The project: replacing the front pads and resurfacing the rotors for my 2007 Honda Civic si Sedan. This is a straight forward project, and one that will save a lot of money. Just a basic assortment of tools are required. For safety, make sure to use jack stands with the floor jack.
Here’s a list of tools required to complete this project:
- Socket set
- Open end wrench set
- Impact screwdriver
- Rubber Mallet
- Ball-Peen hammer
- 6″ C-Clamp
- Wire brush
- Mechanic’s gloves
- Magnetic parts tray
- Floor Jack
- Brake cleaner
- New brake pads
- Resurfaced rotors or new rotors
- Wire (solid core), tie straps or rope
- Optional: foam rubber knee pad (this makes it a lot more comfortable to work )
Lift the vehicle using the floor jack and place a jack-stand underneath the car. Lower and repeat for the other side. This is necessary for a couple reasons, first and foremost it is a much safer way to work on the car, and second it will allow for both rotors to be off at the same time which is needed when resurfacing (who wants to make two trips instead of one?).
To begin with remove the wheel and visually inspect caliper area looking for any visible signs of leaks or abnormal wear and tear. Next, start the process by removing the caliper. Be sure to use an open end wrench on the caliper pin (bottom arrow) while loosening the bolt (top arrow). There are a total of two bolts, one on the top and one towards the bottom (only the top is visible in this shot).
Once the bolts are removed, it might be necessary to use the rubber mallet to gently tap the caliper to remove, striking from the center of the rotor outwards. It should not take much force. When it is free, secure it to the strut spring using a piece of wire.
Now that the caliper is securely out of the way, remove the caliper bracket. There are two bolts holding it in place (this picture is an “after shot” with new pads showing the bolt hole locations, but not the bolts).
Working on a bench, the old brake pads are remove from the brackets and a wire brush is used to remove rust and dirt that has accumulated. Take special care not to damage the rubber boots that are protecting the caliper pins.
Using a small amount of grease on the brake pad retaining clip and install the new pads.
Now it’s time to remove the rotors, the impact screw driver is needed for this process, the two Phillips head screws cannot be removed with a typical screw driver. With the two screws out, the rotor can be removed. Again, it might take some gentle persuasion with a rubber mallet, strike either side until free.
I took the rotors to O’Reilly’s Auto parts, they charged $7/rotor to resurface. They originally quoted 45 mins to complete the work, but it took over 2 hours.
With the newly surfaced rotors in hand, it’s time to reassemble. First use some break cleaner and thoroughly clean the rotors to remove any dirt or oil. Re-install both sides and use the impact screwdriver to install the Phillips head screws.
Next, install the caliper bracket.
Before installing the caliper, it must be compressed or it will not be able to fit over the new brake shoes. To accomplish this, use a piece of scrap metal and a large C-clamp. Place the metal across the caliper piston and slowly apply pressure with the clamp until fully compressed.
Now slide it over the bracket and secure using the same technique used to remove it.
And there you have it, a resurfaced rotor and new brake pads.
Once the wheels are back on and the vehicle is lowered, it’s time to test it out. To begin with, the brake pedal will need to be pumped a couple times, then test the system at low speed. Here’s a good procedure to break/bed in the new pads and rotors.
Here’s a slideshow of all the pictures in this project.