Toyota Tacoma Hawk Brake Pad & Rotor Upgrade Kit

Yesterday I installed a Hawk brake pad and rotor kit on a 2013 Toyota Tacoma.  Hawk pads are the only thing that stands up to some of the roads we have here on the big island of Hawaii that could pass for cliffs.

Toyota Tacoma Brake Upgrade - Hawk Brake Pad & Rotor Kit

One particular road here is so steep, it killed the rotors on this truck with only 10,000 miles on it.  The dealer wanted to machine the rotors. I suggested how about we upgrade and fix the problem once and for all. The customer agreed. So I ordered Hawk Sector 27 high-performance brake kit that comes with drilled and slotted rotors with Hawk pads all in one kit.

Hawk pads and rotors

There is a break-in procedure after installation, and I was expecting these rotors to be noisy, and to my surprise, they weren’t. This is going to be my shop’s new brake upgrade package from now on.

Hawk Sector 27


Cordless Impact Wrench Review

Most of the last 37 years in auto repair I’ve used Ingersol-Rand impact guns. A few years back I bought an 18-volt cordless impact from Matco Tools. It was very impressive. And very expensive. After about a year and a half, I had to have it rebuilt.
Recently I got a new Dewalt 20-volt 1/2 impact wrench. Oh. My. God. It’s amazing how powerful it is. And since it’s brushless, hopefully, it will last a long time before having to be replaced.  But even if I have to buy a new gun every year or so it will be worth it since it’s over 50 percent less cost than  the 18v Matco gun I first bought.  Plus, the Dewalt gun is shorter and easier to get into tight places. And the most powerful impact wrench I’ve ever used.

Coolest Portable Jump Starter On The Planet

This tool is so small you can put it in your glove compartment. I bought one of these for my kids to keep in their car so they never have to worry about a dead battery.

I’ve been using one of these portable jumpers in my shop for a year now and I’m totally amazed at how many jump starts it will do before needing a recharge. Plus, you can use it to power all your computer gadgets too.  Worth every stinking penny!

Weathertech Floor Mats

My wife asked me the other day if I had ever posted about all weather floor mats. Well, no.

amazonOrderWeather Tech

Blizzak DM-2 Studless Ice & Snow Tire

Testing Studless Ice & Snow Winter Tires for Crossovers and SUVs

Blizzak DM-V2

Every year Tire Rack does winter tire comparison testing on ice and snow. This year they tested three different brands all installed on a 2016 Porsche Cayenne. Personally, I wish they had used a more typical daily driver instead. I mean, how many people do you know that drive a $90K SUV?

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 (Light Truck/SUV Studless Ice & Snow): The Blizzak DM-V2 is Bridgestone’s Light Truck/SUV Studless Ice & Snow winter tire developed for the drivers of pickup, crossover and sport utility vehicles looking for enhanced grip in slush, snow and on ice. Designed with a focus on ice traction and braking, as well as wet road handling and hydroplaning resistance, the Blizzak DM-V2 offers wintertime driving competence.

Since the DM-V2 is a new tire for 2015, there’s not a lot of real world reviews out on the web yet. But here is one that I did find and there were similar comments echoed on the same page.

Wow just wow. The grip is unreal. High winds and ice were no match. I easily get out of my driveway in real wheel drive with no slipping. If you live anywhere in the snow belt you will not regret this purchase.

Ice Acceleration 60 feet. Ice Braking  from 12 mph (feet)
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 3.027 29.2

Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 3.018 28.2  – First Place.
Yokohama iceGUARD iG51v 3.534 40.7 – Last Place.

Since the stopping difference is over 10 feet between the Yokohama and the others, I’d  go with either the Michelin or Blizzak.