Replacing Brake Pads and Rotors

 In 5th Gen Mods, Install, Maintenance

Replacing Brake Pads and Rotors – 5th Gen 4Runner

Step 13: Add New Rotors

Powerstop Brake Pads and Rotor Swap on 5th Generation Toyota 4Runner

Below, you will find the complete step by step installation of front brake pads, rear brake pads along with front and rear rotors on the 5th Gen 4Runner. Our specific year is a 2014 but this brake kit applies to many other make and model 4Runners. Whether you have an SR5, TRD Pro, Off-Road or Limited, this kit may work for you. Always check with the seller first to make sure this brake kit works for your model before purchasing.

We recently covered the overview of the Powerstop brake pads and rotors. If you are not familiar with the kit, check out that post first. The Powerstop severe-duty truck and tow brake package is designed around performance. Whether you are towing a heavy load, overload with expedition gear or have bigger tires, the Powerstop Extreme kit might work for you.

The Brake Kit: 

I checked and this kit does fit the 2013+ models. This includes Trail, SR5, TRD Pro, Off-Road, and Limited 4Runner. This does not fit models 2011 and lower.


  • 12mm socket
  • 17mm socket
  • 19mm socket
  • Torque wrench
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Other basic tools

Installation Overview

Installing new pads, and rotors all the way around can be done in about 4-6 hours with two people. If you are doing this install alone, expect to see 6 hours or maybe longer depending on your skill level and patience. With basic shop tools, this is a fairly simple install.

Front Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement

Step 1: Remove 17mm Bolts on Calipers

Remove 17mm Bolts on Calipers

Step 2: Remove 12mm Bolts on Brake Line Bracket

Remove 12mm Bolts on Brake Line Bracket

Because we are replacing rotors as well as pads, you will need to pull the caliper off the wheel hub. To give the caliper some freedom, you can remove the 12mm bolt that is holding your brake line on.

Step 3: Place Caliper on Jack Stand

Place Caliper on Jack Stand

You can set your caliper on a jack stand to give your self a stable place to work.

Step 4: Compress Brake Caliper Pistons

Compress Brake Caliper Pistons

In order for the new brake pads to fit back over the new rotors, you will need to compress the caliper pistons. You can do this in a variety of ways, but we found this to be the easiest. Grab a set of clamps and clamp the factory brake pad down. This will compress the pistons into the caliper and give you plenty of room to work with when installing the new pads over the rotors.

Step 5: Pull out the first spring (outside spring)

Remove first brake pad pin

You can place the calipers back onto the rotors or leave them on the jack stand to pull everything apart. Start with the inside spring that is holding the two caliper pins into place. Pop this spring off. You will not need this as two cotter pins are provided in the new brake kit for the caliper pins.

Step 6: Remove Pad Spreader Spring (Bottom Spring)

Remove bottom pin

To remove the pad spreader spring, just push in with your thumb. It will pop loose and then hang down.

Step 7: Remove Disc Caliper Pin

Remove Inner Brake Pad Pins

Pull the caliper pins out. Once the caliper pins are free, everything should fall out.

Step 8: Grease New Brake Pads

Grease New Brake Pads

Step 9: Grease Disc Caliper Pin

Grease Brake Pad Pins

Step 10: Brake Pad inside caliper – line up Disc Caliper Pins

Line Up New Brake Pads inside caliper

Once you have greased your brake pads and caliper pins, you can place one pad in and then push in the caliper pins. Do not push the caliper pins all the way through yet.

Step 11: Second Brake Pad, Pad Spreader Spring & Cotter Pins

Step 11: Second Brake Pad and Bottom Pin

Add the second brake pad and the new pad spreader spring. Then push the caliper pins through both pads and the pad spreader spring. Once the caliper pins are through, you can attach the cotter pins to the ends of the caliper pins, both top, and bottom.

The only part that is not complete here is the pad spreader spring. You need to rotate the pad spring back into place and using a needle nose, rotate the ends into place on the pads.

See Step #14 for the final view. 

Step 12: Rubber Mallet – Knock Off Factory Rotors

Step 12: Knock off Factory Rotors

This one will take a bit of force. Knock the rotor off with your mallet of choice. If a rubber mallet does not work, either try harder, knocking all the around the rotor (like a pickle jar and knife) or use a hammer. If you use a hammer, you may risk warping the rotors. If you are planning on reusing these rotors, then try to use a rubber mallet.

Step 13: Add New Rotors

Step 13: Add New Rotors

Step 14: Replace Caliper Assembly & Bolt Down

Replace Caliper Assembly

Bolt down your caliper and repeat these steps on the other side.

Rear Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement

Step 1: Remove 17mm and 19mm Bolts on Rear Calipers

Remove 17mm and 19mm Bolts on Calipers

Step 2: Pull Support Bracket Out and place Caliper Body Aside

Support Bracket Out and place Caliper Body Aside

Once your caliper body and caliper support bracket are loose, you can rotate your caliper body out of the way and place on the hub assembly. The caliper support bracket is what I am holding in my hand and the caliper body is in the background.

