springs, I took a picture of everything, and then printed it out, so I could see where everything went when I went to put everything back together. It will save you much grief trying to remember where all the little parts go.
To remove the emergency brake shoes, first push, and turn to remove the spring keepers that hold on the brake shoes. Then remove the springs using pliers. Then remove the springs by rotating them out 90 degrees. Remove the actuator lever from the brake shoe. Don't loose the thin washer under the snap ring. Discard the old brake shoes. Clean all the parts up, and add a little grease to the star wheel pin.
Here's a comparasion of the old vs the new the emergency brake shoes. You can see that the emergency brake shoes look pretty much the same, as I expected, not very much wear at all.
Everything cleaned up and put back together, ready for the bearing to be installed.
Replacing the bearings looks to be harder than it really is. Just 4 bolts and the whole assembly comes off. BMR has a good write up on how he did it so I there's really no need for me to duplicate all his pics here. But I do want to point out the ABS speed sensor, that wasn't covered in BMR'w write-up.
Rotate the backing plate so the large hole lines up with the bolts that hold the bearing assembly to the car. There are 4 of them. They are at 10, 2, 4, and 8 o'clock positions. Rotate the large hole to each position, and remove the bolts. The bolts tend to get hung up inside the hub, so a magnet comes in handy to fish them out after they are loose. After all the bolts are removed, pull the hub/bearing assembly straight out. It should come out very easily. If it doesn't, check to see that you have removed all 4 bolts. If it's still stuck, a light rap with a plastic mallet will free the bearing assembly. Clean up any crud that might be in the cavity.
If you look in the cavity, in the center towards the front of the car you will see the ABS sensor. You can remove it by taking off the one bolt on the outside of the backing plate, or just wipe it clean from the inside. If you decide to remove it, as I have, then once the bolt is removed that holds the sensor in place, push with your index finger from the inside and wiggle the sensor with your other hand. The friction is because of an O-ring in the sensor body, so you only want to rotate the sensor a few degrees back and forth in case the O-ring is crudded up.
Once the O-ring is free the sensor will come right out. Clean up the sensor, use a round wire brush to clean out the hole it goes in, clean up the cavity that the sensor on the bearing fits into, and then apply a bit of grease between the outside mounting flange of the ABS sensor and the O-ring to help block outside crud from getting into the sensor area.
I really don't like the design of this bearing/hub combination. Why they didn't use a sealed bearing is just beyond me. There is a giant cavity between the bearing and the backing plate. There's nothing to hold the grease in the bearings. The old bearings were exposed and looked like they easily could have suffered from lack of grease. Last year I removed the bearings to replace the studs because the threads had become damaged over the years, from changing tires, etc. I just packed some wheel bearing grease in the cavity. It's probably unnecessary, but I did it anyway. I was tempted to stuff some rope seal into the cavity but the surfaces aren't machined to accept something like that, so that would have probably caused more problems that it solved. The ABS sensor is located in this empty cavity so along with the bearing not having a sealed supply of grease, the ABS sensor is directly exposed to the grease slinging around in that empty cavity. What was Toyota thinking? And sure enough when I looked at the bearing I had replaced and packed with wheel bearing grease, it was slung everywhere. It didn't seem to hurt the ABS operation, but it looked pretty messy in there.
If you are just going to replace just the bearing, here's how to get it apart. Using a bearing puller, remove the ABS ring. Then put the bearing assembly into a vise, and remove the large nut. It's on tight, so you might have to use a long breaker bar. Once the nut is removed you can remove the bearing using a bearing puller as shown. To install a new bearing, just press it on. If you don't have a press, you can do it in a vise. Otherwise you will need to take it to a machine/auto shop and have it pressed in there. It shouldn't cost very much, maybe $10-$20. Torque the nut to 90 ft/lbs. Using a punch, hammer the rim of the nut into the keyway machined on the shaft. Although this bearing swap can be done, it's a whole lot easier to just buy the bearing/hub combo and not bother with this.
Continued in Part 2