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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an '07 FJ with 213,000 miles on it. It is a 2 WD. I have had this annoying brake squeal in my right rear wheel for 2 years, backing up and moving forward, usually occuring with slower speeds and a light touch of the brake. I have replaced the pads and rotors twice (ceramic pads) and this last time, replaced the caliper. It made no difference....it squealed. I finally took it to the dealer. Their brake Tech took it apart and measured the distance from the pads to the rotor, on both sides. He compared it to other FJ's that had been in the shop.....no appreciable difference. He tested the rotor to see if it spun true...it did. He got a Toyota rotor to see if the specs were the same as the OEM rotor I had on it.....and it was. Now they are telling me it has to be an axle or bearing issue. It would seem if it was a bearing issue, the rotor would NOT have turned true. It seems if it was an axle issue, it would also affect the wheel on the other side and that wheel is fine. I have spent $160 with this dealer and I do not want to spend more money on a wild goose chase. IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE THAT HAS SOME EXPERIENCE WITH THIS TYPE OF PROBLEM, OR EXPERTISE WITH THIS ISSUE THAT CAN SHED SOME LIGHT ON IT? This problem has driven me crazy for 2 years and I would like to get it remedied! Thanks.
 

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I'm not a brake expert but have now replaced my E-brake twice on the passenger side and once on the driver's side. I don't know how a visual inspection would work, but can tell you that they are an absolute nightmare to work on. Very little room to work but there are a few tricks to getting the springs and cups on the nail.

I would assume if its a rotational noise, that they were able to eliminate it when the brakes were removed which would leave axle, e-brake or bearings.

Good luck.
 

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I have an '07 FJ with 213,000 miles on it. It is a 2 WD. I have had this annoying brake squeal in my right rear wheel for 2 years, backing up and moving forward, usually occuring with slower speeds and a light touch of the brake. I have replaced the pads and rotors twice (ceramic pads) and this last time, replaced the caliper. It made no difference....it squealed. I finally took it to the dealer. Their brake Tech took it apart and measured the distance from the pads to the rotor, on both sides. He compared it to other FJ's that had been in the shop.....no appreciable difference. He tested the rotor to see if it spun true...it did. He got a Toyota rotor to see if the specs were the same as the OEM rotor I had on it.....and it was. Now they are telling me it has to be an axle or bearing issue. It would seem if it was a bearing issue, the rotor would NOT have turned true. It seems if it was an axle issue, it would also affect the wheel on the other side and that wheel is fine. I have spent $160 with this dealer and I do not want to spend more money on a wild goose chase. IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE THAT HAS SOME EXPERIENCE WITH THIS TYPE OF PROBLEM, OR EXPERTISE WITH THIS ISSUE THAT CAN SHED SOME LIGHT ON IT? This problem has driven me crazy for 2 years and I would like to get it remedied! Thanks.
Replace the rear handbrake shoes, and deglaze the drum surface. Make sure the shims on the brake pads are installed properly with copper grease. Deglaze the rotor surface. Service the caliper. If it still squeals, it ain't the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not a brake expert but have now replaced my E-brake twice on the passenger side and once on the driver's side. I don't know how a visual inspection would work, but can tell you that they are an absolute nightmare to work on. Very little room to work but there are a few tricks to getting the springs and cups on the nail.

I would assume if its a rotational noise, that they were able to eliminate it when the brakes were removed which would leave axle, e-brake or bearings.

Good luck.
Thanks again MacCruiser. It all makes sense. The dealer is telling me it has to be an axle or bearing issue, but if the wheel turns true, which they verified it does, I have a hard time beleiving it is a bearing issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Replace the rear handbrake shoes, and deglaze the drum surface. Make sure the shims on the brake pads are installed properly with copper grease. Deglaze the rotor surface. Service the caliper. If it still squeals, it ain't the brakes.
Thanks, Vcheng. I will forward this to my service advisor and see how he responds. They are thinking it is an axle or bearing issue. The wheel turns true, as they themselves verified, so I have a hard time believing it is a bearing issue. They said the axle may have "shifted", but I am not sure how a straight axle "shifts" without it being very obvious.
 

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Thanks, Vcheng. I will forward this to my service advisor and see how he responds. They are thinking it is an axle or bearing issue. The wheel turns true, as they themselves verified, so I have a hard time believing it is a bearing issue. They said the axle may have "shifted", but I am not sure how a straight axle "shifts" without it being very obvious.
There are only so many parts. The important thing is to have a proper plan of troubleshooting without just throwing parts willy nilly and hoping it will fix the problem. For starters, how about using a mechanic's stethoscope to pinpoint the noise? Or even using a set of noise locating microphones (dealers have that tool from Toyota)? If an axle has "shifted" it will cause alignment issues that should be easyy to measure. And so on. Proper diagnosis is the key to a good repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
haha, the parts cannon!

