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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, as both of my calipers seizing up and rusted to oblivion, I figured it was a good time for a full front brake overhaul / upgrade.

First, brake fluid flush.

Second, new brake hoses all around.

Third, upgrade the front calipers / rotors / pads. I was using this as my guide:

https://rav4gtt.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/front-brake-theory-pt-2-5-stage-1-brake-upgrade/

I'm sure a lot of you are familiar.

The Celica ST caliper bracket fit perfectly on the knuckle, no problems at all. Brake hoses lines right up. Pads (turns out the Celica uses the same pads as the RAV) fit right in. OEM steelie 16" tire fit with no rubbing.

So far so good, right?

Well, after getting both sides on and tight, bleeding the brakes, I tried an initial test run, forward and backwards in the driveway. I am getting some serious metal on metal screeches, and I can't seem to figure out exactly where.

I see no rub marks on the inside of the wheel, so that's good. Brand new Lexus RX300 rotors show no unusual scratches.

I realize we aren't talking about the standard setup here, and it's likely none of you have experience with this combination of parts, just fishing for some ideas before I take the wheels back on and go hunting.

Thanks in advance, everyone.
 

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If the wheel's not touching anything, it has to be the disc/rotor touching suspension or brake caliper/pads. Have you spun the wheel with it jacked up to look for it?

Glad to see someone's trying it, I was looking at this myself only last week. Let us know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If the wheel's not touching anything, it has to be the disc/rotor touching suspension or brake caliper/pads. Have you spun the wheel with it jacked up to look for it?

Glad to see someone's trying it, I was looking at this myself only last week. Let us know how you get on.
Well, I couldn't find any obvious spots, so I took it all apart. Found just a hint of wear on the caliper bracket: http://i.imgur.com/522jjhC.jpg

You can barely see it, but it looks like the top of the rotor edge is rubbing against a few small spots on the bracket. I don't have a grinder around, I will figure out something tomorrow and report back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Today's update

Still having troubles today.

Picked up a grinder, took off a bit where it the bracket was showing wear and now the rotor top clears it.

However, I also noticed that the raised portion of the bracket where the two 17 MM bolts go through comes into contact with the rotor. I took that part down as well, but there still seems to be some contact issues. I can't decide if I should putter around with this until it fits or move down to a smaller rotor.
 

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Maybe you could get made a small 1 - 3 mm thick wheel spacer, to fit between the hub and disc/rotor, to space it away from that part of the bracket. To see if it would work, temporarily fit a washer on each wheel stud, see if it does the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe you could get made a small 1 - 3 mm thick wheel spacer, to fit between the hub and disc/rotor, to space it away from that part of the bracket. To see if it would work, temporarily fit a washer on each wheel stud, see if it does the trick.
That's an awesome idea, thanks. It really just a MM or so off, I can turn the wheel, but it's giving me a lot of resistance.
 

