Brake calipers come "loaded" and "unloaded or bare". A "loaded" caliper already includes the 2 brake pads (inner and outer) so if you buy a "loaded" caliper you do not need to buy brake pads separately. A "bare(unloaded)" caliper is the caliper only and you need to buy the brake pads separately. If you are changing only one caliper it is cheaper to buy one "bare" caliper and a set of brake pads. If you are changing calipers on both sides it is cheaper to buy only 2 "loaded" calipers.
August, 22, 2011 AT 8:26 PM
Never heard of a semi-loaded caliper. A loaded one has the pads already installed. The advantage is it saves the mechanic time. I prefer unloaded because I do things to prepare the pads to prevent brake squeak. Very few do-it-yourselfers know any of these tricks professionals use. If I had a loaded caliper, I would just end up taking the pads out anyway. For you, the advantage of one over the other would be price.
Toyota is not known to have caliper problems so there's no need to replace them on a five year old truck unless you're having an issue.
August, 22, 2011 AT 8:32 PM
One of the pistons in the right front is sticking and will not release. I was told that is just as cost effective and easier to just replace the caliper than try to replace one of the pistons on my exsisting caliper.
August, 22, 2011 AT 8:39 PM
Sticking pistons are usually due to torn dust seal allowing water entry. You can try removing the pistons and cleaning it. If it is not pitted, replacing the seals should do.
August, 22, 2011 AT 8:42 PM
Any special tools needed to do that? If so, which ones.
August, 22, 2011 AT 8:50 PM
No special tool requuired. If the piston is stuck stiff, put sometin hard between the one that is not stcuk and get some one to press the brake pedal slowly with short strokes to move the stuck piston out until it is loose and then remove the caliper to clean it.
Be careful not to overshoot the piston as it can result in the brake fluid spraying out.
August, 22, 2011 AT 8:52 PM
August, 22, 2011 AT 8:59 PM
When reinstalling, do not force the piston it. It should go in with minimal pressure. If forced, it could be seated unevenly.