Changing brake pads on Toyota Highlander

Here are my the instructions on how to replace the brake pads on the Toyota Highlander.   Note that these are just my instructions and is no means the only safest way to perform this maintenance. Consult with a professional mechanic to ensure the proper steps and safety measures are followed.
This brake pad change was performed for the first time since purchasing the car brand-new. The car has 48,000 miles on it.

The first thing you need to do is take off the two bolts to the plastic panel underneath the front of the car which will give you access to the checkpoint.

Jack up the car slightly and start loosening the lugnuts on one of the wheels.  Then jack up the car high enough so that there is clearance between the bottom of the tire and the floor. I think about 1 inch of clearance is good enough. From this point support vehicle by putting jackstands underneath the car. After this is completed take off all five lug nuts and remove the tire.
The next step is to take off the caliber. There will be two bolts near the back of the caliber that you will need to remove. Now take a piece of rope and tie the counter to the suspension of the car while removing it fall. Make sure you do not pinch the brake lines.

Remove the two V-shaped springs and take note of their location and fit. Next you want to remove the brake pads just by sliding in a screwdriver or even using your fingers to pry out the pads.

Remove the metal fittings from the original brake pads and place them on the new brake pads in the same orientation. Then apply some break grease only around the ends of the brake pads  where there will be contact and movement.

Place the brake pads back into the break housing in the same orientation as you took them out. Then take the V springs and place them in the brake pads to match the origin all orientation.
With a C clamp you will want to come press the brake caliper pistons and also use a 2 x 4 to help with the compression to avoid scratching or damaging the pistons.

After the Pistons I’ve been fully compressed remove the C clamp and 2 x 4 and apply grease to the Pistons. Only put a tiny amount. Remove the string tied to the caliper and place the caliper over the brake pads.

Insert and tighten the caliper bolts that were removed previously.

MR2 mechanical to electrical speedo conversion

USDM 91-92 Mechanical Cluster to 93+ JDM Conversion

By hmong337

Are you sick of replacing those unreliable mechanical speed sensors? Or, maybe you got a JDM cluster with your 93+ JDM engine/transmission/clip and don’t want to deal with finding a mechanical speed sensor? I’ve got the perfect solution for you! Plus, this write-up is to finally lay this topic to rest.

Astonishingly, this conversion cost me as much as buying a used mechanical speed sensor. So not only is it a great alternative, but also a cost effective solution. 93+ JDM electronic clusters sell for barely anything; as do the electronic speed sensors. So if when your mechanical unit dies, you’re better off converting to electronic. It’s a lot more reliable and smoother too!

Be done with this:
-Cracked speedometer sensor gear shaft

-Worn out sub-assembly pin

The items you will need are:
-93+ JDM electronic cluster
-Electronic cluster plugs (Grab an extra one if you can. You may need to salvage pins from it later)
-Electronic speed sensor w/ its pigtail (female plug)

Step 1: Install your electronic speed sensor into the transmission. Here is an install link: (big thanks to: The homepage of Stephen Mason ( His work can be found here: MR2 Speedometer sub-assembly replacement How-To (

***The link is for installing a mechanical unit. But it’s no different for the electronic unit.

Step 2: Cut off the triangle plug that went into your old mechanical speed sensor and splice on your new 93+ electronic plug/pigtail. There should be three wires.

91-92: 93+ JDM
white/black (ground) ——> brown (ground)
black/yellow (power) ——> black/yellow (power)
violet (speed signal) ——-> yellow/red (speed signal)

Here is a picture of the 91-92 triangle plug.

Here is a picture of the 93+ JDM electronic plug.

Step 3: Remove your old mechanical cluster. Follow this link: (big thanks to MR2OC member: fosley)

Now, let’s compare clusters

***NOTE: If your JDM cluster didn’t come with plugs, you can find them from Toyota Camry’s of 93-96 and 97-2000. I think the V6 Camry’s of 97-2000 have all three plugs but I’m not 100% sure. I was lucky my JDM cluster came with plugs. But it’s not a big deal. You can find all three at junkyards pretty easily. While you’re there, make sure you grab an extra plug to salvage pins from. Anyways, here are the part numbers:

90980-11114 blue plug “B”
90980-11115 brown plug “A”
90980-11116 gray plug “C”

Step 4: For the JDM unit, you’re going to have to swap the mounting brackets over from your USDM unit. They are different as the JDM uses RHD brackets and the USDM uses LHD brackets. See here:

Now is the perfect time to do an LED light bulb conversion. I got four of these for like $4 shipped on Ebay. I highly recommend these.

The stock turbo gauge is a waste of space. So, I went ahead and swapped my NA volt-meter to the 93+ JDM cluster. These are the pins/screws you’re going to have to jump in order to get your volt-meter to work. (Big thanks to 5sfeTurbo.Com: MR2 | Celica | Camry | Turbo | Toyota | 2.0 | 2.2 | 5SFE, 3SGTE Information ( You can find his work here 5sfeTurbo.Com: MR2 | Celica | Camry | Turbo | Toyota | 2.0 | 2.2 | 5SFE, 3SGTE Information (

Just for kicks, have you ever seen a non-turbo, turbo cluster?

Step 5: The 91-92 harness does not have a wire for 93+ JDM B8 “vehicle speed pulse generator”. If your car has cruise control, you’re in luck! If your car does not have cruise control, you’re going to have to “hardwire”. That means finding a ground, a power source, running the speed signal wire all the way into the cabin, then to the back of your cluster from the electronic speed sensor at the transmission.