Step 3A: Caliper Support Bracket – Remove Pads and Brackets

Caliper Support Bracket

Step 3B: Pull Bushings

 Step 3B: Caliper Support Bracket - Remove Bushings

Step 3C: New Bushings

Step 3c: Caliper Support Bracket - New Bushings

Using a center punch or screwdriver (be careful with a screwdriver), push the new rubber bushing through the caliper support bracket. Be gentle with this part as the end can rip and tear open. Take your time and try to find a good tool that will be easy on the other end.

Step 3D: Caliper Support Bracket Brake Pad Clips/Brackets

Step 3D: Caliper Support Bracket Clips

Do not try and press these metal clips/ brackets into place with your hands. Use a needle nose to pull one end of the clips over and into place. This is the difference of 1 minute vs. bloody fingers and a headache. Again, this is why we started the blog. All about the details.

 Step 4: Grease the Brake Pads

Grease the Brake Pads

Grease the outside of the brake pads. Yes, the outside.

 Step 5: Remove Rear Rotors (Depress E-Brake)

Pull Off Old RotorsPull Off Old Rotors

Make sure your E Brake is not pressed down. The E brake acts like a drum brake on the 5th Gen 4Runner. When the E brake is pressed, the pads push out and into the rotor. This causes the E brake pads and rotors to lock up. Just make sure you depress the E brake before removing the rear rotors on your 4Runner.

 Step 6: Place New Rotors on Studs

Install New Rotors

 Step 7: Assemble Support Bracket & Pads

Assemble Support Bracket

First, place your support bracket with the clips already in place over the rotor. Once you have the support bracket in place, you can install your pads. From an angle, you can insert the pads and fit them into place. You can go bottom to top or top to bottom. Whatever you find is easiest for you. Be gentle with the clips because the might pop off.

 Step 8: Compress Caliper Piston with Factory Brake Pad

Compress Caliper Piston

This is where having another person help comes in. If one person holds the caliper body and the brake pad into place, you can align the clamp. Once you have the clamp aligned, crank down the caliper pistons.

 Step 9: Torque Rear Brake Caliper Body to Support Bracket 30 ft lbs

Assemble Caliper Body

After you have the caliper pistons pushed in, you can fit the caliper body over the caliper support bracket and tighten everything down. We tightened down the caliper bolt/ guide pin at 30 ft lbs of torque.

Overview and Notes

With this step by step overview, you should have a pretty good understanding of how the brakes work. Even if you are replacing your factory pads and rotors with genuine Toyota brake pads and rotors, the process will be the same.

If you have basic shop tools and another person, you can get this install done in 4-6 hours, maybe sooner depending on your skill level. It took us about 5 hours because we took pictures and shot some video throughout the process.

Remember to start the 4Runner and pump the brakes after you finish the install on each front and rear setup. This will push the caliper pistons back out and onto the backside of the brake pads. Also, remember to depress the Ebrake before pulling the rear rotors off.

If you have any questions or comments on the install, let us know below. Thanks, everyone!

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Showing 7 comments
  • Juan Villanueva

    This is such a good write up, keep up the good work and helping make this off road community a better one.

  • Addison

    Pretty handy information in this post , great job!!😁

  • rock

    You do an outstanding job describing how to do the work. Thanks
    Looking forward to additional info.

  • Jay

    Hi Brenan, great info and pictures. I also have a passion for 4Runners. I have a 2003 which I have been advised by toyota needs new rear calipers. I have read that the 4th gen calipers have been a bit of an issue but that I can evidently put the 5th gen parts on which are better. I see that you installed the power stop pads/rotors so must think they are good. I need calipers as well – would you suggest that the power stop kit (with rotors, pads and calipers) would be a good choice?

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Jay, thanks man! Gotta love the 4R. 3rd Gen brakes were also a big pain in the ass. I am not surprised to hear about brake issues on the 4th. The factory brakes on the 5th were light years ahead of the 3rd, not one problem. My OEM pads and rotors lasted about 40k miles with no problems. I replaced the brakes with the Power Stop because the came recommended from another 5th Gen 4R guy. I have only had these pads and rotors on for a couple months. Everything has been normal and the brakes stopping on a dime. After my first little trot off-road and at the end of the day is when I first smelled them. I thought “no way that is me”. Stopped and sure enough, it was my brakes. I checked for discoloration of the rotor (blue or purple), nothing. I still have not taken the wheel off to get a better look at the pad/ rotor for signs of premature wear but really… its only been a couple months. They could just be bedding in still but that seems like awhile for truly bedding brakes. Although, my commute is less a mile every day and I have never really pushed the brakes on an all-day stent. They still stop on a dime and no smell since. We will see what happens in the next 5-10k miles. Would I recommend them? Toss up. It was a gamble on my end to go with aftermarket and slotted/drilled at that. I really wanted to see if they were really as bad as some people say they are. I am sure they will be fine but you never know. Good luck!

  • Brandon

    Will these rotors cut some weight over the stock setup?

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