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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, first time poster :)

I needed new brakes on my Accord 2003 V6 (LX, sedan), and decided to do it myself. After watching hours of youtube videos, forum posts here and elsewhere and memorizing the Hanes manual(!) by heart, I finished replacing all four brakes: Calipers (remans from Autozone), rotors (premium from Autozone) and pads (premium ceramics CMAX gold, Autozone again). I am amazed how much money I saved doing this job myself, and it was loads of fun for me, even though it took like 4 days total (two weekends). Turned out two of my calipers (front driver and rear passenger) were stuck, and one of the pins on the front passenger side was so rusted that I had to buy a new bracket. After finishing the job, I bled the system. I tried to be careful to not let the fluid reach too low and air gets into the master cylinder. (By the way, I recorded the process on youtube).

Here's the question: After replacing everything, the brake pedal feels a bit softer. It has definitely more travel now. Before the replacement, with almost an inch of pressing the pedal the brakes would engage and would get hard. Now, I think the pedal travel has at least doubled to two inches, maybe even more. So I took off the wheels and bled the system again, but no air came out and I think the feel of the brakes remain the same. To summarize:

1. When the engine is turned off, after a few pedal pushes, it becomes pretty hard, with only half an inch of travel before it gets rock hard and no more travel. It remains this way with more pedals.

2. When the engine is turned on, it has quite a bit of travel, definitely more than before. If I keep pressing my foot on it, it keeps going down. It doesn't reach the floor, but goes like 3 inches down if I keep my foot on it.

3. When driving, if I slam on the brakes hard it stops the vehicle like there's no tomorrow. :D But it also goes down about 2 inches (does not reach the floor).

4. For a slight brake, before I only needed to touch the brake pedal. Now, I have to give it an inch to two inches of pedal push.


So, is this the normal feel of the brakes? I think it is probably either of three cases:

1. Even though I did my best in bleeding it properly, there is still some air in the system, and I need to take the car to a shop / dealer to bleed it properly. $$$ :(

2. This is how 4 new brakes should behave, and I have been driving with two and a half stuck brakes so long that I have forgot how proper brakes should feel.

3. Something else*I don't know about yet??

What's your advice?
 

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mobiless2
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If you press on brake pedal and it keeps dropping you have air in the lines. Need to bleed them again.
 

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I saw your video... I did not see you make sure the rear brake caliper piston are aligned to the brake pad pins: ( you might have mentioned it.. I fast forwarded a bunch of it)

check out 25:30 mark on Eric's video where he explains that if those are not aligned correctly.. you will have spongy brakes.
 

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2006 I4 MT
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I did watch parts of your video. Try to bleed the brakes again.

I noticed that you loosened the brake bleeder valve before attaching the hose. I always put some teflon thread tape, then attach the hose with check valve, then loosen the bleeder valve.
 

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I did not see you make sure the rear brake caliper piston are aligned to the brake pad pins: ( you might have mentioned it.. I fast forwarded a bunch of it)

check out 25:30 mark on Eric's video where he explains that if those are not aligned correctly.. you will have spongy brakes.
+1 on this!!!!

Welcome to Drive Accord and thank you for making such a good video- nice job and good work on using Sil-Glyde!

You may have to bleed them again.....you had all four calipers removed and you may have introduced air into the system during the bleeding process as indicated by 2006accord4. Do this: http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/showthread.php?t=67607&highlight=how+to+bleed+brake+fluid+7th+gen

...and bleed them in THIS order: Front Left, Front Right, Rear Left, Rear Right.

Please clarify: Do you come to a complete stop THEN the brake pedal continues to drop? If yes, how many inches?

As you are braking, does the pedal drop commiserate to the braking force you are applying so that the car stops as you want it to?

You in Champaign? Many of my cousins went to school there. Happy Nowruz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kf8C4Qxu-A

I saw your video... I did not see you make sure the rear brake caliper piston are aligned to the brake pad pins: ( you might have mentioned it.. I fast forwarded a bunch of it)

check out 25:30 mark on Eric's video where he explains that if those are not aligned correctly.. you will have spongy brakes.
You're right, I did not mention it in the video. But yes, the rear calipers were aligned correctly (they were at an exact 90 degrees coming out of the box), and I believe they fit snuggly with the little pin going into the slide. I think I've done that part right.



I did watch parts of your video. Try to bleed the brakes again.

I noticed that you loosened the brake bleeder valve before attaching the hose. I always put some teflon thread tape, then attach the hose with check valve, then loosen the bleeder valve.
Thanks, if I end up bleeding it again, I'll make sure to attach the hose first.



