Toyota Nation Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The 2nd gen brake calipers, rotors and pads fit our 1st gen Highlanders! This was installed on a 2003 FWD 4-cyl. I measured my Highlander’s front caliper spacing to be 155mm, then I measured my 3rd gen RX350 (same brakes as 2nd gen HL) to be 155mm as well.

This upgrade was first discovered by the Camry guys, then the 2nd gen RX owners. Seems like all K-platform cars use the same caliper spacing up front. Will report back with test drive results soon.

Edit:

2001-2007 front brake specs:

- Caliper -

Piston count: 1
Piston size: 64mm
Type: Cast iron, Floating

- Pads -
Pad height: 59.5mm
Pad width: 138.8mm

- Rotor -
Rotor diameter: 296mm
Rotor thickness: 28mm
Type: Vented


2008-2019 front brake specs:

- Caliper -

Piston count: 2
Piston size: 44.5mm
Type: Cast iron, Floating

- Pads -
Pad height: 59.3mm
Pad width: 167.1mm

- Rotor -
Rotor diameter: 328mm
Rotor thickness: 28mm
Type: Vented




331226
 

·
02 Highlander
Joined
·
29 Posts
Great info! Subbed for the follow up.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thankfully we have some options for the rear too! For 2001-2003 FWD owners you are stuck with the stock rear brakes. (There is a way though if you want to swap knuckles)

2001-2003 AWD owners can use the 1999-2003 RX300 rear calipers which had a slightly larger 40mm piston over our 38mm one, as well as more brake pad area. The RX300 had the same rear rotors and knuckles/spindles as us.

2004-2007 FWD or AWD owners can use the 2004-2009 RX rear calipers for a boost up from 38mm to a 41mm piston. This time, the pads AND rotors are shared between the models as well as the knuckles.

Now for the interesting stuff! If you want the 08-13 rear brakes, that is possible too. I’m currently tracking down some rear spindle assemblies for a 2008-2013 AWD Highlander or 2009-2015 AWD Venza. The 2nd gen has a 310mm diameter rear rotor vs our 285mm one. Both 10mm thick and solid unfortunately. However, the 2nd gen has much nicer aluminum rear calipers with large pads and a 41mm piston. Parking brake and a hat size of 190mm is shared between the 2004-2007 models. I plan on swapping all of that over as well.

That spindle upgrade should work on all 1st gens. If you had a FWD, then you’d need a FWD knuckle of course. Someone on here with a 2004 Camry took a 2008 Highlander FWD knuckle and actually performed that rear brake upgrade on his car!

My ultimate goal is to get the 2008 IS350 rear brakes and calipers onto the car and eliminate our wimpy rear brakes once and for all. The IS has a 310mm diameter and 18mm wide vented rotor, and a cast iron caliper with a 44mm piston. This rotor has a 190mm hat like a 2004-2013 model as well. The only difference is that it sits around 2mm shorter due to the hat being that much shorter - hoping that doesn’t warrant the use of spacers, which I want to avoid if possible.

I’d love to get the Highlander some beefy brakes after doing the suspension up, I want this thing to be able to do some prolonged hard braking if I need it to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I need new rotors and pads on my 2003. Do you think this route is a significant upgrade over the slotted rotor idea.
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Finally a follow up! Better later than never! Obviously, 16” OE steel wheels couldn’t fit anymore due to contact with the larger caliper. This is a known fact for the 2nd gens, and I couldn’t see why it would be any different for a 1st gen with the same hub spacing and offset.


333655

16” OE steelies with the original front brakes. It’s already tight with those so no way the “BBK” will clear that!

He ended up going with some 17” 5th gen RAV4 steelies for his new wheels that came with some new tires to replace the worn Goodyears - nice deal! Unlike all the prior RAVs, The 5th gen RAV4 has the same offset as our Highlanders so these can be used without any issue at all.

333656


The 17” RAV4 rims had no issue clearing the larger brakes! The Highlander went on its maiden voyage today and everything feels great up there! Brake bias is good, no rubbing and braking power is FANTASTIC over those original worn calipers!


Now to figure out the rear brake situation for myself. After confirming with measurements and part numbers, the 2nd gen Highlander knuckle spacing for the rear of 2004-2007 models is surprisingly the same. Same parking brake, hat size and overall rotor height as 04-07 models as well. The rotor is dimensionally the same except for having a 310mm diameter vs 288mm. Pad surface is vastly increased, piston size is bumped up to 41mm over 38mm, and the caliper is much wider and aluminum! Time for me to find some rear knuckles to swap on!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
That is all really neat but some questions. Will this affect the anti lock function? Also do you need to do anything with the front to rear balance? It always concerns me when working on anything that might affect the factory “computer“.
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far he has had no issues with ABS which is awesome. It comes on predictably like stock and the brake pedal feeling is very similar/the same. The 2nd gen has the same size master cylinder as our cars too so I assume these brake calipers were also designed for a similar system.

