Rear drum brakes

Discussion in '2016 - 2023 Toyota Tacoma' started by Ray Haefy, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Ray Haefy

    Ray Haefy Member

    I've been reading, looking for a topic about brakes but haven't seen this discussion.

    I just bought a new Tacoma (2019, TRD Sport, 2WD, 3.5 V6) and while looking it over at home I noticed to my amazement that it was equipped with drum brakes on the rear axle. I have no problem with rear drum brakes if they are of sufficient size and these seem to be. I was just under the assumption that drum brakes went out of vogue 20 years ago. My 2014 RAV4 has 4 wheel disc brakes, the 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 I traded in had 4 wheel disc brakes. The salesman was surprised to hear it had rear drum brakes. I suspect many new owners don't know it. They work just fine. In my opinion, rear disc brakes have always had funky parking brake set-ups. What caught my attention about this was sooty, black brake dust on the rear fenders and wheels. The front disc brakes were clean. Does anyone know why Toyota uses rear drum brakes on the 2019 Tacoma?

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  3. B-Man

    B-Man Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum! Here's info I found on a quick search.........For an application like the Tacoma, drum brakes are an excellent choice for the rear axle as very few drivers require sports car-like performance from their braking system. This means that Toyota is able to pass on cost savings on the initial purchase price as well as maintenance savings during the course of ownership by going with a drum brake design.

    The Toyota Tacoma’s rear brake drums are incredibly durable. How long do the shoes inside these drums last? One of our readers recently reported putting an astonishing 175,000 miles on his set of brake shoes before needing to replace them. Taking a closer look at how the rear drum brakes on the Toyota are used by the braking system reveals that perhaps it’s really not that unusual for a well-designed truck like the Tacoma to get a huge number of miles out of what most people would consider a regular wear component.

    Toyota's chief engineer insisted that all Tacomas have drums due to being “based on long-term durability” and had nothing to do with Toyota “cutting costs.”
  4. OP
    Ray Haefy

    Ray Haefy Member

    Thanks B-Man. Drum brakes might be considered old technology in this world of double overhead cams with VVT, etc. It's hardly an old produce truck. But, like I stated, I'm satisfied with the rear drum brakes.

    Oh, I must have missed the part about 'cost savings on the purchase price'. :)
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
    Tacodan67 and B-Man like this.
  5. Bogunn

    Bogunn Well-Known Member

    Drum brakes are tried and true. Especially for the rear of a pickup which does minimal amounts of braking compared to the front.
    It’s a situation where “why mess with a good thing?”
    kp.taco and B-Man like this.
  6. kp.taco

    kp.taco Well-Known Member

    ^^^^ yep. And they last longer than disc brakes
    Bogunn and B-Man like this.
  7. Bogunn

    Bogunn Well-Known Member

    Yessir they do.
    kp.taco and B-Man like this.
  8. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

    I'm gonna play devils advocate here, Having drum brakes while the rest of the world moves on to disc type brakes is basically beyond the consumers control at this point, (meaning there isn't much you /we can do about it) accept agree that Drum brakes still work....the main reason they don't wear as quick as the disc brakes (or drum brakes in the front) is purely a physics stand point and where the weight over the front brakes have the burden of slowing the vehicle the most....the rear axle on all pick ups do not share the same burden unladen , therefore the rear drums rear less.
    Just another item to paint as far as I'm concerned, I hate anything with a rust color....anything
  9. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

    Now which color? I have a pearl white truck. I guess gloss red engine paint will look pretty good.
  10. JayQQ97

    JayQQ97 Well-Known Member

    what color are your wheels?
  11. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

    Brushed alloy.
  12. JayQQ97

    JayQQ97 Well-Known Member

    Red or black (works as well imo) unless you had black wheels then red would be goto choice
    Are the drums already showing signs of rusty?
    I had my drums powder coated black a few years ago because they were getting a bit roasty for my likings
    It's peeling and cracked in hidden spots though unfortunately, perhaps I can get them powder coated red next year if the endless list of maintenance items EVER gives me a brake!!

    I have some crusty tie down bed hooks to get powdered red someday so might as well do at same time
  13. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

    Yeah. They are just a little but a wire brush ought to do the trick. Red engine paint it is.
  14. WooD

    WooD WooD

    I was surprised when I was looking at Tacoma's that they had rear drum brakes.

    I hate changing drum brakes. Every time I do I replace everything...even the wheel cylinders.

    When I changed the rear brakes on my 2000 Jeep TJ in 2018, I swear they were the originals. They even had the factory star washers over all the studs. I had to beat those damn drums for over an hour with a 3 pound hammer before they'd come off. I bought it used around 2010.
  15. tacojoel

    tacojoel Well-Known Member

    Usually you just back off the brake adjusters and the drum's will slide right off. Sometimes you have to give them a good smack with the hammer.
  16. JayQQ97

    JayQQ97 Well-Known Member

    do the Gen2 and Gen3 Tacoma have these bolt threads on the drums to use this pryoff method for seized drums
    riddle me this... how do professionally trained and highly-paid Toyota technicians NOT know how to do this ??? ... they tried everything 3X lol
    is this not common knowledge for drum brakes? or is it just Toyota specific to Tacoma and 4Runners of the late '90s

    driver drum brake bolt method removal.jpg
  17. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

    Awesome pic. Really shows the simple method. For sure b

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