Replace the Brake Pads and Brake Rotors on a 7th Generation (2001-2005) Honda Civic
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Honda Civic Models
– socket set
– No. 3 phillips head bit
– jack and jack stands
– brake pad grease
– some strong string or wire
– impact screwdriver
– small sledge hammer
– brake cleaner/degreaser
1. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels.
2. Jack up the front of the car with a jack. (look for an arrow etched in the black plastic under the car to see the support point)
3. Put jack stands under the sides of the car in the middle of the special support points. (remember to make it so the wheels are off the ground slightly)
4. Remove the lug nuts completely and take off the wheels.
5. To do the passenger’s side of the car turn the wheel all the way to the left. To do the driver’s side of the car turn the wheel all the way to the right.
SEE OPTIONAL STEP NUMBER ONE BELOW
6. Look for two big bolts that hold the caliper to the hub. (circled in blue)
7. Remove the lower bolt first. (remember which way to unscrew; right-hand thread)
8. Suspend the caliper with some strong string tied to the spring, or a wire bent to hang from the spring. (watch out to not bend the brake line too much)
9. Remove the upper bolt and let the caliper hang from the string or wire. (make sure it’s secure)
10. Spray the two phillips head screws holding the rotor to the hub with WD-40. (circled in yellow)
11. Wait for the WD-40 to loosen the screws and use a No. 3 phillips head bit to unsrew them.
SEE OPTIONAL STEP NUMBER TWO BELOW
12. Tap the old rotors with a hammer if they’re stubborn and won’t come off the hub.
13. Now clean the rusted parts of the hub with something that removes rust to make a good seating surface for the new rotor. (WD-40 is okay)
14. Take out the brake pads from the caliper. They just slip out.
15. Take out this little clip cover on one of the brake pads and clean it.
16. Clean the old pads and rotors. (save them and maybe sell them [IMG]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/IMG])
17. Clean the caliper using a de-greaser. (dish washing liquid is okay, but specialty brake cleaner is preferable)
18. Clean everything else so that it’s spic and span, greaseless, and dry.
19. Now put the brake pad grease on the back of the brake pads and on the slip covers. (do not put any on the sides that touch the rotor)
20. Install the brake pads. (remember to include those slip covers that you removed from the stock pads)
21. Make sure to clean the rotors of any grease before putting them on.
22. Put on the rotors. (these rotors are directional, remember to put the right one on the right side)
23. After putting on the rotors check again if they have any grease smears on them. (clean as necessary)
SEE OPTIONAL STEP NUMBER THREE BELOW
24. Put on the calipers. (do not grind any part of the caliper against the rotor)
25. Tighten everything down to specifications. (don’t know what that is exactly, so I’m going on feel)
26. Before putting the wheels back on pump the brakes lightly a couple of times to seat the brake pads.
OPTIONAL STEP NUMBER ONE:
1. Look for the two smaller bolts that hold the outside part of the caliper closer to the rotor. (circled in red)
2. Try to loosen the bolts; notice that this one part spins.
3. Use a wrench to hold that part in place while you try to loosen the bolts again.
This optional step is to loosen how close the brake pads sit to the rotor’s surface. You should do this if you have any difficulty removing the caliper from the rotor after unscrewing the two big bolts. The torque specification for these bolts is somewhere around 25 to 30 foot pounds. I reverse engineered this torque specification by adjusting my torque wrench until I could unscrew the bolt. Some people reccomend you break in new rotors using old pads and break in new pads using old rotors. Brembo’s instructions state to replace the rotors and pads at the same time, so that is what I ended up doing.
OPTIONAL STEP NUMBER TWO:
1. Use an appropriate bit (No. 3 phillips head bit) and an impact screwdriver to loosen the screw from the caliper.
2. Set the impact screwdriver to turn counter-clockwise.
3. Tap the impact screwdriver with a hammer to unscrew the bolt. (you may need a small sledge hammer if a regular hammer isn’t heavy enough)
This optional step is for older cars where these little screws have corroded threads and are stuck. An good impact screwdriver set can be bought for about $15. This tool is very good at taking out these screws; especially with the No. 3 phillips head bit. It’s a good tool to have in your arsenal, so if you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to take those screws out then get this tool before you start this DIY. It’ll save you some frustration, that’s for sure.
OPTIONAL STEP NUMBER THREE:
1. Make sure the brakes are not depressed (duh!)
2. Use a vise-clamp to push the piston in if you do not have enough clearance to put the caliper back onto the rotor with the new brake pads in.
This step is necessary to perform if you have used up a lot of the old brake pad material. The piston will be all the way out and the new brake pads will be too thick to have them fit into the caliper and for the caliper to go over the rotor. If you cannot depress the piston then you might be able to un-do the bleed-valve and then depress the piston. This will cause brake fluid to come out of the bleed screw, but you’ll be able to depress the piston for sure. Not 100% sure about this, so don’t try it if you’re not sure…
I can compare the effectiveness of the stock brake pads to the AEM/Nissin brake pads since my sister also has a 2001 Honda Civic LX. It takes less pedal effort to get the AEM/Nissin brake pads to start gripping. I also notice that the brake pads work better when they’re warmed up. I don’t know about the rotors since I have no way of testing them. Although, in theory they should work better than the stock ones do. The holes increase the surface area of the rotor and allow the air to flow through the rotor which increases cooling of the rotor. The slots are there to prevent the buildup of brake dust so that it doesn’t form a glaze on the surface of the brake pad. This glaze forms under hard braking and has lower frictional properties than the surface of a non-glazed brake pad. In effect, you will be able to effectively brake longer than before.
This is a picture of the rotor after a few weeks of time have passed. Notice the season, it’s fall. [IMG]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/IMG] Anyway, the zinc coating is holding up pretty well. This is the passenger’s side. I first put on the rotors backwards! This is not the way to put them on! Whoops! If you put on the rotors this way then the brake pads will be used up quicker.
This is a picture of the back of the rotor. The piston is the circular shape in the middle. The bleed screw is pictured as well along with it’s little black dust cap.