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Discussion Starter #1
Got a 97 RAV4 w/ 95K. After all that time, it's made me realize how reliable these things are - never broken down (knock on wood), only required normal maintenance.

However under moderate braking from highway speeds, the whole car shakes like crazy. I'm thinking the front rotors got warped somehow. Couple questions - maybe some of you have some insight in to this:

- Anything else, other than warped rotors, that may cause my RAV to shake under heavy braking?

- Do I only need brake pads (w/ anti squeal shims), new set of front rotors, and some disc brake grease to change them out? I've changed out the rotor pads on a Jetta before, but not the rotors themselves

- Figure I might as well do a rear brake inspection while I'm working on the car - anyone ever replace the shoes on drum brakes before? Is it difficult - or do I need special tools? The service manual makes mention of some, but I'm not sure if they are really needed.

Thanks all - any feedback is appreciated. That is awesome this forum is back online.

Steve

Oh, and one last question - anyone ever change out their fuel filter? I don't believe I've ever had it done, but it kind of looks like a pain in the ass.
 

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Sounds like it might be the rotors are warped. Unless something else is loose or bad wheel bearings.
Rear brakes - if you have done them on other cars, it is the same and no special tools, they might mean one to remove the retainers.
Replacing the fuel filter is a real interesting experience. Everyone needs to do it at least once!! :cry: It is a real tight place to get into, have fun!! I've done it three times and need to do it on my 2000 - I will wait a couple weeks, I am still mumbling about changing the timing belt and water pump.
 

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There are other things that can cause the front end to shake like that, but the great majority of the time it is just caused by warped rotors, so I would replace them first to see if it fixes the problem. Contrary to popular belief, rotor warping on passenger cars is caused most often by irregular wear or the overtightening of the lug nuts as opposed to heat buildup.

Stick with all OEM Toyota parts because they are the best for the Rav.

Drum brakes- if you have worked on them before you should be all set, because drum brakes are pretty much the same on all cars. However if you have no experience with them you should leave it up to a pro unless you feel confident that you can spend the time and do the job right. It's just a matter of taking the drums apart and putting all the parts back together in the right order.

Never had to deal with a fuel filter on my Rav because it doesn't have one in the traditional sense.
 

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Stelly said:
Replacing the fuel filter is a real interesting experience. Everyone needs to do it at least once!! :cry: It is a real tight place to get into, have fun!! I've done it three times and need to do it on my 2000 - I will wait a couple weeks, I am still mumbling about changing the timing belt and water pump.
Stelly, I've TRIED it once; but gave up. :( It is a very tight location under the fuse box and the tools that I had could not reach and loosen the lower nut. Actually, I got it turned about half way off; but it felt like I was stripping the threads. From your experience, is that normal? The top nut was easy to remove, but the bottom one was :evil: .

I have to agree, it is quite a task to replace the fuel filter. I am guessing that you would need 2 wrenches for the bottom nut. One to hold the unit still, and the second to untighten. :?:
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Water pump

Stelly said:
Sounds like it might be the rotors are warped. Unless something else is loose or bad wheel bearings.
Rear brakes - if you have done them on other cars, it is the same and no special tools, they might mean one to remove the retainers.
Replacing the fuel filter is a real interesting experience. Everyone needs to do it at least once!! :cry: It is a real tight place to get into, have fun!! I've done it three times and need to do it on my 2000 - I will wait a couple weeks, I am still mumbling about changing the timing belt and water pump.
Thanks all for your feedback. Hope the culprit to the shaking is something simple like the front rotors. Looking forward to replacing that fuel filter (not really)!

I've seen several posts throughout this forum about needing to replace the water pump. What does the water pump do? I've heard you need to replace this every 100k or so?
 
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Discussion Starter #6
if you replace the caliper, dont forget to bleed the brakes.
 
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If your steering shakes while braking, it's your front rotors.

If your brake pedalshakes lightly when you brake, it's your rear drum.
 

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Replaced my rotors this past fall. Mine felt like trying to stop a Jumbo Jet when coming off the ramp on the highway. Rotors will warp eventually anyway. Prematurely due to overtightening of the lugs for one thing and when they get thinned out later in their lifespan they are more affected by heat and will warp as a result.

Replace rotors and pads up front. Inspect the rear but be prepared to do some work with 95,00miles on them. They are not hard to do. The toughest part is removing the drum itself. A puller will come in handy for this. You may want one for the rotors on the front too. Mine were hard to break loose. Afterall we have salty roads here in the winter and corrosion is a factor.

On a 1-10 scale I would rate the overall job as a "6" mostly due to the fact that getting the drums/rotors off takes the most work sometimes. Remembering all the steps to putting it back together requires you not to be drunk or anything either. NAPA auto parts is where I got the best deal for parts. All fit well. Remember to save your backing plates for your new pads. You'll need them.

Full ceramic pad is O.E. on the RAV. Go with that again, they stay cooler. Rotors are basic, just put the round ones on. :lol: :lol:

Good luck. M.
 
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