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I just completed two front pad replacements (1997 and 2005) and several things come to mind. Make sure the pressure pucks in the caliper are fully compressed (probably easy in a new caliper as they come compressed). An adequate-size "C" clamp is handy for that.There are two brass brackets that go between the pad backing plate and the caliper. They are tracking fittings that allow the metal backing plate for the pads to move freely without wearing out either the backing plate or the caliper. In the '97 there was a top brass bracket and a bottom brass bracket and were not interchangeable; one went on TOP and one went on BOTTOM. This meant that the metal pad backing plate was also "up and down" specific: the two tabs are NOT the same and all four pads must be placed correctly. The '05 had backing plates that were the same on both ends so there was not an "up and down" specific orientation. Some pads have anti-squeal pads already in place but these two had ones that were necessary to replace in the order they were removed. I am of the Old School and use a SMALL DAB of anti-squeal goop on the plates. On old calipers (not being replaced; just the pads) those brass brackets should be scrubbed CLEAN and a THIN film of high-temperature brake-component-specific grease (HOT environment and regular grease will burn off) applied where the metal tab from the backing plates ride. Once everything is torqued down (refer to maintenance manual for proper torque values), make sure the PAD moves freely in the brass brackets; the only thing that "retracts" the pads away from the disk is lack of pressure from the brake puck pushing on the pad. Then make sure the ROTOR moves freely with everything installed. This is easy to do if the car is in neutral but not necessary as there is plenty of play in the drive shaft for testing small movements. These are probably things you have already considered but are things that hang people up when trying to do a 'simple' brake pad change. Ain't taking care of our darlings fun?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just completed two front pad replacements (1997 and 2005) and several things come to mind. Make sure the pressure pucks in the caliper are fully compressed (probably easy in a new caliper as they come compressed). An adequate-size "C" clamp is handy for that.There are two brass brackets that go between the pad backing plate and the caliper. They are tracking fittings that allow the metal backing plate for the pads to move freely without wearing out either the backing plate or the caliper. In the '97 there was a top brass bracket and a bottom brass bracket and were not interchangeable; one went on TOP and one went on BOTTOM. This meant that the metal pad backing plate was also "up and down" specific: the two tabs are NOT the same and all four pads must be placed correctly. The '05 had backing plates that were the same on both ends so there was not an "up and down" specific orientation. Some pads have anti-squeal pads already in place but these two had ones that were necessary to replace in the order they were removed. I am of the Old School and use a SMALL DAB of anti-squeal goop on the plates. On old calipers (not being replaced; just the pads) those brass brackets should be scrubbed CLEAN and a THIN film of high-temperature brake-component-specific grease (HOT environment and regular grease will burn off) applied where the metal tab from the backing plates ride. Once everything is torqued down (refer to maintenance manual for proper torque values), make sure the PAD moves freely in the brass brackets; the only thing that "retracts" the pads away from the disk is lack of pressure from the brake puck pushing on the pad. Then make sure the ROTOR moves freely with everything installed. This is easy to do if the car is in neutral but not necessary as there is plenty of play in the drive shaft for testing small movements. These are probably things you have already considered but are things that hang people up when trying to do a 'simple' brake pad change. Ain't taking care of our darlings fun?
Thanks for the great write-up. Unfortunately, the rotor is sticking with the pads out.

I did about three hours worth of light grinding and filing, and have got it to the point where the rotor turns freely... until the last tighten of the bottom bracket bolt (the 17 MM).

I seriously can not figure out where it might be hitting. I've taken a flashlight in there, and I can see light come through on all the edges. Needless to say, I am pretty frustrated.

I thought that moving down a bit in rotor size might be the easy answer, but there are not too many options that have a similar diameter and thickness.

I'm about to pull the plug on the whole enterprise and just get some Rav calipers back on there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe it's the ends of the bolts? Try adding another, or a thicker washer under the heads.
I have already ground down the ends of the two bolts and they clear the rotor just fine. At this point I am worried about the structural integrity of the bracket, I mean you can only grind off so much...

Once it gets a bit warm today, I am going all-in to see what's going on down there. I am gonna put a bit of food coloring or something around the bracket, hopefully it can help show me where it's dragging.

I hope to be able to find out if this setup works or not today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The final word on the Celica ST caliper/pad RX300 rotor upgrade

Failure.

I am sure another person that is smarter than me and with better tools can do it, but I give up.

The caliper piston popped out on me as I was bleeding the brakes. ARRRRRGH

Gonna throw it all in a box and start over with regular RAV4 replacement pistons. And pads. And rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Enough was enough, I just can't have it up on jack stands for days on end.

I am positive that it can be done. It can be done with zero modifications if the rotor's diameter was a few mm smaller (the RX300's was 296) and a few mm thinner (RX300 was 28mm)

Trouble is that I couldn't find a rotor that small with the same hub pattern.
 

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Major bummer. Sorry to hear it didn't work out as it sounded like a great idea. The original stop the car just fine, as you know. There is good news here, even if it was at your expense: someone else may consider trying this and NOT go through with it. OR someone may be inspired by your problems and tackle the issue just to discover a way to make it work. Car On Jacks for and extended time making things work makes me crazy. There are some things now I will probably not tackle in the future. Thanks for the posts!
 

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Bringing this one back from the dead.
Anyone had success with this combination yet?
I'm very eager for an upgrade that still allows me to retain the factory biasing valve and 16s.
 

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It occurs to me this could work if you could machine the rotors down slightly. I have no idea if this is safe, but I don't see why it would be too difficult.
 
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