Toyota 4-piston Caliper Conversion
  Craig Borden  



I know that the stock brake system on my Z was very old and would probably have been fine had I used all new, stock components. The point in my mind was: why pay to go stock when I can spend a little more money and get about 50% more pad area? The performance of this modification is great and I would certainly do it again. However, the addition of a vented rotor would really pay off..

What you will need...

  • One pair of calipers from a 1982-1984 Toyota 4x4 truck
  • Brake Pads
  • The necessary tools to make it happen

It is a good idea to throw in...

  • New rotors if you have doubts about the current units. At least have them resurfaced.
  • New flexible lines. Perhaps stainless braided lines. I installed new OE aftermarket lines.
  • A spare set of the short section of hard brake line that feeds the calipers

I went to the junkyard and bought used calipers, then traded them in as cores on a set of rebuilt, loaded calipers. I came out way ahead in the $$$ department. My rotors were suspect so I just bought new ones and also installed new rubber lines at the same time. It is cheap insurance if you don't know the history behind the components on your car. Who wants to do the work of installing new calipers if the other components cause the results to be a disappointment?

I had to use 1/8" wheel spacers to clear the new calipers with my wheels. This may or may not need to be done.
A spare set of those short steel lines that join the caliper and rubber hose is a good idea. Those lines have to be slightly bent to get them in the Toyota calipers. I had no problems but if one of those lines had broken or cracked, my Z would have been down for the count. Your call!

Bolt it up

Remove the wheel and old caliper from the car followed by the rotor and hub assembly.
Remove the sheet metal backing plate and decide if you will trim the plate or leave it off. I trimmed mine - to each his/her own.
Re-install the backing plate, if desired, followed by the rotor.
Now is the time to re-grease components, install new rubber lines, new rotors, new wheel bearings, etc. Make sure that all components of your brake system are in good order. You want the mod to do for you what it has done for many other Z car fanatics! Be sure.
Install the new calipers, pads and brake hardware.
Bend the short length of steel line so that the flare will install in the caliper. Be careful here and try not to bind the line in one spot. I have had one of these break on me before and it is not a good thing. Can you say "special order"?
Bleed your hydraulic system, re-install the wheel and take it for a spin.

Hydraulic Upgrades

Contrary to what you may have heard, the upgrade does not require the addition of a larger master cylinder and doesn't significantly increase pedal travel. It just doesn't. This doesn't mean that other Z cars won't have a problem but my '77 is just fine. I guess a new, larger volume master cylinder can't hurt though.