+1 on this!!!!

Welcome to Drive Accord and thank you for making such a good video- nice job and good work on using Sil-Glyde!
Thanks, appreciate it! Well Eric kept mentioning using silicon paste, and sil-glyde was what Autozone had :) I used it everywhere, e.g. on the pad ears. Eric uses anti-seize, but the autozone guy told me I can use sil-glyde for the whole job.

You may have to bleed them again.....you had all four calipers removed and you may have introduced air into the system during the bleeding process as indicated by 2006accord4.
Just to clarify, I finished working on one brake and bled it before moving to the next wheel. The order: front left, front right, rear right, rear left. Then I bled the front two again: front left, then front right.

Do this: http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/showthread.php?t=67607&highlight=how+to+bleed+brake+fluid+7th+gen

...and bleed them in THIS order: Front Left, Front Right, Rear Left, Rear Right.

Please clarify: Do you come to a complete stop THEN the brake pedal continues to drop? If yes, how many inches?

As you are braking, does the pedal drop commiserate to the braking force you are applying so that the car stops as you want it to?
I'll check this tomorrow again when I can drive the car, but from what I can remember: Driving at 50 mph and slamming on the brakes, it goes down about 2 inches and then stops there. The car comes to a stop. The brake pedal does not go down any more.

On the other hand if the engine is running but the car is in parking, and I put my foot on the pedal with a little bit of force it goes like 3 inches down, little by little, and stops there. It does not reach the floor.

You in Champaign? Many of my cousins went to school there. Happy Nowruz.
Yep, I was here for grad school. I finished up the school last year, but I'm still here doing some work… And thanks! Technically it's 3 months away, but yes, you guessed it right! ;)
 

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Just to clarify, I finished working on one brake and bled it before moving to the next wheel. The order: front left, front right, rear right, rear left. Then I bled the front two again: front left, then front right.
This is where you went wrong. The last thing you do is bleed all the lines after you have reconnected all the calipers. I have done it both from longest to shortest and from shortest to longest and haven't noticed a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright, I drove around a bit more today. The brakes are not that bad, they do not make me feel uncertain about their stopping power. To answer your questions:

Please clarify: Do you come to a complete stop THEN the brake pedal continues to drop? If yes, how many inches?
If I am driving and press the pedal to stop, the brake pedal does not continue to drop. It pretty much stops at around 2 inches and remains there, even after the vehicle is stopped.

As you are braking, does the pedal drop commiserate to the braking force you are applying so that the car stops as you want it to?
I'd say yes. If I push it an inch, it applies mild brake. If I push it harder up to two inches, it applies aggressive braking.


This is getting confusing :D But to be honest, the brake feel isn't that bad and gave me enough confidence to apply a few emergency brakes. As I said before, when I slam on the brakes, it stops very well.
 

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rezaf: I will vote that you therefore completed your well-done brake job. It may be, as you suspected, that this new "feel" threw you off as to the quality of the brake job.

You did well....and made a good video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Rick,

Next time I stop at the dealer I'll ask them to drive the car and tell me if they think there's air in the system and it needs bleeding. For the time being, I guess it'll have to do :)

Now onwards to other projects! Being inspired by this forum, I ordered an outside temperature sensor kit today! :thumbsup:

Oh before we finish this thread, I noticed that my calipers have already started rusting :thumbsdow, look at these pictures from my 1-week old front calipers:





Apparently the reman calipers are not coated (across the industry), which is pretty stupid IMHO. I looked around on the internet and it seems to be fine for the calipers outside to rust. The theory is that the braking action will remove any rust from the piston itself, and the rest isn't important. Still, can you verify this too?

Or should I remove the 4 calipers, paint them with caliper paint, and install them again? I soooo don't want to do the whole thing again!
 

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BRWNFLSH now
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Try cleaning the brake fluid residue off with brake cleaner. It absorbs moisture, and probably caused the rust to form quicker than it would have. Good idea though (painting), if and when I ever replace my calipers.

On another note, I've never quite got it about the brake fluid in a bottle method of bleeding. Sure, there is fluid at the bottom of the bottle, but there is a lot of air between the bottom of the bottle and the caliper nipple. Unless the connection is air-tight, air can still get in. I use a small hand vacuum pump to bleed the brakes, so there is less chance air will enter the system against the vacuum pressure.
 

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The brake calipers rusting won't affect your braking ability. But since you are so good at taking those wheels off, you can paint them pretty easily. With just one week on them the cleaning/prep won't take too long either. You can do one wheel at a time each evening- won't take long at all. Remove wheel, clean, masking will take one hour per wheel...then 4-5 coats of paint (30-45 min apart) with each coat taking a couple of minutes.

