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'02 Highlander V6
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Unfortunately the IS rear rotors are the only thing that fit, but the calipers themselves are soo close to fitting the rear knuckles from the 04-13. I still am planning on getting a machine shop to help me with that one, especially since I 100% know that these IS calipers can be made to fit all 04-13 Highlanders and the 04-09 RX. In the mean time, at least the 08-13 brakes will fit all 04-07 models as well! The backing plate is a little smaller but it doesn’t interfere thankfully.
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
VERY good news for the swap! I’m not going to have to machine anything after all! Just get the 04-07 rear control arms and 04-07 ABS sensors and you’ll be good to go. I will be installing the 04-07 setup and 08-13 rear knuckles and brakes once my LSD arrives!

346672


346673
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Situation is not looking good for my rear control arms, as the bolts are rust-welded in place and my attempts have already costed me an impact socket. I'm going to set aside a day to just cut them all out and refresh everything. I'm waiting on a few bolts before I do it. It WILL get done though, and I will document the process. I'm guessing I may need to adapt the 04-13 knuckles to fit the 01-03 parking brake, but we'll see.

On a side note, I found some interesting news about the front brakes of the 2010-2015 RX from the Clublexus.ru forums. Some Euro-spec models apparently got 328x34mm discs, with unique calipers. The same size as my 2nd gen fronts, but a whole 6mm wider! That'll help for the track days (or the Autobahn, LOL)! I'm probably not going to do this upgrade due to the parts availability, but anyone in Europe or Australia will be able to get their hands on these for a more affordable price. These have been confirmed to use regular 2nd gen RX / 3rd gen RX brake pads along with fitting exactly like the 2nd gen fronts while still being able to hide behind a 17" rim.

Rotor: 43512-48120
Caliper FR: 47730-48160
Caliper FL: 47750-48160


Edit: The fronts are holding up great so far! Would highly recommend this to anyone who knows they won’t be running rims smaller than 17”. I don’t feel any extra weight while cornering, and modulation with these bad boys is simply fantastic! I may be biased by coming from seized, beater calipers, but I have never felt more confident in the brakes of my Highlander. This car brakes a whole lot better than my 2014 RX350 with the same setup (same pads and rotors - Akebono ProACT w/ Centric Premiums). The 2004-2006 ES330 calipers and pads are still an option for people who want dual piston while still having 16” rims.


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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Success!! 8 hours of BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS, a broken breaker bar and lots of choice words, I found that the rear 04-07 control arms and rear 08-13 knuckles are a direct bolt in for the 01-03 Highlander! This also means it’ll also fit for a 04-07 Highlander as well.

These rear brakes will not fit the 01-03 dust shield, so it’ll need to be bent into place. Will update post on fitment of 04-07 dust shield soon as I have one lying around.

The car is not drivable yet, but I will also update the post when everything is installed! ABS from 04-07 fit the car and the 08-13 knuckle, CV axle fit, everything fits! So awesome. If you car is rusty, get ready to CUT and GRIND all of that junk off! Bring your meanest pry bars, chisels and a big ol’ hammer for some extra persuasion.


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Automotive tire Tread Wood Rim Audio equipment


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'02 Highlander V6
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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Bad news for the swap! But not too bad because I wanted to do this anyway. You will need 2004-2007 rear CV axles for a proper fit in the knuckle, I couldn’t tell very well last night in the dark. The flange opening for the 04-13 models is much larger. I will need to pull out my rear diff flanges to be able to run these CV axles, but I wanted to do it anyway as it is a superior design that can withstand more torque. I also wanted to convert my LSD to that style too so it can be used in the 2004-2013 Highlander or 2004-2009 Lexus RX.


Bicycle part Rim Automotive tire Machine Auto part





Unfortunately these 2008-2013 brakes won’t fit the 2004-2007 rear dust shield either, which is the same size as the 2001-2003 one. You will need to bend the outer edges back, trim them off, or let the rust take care of it in my case, hahaha!

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01-03 rotor fits


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06-13 IS350 rotor (same diameter as 2008-2013 HL) doesn’t fit


With that, I can no longer reccomend this swap to anyone but the most whacked/determined people who are willing to put aside some big work. Fortunately, this setup will be used for many years down the line in other vehicles, so in my situation, it's worth it to me. Stay tuned for updates, this will get done sooner than later!
 

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Kluger (Highlander) CV - 2006 - 4WD
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There you go again showing off your BBK!

I wanted to go this route both front and back but wouldn't you know...along with wheel spacers being illegal in Australia, and wheels which are more than 1" wider than OEM... if you want to upgrade your brakes you need to get an engineer's certificate. We're no fun at all here!
 

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Kluger (Highlander) CV - 2006 - 4WD
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Nooooo!!! Even if it’s an OE part? That’s just terrible!
You can upgrade to the highest grade factory options. Say you have a base model and factory options provide bigger brakes/wheels then you can upgrade to that no problem. After that you need an engineer's certificate. It's actually a bit more nuanced than that and also varies from state to state also but something to be mindful about. So different springs are ok but coilovers and wheel spacers are a no. 😢
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
This is just getting worse and worse! If I had known I would run into this much trouble, I wouldn’t have bothered with this swap! Just when I thought I had it in the bag, I got screwed right at the end! 2001-2003 AWD owners beware!