i would drive it at whatever speed you hear the squeal and GENTLY apply the parking brake. if the sound changes, gets worse or goes away it is your parking brake shoes, or as stated above, the inside of the drum is glazed.
I think this is all good advice. My dealer wanted to have me bring back my FJ so they could take out the axle and bearing and inspect it. That's more $$ and after doing a little research, I concluded that the problem with either the axle or the bearing could be runout or backlash. If that were the case, I would hear rubbing and or grinding with just regular rolling of the wheel. This problem only occurs when I apply the brakes. Since I just replaced the rotors, pads and caliper, I think you are right: the next logical solution is the parking brake. O'Reilly's has a kit with new shoes and springs that is reasonably priced. I think I will replace the shoes and springs and deglaze the drum (if needed) and see if that works. If it does not, then as one blooger posted above, it's not the brakes. Give me a couple of weeks for this. I will post my results. I am sure other people have had this problem and it would be nice to have a definitive answer and solution. Thanks to all. More coming.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE: I am bummed. It is NOT the parking brake. I took the whole parking brake assembly out and test drove my FJ. SQUEAL! It's not the rotor, pads or caliber, so it has to be a problem with the bearing and/or the axle. To me it does not make sense because the squeal only occurs when I apply the brakes. I will get my mechanic to take out the axle and inspect the bearing. It will probably have to be trial and error. Replace the bearing and see if that solves the problem. I will keep this posting updated and when I find the solution, I will post it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another Update: After viewing this video on replacing a bearing on a rear axle of an FJ Cruiser, I decided that it would be cheaper to buy an axle assembly and easier to install that, rather than pay for the labor of pressing the bearing off the axle:
. Rear axle assemblies are expensive, if you buy them at O'reilly's or a similar auto parts chain ($730+). I found some online at Partsgeek and RockAuto ($440+). But, I found a really good deal at CARID on a new axle assembly from Yukon Gear & Axle: Yukon Gear & Axle® - Axle Shaft Assembly . I inquired to make sure this unit was made in the USA (it was) and as to what brand of bearing they used (they use Timken or SKF). I know the importance of a high quality axle bearing. I have not installed this yet, but hope to this week. I must admit I am cynical about this stopping the brake squeal, but it is the only option left, after everything else has been replaced (several times) over the past 2 years of having this problem. Plus, a Toyota brake technician at a dealer said that this had to be the issue, given everything else that had been done. Will keep this string updated with the results of the axle assembly replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RESOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. I write this in the spirit of humility. To recap: I had a brake squeal problem for 2 years in what I thought was the right rear wheel. I changed rotors and pads twice and changed the caliper once without fixing the problem. I had a brake techinician drive my FJ and agreed the noise was coming from the right rear wheel. I had passengers in my FJ also agree the noise was coming from the right rear. I took my FJ to a Toyota dealer whose brake technician made no effort to isolate where the noise was coming from and just took my word where it was coming from. That technician after spending $160, told me the problem had to be in the axle or bearing of the wheel. I doubted what he said because it seemed to me there would be a constant rubbing and grinding sound, not just a squeal when the brakes are applied at certain low speeds. I took the parking brake out of that wheel and drove it for a couple of weeks and the squeal remained. As in the above string, I ordered an axle assembly from CarID. After receiving the axle assembly, I thought that I should do a brake job on the front wheels, on the outside chance the squeal was coming from them (I know that sitting in the cab, identifying the source of a noise can be tricky). I replaced the rotor and pads on both front wheels with parts from Detroit Axle. The squeal has been gone now since I did the brake job. Embarrassing, but the problem is solved. Thanks to everyone that offered suggestions. What I learned: 1) Identify, with somone standing outside the vehicle, where the source of the noise is coming from, 2) Utilize the obvious solutons first: brake pads and rotor. 3) As someone pointed out above, a squeal has to be from the braking area, which means rotors and pads. 4) Yes, it could be a parking brake problem, but there is an easy way to eliminate that as a possible issue: take the parking brake out and drive it for awhile to see if the problem goes away. 5) If it is the parking brake, again, someone above gave a fix to the problem. Finally, I believe that any issue with the axle or bearing will manifest itself with a constant grinding, not a squeal when applying the brakes. I think that just goes to show how ill-trained some dealer mechanics are. End of story!
 

