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I'm writing this on behalf of my brother who has a 2002 Tacoma D-Cab.

We were attempting to change the front caliper brake pads yesterday, and may have taken off the wrong bolts. I've changed disc brakes before on other cars, and it's been a matter of removing one pin bolt and pivoting the caliper up, compressing the piston with a c-clamp, and swapping in new pads.

Anyway, I think we removed the wrong bolts on his Tacoma calipers, because as we did, there was brake fluid seeping between the halves of the calipers.

We called it quits because we couldn't get the right bolts off and it was getting late so we took it to a brake shop today.

On the drive home, my brother said that the brakes worked fine, but at a stop, the brakes seemed a bit soft. He said that if he pumped the brake pedal, the pedal would stiffen up quite a bit, but if he just pressed on it, it would slowly travel.

My questions:

Did we get air in the lines when we took the wrong bolts off the calipers?

Is this normal for the pedal to be soft initially when you get new brakes installed?


If we need to bleed the brakes, what's the best way to bleed Tacoma brakes? On other vehicles, I vaguely remember using a short tube attached to the bleed nipple with the open end in a jar of brake fluid. I would have someone pump the brakes until there were no more bubbles coming out of the tube. Does this work the same with the Tacoma?
 

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Yes you may have gotten air in lines. Bleeding the brakes is the same as with all vehicles. Pump, open/bleed air, repeat. The pedal shouldn't be too soft, but it is normal for it to get really stiff if you pump it fast and then move again. Try just bleeding the brake you worked on and make sure the master cylinder resovior is full of fluid.
 

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If you put a piece of tubing around the zirk and submerge the other end into brakefluid
it will prevent any air sucking back in and it will catch the bled fluid


If you paid a brake shop then they should do it for free if it needs it..

If their was a problem they shouldn't have let you drive away...........
 

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I don't know if this'll work with a Taco, but with my Jeep, a trick that my dad taught me is to slam on the brakes a few times. Just get a little speed up(not a ton) and then just slam on the brakes going in both forward and reverse. It always seems to work for me.
 

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Hot Carl said:
I don't know if this'll work with a Taco, but with my Jeep, a trick that my dad taught me is to slam on the brakes a few times. Just get a little speed up(not a ton) and then just slam on the brakes going in both forward and reverse. It always seems to work for me.
Work for you to accomplish what task?
 

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If you took it to a brake shop, they should have bled them. Your description sounds like a leak, is your fluid level going down? There is an error in the way most people bleed their brakes, it has bit me but fortunately I survived!

What can happen is a small rust-pit deep in the master cylinder, where the piston doesn't normally travel. If someone bleeds the brakes without paying attention to not letting the pedal travel more than it normally does, it can drag the seals over this pit and knick them. The result is a slow leak that often does not come out anywhere visible. Most people do not pay attention to this and let the pedal travel all the way to the floor when pumping the brakes to bleed them. The problem does not occur often, but it does occur sometimes.
 

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is there anyway to confirm this? I have bled all four and still have a slightly spongey feel. The pedal may very well have been pushed to the floor by the person that was doing the pushing for me, not that it is their fault, I probably would have done the same thing myself.

This is if the spongey feel is even because of this. Should I bleed the master cylinder as well (if possible)?
 

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Yeah, that's what I did with the exception of the load sensing proprtioning valve. I thought that I read not to tinker with that one somewhere.
 
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