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Hi everyone. In the process of upgrading the front brakes on my 2012 FWD base 2.5 to the larger set from the 3rd row and V6 models. Got my pads and rotors locally from someone who ordered the wrong parts for their 2.5... sometimes I really like when people order their own parts wrongly! I didn’t have a reasonably priced local source for the calipers though so I got the Power Stop L3194/5 from RockAuto. All was well, and even with the border closure I received the parts in 4 days (got them Friday). However yesterday I opened the package to check the parts to prepare for installation today, and was surprised to find that there were defects (2!) with the Right caliper L3195. There is a dent in the cylinder housing wall (left circle) which appears to have been present before rebuilding, and when they rebuilt it, they installed the O-ring under the steel retaining ring (right side circle). The dent doesn’t appear to be deep enough to conflict with the movement of the piston, and can be gently tapped back out if needed. However the steel band over the O-ring is another question for me - last time I replaced a caliper was in 2001, an D.C. I didn’t rebuild it myself.

I’ve watched some YT videos on rebuilding a caliper but want to see if there are any special tools or quirks about doing this to the RAV’s larger caliper. Anyone attacked this before and can offer some insight? My mechanical comfort/confidence level is high, and have done all my own work for years (except mounting tires on wheels).

And I’ve looked at returning the part too, but Rock and Amazon are both out of stock right now, and local prices are double that of online (CDN parts prices are legitimately stupid - local discounted price is $200 including core per side, online is $100 per side). And of course I have no core to return as I’m upgrading.

Thanks for any instruction you can offer.
 

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Have you tried autozone? They are $67 US each plus core. And there is an extra 15% off coupon for $75 for ordering online and store pick up in the US. Most of the time the part counter person don‘t know/care for a matching core as long as you are returning something similar later.

Or you can try to do what I did. Waiting for an amazon warehouse return deal. I got my rear caliper for $17 shipped. Both sides of my rear calipers leaked like crazy within weeks one after another a few years back. Got the first one from the zone and second one from amazon warehouse.
153877

actually I also got both front calipers from amazon warehouse deals a few weeks back for $38 and $40.

153878
153879
 

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Foryota, try Partsavatar which has calipers $60-$65 for the bigger size. They are in Ontario (Brampton). Free shipping on orders over $99. Heavy or large item auto parts are very expensive to ship from the US to Canada and this place is reasonable. I have ordered some parts recently with good result. Unfortunately there is a $134 core deposit but maybe they can accept your old ones?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Have you tried autozone? They are $67 US each plus core. And there is an extra 15% off coupon for $75 for ordering online and store pick up in the US. Most of the time the part counter person don‘t know/care for a matching core as long as you are returning something similar later.

Or you can try to do what I did. Waiting for an amazon warehouse return deal. I got my rear caliper for $17 shipped. Both sides of my rear calipers leaked like crazy within weeks one after another a few years back. Got the first one from the zone and second one from amazon warehouse.
View attachment 153877
actually I also got both front calipers from amazon warehouse deals a few weeks back for $38 and $40.

View attachment 153878 View attachment 153879
Thanks, but those options work much better for the majority of our membership in USA. In my case though, the border is closed to vehicle traffic right now so I really have no way to shoot across to AZ. I live 1 hour from Port Huron, MI, and it would be a good option in normal times (taking the Golf, total fuel cost would be less than shipping charges!)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Foryota, try Partsavatar which has calipers $60-$65 for the bigger size. They are in Ontario (Brampton). Free shipping on orders over $99. Heavy or large item auto parts are very expensive to ship from the US to Canada and this place is reasonable. I have ordered some parts recently with good result. Unfortunately there is a $134 core deposit but maybe they can accept your old ones?
Thanks DL, I’ll look into that. We have a local rebuilder in town but they were out of stock on the big ones, same with the JY that carries 4.3 models. Might take a drive at lunch today and see what the rebuilder would charge me to re-rebuild this one, and put that forward to RockAuto, to avoid the delay. Really want to do this job this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well good news. Just got back from the local rebuilder after getting their opinion. He said it should be fine. He did reseat the steel clip and O-ring but had no concerns about the dent. Bonus points for him too, didn’t charge me for the work either!

Thanks for the tips guys. DL, I’m going to keep an eye on that Brampton supplier as I’ll be looking for the 3rd row springs soon, and the jobbers have limited access to stock. Have a great week!
 

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Bonus points for him too, didn’t charge me for the work either!
You didn't offer a beer? ;) Or the equivalent in paper, without a receipt.
Seriously now, I usually leave a good review on google maps. Or whatever you guys are using over there.
 