Just this year, I painted the brake calipers on my 1991 Nissan 240sx and on my 2005 Accord. I spent HOURS cleaning those rusted to heck calipers- but for me it was worth it. The painting took a few minutes. On the 240sx, I removed the calipers and rebuilt them....on the Honda I left the calipers attached to the hose- removed them from the rotors, and painted them. I painted the brackets a different color from the calipers to impress the local neighborhood toughs. I used Rustoleum high-temp engine paint (lasts for years), it was $5 a can on sale. Used 1/4 can of black, and 1/4 can of silver for each car.

If you do as BLCKFLSH suggested and use brake cleaner, be careful to not remove any Sil-Glyde from the brake pad ears and such. As you are aware, brake cleaner spray removes just about everything.

Also, yes/no do you have rubber boot caps on the caliper bleeder nipples?

BLCKFLSH: I agree about air in the lines between the caliper and the bottle- so I use a vacuum....I made a homemade improvement to a cheap Harbor Freight vacuum bleeder (I should post it to make everyone laugh as it is so darn ugly) but it works beautifully. Am thinking of improving further by adding a one way check valve close to where the tube attaches to the nipple.

rezaf: One last thing...I noticed with remanufactured calipers there is no "crud" around the bleeder nipple. When you crack it open to bleed the caliper, air can get sucked into there- so I usually grease coat the part where the nipple attaches to the caliper...this forms a temp air-tight seal to prevent air from getting pulled into the caliper because there is no "crud" on the threads of the nipple.

The Nissan's brakes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On another note, I've never quite got it about the brake fluid in a bottle method of bleeding. Sure, there is fluid at the bottom of the bottle, but there is a lot of air between the bottom of the bottle and the caliper nipple. Unless the connection is air-tight, air can still get in. I use a small hand vacuum pump to bleed the brakes, so there is less chance air will enter the system against the vacuum pressure.
If you look at the last 6 minutes of my video, you'll see that my bottle method has an upgrade: I use a one-way valve that only allows liquid (or air) to go into the bottle, not back into the brake system. And the hoses are all air-tight. Using this, I think the brake bleeding becomes a one man job. I should have put some sil-glyde around the bleeder valve though as Rick mentions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The brake calipers rusting won't affect your braking ability. But since you are so good at taking those wheels off, you can paint them pretty easily. With just one week on them the cleaning/prep won't take too long either. You can do one wheel at a time each evening- won't take long at all. Remove wheel, clean, masking will take one hour per wheel...then 4-5 coats of paint (30-45 min apart) with each coat taking a couple of minutes.

Just this year, I painted the brake calipers on my 1991 Nissan 240sx and on my 2005 Accord. I spent HOURS cleaning those rusted to heck calipers- but for me it was worth it. The painting took a few minutes.
Well if they don't affect the function, I'm fine with it. I have regular steel wheels with hubcaps anyway, so it's not like I will ever see the calipers. And I don't think I want to invest $400~$500 for new alloy wheels on my 165K mile 10-year old Honda (as much as l like to do so). And I've already spent a lot of time doing this project. So, if they will remain functional, then so be it.

If I knew this before, I would do it. But I don't want to spend hours polishing the rust already on the calipers. Well, there's always a next time.


Also, yes/no do you have rubber boot caps on the caliper bleeder nipples?
Yes. In fact, my two rear calipers didn't have the boot caps on them, and the reman calipers don't come with them, so I bought two from my local Honda dealer ($3.20 each).

rezaf: One last thing...I noticed with remanufactured calipers there is no "crud" around the bleeder nipple. When you crack it open to bleed the caliper, air can get sucked into there- so I usually grease coat the part where the nipple attaches to the caliper...this forms a temp air-tight seal to prevent air from getting pulled into the caliper because there is no "crud" on the threads of the nipple.
Rick, this might very well be the reason that my brakes are just a tad bit soft. Maybe they have a few air bubble going in from around the valve. I did notice it too, that when I opened the valve, there was a bit of brake fluid coming out from around the valve itself, but I ignored it. My guess is that my brakes are 95% air-free, and for the time being it is good enough for government work. Next time I bleed them though, I'll make sure to put some sil-glyde as crud around the valves.
 

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I had this issue a year or so ago.. I lived with it. Then I saw an ad for my dealer to flush your brake fluid for $ xx.xx. so I decided since this was never done before, I would give it a try... wow!!! When I got my car back. .. The brake pedal has been and still is Firm!! "Like viagra chased with Red Bull!"
 

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