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Old 05-21-2021, 01:56 PM #16
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Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
I disagree. The 231 brake pad backing plate is bigger than 199 brake pad backing plate, but the brake pad material is very close to the same size between 231 and 199 (at least for OEM pads). You can see the two side by side in this post: https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3378920-post1.html The 199 and 231 brake calipers both have the same size pistons. I do think the larger rotors are the biggest advantage to either upgrade.

Side rant: A lot of people complain about a softer pedal, but that's just how hydraulic systems and fluid dynamics function. When you increase the brake caliper piston size you increase the amount of fluid required to move the piston out the same distance as the smaller OEM caliper piston which is why people complain of a softer/lower pedal. In order to keep the same pedal feel/distance you would need to increase the master cylinder piston bore proportionally to the brake caliper piston increase.
I compared my brake pads coming off to the ones that were going on and they are larger. No photo but the pads are both longer and wider. I would have been disappointed if they were the same size! I don't know for sure that the 231mm are bigger vs the 199mm pads, but it would seem rather silly for Toyota to put on bigger calipers with the exact same pad size. I don't know of any advantage of doing that.

I didn't have the soft pedal, maybe mine was already soft to begin with? I have heard of many complaining about it though. These brake lines can also be tricky to bleed, I didn't get a good bleed until I did it with the engine running and I have the old brake booster system, not the brake pump system that was introduced in 2001.
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Old 05-21-2021, 02:45 PM #17
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I compared my brake pads coming off to the ones that were going on and they are larger. No photo but the pads are both longer and wider. I would have been disappointed if they were the same size! I don't know for sure that the 231mm are bigger vs the 199mm pads, but it would seem rather silly for Toyota to put on bigger calipers with the exact same pad size. I don't know of any advantage of doing that.

I didn't have the soft pedal, maybe mine was already soft to begin with? I have heard of many complaining about it though. These brake lines can also be tricky to bleed, I didn't get a good bleed until I did it with the engine running and I have the old brake booster system, not the brake pump system that was introduced in 2001.
My brain must not be working today. I completely misread your very clear first response lol I agree that both 231 and 199 are larger than stock. I've flushed the old brake fluid out, replaced all my lines with braided, then replaced upgraded to 231 mm calipers and rotors and replaced the rear wheel cylinders and shoes. I bled all the brakes key on and even used techstream to activate the abs pump. I don't feel like my brakes are soft or a significantly low pedal like some people claim, but I can definitely tell the difference when I drive a stock 4Runner. Maybe people aren't adjusting their rear drum brakes correctly? Who knows. I definitely see the brake hoses being part of their problem if they are original. I'm glad I didn't get a 01/02. VSC/TRAC sounds like an added headache that I would rather avoid. In hindsight I wish I would have got an SR5 and avoided the multimode transfer case completely.
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Old 05-21-2021, 06:42 PM #18
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My brain must not be working today. I completely misread your very clear first response lol I agree that both 231 and 199 are larger than stock. I've flushed the old brake fluid out, replaced all my lines with braided, then replaced upgraded to 231 mm calipers and rotors and replaced the rear wheel cylinders and shoes. I bled all the brakes key on and even used techstream to activate the abs pump. I don't feel like my brakes are soft or a significantly low pedal like some people claim, but I can definitely tell the difference when I drive a stock 4Runner. Maybe people aren't adjusting their rear drum brakes correctly? Who knows. I definitely see the brake hoses being part of their problem if they are original. I'm glad I didn't get a 01/02. VSC/TRAC sounds like an added headache that I would rather avoid. In hindsight I wish I would have got an SR5 and avoided the multimode transfer case completely.
Stainless steel brake lines are the next item on my maintenance list too. I haven't done mine and my brakes are ok, but have a lot of travel compared to other vehicles I drive. Normal for old Toyotas though. At least it's not as long as the clutch pedal travel!
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Old 05-22-2021, 04:38 AM #19
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To anyone reading: I did the 199mm upgrade 12,000 miles ago and the difference between that and stock is night and day in every respect. NIGHT AND DAY. I dare say the 199mm upgrade won't leave you disappointed at all, unless you're doing severe duty towing, racing your 4Runner around a track, riding your brakes downhill with huge tires, etc.

My brake pedal feel did get softer, but it doesn't matter since the neck-snapping performance of massive stopping power makes up for it. In fact, the softer pedal makes coming to an ultra-smooth stop even easier.

Be sure to use good rotors, OEM pads and do a proper bed-in procedure.
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Old 05-22-2021, 11:05 AM #20
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Be careful just swapping the fronts if you will have newer tires there! you always want better traction in the rears or you can spin out very easily!

I swapped the fronts temporarily like your plan and totally lost control on an on-ramp. I got very luck as no one was around and there was tons of road space.

New tires go on the rear.
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Old 05-22-2021, 11:47 AM #21
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Be careful just swapping the fronts if you will have newer tires there! you always want better traction in the rears or you can spin out very easily!

I swapped the fronts temporarily like your plan and totally lost control on an on-ramp. I got very luck as no one was around and there was tons of road space.

New tires go on the rear.
Sounds like your rear drums aren't adjusted correctly and/or your abs system isn't operating correctly.
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Old 05-22-2021, 02:10 PM #22
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Brakes are fine. 'new tires on rear' is a general rule for the ages on cars.

It's physics, if your front wheels slip a little, u get a little squeal and understeer, if your rear tires slip but your fronts hold you can spin out very easily.
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