RL brake pad change DIY - Acura Forum : Acura Forums
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 02-16-04, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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RL brake pad change DIY

Here is a step by step guide to changing the brake pads on your Acura 3.5 RL...
this may also help for other models because the instructions are similar...
It is very easy, and may save you some money

(you can click on the pics to get a larger picture)


what you will need to complete this project:
replacement brake pads
vernier calipers to do some measuring (like disc thickness)
various wrenches (a good socket wrench set is a must)
Molykote M77 pad grease
about 0.5 to 1 hour per wheel for a newbie.


Here is a pic of the tools I used.

(you don't need the air tools, I usually use them cause it's faster)


choose a wheel to start with... I chose to do the front driver side...
the passenger side and rear pads are similar...
if you can do the front pad, you should have no probs in the back...


raise the car, support the car with jack stands and take the wheel off...
if you can't get past this step,
then you should not attempt to change your own brakes.



I like to start by using a brake cleaner to clean off brake dust...
I place a bunch of paper towels or rags below the rotors,
and spray liberally with brake parts cleaner...
the chemical is pretty volitile so it dries pretty fast,
and a lot of the brake dust will have washed into the rags...
the result should be pretty clean assembly, so it's easier to see things and less dust.

don't let the chemicals leach into the ground...
and use a mask for the entire brake change so you don't breathe in the dust...



Okay, first you have to disconect the brake hose bracket from the knuckle...

this frees up the brake hose a little...



Now remove the lower caliper bolt from the caliper body...

Here I am using an adjustable wrench to hold the caliper pin...
(be carefull not to damage the rubber pin boot)
as I try to loosen the caliper bolt with a socket wrench,
the caliper pin will turn with it until it stops against part of the caliper body...
continue loosening the bolt and the caliper pin will eventually loosen,
since the wrench is braced against something...


or you can do the regular way of trying to hold the caliper pin steady as you torque the bolt...
I use the bracing technique cause it is less work...



once the caliper bolt is removed you can pivot and swing the caliper up out of the way...

(Check the hoses and pin boots for damage and deterioration)



the pads on both sides of the disc are now completely visible...
remove the inner and outer pads and carefully remove the pad retainers and shims.
if you don't have replacement shims, sheck the old shims for weakness and reuse if necessary.
(your pads should have come with new shims or you should have bought some with the new pads)
the pads, shims and pad retainers should look like this when disassembled...

try to keep track of how the pads and shims were taken apart,
so that you can make sure the new ones are assembles correctly.



reassemble the pad and shims apply a thin layer of pad grease
to both sides of the shims and on the OUTSIDE part of the pad
(DO NOT put grease on the rotors or the friction side of the pads)
here is my new pad and shims all greased and reassembled...



for reference, here is a pic of my old pad (on right)
and my new pad (on left)...

looking at the pic, I probably didn't have to change the pads yet...
Oh well... the pad thickness should be 10.5 - 11.5mm thick and service linit 1.6 mm
(not including the backing plate... just the pad material)



Now is a good time to check the caliper and rotor for damage and cracks...

you may want to have your rotors turned to get a more even surface...
but that is not always necessary. if there is deep scoring, then get it done.
If there was noticible vibration when you applied the brakes,
it's probably best to get it checked out by a pro...


also measure to make sure your rotor thickness is okay...

'96 - 98 RL disc thickness is 22.9 - 23.1 mm and max refinish limit is 21 mm
'99 - 01 RL disc thickness is 27.9 - 28.1 mm and max refinish limit is 26.0 mm
('02 - now should be same as '99 - 01 specifications)


If everything looks okay,pop the new pads in...
and don't forget the pad retainers...

here is the inner pad installed...

the inner pad has the wear indicator piece attached to it...
the wear indicator should be oriented toward the bottom...

here is the outer pad installed.

lookin good


Before you can swing the caliper back,
you will need to push in the caliper piston...
I use this tool (I don't know what it's called)...

you use an old pad and the tool to slowly push the piston back in...

be careful not to damage the piston boot...
watch it as the piston is pushed in.

When done the piston should be nearly flush, like this...



you should now be able to swing the caliper back...
be carfull not to damage the pin boot...

once the caliper is back in position,
hold the caliper pin with a wrench and install the caliper bolt with another wrench.
caliper bolt torque: 49 N*m (5.0 kgf*m, 36 lbf*ft)

reinstall the hose bracket on to the knuckle...
check the brake hose for interference and twisting.

press the brake pedal several times to make sure the brakes work.

One side done!


replace the wheel and lower vehicle...
and repeat all steps for the other side...

the rear is almost the same as the front except...
*there is no brake hose bracket
*the pad thickness should be 8.5 - 9.5mm thick and service linit 1.6 mm
*'96 - 98 RL rear disc thickness is 8.9 - 9.1 mm and max refinish limit is 7.5 mm
*'99 - 01 RL rear disc thickness is 11.9 - 12.1 mm and max refinish limit is 10.0 mm
*caliper bolt torque: 23 N*m (2.3 kgf*m, 17 lbf*ft)


Once done, press the brake pedal several times again to make sure they are working and go for a nice test drive...


follow new car procedures for breaking in new pads.



