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Discussion Starter #1
is there a way for me to tighten the handbrake myself?
any links on how to?

thanks for helping a noob!
have a good day!
 

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The cables are adjustable under the center console. Two things cause the cables to loosen. Strectched cable and rear brake pads wearing. I'd bet on the latter.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When the handbrake is pulled up in park, it's at an extremely high angle. Thus it is "loose"

This wasn't an issue until my wife let her friend drive the car and had forgotten to put the handbrake down :mad: now I told her to NEVER let anyone DRIVE HER CAR.

I've taken a part the center console but I couldn't adjust it myself. Is there any way for me to do so? or best be leaving it to a mechanic?

Thanks.
 

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Also depending on how old your car is, you may need to replace the cables (there are 3) and it's almost certainly a special order part from Japan. The cables in our cars only last 2-3 years. Poorly designed. I almost never use mine as a result.
 

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Also depending on how old your car is, you may need to replace the cables (there are 3) and it's almost certainly a special order part from Japan. The cables in our cars only last 2-3 years. Poorly designed. I almost never use mine as a result.
Really? Mine are 11 and still going strong.
But if you mean "they will take on water and be susceptible to winter freezing after 2-3 years," I'd be behind you 100%.
 

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This wasn't an issue until my wife let her friend drive the car and had forgotten to put the handbrake down :mad:
Was she drifting?
Old man is right, you are in for pads and rotors, and hopefully also a brake fluid flush.

I shudder to think what my local Toyota dealer would charge for pads and rotors on the rear of the car. Actually, I know what they'd charge -- $52.99 for pads (list), $271.10 for rotors (list), and about $110 in labor. Plus another $70 or so for the fluid flush. But that's why I'll never go to the dealer for non-warranty work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
my wife's car barely has 40k miles on it, an '03.
Also, I don't believe she was driving more than 5 blocks with the handbrake on...though I'm sure her friend drove it pretty rough.

Also, replacing the rotors and brakepads shouldn't be that hard right? If anyone can link a DIY would be great....
 

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Also, replacing the rotors and brakepads shouldn't be that hard right? If anyone can link a DIY would be great....
Not hard at all, but I don't know that I've seen a write-up.






The only "special" tools you'll need are:
  • a caliper tool that is used to twist the piston back into the the caliper -- any auto parts store should be able to sell you one based on that description, for $10 or less. Up until recently, I've always just used needlenose pliers, but the little tool makes it easier for sure.
  • A wire clothes hanger, or similar tough piece of wire (I suppose string would also work)
  • 2 6mm bolts to loosen up the rotor. (at least, I think they're 6... maybe 8 ?)
  • Optional -- a couple cans of nasty brake cleaner.
  • Optional - a digital camera
So... from memory... here's what you need to do:
  • Jack it up, support it securely, remove rear wheels (Duh!)
  • Undo the ONE caliper slide bolt, the caliper will then flip up.
  • (Optional) -- spray the whole shooting match with brake cleaner, wash away all the brake dust so's you don't have to breathe it in.
  • (Optional) -- take a picture of the pads/clips with your digital camera. This is so when the clips fall on the ground, you'll know how to put them back correctly!
  • The pads are just held in with spring clips. pull 'em out, replace exactly the same way. Don't forget to take the shims off the old pads and install on the new (even better if you spent the extra $10 for new shims).
  • While you're here, you might as well use the piston tool and rotate the piston back deep in the caliper.
  • To remove the rotor, you'll need to remove the whole caliper. These are the two larger bolts (17mm heads?) bolting the caliper to the hub carrier. They've been rusted in there for 10 years, so be prepared to put some muscle in it.
  • When the caliper is free, use the wire or string to tie it to the strut spring -- this is to keep pressure off the brake line.
  • If you're really lucky, you can just pull the rotor off now. But you're not that lucky. Use the two 6mm bolts and thread them through the matching holes in the rotor. Tighten them down a bit at a time. These will "pop" the rotor off the hub, allowing you to remove the rotors easily.
  • (Optional) -- if you're fanatical like me, wire brush the hub, and treat it with some rust preventer and let it dry. But no one else I know does this.....
  • Place the new rotor in position, reinstall the two lower caliper bolts (look up the torque spec, but it's a LOT).
  • test fit -- does the caliper slide back into position? Probably not; break out the piston tool again and put the piston in further until you can get the caliper back in position.
  • (Optional but recommended) -- clean the slide bolt, and re-grease it with synthetic brake grease.
  • Re-tighten the top caliper bolt, and move on to the other side.
  • (Optional but highly recommended) -- why not bleed the brakes while you're here?
  • (Optional but also recommended) -- why not do a full brake fluid flush while youre here?
 

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I would add that opening the bleeder while rotating the piston in will make it a lot easier. Even so, be prepared for it to take a while. The piston has the finest threads known to man.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thank you both for the help. it seems a lot easier, sounds more like a brake job with an added bonus.

now the question is, what kind of rotors would be recommended perhaps sports rotors?...not talking brembo but something better than stock?

also, i've never bled the brakes nor flush it before, there isn't a dyi on the forums is there? i can't seem to find one....or maybe i'm just not using the search correctly...
 

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thank you both for the help. it seems a lot easier, sounds more like a brake job with an added bonus.

now the question is, what kind of rotors would be recommended perhaps sports rotors?...not talking brembo but something better than stock?

also, i've never bled the brakes nor flush it before, there isn't a dyi on the forums is there? i can't seem to find one....or maybe i'm just not using the search correctly...
For my money, rotors are rotors. From looking at any two with the same dimensions, I couldn't ever tell one from another. Pads - iot is hard to beat OEM, although I suspect Toyots sources them from multiple suppliers.
Why not replace the front pads at the same time? May not be their time, but you'll have 40-50,000 miles peace-of-mind and you can ensure you have matching pads F&R.

Bleeding -- simplest way is to employ a partner. Clean the bleeder screw, put the appropriate wrench on it (8mm?), and... do nothing yet. Have your partner press the brake pedal to the floor & hold it; open bleeder, let a burst of fluid out; close bleeder. Have partner lift brake pedal up (take foot off). Repeat if it's not a steady stream (air bubbles), until it is. Top off fluid reservoir at the MBC. Ideally you go from passenger rear to driver rear, passenger front, driver front (furthest to closest), but that's no biggie if you don't have air in the system.
Then, check the pedal... if it's spongy, repeat at all 4 wheels until you get rid of air in the system.
 
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