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Old 11-22-2020, 05:01 AM #1
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Brakes; Tundra upgrade or 3G Ltd upgrade on SR5?

Time for brakes again on my '02 (255K miles) and I want something better than OEM performance. My retired Toyota mechanic (who now only works on 4R's at home in his spare time) suggested putting on a larger rotors kit made for the Tundra... more disk area. He likes the larger disk area solution rather than heavy duty, sport or other grippy pads that can have a short life, etc.

But I also see in some posting here that the SR5 (with its 15' wheels) has smaller rotor/caliper than the Ltd's.

Is the Tundra upgrade better/sufficient? Any reason to go with a 4R Ltd setup?

Would this Tundra pkg be OK?
Front Brake Calipers Rotors & Pads For 13WL 2001 2002 2003 - 2006 Sequoia Tundra | eBay

Last edited by DaveInDenver; 11-22-2020 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:10 AM #2
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tundra x 100000
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:28 AM #3
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I would say the Tundra upgrade is a more robust solution but it still comes with some drawbacks.

Here is a long running thread with tons of info.

Hard to find Specs, Info & Measurements on 231mm 13WL Tundra Calipers & Rotors

I think the biggest issue people have is a change in performance of the ABS system. I have not noticed this personally.

You will need to make the choice between two Tundra caliper designs. 231mm (13WL, as your link includes) or 199mm (13WE).

Bigger calipers means a change is which wheels will fit on the front of your truck. I went with 199mm for example so I could still run the stock 16" three spoke wheels I had at the time. If you have 15" wheels you may need to upgrade to a different size to fit either size caliper. I am unsure about that off hand.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:41 PM #4
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Disk area does not change with TBU. The main "upgrade" is a thicker rotor. 231's will get you more pad area.

Depending on your SR5, it may already have the larger "Limited" calipers you speak of. If you have the painted flares then it has the bigger calipers. I would recommend quality rotors and pads along with a rear drum service.

ALSO, if you have 15 inch wheels then there are also minor differences in the rear wheel cylinders. Just keep these things in mind if you go with Tundra brakes. All these things can affect VSC and ABS.
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Old 11-23-2020, 04:28 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4R2014 View Post
Disk area does not change with TBU. The main "upgrade" is a thicker rotor. 231's will get you more pad area.

Depending on your SR5, it may already have the larger "Limited" calipers you speak of. If you have the painted flares then it has the bigger calipers. I would recommend quality rotors and pads along with a rear drum service.

ALSO, if you have 15 inch wheels then there are also minor differences in the rear wheel cylinders. Just keep these things in mind if you go with Tundra brakes. All these things can affect VSC and ABS.
Well this is just one example why I am asking the pros.

Introducing a new big component into an otherwise balanced and stable system could become an unwanted part-time career.

So if I put the brakes (pun) on my mechanic suggestion for Tundra upgrade and go with where I started with him which was just for better than OEM pads (higher friction rate, right?) what brand/model should I consider? (Is this a Q for a different thread?)
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Old 11-23-2020, 02:27 PM #6
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16" wheels are optional on SR5 and base models. Most 4WDs have 16" wheels, no matter what the door sticker says.

You'll have to measure your current brakes (or look at caliper casting numbers) to see what you currently have.

And if you *DO* have 15" wheel brakes, upgrade the rear wheel cylinders when you upgrade the fronts...

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Old 11-23-2020, 02:56 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
Well this is just one example why I am asking the pros.

Introducing a new big component into an otherwise balanced and stable system could become an unwanted part-time career.

So if I put the brakes (pun) on my mechanic suggestion for Tundra upgrade and go with where I started with him which was just for better than OEM pads (higher friction rate, right?) what brand/model should I consider? (Is this a Q for a different thread?)
If you are willing to go with my unpopular opinion, stick with your current calipers. Get nice rotors(Brembo, EBC, OEM) and good pads(Akebono, EBC, OEM, PBR heavy duty which I love). TBU has been ineffective in my two experiments, but MAYBE being in Colorado you will notice the benefit of the thicker rotor when going downhill. I still warped the piss out of two Tundra setups.