2004-2007 control arms? Fits the crossmember and knuckles. 2004-2007 ABS sensor? Plugs right in, and fits like a glove to the body and to the new knuckle, 2004-2007 CV axles? Fits the 08-13 knuckles, and are the right length for the ca- HANG ON! These damn things aren’t fitting very well into the diff!


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Attached a slide hammer to a bracket I had lying around. What a coincidence on how perfect the fit was

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Took quite a few tugs, she was in there good! Strut had to come out for clearance

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Got that sucker out! Insert victory cry here


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Upon removal, the old flange has an EVER so slightly different shape! I was getting a bad feeling this was going to end up like the outer tie rods!

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Original CV axle, nice and recessed in the diff

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New 04-07 axle, see the gap? Not sure if I’m pressing hard enough, or if something is up here. I will be asking my friend who swapped a 2001-2003 diff into his 04-07.



Ugh... This is rough. I haven’t been able to drive my Highlander for a while now, and I’m at the mercy of this project until it is complete. These are the costs of going into uncharted territory - but I still will not give up. At this point, I am even considering buying a 2004-2013 rear differential, and rebuilding it as an Torsen limited slip with guts from a 1999-2000 Lexus RX300. For now, those upgraded rear brakes are taunting me while the car sits in pieces!

Edit:

I feel like I may have missed a step, maybe a piece is still attached to the differential that is interfering with the fitment of the new axle? When I pulled out the OE axle flange, I noticed that there was no snap ring attached at the end, unlike my new 2004-2007 CV axle.

41336-14010 - This is the number for the dust cover, but it is shared between the 2001-2013 Highlander
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
So I made a screw up, but the good news is that the CV axle should go in with a few taps according to my buddy who swapped a 2001-2003 diff on his 2006. The mistake was assuming the cam adjustment bolt is the same, while in fact, it is a different for 2004-2007 models compared to 2001-2003.


Left is 01-03, right is 04-07. The hole is clearly smaller
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01-03 cam adjustment


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04-07 cam adjustment, notice how it is thinner?
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
The 2004-2007 control arms and 2008-2013 rear knuckles and brakes are on, but I’m stilling having issues with the CV axle, it actually popped out of place on my test drive. The car can roll, but cannot drive.


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I was a little disappointed to see that the 2nd gen pads are hardly any bigger than the 1st gen, and I was downright pissed when my friend’s BRZ rear pads were noticeably larger. However, I can’t be too upset as I’m mainly doing this for cooling and because my rear brake calipers are leaking from the seals. I have no experience with the 2004-2007 rear calipers, but these put the POS 2001-2003 ones to shame. Way easier to service, way lighter (aluminim construction) and more pad choices. That’s a win-win for me!
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Of course Toyota had to go change crap again with the parking brake, the holes are spaced out a bit wider on the 2004-2013 rear knuckles. A bit of grinding with the dremel solved that issue. No problems with the 2001-2003 AWD parking brake, it mated straight up and worked with the larger parking brake shoes that 2004-2013 Highlanders use.
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All done, a little dremel goes a long way! MAKE sure to use M6 stainless steel bolts here! These came out like butter after going through a Canadian winter and look brand new. I’m willing to bet that regular bolts would have snapped off and I’d be eff’d until I bought a whole new parking brake cable, or drilled and re-tapped the holes due to the bolt snapping off.
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Wheel on. The 2nd gen brakes have plenty of space to even clear a rim size at a minimum of 16”. The knuckles had the same stud length as my original, the wheel fit the knuckle just as it did originally, and there was no difference in the position of the wheel at all. The only difference is that the knuckle is noticeably beefier than the 04-07 ones, and the dust shield is far larger.
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Stay tuned for when I get this thing done!
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Alright so some good news and a big relief here. The car isn't back up and running yet, but I have a game plan now and I know that the parts will fit. This swap is 100% doable without swapping a 2004-2013 rear diff, and therefore is LSD compatible.

Gas Drill accessories Tool Cylinder Engineering

This is an OEM 2004-2007 rear CV axle, it has the exact same profile as the 1999-2003 RX300/HL CV flanges that go into the diff, as well as some slots protruding from it to use a hammer or "brass bar" as Toyota says in the Highlander repair manual to help leverage it into place. This is COMPLETELY absent from my new 2004-2007 CV axle, and isn't helping me get this darn thing in.

Gas Auto part Machine Space Metal

As you can see here, the Trakmotive's CV axle has a different profile and is lacking those useful "slots" to mechanically leverage it into the diff. It also has a different profile and looks like it was built on a Friday compared to the OE unit. With that, I cannot recommend Trakmotive's rear CV axles for our cars.


Now as for this sticky situation, I tried installing the OE CV flange and it also won't go in, so I'm lead to believe that the snap ring is still stuck in the diff and I just need to get it out or somehow get the axle over it. After that, I'll be the first 01-03 model to have an entire 04-07 rear suspension setup and 08-13 rear brakes! Stay tuned!
 
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