Rear brake caliper rebuild - need some input

May 28, 2004
Richmond, VA
I am trying to get the rear calipers back together and I can't figure out the "trick" to get the boot on and the piston in. I can do one or the other, but not both. The front were pretty easy, but these are setup different.

Can someone help me out here?



Aug 9, 2003

I've done the fronts, but if the rears are that different then I don't have a clue. Maybe a little more elaboration? Are you getting the seal in, and the piston in, but then having trouble seating the pleated bellows-style boot to seat all the way? Are these OEM Toyota parts with the correct little lip?
May 28, 2004
Richmond, VA
On the front, the boot slips over the piston and over a rim on the caliper around the piston hole. Then you put a retainer ring around the boot and rim to hold it in place.

On the rear, there is only 1 piston per caliper (instead of 4). The boot fits into a groove around the edge of the piston hole. The problem is that if you put the boot in the groove first, you can't really get the piston in because the opening is smaller on that side of the boot. If you put the piston in first, you can't get the boot into the groove because the pistong is partially blocking it (looks like the piston helps hold it in).

There has got to be a trick, just not sure what it is!!

(All Toyota OEM parts.)


Jul 13, 2003
I did both front and rears. The rears were really hard, front's were easy. I agree that the rubber boots were the tricky part. Assuming the caliper is laying on the bench, with the rotor opening facing towards you. That is, your hands go into the caliper from the same direction that the rotor goes in. I did it with the boots on the piston, but the key was to get the back side of the boot (facing away from you) into the groove first. Then you can work the boot around into the lip with your fingers, finally slipping the front side into place. To get the back side of the boot into the groove, I used the side of a flatbladed screwdriver, inserted from the opening on one side of the caliper (from either the left or right, depending on which hand you prefer). First boot took 40 minutes, next three took 3 minutes.

Not sure if this explanation makes much sense. Hope it helps...


Aug 9, 2003

The factory service manual says to put the piston in first, then the boot. HTH

May 28, 2004
Richmond, VA
FSM is full of it!!!

I got them, but had to do similar to what lovetoski did.

I put the boot on the piston and slide it down about 1/2 to 3/4. Then put the lower part of the boot in the groove as it is supposed to. Then once it was in, pushed the piston in slowly all the way down and the boot slide up and into the groove on the piston.

Thanks for the input!!!!!


Aug 9, 2003
Whups, meant to post that to Stress, not Doug. Got back from the garage and Doug had posted in the interim so I posted to him. Anyhow, glad you got it figured out. If I read correctly, you put the boot on the piston, pulled it down so the bottom lip of the boot came back on the piston and the top lip of the boot was down 1/2 to 3/4 and worked the bottom lip into place with your fingers, eh?

Mar 13, 2003
North Front Range, CO
I don't know how I did it ( it was my first repair to the 80) but it took hours to do.
I used two very small screwdrivers.I put the piston in first, then fought the boot to get it on.
You have to be careful not to put ahole in the NEW boot :doh:
And make sure you don't destroy the old boot as you may have to reuse it :eek:
May 28, 2004
Richmond, VA
No screw drivers here! Sounds like I should have taken pictures of how I did it to help others. :doh:

Well, I think Heffenoche will be asking me to help with his, and I'll take pictures then.

At this point, in the last 10 days I have done the following:

Front axle rebuild
New front rotors
Rebuld front calipers
New 100 series front pads
New Tie Rod (slee)
New Tie Rod ends
New Relay link rod (slee)
New Relay link ends
New Rear Rotors
Rebuild Rear Calipers
New Rear pads
SS Speed Bleeders all around
Complete flush of brake fluid with Synthetic fluid

Hmm, seeing that I did the springs, shocks and tires last fall, not much left!!!

Thanks for all the input!
Mar 13, 2003
North Front Range, CO
StressPuppy said:
No screw drivers here! Sounds like I should have taken pictures of how I did it to help others. :doh:

Hmm, seeing that I did the springs, shocks and tires last fall, not much left!!!

Thanks for all the input!
Have you seen my repair/maintanace list?