When you are done, you can bask in the knowledge that you've saved some significant dough.





please be careful, use these instructions at your own risk... if you are not comfortable with DIY, I would not attempt this.

Have fun!

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post #2 of 70 Old 02-20-04, 06:44 PM
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Also another note. You should also grease both caliper pins as well. Also another thing you can use besides those teeney little packets of brake grease is Mobil 1 grease (comes in a tube, I swear by this stuff) for both the caliper pin and backing grease. Jin, you have done 1 step that many people (including mechanics) don't de to ensure no squeel and that is to grease the back of the shim (contact area). Many people that have done their own brake jobs and wonder why their brakes still squeel even though they used the backing grease on one side of the shim only. Hats off to you jinny and don't be afraid to use your air rachet on the pin bolts since they max out at about 35 ft lbs.

-Dean
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post #3 of 70 Old 02-21-04, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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good point... now that I think of it, I don't always grease the caliper pins... just lazy...

and yes, i usualy put the pad grease everywhere... I used to be stingy with it, and I'd get brake squeal all the time... I'd take the pads out and re do it... tried some magical brake quiet spray on the pads... took a few tries, on a couple brake changes, before I discovered that it was as simple solution... grease... (NOT on the friction part of the pad, tho).



Also, side note, I don't remember if I mentioned it in the DIY, but roughing up the surface of the rotors with some coarse sand paper is not a bad idea....

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post #4 of 70 Old 02-21-04, 07:10 PM
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Yea, in auto shop, for the students that the teacher didn't find compitent w/ the lathe just told em to sand it down.

-Dean
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post #5 of 70 Old 03-11-04, 03:45 PM
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Great DIY! don't need to bleed at all?
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post #6 of 70 Old 03-11-04, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by enigma
Great DIY! don't need to bleed at all?
nope... bleeding not necessary if there are no problems... but if you suspect air, water, or whatever in your lines, bleeding, nay, a complete brake flush, may be necessary.

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post #7 of 70 Old 03-11-04, 05:09 PM
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Fastastic DIY! Well done!

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post #8 of 70 Old 03-12-04, 10:35 AM
 
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that is good stuff. I am gonna try it this weekend. wish me luck.
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post #9 of 70 Old 04-07-04, 12:04 AM
 
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I'm glad this DIY is up......gonna be doing it soon, but need to get my rotors cut also =/
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post #10 of 70 Old 04-07-04, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by NightWalk8r
I'm glad this DIY is up......gonna be doing it soon, but need to get my rotors cut also =/
if you have a spare car, it's just a couple bolts to get the caliper body off and then the rotor is free to unscrew and remove... once you get the rotors off, take em down to a local shop to have them cut... I think one of the big stores (pep boys, autozone, etc.) does it for free!

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post #11 of 70 Old 04-07-04, 01:15 AM
 
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free?? o_O
free is good =D
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post #12 of 70 Old 04-07-04, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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don't quote me on that...

maybe that was a limited time special.

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post #13 of 70 Old 04-07-04, 02:46 AM
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You can take the caliper off with unbolting 1 bolt.

Put you key in the the Acc position (the 1st position) to release the steering lock. Trust me, this will come in handy.

Just unbolt the bottom caliper bolt, flip the caliper up and slide the top pin out. At this point, DO NOT let the caliper hang from the hose or you possibly might also be doing brake hose replacement as well.

At this point, use a 17 or 19 mm socket (I don't remmeber which) and take the caliper bracket off. You may need to get a hammer to knock the bolts loose. Just hammer the end of your rachet until the bolt breaks loose. Remember, impact loosens, torque strips. Also if you need more room (and the font end is off the ground), just use your hands to turn the whole thing (if your working on the left side, turn it to the right, and vise versa on the right side). See, I told you putting your car in the ACC position will come in handy.

You will want to get a impact driver to loosen the rotor retaining screws. It's like a $12 tool at autozone or pepboys. Get those off and you should be able to get the rotor off the hub. If it's stubborn, take your hammer and give it a few good knocks.

At this point, you can take your rotors off to get machined. At the Kragen near my house, they charge $10 per rotor. Still heck of a lot cheaper then having a mechanic do your brakes.

After that is said and done, what I like to do is take a very corse sand paper (maybe 500 grit) and sand light cross hatches into the rotor. I do this because I'm a nit picky and obsessive bastard.

Installation is the reverse. You don't need to put the rotor retaining screws in, but you can if you want to. Also, if you have access to air tools (air rachet and air gun), it'll make things go a lot faster. As far as the cross hatches, I just use my grinder.

I hope this helps.

-Dean
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post #14 of 70 Old 04-07-04, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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cool...


thanks for the tips!

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post #15 of 70 Old 04-07-04, 07:06 AM
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Can you tell that I've probably done one too many brake jobs before.

-Dean
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