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2012 FJ Cruiser, lifted 3", Front and rear Expedition One bumpers, Demello sliders, RCI body armor
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RESOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. I write this in the spirit of humility. To recap: I had a brake squeal problem for 2 years in what I thought was the right rear wheel. I changed rotors and pads twice and changed the caliper once without fixing the problem. I had a brake techinician drive my FJ and agreed the noise was coming from the right rear wheel. I had passengers in my FJ also agree the noise was coming from the right rear. I took my FJ to a Toyota dealer whose brake technician made no effort to isolate where the noise was coming from and just took my word where it was coming from. That technician after spending $160, told me the problem had to be in the axle or bearing of the wheel. I doubted what he said because it seemed to me there would be a constant rubbing and grinding sound, not just a squeal when the brakes are applied at certain low speeds. I took the parking brake out of that wheel and drove it for a couple of weeks and the squeal remained. As in the above string, I ordered an axle assembly from CarID. After receiving the axle assembly, I thought that I should do a brake job on the front wheels, on the outside chance the squeal was coming from them (I know that sitting in the cab, identifying the source of a noise can be tricky). I replaced the rotor and pads on both front wheels with parts from Detroit Axle. The squeal has been gone now since I did the brake job. Embarrassing, but the problem is solved. Thanks to everyone that offered suggestions. What I learned: 1) Identify, with somone standing outside the vehicle, where the source of the noise is coming from, 2) Utilize the obvious solutons first: brake pads and rotor. 3) As someone pointed out above, a squeal has to be from the braking area, which means rotors and pads. 4) Yes, it could be a parking brake problem, but there is an easy way to eliminate that as a possible issue: take the parking brake out and drive it for awhile to see if the problem goes away. 5) If it is the parking brake, again, someone above gave a fix to the problem. Finally, I believe that any issue with the axle or bearing will manifest itself with a constant grinding, not a squeal when applying the brakes. I think that just goes to show how ill-trained some dealer mechanics are. End of story!
The stealership has no incentive to do a lot of troubleshooting. If they can keep their mechanic busy they make money. If they are wrong they still make money, they aren't about to give any money back. The dealers survive off of people that think the dealer's "factory trained" mechanics are the best because they are associated with the manufacturer. The reality is most good independent garages (assuming they've been in business a while) do a better job than the stealerships because they have more to lose if they do a crappy job, after all they aren't selling cars as their main business. Find yourself a couple of old guys with a shop with a good reputation and ditch the stealership. This wasn't your fault, this was a dealer that would rather sell you a bunch of repairs than do some honest troubleshooting. I thought there were some really good troubleshooting suggestions people posted above, all of which it sounds like the dealer never tried, including a test drive to better determine the problem, that should say all that needs to be said about their repair work.

One other suggestion that I'd make when it comes to brakes, you can get a product from Permatex, among others, that is called Disk Brake Quiet or something similar. You spray it onto the backside of the brake pad and let it dry for a few minutes. It adds a sticky substance to the back of the pad and it helps to keep the pads from chattering when there is only a slight amount of drag. I've had good success with it and use it any time I change brake pads. My wife's car was really noisy when light pressure was applied to the brakes, spraying the pads eliminated all of the noise.
 

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Have the same problem on my 08 Tundra. My local dealer told me to apply high temp anti sieze between pads n caliper. Have done that yet but makes sense as ford does a similar thing if I remember correctly.
 

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RESOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. I write this in the spirit of humility. To recap: I had a brake squeal problem for 2 years in what I thought was the right rear wheel. I changed rotors and pads twice and changed the caliper once without fixing the problem. I had a brake techinician drive my FJ and agreed the noise was coming from the right rear wheel. I had passengers in my FJ also agree the noise was coming from the right rear. I took my FJ to a Toyota dealer whose brake technician made no effort to isolate where the noise was coming from and just took my word where it was coming from. That technician after spending $160, told me the problem had to be in the axle or bearing of the wheel. I doubted what he said because it seemed to me there would be a constant rubbing and grinding sound, not just a squeal when the brakes are applied at certain low speeds. I took the parking brake out of that wheel and drove it for a couple of weeks and the squeal remained. As in the above string, I ordered an axle assembly from CarID. After receiving the axle assembly, I thought that I should do a brake job on the front wheels, on the outside chance the squeal was coming from them (I know that sitting in the cab, identifying the source of a noise can be tricky). I replaced the rotor and pads on both front wheels with parts from Detroit Axle. The squeal has been gone now since I did the brake job. Embarrassing, but the problem is solved. Thanks to everyone that offered suggestions. What I learned: 1) Identify, with somone standing outside the vehicle, where the source of the noise is coming from, 2) Utilize the obvious solutons first: brake pads and rotor. 3) As someone pointed out above, a squeal has to be from the braking area, which means rotors and pads. 4) Yes, it could be a parking brake problem, but there is an easy way to eliminate that as a possible issue: take the parking brake out and drive it for awhile to see if the problem goes away. 5) If it is the parking brake, again, someone above gave a fix to the problem. Finally, I believe that any issue with the axle or bearing will manifest itself with a constant grinding, not a squeal when applying the brakes. I think that just goes to show how ill-trained some dealer mechanics are. End of story!

im having the same problem. originally thought it was coming from the front. replaced front pads and its still there. now it sounds like its coming from the back. hard to pin point. i have not changed the front rotors yet. that would be my next step.

also, it squeal only comes on after about 15-30min of driving. was yours like this too?
 
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