I dropped my rotors off to a local machinist last week. He bored out the centers and drilled/tapped the 5 holes to hold them onto the back of the hub. This means I get to finally install my Brembo brakes on the truck!!!! 20210518_190830 by Jose, on Flickr
Now, judging by the looks of that dry rotted bushing, I would say the bushing had lost its upward push on the shock rod. Coming back from the machinist's house the day I dropped off my rotors, I did hit a massive pothole with my left front tire. It was raining so I didn't see it until it was too late. As you can see in the picture below, the washer I welded in years ago simply underwent brittle fracture and released a side of it. 20210520_142132 by Jose, on Flickr
Thankfully, the rod of the shock itself looks fine, so I don't anticipate having to buy a new QA1...phew. Had I continued to drive on it, this would most certainly be the case. This further reinforces the idea that this happened from the day I hit that pothole, as the rod hasn't been rubbing long enough to wear out. 20210520_142136 by Jose, on Flickr
Part of the reason this failure is possible is because I didn't weld the back side of that washer. That's because it is hard to manage when welding from the wheel well. However, this time around, I plan to remove the rubber flap and go in from the engine bay. That should give me the access I need. Also, I'm going to do what I thought of all those years ago and weld a short piece of pipe there so as to not allow for the rod to shift out of place, ever.
By the way, that isn't the dreaded Taco frame rust. My truck's frame was actually rust free until a few months back when my battery burst and spilled acid on that side. I will be fixing that as part of this process.
Well, the drill bits arrived, I bored the spindle holes out to 17/32" and the caliper finally fit. My excitement would be short lived however. Once I got the caliper on the rotor, I realized that the radial distance from the caliper bolts to the top of the brake pads is too large and so these calipers will not work with the Evo rotors. This is a major disappointment, but such is life. I promptly ordered the correct ATS Brembos and corresponding M14 bolts and washers and will install them once they arrive. I will also need to bore my spindles out further in order to accommodate the M14 bolts.
Then you look at it from this angle and notice the caliper is too far from the center of the rotor 20210522_222906 by Jose, on Flickr
Finally, you see this and realize you wouldn't be using the top third of the pads with this rotor 20210522_223218 by Jose, on Flickr
It is possible that you could use these calipers on a Tacoma with a larger diameter rotor, but I have no idea what that rotor would be. It would need to be close in offset to the Evo rotor in order to work.
In other news, I got around to cutting the ears off the 8.8 differential cover this weekend. I did the work with a band saw and an angle grinder with a cut off wheel. 20210522_151327 by Jose, on Flickr
I may do some more tweaking on it later, but for now I am happy with the result 20210522_163333 by Jose, on Flickr
I did some research on the braking setup and thought this would be good information to share:
First Gen CTS-V Rotors are 355mm in diameter
Lancer Evo 8/9 Rotors are 320mm in diameter
Brembo ATS Rotors are 321mm in diameter
This is why the CTS-V caliper will not work with the Evo rotor but the ATS caliper will. From 320 to 321mm is such a slight difference in rotor diameter that the
caliper can work on it.
Another key detail is that the CTS-V and Evo rotors are both 32mm thick whereas the ATS rotor is 30mm thick. This 2mm should be within the capability of the caliper to deal with or it could be that this is why Mike used CTSV brake pads in this swap. I would have to check with him to be sure.
For my own future reference, CTS-V rotors are to be discarded once they are worn down to a 30mm thickness, Evo at 29.8mm thickness, and ATS once down to 27mm. So, more or less once you remove 2mm in thickness.
The driver's side ATS caliper was apparently already at an Amazon warehouse in Miami, so it arrived today. The rest of the gear is coming from farther away, so I'm not expecting it yet. I lined it up to the CTS-V caliper to do some comparison.
It is hard to tell, but the mounting holes are definitely a little further apart on the ATS caliper 20210524_215619 by Jose, on Flickr
The caliper body is also closer to the mounting holes as it is designed for a smaller diameter rotor 20210524_215650 by Jose, on Flickr
The CTS-V caliper has the holes themselves threaded whereas the ATS has threaded steel inserts in the bores 20210524_215724 by Jose, on Flickr
The CTS-V caliper also appears a smidge wider, I will measure them tomorrow to get accurate numbers 20210524_215931 by Jose, on Flickr
I had a rotor mounted on the passenger's side, so I placed the driver's side ATS caliper on that side to check out the fit. It looks great and sits proper. I can't wait to have these installed on the truck! 20210524_220800 by Jose, on Flickr
Now, there is no way something that says "Cadillac" is going to go on my truck as such. For this reason, I had to go ahead and paint the calipers. I used a combination of a high temp primer and a GM paint match silver to get the color I want.
