How to Replace Brake Pads on a Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra employs an identical braking system to its smaller counterpart, the Tacoma. A four-piston caliper is used to contact the pads against the rotor. This design allows the pads to be replaced without removing the caliper. Replacing the rotors is usually recommended when replacing pads, but not always necessary. If the rotors were being replaced, then the caliper would have to be removed in order to access the rotor for removal and replacement.
- Jack stands
- Lug nut wrench
- Hand pump (new)
- Brake fluid (DOT-3)
- Needle nose pliers
- Straightedge screwdriver
- Small punch
- Anti-seize compound
- Metric socket set
- Anti-squeal brake pad spray
- Torque wrench
Remove 1/3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder using a new, uncontaminated hand pump. Discard the old fluid and then replace the cap to the master cylinder.
Crack the front lug nuts 1/8 of a turn to loosen them using a lug nut wrench.
Lift the front of the Tundra with a jack--one side at a time--and then place the jack stands beneath the front axle (four-wheel drive) or lower control arms (two-wheel drive).
Maneuver the inside pin retaining clip from the small holes in pad retaining pins using a set of needle nose pliers. If the new pad set does not include this clip, you'll need to reuse it. Remove the anti-rattle spring (M-shaped spring) from the inside caliper housing using a screwdriver to unseat it. Once the upper slide is removed, you can then remove the clip.
Gently tap the pad retaining pins outward, employing a hammer and a small punch. Be careful with this procedure. In certain geographical locations, it is not uncommon for these pins to corrode and stick inside the calipers. Try not to mushroom the ends of the pins. It is highly recommended to replace these pins and not reuse the old ones--especially if they did not remove well from the caliper. Remove the anti-rattle spring from the upper pin once it's removed.
Remove one brake pad at a time and then replace with a new one before removing the other pad. Apply the new shim to the new pad, spray the backing plate and shim it with an anti-squeal brake spray. Allow the spray a couple of minutes to set. Use a hammer handle or equivalent to compress the two pistons on the side of the caliper from which you removed the pad. Compress slowly and evenly. One piston will try to come out if you're only compressing the other. (See Tips) When the pistons have retracted to make enough room for the new pad to fit inside, remove the other pad and replace by employing the same procedure.
Apply a coat of anti-seize compound to the new pins before installing. Replace the upper pin first, by aligning it through the caliper, the anti-rattle spring, the outboard pad, the inboard pad, the anti-rattle spring and then the other side of the caliper. Be sure to maneuver the pin to expose the hole for the pin retaining clip. Replace the lower pin and then install the pin retaining clip. Remove and replace the other side pads employing the same procedure.
Replace the wheels and lug nuts and tighten the lug nuts snug to the wheel hubs. Lower the Tundra and then re-tighten the lug nuts alternately on the same wheel employing a torque wrench and a 21-mm socket. Set the wrench between 85- to 100-foot pounds. Pump the brake pedal several times until it feels firm. Recheck and adjust the brake fluid in the master cylinder. If necessary, only add new brake fluid to top off the cylinder.