Rear Brakes out of Balance - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:44 AM
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Rear Brakes out of Balance

My 1997 RAV4 has just had its yearly inspection which it failed first time on account of the rear brakes being too far out of balance. The brakes were checked and found to be out of adjustment (the auto adjust system was not working) They were adjusted up but were still not as good as the other side but good enough to pass the test. The handbrake is perfectly balanced, has anyone any ideas what I should do to get the brakes balanced?
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 11:05 AM
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It could be that your brake discs from the rear (inside the drums are discs) are warped. That means they are bent and thus one of them is getting more grip then the other. This happens quite frequently with front discs, due to the big temperature differences, but only seldom happens to drums.

The only thing to resolve that is to replace it, even tough there are people claiming they can be shaved to become better, that is only a very temporary solution.
Notice that it's quite a costly repair to fix it because the rear drums are time consuming to take apart.

The handbrake is not influenced because it uses another part of the same discs, which cannot warp.

The effects of difference in braking is (much) longer braking distance, pulling to one side when braking, breaking of one of the discs with heavy usage (for instance: in mountains)
Greetz

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Driving a BMW318i with LPG at the moment. Had a 2.0 RAV4.1 1997 3drs 4WD euro model w/ABS dual sunroof blue two tone previously.
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shiny (12-04-2012)
#3 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 01:18 PM
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The handbrake uses one of the two brake shoes on each side (not sure what Pim was thinking of), a complete rear brake job would only take about an hour at a good workshop. That's to replace the shoes on both sides - you must do both together.
What may be happening though is you may have a leaky wheel cylinder and pressure may not be being fully applied to one of the sides. This is very easy to check, just pull the rubber covers back from the wheel cylinder on the side that you think is not working so good and see if there is any brake fluid, if there is then you have to either replace the cylinder rubbers or the whole cylinder. These are not very expensive and I would suggest the whole cylinder is changed.
If you know what you are doing and have the tools this is not a big job, if not then find a good garage that does, again it is no more than an hours work.
Pim is correct in suggesting that the brake drum may be out of 'round' and this is unusual. If they are then you could get the brake drums skimmed, you'll need to find a good workshop with a lathe.
You'll need to fix that self adjuster, perhaps you already have though!
Good luck.
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shiny (12-04-2012)
#4 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny View Post
My 1997 RAV4 has just had its yearly inspection which it failed first time on account of the rear brakes being too far out of balance. The brakes were checked and found to be out of adjustment (the auto adjust system was not working) They were adjusted up but were still not as good as the other side but good enough to pass the test. The handbrake is perfectly balanced, has anyone any ideas what I should do to get the brakes balanced?
I'm not sure what you mean by "balanced" but it's probably the drums are warped a little and making the brake pedal pulsate, similar to what the front discs usually do. I've actually had that pulsation after a mechanic long ago beat my drums to death, trying to get them off.
As said above you can probably have them "turned" on a lathe to smooth the surface or just replace them. It's real easy and they are not real expensive. You have to turn your adjusters back all the way ,then set them to rub ever so slightly against the new drums. "IF" this is the old style drum, then the more closely adjusted the shoes are to the drum , the less movement will be felt when using the E-brake....

Kevin

NB Canada

08 Rav Limited 4-cylinder

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shiny (12-05-2012)
#5 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 01:46 PM
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brakes

When I said my brakes were out of balance I meant the braking force being applied to the wheel, hope this clarifyes the problem.
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 05:06 PM
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Could be a bad secondary (slave) brake cylinder, or just in need of bleeding. Flush the lines too.

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 07:59 PM
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OP, when you have the rear tire(s) off, with the E-brake off, do the rear drums turn freely or do you hear slight brake rub? If they move freely with no sound, give your drums a good whack to remove them and you will see an adjuster as shown here http://www.reocities.com/tim_rav4/rav4/rav_brake.pdf on page 7. Turn the adjuster with a flat heard screwdriver to push the rear shoes outward. You will be able to tell which way to turn after a few "clicks". After you push them out a bit, put the drum back on and spin it... there should be a rubbing slight noise and/or resistance for where you want them. Once that goal is reached, put your drums back on and give it a test ride.


As others stated, bleed the brake lines if your pedal is spongy or low on stops.
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