As mentioned before, the braking system is one the most important systems on your Tacoma, regardless of how you drive it. It’s these components that slow you down, keeping you safe on the public roads or on the side of a sheer cliff. Below, we briefly go through each component of the braking system and how it helps get your truck stopped. It’s important to have an understanding of what each is before forking out the money to upgrade them.
Calipers: On most modern vehicles, braking power at the front is powered by a brake caliper, which is connected to the vehicle’s hydraulic system and contains the brake pads. When the fluid reaches the caliper, it uses small pistons to squeeze the brake pads against the brake rotor, killing speed. Brake calipers offer better resistance to brake fade than calipers as well as performance in wet conditions.
Drums: Unlike a caliper, a brake drum is designed with brake pads housed inside. These were much more popular in the past, but are becoming less common as they struggle to provide the same power as disc brake setups and routine maintenance is actually more complicated. Drum to caliper conversions are available for the Tacoma for those looking for all the stopping power possible.
Lines: The brake lines are part of a hydraulic system that essentially connects your brake pedal to the front brake calipers or drums out back. At the push of the pedal, fluid rushes to either and forces them to actuate, helping slow the truck down.
Pads: Brake pads are basically small contact surfaces made with a steel backing plate and special material that grabs the brake rotor. There are several types of brake pads on the market, each constructed with different materials that offer different braking characteristics.
Rotors: Simply put, the brake rotor (or disc) is a round metal plate which the brake pads clamp to. These rotors are offered in various sizes and thicknesses and even come with slots to help reduce heat in heavy use.