I think the main advantage you would get out of these would be less brake fade if you lived in the mountains, as well as the benefit of having way more pad selection due to Toyota speccing these brakes on many different cars.

The rear brakes are not as big of an upgrade compared to the front, but if you have a 2004-2007, it is definitely worth going down that route if your brake calipers were worn out. These aluminum calipers are much nicer to work with due to how light they are.
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fronts on! MAN these bite! Then again, I had a seized caliper and I got new pads and rotors. Still, the car has never braked this hard, and I know the feeling of new OEM calipers for this thing. MUCH better and adequate for a car this heavy!

335719


335720


335721


Rears going on shortly!

335722
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have run into a minor obstacle, but it’s nothing that is going to stop me from pulling this off.

These knuckles are significantly beefier than my stock knuckles, and the control arms mount differently. On the 01-03 models, the bushings are a sort of “heim joint” built into the arm. However, on the 04-13 models the control arm clamps onto the bushing which is now mounted to the knuckle, very similar to the trailing arm.

336589

Control arms on my 02 mounted to the stock knuckle

336590

Photo from my friend. This is a comparison of an 01 AWD rear knuckle beside an 06 AWD one. Notice the differences? You would have to flip the control arm around to get it to mount up, no biggie.

After comparing some measurements and pictures with my friend, it seems as if there is NO difference between the 2004-2007 knuckles and the 2008-2013 ones! This will be confirmed soon as he will try to fit 2nd gen calipers onto the rear, while my plan of attack is to pop out those knuckle bushings and flip the control arms around.

The good news is I sanded them down and have already primed & painted them, so these bad boys are almost ready to be installed!

336591


336592
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Looks good. thinking of doing some of this on my 2003 AWD V6. So the later front brakes will more or less bolt on if you buy the rotors pads and calipers? On the parts sites they ask if your 2008 up is USA or Japan made for those parts. What ones did you use? Will stock replacement hoses work? Think the rear brakes upgrade for me attempting more trouble than they are worth. Will stock replacement brake hoses work?
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Stock hoses & replacements will work. They’re more or less in the same spot and the guide tab on the hose will plug right in as well. I went with the Japan calipers, but the US ones are the same appart from a slight casting difference. I would suggest to everyone to not bother with the rear upgrade unless you are an 04-07 model or a certified nut like me. I’m in the process of trying to fit 06-13 IS350 rear brakes on the back which represent the 08-13 brakes but are vented.

I will be picking up some IS350 rotors soon and will update this post to see how they fit my new knuckles. The good news is that my friend confirmed that the 04-07 knuckles are indeed cast the same as the 08-13 ones, at least in terms of brake spacing. This means any 04-07 owner can just throw on the larger and superior 2008-2013 calipers/rotors/pads. However, the IS350 brakes are definitely a step up if I can get them to fit.

340401


340402
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
340431


340432


Well, what do ya know! Here are some 06-13 IS350 rear rotors fitting an 04-13 knuckle like a glove. Swept area is identical (despite appearance), hat is identical and I can still adjust the parking brake! The Highlander parking brake dust cover/rubber grommet piece won’t fit anymore, as the IS one has a larger hole and there is a slight overlap with the knuckle which can be ground off. I may end up doing that as it won’t do any harm and will allow me to plug the hole and keep corrosion out of my nice knuckles.

340433


340434


Step #1 complete! Now it’s time to source out a caliper!



Edit: Some more good news! The spacing between the top of the IS rotor’s hat and the wheel stud spacing is indentical to the Highlander rotors down to the mm! This will ensure that your rear wheels will sit as they should with the IS rotors mounted up.


340533


340534
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
340689


340690


Some bad news for the IS rear brakes. The IS caliper (250 caliper shown here - same spacing as 350) is just a LITTLE too short! I’m considering getting a machine shop to fill in the holes, space it out to the proper size and convert it to M12 x 1.25 for the knuckle mounting. For now, I am just going to be running the 08-13 brakes once I get the knuckles on.
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks CR. The pursuit of a better alternative part is definitely a passion of mine, especially when the price of it doesn’t (or hardly) exceed the cost of the original part. I usually always save projects like this for when the part is failing too to save money. In my case, my OE rear calipers are seizing up and are leaking.

Stuff like this makes me so glad that even our cars have a potential for upgraded parts and aftermarket support.
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6
Joined
·
589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Some more good news to offset the bad. Like I suspected, the rear brakes bolt directly on to 04-07 knuckles. I picked some 04-07 rear knuckles today from a member of the 1st gen FB group. The calipers bolted right on!

341102


More good news is that these 08-13 brakes clear 16” wheels with plenty of space to spare.

341103


341104
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Let me make sure I got this right- the IS calipers and rotors fit the 04-07 knuckles? Sounds like a real upgrade.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top