Tell us what wheels you have. If you have 15 inch wheels then it will get expensive quick. EDIT it looks like you do. Factor in the cost of new wheels and tires, larger rear wheel cylinders, and your mechanic's hourly labor.

Last edited by T4R2014; 11-23-2020 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:50 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4R2014 View Post
If you are willing to go with my unpopular opinion, stick with your current calipers. Get nice rotors(Brembo, EBC, OEM) and good pads(Akebono, EBC, OEM, PBR heavy duty which I love). TBU has been ineffective in my two experiments, but MAYBE being in Colorado you will notice the benefit of the thicker rotor when going downhill. I still warped the piss out of two Tundra setups.

Tell us what wheels you have. If you have 15 inch wheels then it will get expensive quick. EDIT it looks like you do. Factor in the cost of new wheels and tires, larger rear wheel cylinders, and your mechanic's hourly labor.
Thanks for info.

FYI; The only people who do much braking in the Colo mts are vacationers and 16 year old's. Everybody else uses engine speed & gears. (Tip: never pass and stay in front of a car who's brakes lights are constantly on.)

Not married to TBU at all so 'unpopular' is fine with me. Yes I have 15's on my '02 SR5 auto 4wd w/ stock size tires. I do have d&s rotors on now. I want better than braking than OE. Maybe all I need is just some "sport" pads that will give me the firmer and/or emergency stopping grip I'm looking for.
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:27 PM #9
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Thanks for info.

FYI; The only people who do much braking in the Colo mts are vacationers and 16 year old's. Everybody else uses engine speed & gears. (Tip: never pass and stay in front of a car who's brakes lights are constantly on.)

Not married to TBU at all so 'unpopular' is fine with me. Yes I have 15's on my '02 SR5 auto 4wd w/ stock size tires. I do have d&s rotors on now. I want better than braking than OE. Maybe all I need is just some "sport" pads that will give me the firmer and/or emergency stopping grip I'm looking for.
Give PBR heavy duty a shot.
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Old 11-24-2020, 02:50 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4R2014 View Post
Disk area does not change with TBU. The main "upgrade" is a thicker rotor. 231's will get you more pad area.

Depending on your SR5, it may already have the larger "Limited" calipers you speak of. If you have the painted flares then it has the bigger calipers. I would recommend quality rotors and pads along with a rear drum service.

ALSO, if you have 15 inch wheels then there are also minor differences in the rear wheel cylinders. Just keep these things in mind if you go with Tundra brakes. All these things can affect VSC and ABS.
I was not aware of the different rear wheel cylinders. My 4Runner came with 16" brakes, but I went down in size to 15" rotors/calipers so I could fit 15" wheels with 31x10.5's. My braking power is just fine, but I always felt the brake pedal had a "2-step" in it after the swap. My opinion was that the rear drums were engaging before the front calipers and I had been considering changing the master cylinder. Now, I will either look into the rear drum wheel cylinders OR go back to the 16" brakes with bigger wheels again.
Thanks,
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:06 PM #11
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Just my .02 but I did the Tundra brakes with a 13WE 199mm caliper and was extremely happy I did so. I bought a callahan kit with drilled/slotted rotors, calipers, and pads. Ended up tossing the crap rotors and getting some OEMs and wish I'd gone with a different pad, but I'm overall very happy with the upgrade. No warping issues with OEM rotors, and for me the pedal feel is excellent and I haven't had any ABS issues. I do think the larger calipers are overkill because of compatibility issues with certain wheels, having to cut the dust shield, and I suspect they contribute to a poor pedal feel for some people due to the larger amount of fluid movement required to engage the brakes.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:17 PM #12
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nearly everybody is gonna recommend doing the TBU. I plan on doing it eventually but didn't feel like doing it right now, but still needed brakes asap, so I went with the Powerstop Z36 kit (new rotors, pads, drums, shoes). Pretty happy with them so far, as are many others. Would recommend.
I've seen hundreds of people do the TBU, but less than a handful are afflicted with rotors still warping, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they didn't properly bed in their brakes, or didn't do as good of a job as they should've. Improper bedding will drastically shorten the life of your brakes and can cause very premature warping.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:00 PM #13
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Maybe just upgrade to Tow or Sport pads?