But for you cruise control guys, here is what you do. Find plug “IE3” at the driver’s side kick panel. On “IE3” locate “Pin 6”. The wire should be purple/white. This wire contains the speed signal that you need for the “vehicle speed pulse generator” JDM B8.

Here is another look at the whole JDM B8 wire tap:

Here is the wire that I brought up from “IE3 Pin6” to JDM B8

Step 6: Now on to the meat of the conversion. The wire splicing! Just because I’m a nice guy, I took all these schematics and condensed it into a nice and easy to understand worksheet. You can download it here: Mr2 Cluster Conversion.xlsx – – online file sharing and storage – download (

Here’s a closer look at the back of the 93+ JDM cluster:

93+ JDM Plug A: ***Notice how “A10” is empty? We’ll get to that later…

93+JDM Plug B:

93+ JDM Plug C:

The empty “A10” spot on the JDM plug is the cruise control indicator light. However, the JDM’s did not come with cruise control so they didn’t pin for it. Oddly enough, they still came with the indicator light. So, we’re going to have to pin that spot for our USDM cruise indicator to work. Hopefully you grabbed an extra plug from the junkyard to salvage some pins from. This is where they will be needed. If your USDM did not come with cruise, you can skip this step.

Also, the JDM’s did not come with air bags (not until 97-98, I think???) so we’re going to improvise here. They don’t have an “air bag” indicator light either so I went ahead and used the “hot muffler” light on the JDM cluster. This will now be your “air bag” indicator light. Looks funky, but I love it.

I will say that I am unsure on the “fog light” indicator issue as I don’t have fog lights. But according to what others have done, they spliced JDM B4 (fog light indicator – red) to the fog relay at the front fuse box in the frunk. I’m not 100% sure on how it’s done, but all I know is that you’re going to have to run a wire into the frunk fuse box for a tap somewhere to get the “fog light” indicator to work. Most likely it will be the fog light relay, but don’t quote me on that. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.

Also with this conversion, your hazard button will now blink the “high beam” indicator light instead of both left and right turn signals simultaneously. Hopefully that isn’t a big deal to you.

Moving along…

JDM Plug “A” being disassembled to be pinned for A10 “cruise control”:

Since my car doesn’t have ABS, I took the pin from C9  and moved it to A10

***NOTE: I’ve already pinned it in the pictures but I disassembled the plug again for photo purposes.

VOILA! We’re now pinned for cruise control.

Here are the 91-92 USDM plugs:
***NOTE, the 5 longest wires that are laid flat are NOT used.

For a wiring novice, it looks pretty intimidating! But it’s not all that bad (especially now that I’ve made the conversion spreadsheet for you!). Wiring is not really my forte but I managed to get it done pretty easily.

From this:

To this:

To this:

And that’s it! Just verify that your cluster is working 100% before you put everything back together.

Chicken Biryani


For the marinade

6 chicken drumsticks
Small bunch of cilantro, with only the soft stalks
¼ cup mint
2 T ginger and garlic paste
2 tsp ground cumin
1 T cream
Salt as needed

For the Curry

1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-inch chunk of ginger, minced
1 large bunch of cilantro
½ cup mint
1 cup thick coconut milk
2 cups water/broth
1 T ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 T garam masala
6-7 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
6-7 whole peppercorns
3 whole star anise
3 dry bay leaves
Salt as needed

For the rice

3 cups Basmati rice
½ small onion, julienned
3 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods, cracked
1 bay leaf
2 T ghee
5 ½ cups of water

For garnish

Handful of cashews, roasted in ghee


Grind together the marinade ingredients. Make slits on the flesh of the drumsticks, coat with the marinade and let rest for a few hours or overnight.

To make the curry, saute the onions, garlic and ginger in oil until translucent. Remove from heat and cool. Grind together the cooked onions, cilantro and mint. In a deep bowl, roast the whole spices in ghee until their aromas are released. Return the onion mixture to the pan and cook until the oil starts seperating. Add the dry spices and salt, mix and saute for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook on medium until the meat is fully cooked. Let the curry cool until just warm.

Meanwhile, prepare the rice. Roast the whole spices in ghee and the saute the onions in the same. When soft, add the Basmati rice and roast for a few minutes. Add water and salt and cook the rice until just done. Let it cool to warm. Do not touch the rice when hot as they are most brittle then.

When ready to assemble, spread the rice in a deep dish, oven proof pan. A little by little add the curry and gently tossed until it’s just wet. The recipe makes a lot of curry than you need. For 3 cups of raw rice, you will not need more a cup and a half of the curry. Arrange the chicken pieces around the dish, cover with a bit rice, so they don’t dry out. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Check in between to see if the biryani is drying out. If so, add more curry and gently toss.

To serve, scoop out the rice into a platter, arrange the drumsticks around and sprinkle roasted cashews over. Biryani is typically served with a simple raita made with diced onions in yogurt.

Chilli in Pressure Cooker


1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 cups water


Place the ground beef in the pressure cooker over medium high heat; cook until brown and crumbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the ground beef, and drain off the excess fat.
Return the open pressure cooker to the burner over medium heat, pour in the olive oil, and stir in the onion, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, and cook and stir for about 30 more seconds. Return the meat to the pressure cooker; mix in the kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, cocoa powder, red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, salt, and water.
Lock the lid, bring the cooker up to pressure, reduce heat to maintain pressure, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove cooker from the heat, and let the pressure reduce on its own, 5 to 10 minutes.
When the pressure is fully released, remove the lid, stir the chili, and serve.