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Discussion Starter #1
Front brakes are real simple to change. simply jack up and secure, remove the wheels, remove caliper holdowns, remove caliper, remove old pads, leave one pad against the caliper cylinder and open top of brake fluid reservoir and using a c-clamp turn clamp until the caliper boot cylinder is flat against the caliper then simply place in new pads and assemble.. easy stuff.
 

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errr, i've never done that. my concerns are taking off the caliper? is it really just that simple? unscrew the thing and pull it right off? I'm jus scared simply b/c brakes are something I can't afford to mess up on. Any tips for a chicken [email protected]#$ like me?
 

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You don't need to take the caliper off completely, you just take out the bottom bolt, loosen the top bolt, and swing the caliper upwards off the rotor. Then you can hold the caliper up to the strut with a zip tie or bungee cord.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
pyxy_567 said:
How about changing the Disc Brakes? do we need a mechanic for that? :roll:
Its all quite simple really. Disk are even easier to change than drums. Get yourself a manual for the rav4 if you are not real sure of yourself and have at it it really is simple to change the pads and rotors if needed. Should not take longer than 1/2 1 hour a side at the most. I can do mine in about 15 minutes from jacking up to jacking down. :D Piece of cake!!!
 
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Yup, its really easy. Jacking the vehicle up and down iwll be the hardest part.
I was worried the first time I changed 'em but it all went smoothly.

P.
 
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no, unless you remove the caliper from the car completely.
for pads and disc you don't have to unplug brake line from the caliper
 

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Discussion Starter #9
zoomie said:
Don't you need to change the brake fluid or somethign when you change brakes?..or let the air out of the brake lines or something?

There is no air in the brakes lines, just fluid. All you have to do is use a c-clamp and depress the caliper piston. Open top of brake fluid reservoir first and do it slowly, you may need to remove some fluid from reservoir first it may overflow somewhat. do not reuse it ever
 

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Changing your own brakes saves you some big bucks in such little time.

It also helps to have a 1/2 rachet or power bar when doing the job.
 

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Add to that list some copper grease to go on the shims to prevent it sticking to the pistons.

Pad changes are the easiest thing to do... drums I curse! Fortunately mine is all disc brakes.
 

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Just to add to what has been said, it is also highly recommended that you regrease the caliper guide pins (the long bolt covered with a rubber boot on which the caliper "floats"). Sure you can frequently get away with just a simple pad change but the oem grease fads away over the years and once those pins dry out, you will get sticking brakes where the pads drag on the rotor. This adds to premature, uneven wear and reduced fuel mileage.

Further, if it has been a while since you flushed and replaced your brake fluid, now is the time to do so. Your fluid collects debris and moisture, both of which will reduce braking effectiveness and adds to excessive wear on the brake system. If your brake resevoir fluid lacks clarity and is tea to coffee colored, it is way past time to replace the fluid.

Regardless, I understand that the typical brake system collects between 2-4% moisture content every year. So I completely flush and replace my system about every two years on each of my vehicles. This is not to difficult if you invest in a manual flusher such as a Mity-Vac tool for about $60. I've had one of these since I did my first brake job in the late '60's.
 
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What kind of brake pad is best for our RAV4? Should we get semi-metallic, organic, or ceramic?

Thanks.
 

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cyberegreen said:
What kind of brake pad is best for our RAV4? Should we get semi-metallic, organic, or ceramic?

Thanks.
There are many choices of pads out there. I have had good results with Carbon Friction semi-metalic pads and if you get them from Autozone they come with a lifetime warranty (read: free replacement, no questions asked). I actually used a set on a truck once for nearly 90k miles. Once they get low I just dropped them off at Autozone and they gave me free replacements.

Another brand that has worked well is the Raybestos ceramic pads. Both types are the low dust versions. Dont get fooled into buying the racing versions of pads they don't work so well on the street.
 

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Hey, something you all forgot to mention was the rotors. If your pads are worn down, then your rotor has been worn as well. You'll most likely need to get them at least resurfaced otherwise when you put in your new pads and step on the brakes for the first time, you get a lot of pulsing in the brake pedal.

If the rotors themselves are worn beyond the point of being able to get them resurfaced, then you will have to replace the rotors.

For resurfacing, you'll have to bring your rotors to a shop that has a brake lathe to have the rotors "cut". Doing you own brakes is a good way to save some money, but make sure you do the whole job that is necessary.
 

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zoomie said:
My mechanic/friend/neighbor told me that resurfacing actually costs roughly the same price as a new rotor. Some brembos out there go for $50 a pop.
I am not sure I would want a $50 rotor. Most quality aftermarket rotors are about $100+ from my experience. Of course I haven't priced any for the dinky RAV rotors.

You do make a good point. I have a friend who builds engines and does machine work for a living. He has the equipment for turning rotors, flywheels, etc. He charges about $35 for a set of rotors. WHile that won't get one a new set of rotors for that price, sometimes you need to consider the price of a new set over the price of turning the ones you have especially if you have your eye on a nice aftermarket set that are better than oem.
 

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price varies depending on where you live. In socal they can be as cheap as $50 each whereas in norcal and other places it's doubled the price. For something as specific as the rav4, it's usually even more tough to find. Shipping and handling charges are usually necessary to have it delivered.

Be aware there are some people that purchase stock brembos and drill the holes afterwards themselves.
 
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