1994 Toyota FZJ80
207788 5/4/2002 New
208067 5/4 oil Hav10/30,
Toyfuel inj cleaner
trany oil
t-case oil Mobil1
fuel filter
208625 5/17 Bosch plug wires
NGK spark plugs
210000 7 to 10 center diff lock switch
new t-case
rear main seal
Newfields CV axles (both)
front diff bearings
steering knuckle bearings
newnwheel bearings front
rotor cap
tires Wild Country RVT 285/75/16
brake rotors, all 4
parking brake part ???
Syntech brake fluid
u-joints all
tie rod ends all
nuts, bolts for drive shaft
caliper rebuild rear
bleader valve rt rear
wheel flanges front
speedo gear (correction for big tires)
210710 10/30 thermostat
water pump
front engine seal
coolant Dexcool
front diff seal
ARB Bull Bars (front bumper)
210951 11/14 oil Mobil 1 10w30
213855 12/30 oil filter only
214440 ?/2003 front end alingnment
215119 2/3 sea foam in gas tank
217088 add 1 qt oil (pan leak)
217236 3/11/2003 PCV
oil filter
217453 3/14 check engine light code 71 EGR
sea foam in PCV
sea foam in oil
rotate tires
220088 4/28/2003 oil pump cover seal
220230 4/29/2003 oil Mobil1 10w30
220515 5/3/2003 clean intake chamber, EGR port pluged
EGR gasket
intake chamber gasket
valve cover gasket
MAF gasket
spark plug guide seals
OEM plug wires
valve clearance checked
221591 5/21/2003 t-case leaking
t-case oil Mobil1 75/90
diff oil 80/90 Amsoil (both)
222464 5/25/2003 add 1qt oil
222652 5/31/2003 front diff companion flange & pinion seal
222667 6/4/2003 new t-case, replaced under warr. as it leaked.
front diff seal(MAF)
223377 6/16/2003 TRD airfilter
224319 7/6/2003 left side tires rotate
224584 7/13/2003 oil change RotellaT 15w40,
add 1/2 oz Counteract to FR LF tire
seal outside of oil pan, the front part of it
225010 7/20/2003 clean EGR modulator and temp sensor
225650 8/1/2003 Check Engine light came on and off, clean modulator
paint receiver POR15
226085 8/12/2003 new EGR modulator,
rotate tires,add 1/3 qt oil
new rear wheel bearings
mount spare tire used 285/75/16
new SS bolts on cat skid plate
ass 1/3 qt oil
226660 8/18/2003 Slee Sliders w/running board,t-case skid plate,
add 1 qt oil
227419 8/20/2003 p/s line leak return line from gearbox
227455 8/21/2003 Napa 5/8 hose (too tight but worked)
227582 8/22/2003 1 qt oil
227736 8/22/2003 BG44K to gas
229060 8/29/2003 drain coolant remove radiator replace drain plug,
5/8 Gates hose works for return hose P/S injector clamps for clamps
new set bolt for alt.belt
229197 8/31/2003 replace front diff pinion seal OEM and used FIPG(transaxle sealant) on lip of seal
229298 9/1/2003 oil change 0w40 M1
230854 9/30/2003 Dexcool new radiator hoses
231632 10/14 set timing 3 deg
231750 10/14/2003 add 2/3 qt oil
232098 10/26/2003 oil change 10w30 Chevron
232846 11/25/2003 rotate tires, add 1/2oz to the one tire that was short Counteract
232855 11/27/2003 Lucas injector cleaner in gas
233600 12/17/2003 1qt oil, oil pan slow leak, new seeping leak at timing chain cover (now 2 seeping leaks)
234941 1/9/2004 add 1/2qt oil
235329 1/16 BG44K to gas
325704 1/20/2004 oil change RotellaT syn 5W40, oil leaks stoped some time after that
238263 3/26/2004 add 1/2 qt oil
238600 4/1 add 1/2 qt oil
239166 4/11/2004 add 1/2 qt oil
240146 4/26/2004 add 1qt oil
241285 5/13/2004 O2 sensor, cat&front ppe gaskets
241549 5/22/2004 fuel pump
a/c belt tensioner pulley
P.side door stop
oil pump regulator & spring
oil filter add 1 qt (1/4 low)
241997 6/6/2004 Seafoam to gas & oil
242492 6/20/2004 oil change RotellaT syn 5w40
244617 7/30/2004 Toy FI cleaner in gas,
245383 8/11/2004 change coolant ToyRed
245490 8/14/2004 add 1/2 qt oil
new/used front suspension springs OEM (date and mi I did the change ???)
246058 8/28/2004 add 3/4 qt oil
247805 9/18/2004 add 1 qt oil
248644 10/16/2004 unplug port "R"
clean & oil TRD airfilter
249185 10/31 add 1 qt oil
249312 11/3/2004 New front shocks
new P. side front wheel bearings
249680 11/12/2004 ProComp XTerraina 285/75/16 4oz Equal,alingment,
249800 11/16/2004 front R. tire shakes steering wheel, put it in rear no shake,remove tire and spin balance still shake,
250243 12/4/2004 add 1 qt oil

There is more, I just need to update

SO don't say "not much left!!!" :D
May 28, 2004
Richmond, VA

But my list is only what I have done in the last 10 days (and actually there are a couple of other things not on that list.) My list for the year that I have had the truck is quite extensive too, though maybe not as long as yours.

Hey, there is always something to do. Not because things are broken, but because we are anal-retentive about our rigs!!!! :grinpimp:


Aug 9, 2003

What did you end up doing with the ProComp that was shaking? I took my truck into Les Schwab (tire shop version of Nordstrom's) and they re-road force balanced them since a couple were slightly shaking at 75 or so. Will see if it makes a difference tomorrow afternoon - first freeway drive.

Curious how you shake out on this.

Oct 8, 2005
in the stacks
A Trick

I know this is an old thread, but I just rebuilt my rear calipers and I came up with a way of getting the rear caliper boots on lickety-split, so I thought I'd share it. Putting the two calipers back together took about 10 minutes with this method.

Here's what I did:

1) Seat the bottom part of the boot into the caliper.
2) Find some kind of tube that has a slightly larger outside diameter than the piston. Must be a material you can work with. I used a piece of cardboard shipping tube, but a small yogurt container or frozen juice container might do as well.
3) Cut a 2" section (approx) out of the tube.
4) Cut along the length of the tube section so you can open it up (i.e. to form a "c" shape or whatever).
5) Coil the tube up so that it fits inside the open end of the boot. The smaller you coil it, the easier it'll go in.
6) Once you've inserted the coiled tube into the cylinder, let it open up, and it it should start to press against the boot.
7) Pull the tube slowly out of the caliper, bringing the boot along. Stretch the boot out by forcing the tube open. Mine stretched quite a ways without any sign of tearing.
8) Insert the greased piston into the hole created by the tube, and push it into the caliper. Once the piston is past the lower seat of the boot, you're home free! Push the sucker home!

Hope folks find this helpful.

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