Quote:
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... so I went with the Powerstop Z36 kit (new rotors, pads, drums, shoes). Pretty happy with them so far, ...
So the Z36's are the "Truck & Tow" version. I called Powerstop and they said these are for weight and related heat.

And the Z23's are the "Sport" version. Powerstop told me these have higher friction rating and will have more grip response.

So are you getting the better response for normal daily driving you expected from the Truck & Tow Z36 version over your OEM's? What about a hard/fast stop?

The 3G 4R's are heavy for their size in general and the 15's on the SR5 have non-large disks/calipers/pads. So maybe the Truck & Tow version are perfect, if not big, improvement. ???

But the Sport version is tempting for a more noticeable improvement with out going for the full TBU. ???

Last edited by DaveInDenver; 11-26-2020 at 01:41 AM. Reason: ... with out going for the full...
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:09 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
So the Z36's are the "Truck & Tow" version. I called Powerstop and they said these are for weight and related heat.

And the Z23's are the "Sport" version. Powerstop told me these have higher friction rating and will have more grip response.

So are you getting the better response for normal daily driving you expected from the Truck & Tow Z36 version over your OEM's? What about a hard/fast stop?

The 3G 4R's are heavy for their size in general and the 15's on the SR5 have non-large disks/calipers/pads. So maybe the Truck & Tow version are perfect, if not big, improvement. ???

But the Sport version is tempting for a more noticeable improvement with our going for the full TBU. ???
Oh shit sorry I ignored the part where you have 15in wheels. In that case if you're going to upgrade might as well go all the way. All things considered, a 4Runner with 15in wheels weighs the same as one with 16in wheels. If you're gonna do the TBU I read from some people that they replaced the master cylinder too from a "matching" Tundra and it fixed some issues they were having; pedal feel and ABS mostly.
If you're curious in regards to the Z36-Z23 debate, I just went with the Z36 cause from what I read it was generally better and recommended if you run (or plan to run) extra weight like bumpers, armor, etc., which I do. This would be the very first time I heard anybody say the Z23 stop better than the Z36 - before going further down this path I would check to see if they're more expensive from powerstop's own website.. the Z23 ARE full ceramic, so wouldn't shock me.
In regards to how it feels I'm actually waiting to address a long/somewhat soft pedal travel (I suspect air in the lines, doing a bleed tomorrow), but it sometimes goes away and when it does it's definitely a firmer stop than stock, but the last owner turned the rotors and drums down once or twice more than they should've been and were VERY thin, so literally anything would've been better
With that said, to reiterate I still recommend going the full nine and doing the TBU
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Last edited by Devbot; 11-25-2020 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:46 AM #15
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Quote:
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...
If you're curious in regards to the Z36-Z23 debate, I just went with the Z36 cause from what I read it was generally better and recommended if you run (or plan to run) extra weight like bumpers, armor, etc., which I do. This would be the very first time I heard anybody say the Z23 stop better than the Z36 - before going further down this path I would check to see if they're more expensive from powerstop's own website.. the Z23 ARE full ceramic, so wouldn't shock me.
...
Thanks for info. Just to finish out the brake pad thoughts...
Price of just the pads is virtually the same.
Will call mfgr again to confirm which model has more stopping power / friction rating. Also to find out if rotors in the kits are different somehow.

Z36 Truck/Tow = Carbon Fiber-Ceramic. $41 on amzn.
"... that features a coefficient of friction 17% higher than OE pads."

Z23 Sport = Carbon Fiber-Ceramic. $42 on amzn.
"... formula for superior braking power."
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