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Old 05-11-2021, 11:18 AM #1
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Question Light drivetrain clunk when releasing brake pedal

Im having a very light clunk when releasing brake pedal. It doesnt happen all the time, and i cant quite isolate if its a drivetrain issue or brakes issue. It feels like drivetrain but it happens during the release of the brake pedal. Any suggestions as to how i can at least narrow it down so i can concentrate on which it is?

**Just to note.. I recently tried to pull out a tree stump with the 4runner, I gave it about 4-5 good tugs with a 2-3mph rolling start and with some throttle, the stump was in good enough to halt the truck each time and never actually got it pulled out.
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:49 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceSpades View Post
Im having a very light clunk when releasing brake pedal. It doesnt happen all the time, and i cant quite isolate if its a drivetrain issue or brakes issue. It feels like drivetrain but it happens during the release of the brake pedal. Any suggestions as to how i can at least narrow it down so i can concentrate on which it is?

**Just to note.. I recently tried to pull out a tree stump with the 4runner, I gave it about 4-5 good tugs with a 2-3mph rolling start and with some throttle, the stump was in good enough to halt the truck each time and never actually got it pulled out.
Seems driveline-related and is consistent with my experience after harder-than-normal braking (need to lube mine, that's the fix). Sticky calipers are definitely a thing but don't believe they'd exhibit this symptom on release.

As for your tree stump note, 4L (if you have it) is your best bet to maximize torque and minimize the chance of any damage.
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:54 PM #3
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well...was your clunk there before attempting to pull the stump or no?


I can't imagine anything brake related clunking while releasing brakes. Common brake clunk I hear is when you're reversing direction and hitting the brakes and having your pads or calipers shifting. If you come to a stop and keep going I don't see what in the brake system would possibly clunk, at least if all your wheels are on tight lol.

Have you greased your drive shaft any time recently?
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:58 PM #4
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Quote:
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well...was your clunk there before attempting to pull the stump or no?

Have you greased your drive shaft any time recently?


the clunk wasnt there before the tree stump pull, but it also wasnt there immediately after. Id say tree stump was 1000 miles ago, and clunk started 300 miles ago.

And I havent greased the drive shaft.
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Old 05-11-2021, 02:54 PM #5
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Id start with greasing the zerks on the driveline. Also check all the calipers to make sure all the bolts are in place. I had a similar clunk when a bolt came out and my calipers were rocking back and forth
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:14 PM #6
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As suggested, I'd pull the drive-shaft and clean/grease it where it moves in and out. Pretty common complaint and mine does the same if I come to a stop on a decline or a hard stop. I haven't got in there to grease it yet but it's on my list.
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:20 PM #7
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Thanks guys. I will be checking caliper bolts and looking for where the grease points on the drive-shaft are this weekend
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:08 PM #8
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Light drivetrain clunk when releasing brake pedal

Also check to see if the spring that separates the front brake pads is missing from either side, which will cause more of a clack than a clunk.
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:30 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceSpades View Post
Thanks guys. I will be checking caliper bolts and looking for where the grease points on the drive-shaft are this weekend
Good call. There is a known issue with a "thunk" on the drive shaft when stopped. It's possible that this is the same issue you're seeing when you take your foot off the brake. The fix is to grease the propeller. Toyota also had a fix of putting in a re-engineered part, but that was some time ago.

One interesting note. The toyota lingo for this part is the propeller shaft. I guess since it propels the 4Runner. :-)
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:50 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceSpades View Post
Im having a very light clunk when releasing brake pedal. It doesnt happen all the time, and i cant quite isolate if its a drivetrain issue or brakes issue. It feels like drivetrain but it happens during the release of the brake pedal. Any suggestions as to how i can at least narrow it down so i can concentrate on which it is?

**Just to note.. I recently tried to pull out a tree stump with the 4runner, I gave it about 4-5 good tugs with a 2-3mph rolling start and with some throttle, the stump was in good enough to halt the truck each time and never actually got it pulled out.
I can feel mine idle funny and it'll clunk sometimes as I start up as well. If I shift into Neutral at a stoplight for a second, it'll clunk and be ready to go. As if it is not going into 1st gear at a stop, and as soon as the car moves, the transmission shifts down.
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Old 05-20-2021, 02:45 PM #11
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Originally Posted by gaber6 View Post
I can feel mine idle funny and it'll clunk sometimes as I start up as well. If I shift into Neutral at a stoplight for a second, it'll clunk and be ready to go. As if it is not going into 1st gear at a stop, and as soon as the car moves, the transmission shifts down.
@gaber6 that doesn't sound good. It sounds like your problem might be in the transmission itself. Your description doesn't match the symptoms that I'm aware of when your propeller shaft thumps and needs to be re-lubed.
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Old 05-20-2021, 11:08 PM #12
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@gaber6 that doesn't sound good. It sounds like your problem might be in the transmission itself. Your description doesn't match the symptoms that I'm aware of when your propeller shaft thumps and needs to be re-lubed.
Well, it's just the feel. I do think it's just the driveshafts, but the car does have 200k miles on it, and I plan on getting the transmission fluid changed sometime soon anyhow. I do have the slight shudder around 50mph when coasting on an easy part of the highway.
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Old 05-21-2021, 12:09 AM #13
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Originally Posted by gaber6 View Post
Well, it's just the feel. I do think it's just the driveshafts, but the car does have 200k miles on it, and I plan on getting the transmission fluid changed sometime soon anyhow. I do have the slight shudder around 50mph when coasting on an easy part of the highway.

OK. Good luck! and update us as you learn more about you
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Old 05-23-2021, 12:10 AM #14
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The clunk is a result of a worn out slip joint in the rear driveshaft. If I grease the slip joint on mine, the clunk comes back pretty quick. I am attributing this to no one greasing it for a long time so its just worn out and needs to be replaced. No amount of grease will fix worn out metal parts.
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Old 05-23-2021, 08:55 AM #15
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That sounds like a good explanation to me!
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