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Well got the brakes on today. What a crap show! When buying rotors, don’t believe the hype about coated rotors and being better suited to winter use! These pieces of &@$€! Were stuck so hard to the hubs that I could not get them off with a mallet, a puller, or a torch! Even all at once!(Setting tension with the puller, heat the rotor up, and then bang with the mallet). I even called the mechanic I used to apprentice with, and he could only suggest what I’d already done. In the end the only thing that worked was jacking up the RAV more, setting a jackstand under the hat part of the rotor, and putting the vehicle weight on it, THEN using the mallet from behind. Wanted a beer so badly after that, but I don’t have a drink during the work, only after.

In the end, they look pretty great! Got all the brake fluid bled out too (T says change every 4 years, I’m at 7.5 now). Took it out for a drive after, and wow, can definitely feel the difference with the fresh fluid and the larger (newer) bits. I’m going to feel much better towing a load now, even within my book towing capacity.

Of course when looking at things I found some oily residue on two shocks (RR and LF) so those are on my watch list now. I think when I eventually go back to the office I will get outdoor parking - I’ve parked inside for the last two winters and it’s definitely taking a toll with corrosion. The garage isn’t heated, but it is quite humid especially in the winter, and it shows.

Not touching the tools tomorrow. I’ve had enough for one weekend!
 

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Well got the brakes on today. What a crap show! When buying rotors, don’t believe the hype about coated rotors and being better suited to winter use! These pieces of &@$€! Were stuck so hard to the hubs that I could not get them off with a mallet, a puller, or a torch! Even all at once!(Setting tension with the puller, heat the rotor up, and then bang with the mallet). I even called the mechanic I used to apprentice with, and he could only suggest what I’d already done. In the end the only thing that worked was jacking up the RAV more, setting a jackstand under the hat part of the rotor, and putting the vehicle weight on it, THEN using the mallet from behind. Wanted a beer so badly after that, but I don’t have a drink during the work, only after.

In the end, they look pretty great! Got all the brake fluid bled out too (T says change every 4 years, I’m at 7.5 now). Took it out for a drive after, and wow, can definitely feel the difference with the fresh fluid and the larger (newer) bits. I’m going to feel much better towing a load now, even within my book towing capacity.

Of course when looking at things I found some oily residue on two shocks (RR and LF) so those are on my watch list now. I think when I eventually go back to the office I will get outdoor parking - I’ve parked inside for the last two winters and it’s definitely taking a toll with corrosion. The garage isn’t heated, but it is quite humid especially in the winter, and it shows.

Not touching the tools tomorrow. I’ve had enough for one weekend!
I did my rear brakes last year and it was my first time doing brakes. Did have some problems but sounds like yours is a nightmare compared to mine. Your strut looks like it was sitting in the junk yard for ages. This year I will be replacing the struts. Never done struts so it should be interesting.
 

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I did my rear brakes last year and it was my first time doing brakes. Did have some problems but sounds like yours is a nightmare compared to mine. Your strut looks like something sitting in the junk yard for a long time. I am doing my struts this year. This will be another new experience and hopefully it turn out like a dream.
I’ve done brakes more times than I care to count, but this was the worst case if rotor-rust-seize I ever saw. Needless to say with my new rotors being regular uncoated, I put primer on the front and back of the hat at the hub flange, then used a liberal amount of anti-seize on the hub contact point itself. I don’t want to experience this again. The brake swap should have taken only two hours tops in the driveway (including cleanup) but it took me all day from fighting with the rotors. I’m not looking forward to any other work I’ll need to do. Definitely considering a power wash then sand blast this summer, followed by fresh paint and fresh “drip” rustproofing. It won’t make things any better, but will slow it down. The mistake I made was in leasing the vehicle first, and not getting the drip stuff the first year (in Ontario, go for Krown or Oil-Guard spray, both are great, and I know Oil-guard keeps dripping for over a decade, but that’s another story). In the end we really liked the RAV and bought out the lease to keep it, but by that time the corrosion had already started (driving all over too in all conditions, as my son was in rep hockey). My RAV works for a living, going off-road on construction sites, towing yard and building materials, and being the family sport bus, but it’s been good to us. Just need to keep the underbody rust in check so I can give this to my daughter in 6 years.

As others have said, don’t forget the strut bearings at the top, better to change them when you have it apart already. I’m going to squeak more time out of these ones, and likely look at a slight lift or the adjustable coil-overs TEKSMRT noted in another recent thread (need ground clearance for my FWD!)
 

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As others have said, don’t forget the strut bearings at the top, better to change them when you have it apart already. I’m going to squeak more time out of these ones, and likely look at a slight lift or the adjustable coil-overs TEKSMRT noted in another recent thread (need ground clearance for my FWD!)
I am rolling the dice this time and skipping replacement of the strut mounts since they are not cheap. Since I plan to replace the struts myself I figure it is worth gambling since it is my own labour. Another thing is my low mileage 130,000 km.
 
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