Here is one caliper masked off. I used an exacto knife to get the edges cut just right 20210526_103408 by Jose, on Flickr
Here's a video explaining the process thus far. It covers the process of removing the stock rotors, installing the new ones, drilling the spindle, and test fitting the CTS-V caliper. I will follow up with how that failed in the next video, but this will give you a pretty solid understanding of the process.
I held off on doing the Brembo logo for now and just clear coated the calipers. I then drilled my spindle holes out to 14mm for the M14 bolts the ATS caliper uses. Sure enough, I could not get them to mount. The reason for this is the ATS calipers DO line up to the CTS-V caliper and both have holes that are slightly closer together than the holes on the Tacoma's spindle. This means I ended up having to take a unibit and bore the holes out to about 11/16" in order to get the calipers to mount.
Here's the ATS caliper mounted up finally. All said and done, it fit nicely and sits where it is supposed to. 20210529_193312 by Jose, on Flickr
I discovered a couple of things in the process of installing the stainless brake lines. First, I had overtightened the passenger's side line back when I did the Wilwood setup. For this reason, the tip of the fitting on the hard line that the flexible brake line connects to had flared. As a result of this, it would not fit into the new brake line no matter what I did. So, I ran out to Autozone and bought a 12" long, 3/16" diameter brake tube with M10x1.0 fittings. That store didn't have bending pliers in stock, so I ran out to another Autozone and got those today. I then bent a new line following the bends of the old one and installed it in the truck.
You can see it in this picture, it's the tube with the shiny fitting on the left side of the image 20210601_185609 by Jose, on Flickr
Here is where it connects to the new braided brake line... and yes, I do need new tie rod boots! Keep in mind there is a clip that will hold the large fitting on the braided brake line to the bracket coming off the frame. It is not on in the picture, but I installed it right after. The lines actually come with new clips. 20210601_185624 by Jose, on Flickr
The second thing I discovered is even worse; the fact that these brake lines are too long and using the supplied mounts to bolt them to the brackets on the control arm could lead to a situation where the brake line will fail over time. Take a look at the pictures below. You can see that at full steering lock toward the direction of the side the line is on, you can kink the bottom of the line. 20210601_193025 by Jose, on Flickr
It looks fine with the wheel turned away from the side the line is on (here is a picture of the passenger's side line with the wheel turned toward the left/driver's side). It's fine in this position, but can kink when turning in the opposite direction. 20210601_193121 by Jose, on Flickr
Stoptech makes a Tacoma specific braided brake line for these 2WD trucks. It is part number 950.4022 and is what we used back when we did my friend's Tacoma in the past. I have ordered a set of these just to be on the safe side. If you would rather spend some more coin and avoid literally all of these headaches, Stoptech makes a big brake kit for our trucks as well! It is part number 83.870.4600.71 but it is $2470.50 so I imagine only big ballers will ever have this on their Tacomas!
Another note. When you install the ATS calipers, you need a couple sets of washers. Per the no bracket big brake kit thread on here and Customtacos, you will need some washers for a 9/16" bolt and some for a 14mm bolt. The thread says the 9/16" go between the caliper and the spindle/knuckle and the 14mm go between the bolt head and knuckle. The 14mm washers I got are about 3.06mm thick and actually were the perfect size to go between the caliper and the knuckle. The 9/16" on the other hand required two to go between the bolt head and knuckle. I could have gotten away with just one, but the clearance between the bolt and the rotor would have been minimal and I fear they would contact when the rotor expands due to heat. For this reason, I think it would make sense to go with a 35mm long bolt instead of the 40mm recommended in the thread, as this would eliminate the need for washers. I used a flange head bolt so washers aren't a big concern.
While I wait on my new brake lines to arrive, I figured I would make some progress on the coilover fix.
I started by cutting two 20.5 mm tall sections out of a 1 1/4" galvanized steel nipple 20210602_173136 by Jose, on Flickr
These are the two pieces once cut and the edges ground down to remove the galvanize(makes it easier to weld) 20210602_181254 by Jose, on Flickr
Welding in that area is a pain because you can't get close enough to get a good view of your weld. To add to the problem, my welding mask was on the fritz and it finally gave up
on me. I still managed to weld the front of the pipe, but it isn't as pretty as I would have liked. Oh well, it's fairly solid. Looks like I'll be buying a new mask tomorrow. Ignore the
slag in front of the weld, I knocked that off later with a flat head screwdriver. 20210602_203931 by Jose, on Flickr
In other news, the alcantara wrap I ordered from Redline Goods (back in March), finally came in. It looks to be better made than the leather one I got last time. Me being me, I already removed the leather from the IS300 steering wheel and started the process of wrapping it in the alcantara. They made a mistake in my order and added black stitching instead of charcoal, but that's actually ok by me. I still have charcoal string from the last wheel wrap, so I plan to do a two tone setup this time.