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Discussion Starter #1
2003 Rav4 AWD. 226,000 miles. I bought it with 206,000 miles spring 2016, and the problem existed then.

When braking only, the rear left brakes pulse once per tire rotation. As you get slower, it gets more pronounced and also has a squeak noise once per rotation. Not metal on metal, not a squeal but a squeak, almost like rubbing your hand on a balloon.

DONE SO FAR
- Changed hubs and drums - still there, but not nearly as bad. - summer 2016
- Had the drums I took off turned, put them back on, still there - fall 2016
- Replaced with new Toyota drums. Still there. - Xmas 2016
- Replaced hub (again) with Timken - still there - Jan 10 2017

The brake cylinder seems to move freely back and forth. Parking brake is not bound up and is fully released (although on Jan 10, I did find that the cable had been mis-routed through the clip on the backing plate, I fixed it).

I have not removed the shoes or hardware ever, that is my next step, along with cylinders which are cheap.

Could this be CV shafts, or something in the rear diff? Other ideas? Maybe I fixed the problem but the residual issue on the shoes is still there?

Pic of brakes is before parking brake cable was fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Follow up.

Replaced shoes, hardware, cylinders. Turned the new drums. Everything cleaned, bled, and up to spec like new.

Much better but still some pulsing. No noises yet. Drive 20 miles so far.

Next step to turn front rotors, although I have no shimmy in steering wheel, so we will see.
 

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If you have pulse on your brakes it could be a warp rotor. I would just replace the rotors instead of resurfacing them. Rotors are so inexpensive these days so just get new ones.
 

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My problems seem to have been solved (1-2 days in).


My first mistake was to not change the shoes and hardware when I did the drums. I should have done it all at once.

Second mistake was not properly adjusting the shoes to the drums using the star wheel.

My third mistake was assuming it was ALL in the rear, and none in the front. Turning the (new-ish) rotors got rid of the last of the issue I believe.


I will know with certainty over the next days and weeks.
 
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