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Old 08-16-2010, 01:40 PM   #1
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Adventures in Doing Your Brakes For The First Time and It Becoming A $%*# Story

I originally posted this under 'Camry'. I hadn't noticed that there was 'Solara' specific one to pick. So, if it's OK I thought I'd post it here too.

Hello, I'm at the point of begging for some sound advice and, Lord willing, a solution to a very difficult and problem I am having with the brakes on my 01 Camry Solara SLE (1MZFE). A little background, I had never worked on brakes of any kind before I began this. But, it seemed like it would be a very straight-forward process to change the front rotors, pads and driver side caliper. I destroyed a caliper because I was a dumb-ass and let it go too long and was driving (only 4 mph in a driveway) when the pads fell out and caused the piston to go grinding into the back of the rotor. It wouldn't go back in.

SO, now I finally have an almost entirely new brake system after having an old buddy (20 year honda/toyota tech) of mine to try giving me a hand at it. New master cylinder, power booster and caliper (driver side front), and both front rotors. It will begin feeling fine. No noises, smooth strong braking. Then I feel the pedal begin to get firmer as I use the brakes more and then the front brakes gradually (but fairly quickly) begin to not release and they grab to where the engine struggles to move the car.

I have got this far in my troubleshooting. I believe the culprit is only the front driver side caliper or line. If the pass side is grabbing I think its only because the ABS is correcting for the driver side (which is the only one I replaced and disconnected). I ran it this morning to the point it got to fighting the engine and the pulled into my driveway, left in on and got under and cracked the bleeder bolt on the caliper. A little shot out under what I didn't think was crazy pressure or anything and closed it off real quick. And then the car rolled again!

So, it's allowing pressure to push the pistons in but it wont draw back out of the one caliper. I don't think its a bad caliper because its the second replacement as we thought the first was what the problem might be. A bad line could cause this to happen if the inner lining was damaged or junked up. But another friend told me those hoses barely ever break. Then I Googled up something that mentioned it might be a the proportioning valve or LSPV. The strange thing about that is that autozone and oreilly websites say that part is N/A for the car!

Also FYI, the lines have been bled flawlessly. Which was another very long drawn out difficult process.

Any help would be VERY much appreciated. I am at a total loss and its my only ride and I'm beginning to really regret ever attempting to do this and teach myself something.


PS: Feel free to email me directly at
From Inafogg:

Re: Adventures in Doing Your Breaks For The First Time and It Becoming A $%*# Story

it does sound like the rubber brake hose to caliper is internally bad(like you thought)if pressure releases when opening bleeder i'd replace hose
good luck

Thanks inafogg. I really feel like it's a good guess too. Before I begin today I will attempt to speak to someone at the Toyota factory service center here in Dallas to see if they think its a good guess also. We'll see if they talk to me. I know it sounds cheap, but I'm really at the point that being wrong about a $35 tube would hurt. I wonder if there is a way to evaluate the tube after removing it before I buy the new one.

OK. I spoke to a really friendly and knowledgeable fellow up at The John Eagle Sport City Toyota of Dallas. I'd post his name to his credit but I don't know how his employer would feel about it. Anyway, he also agreed that the line to caliper tube could very well be the culprit. And he also told me how and why. The fluid that was working thru the damaged caliper could have easily got so hot that it melted the inner layer of the tube. So with that and inafogg's opinion and everything else I've read, that's what I will go with for now. I will post the results.

Last edited by Brian R.; 08-06-2011 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:38 PM   #2
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Re: Adventures in Doing Your Breaks For The First Time and It Becoming A $%*# Story

it sounds like a bad proportioning valve as you said. call a dealership and see if they have any info on getting one or where to buy on.
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