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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone...

I am worried here - I replaced my rear pads today on 08 Accord, and this was my first rear brake job. I have replaced front brakes on various cars many times.

I used a C-clamp to retract the pistons into the calipers, as I didn't realize that these were supposed to be threaded back into place. It wasn't easy, but they did retract eventually. They turned as I retracted them, but I don't think they were turning the whole time.

So what do you think? Did I do some sort of damage to them? I have taken it for a couple of test drives, and I didn't notice any difference in the braking performance, but I did notice that the rear brakes smelled kind of hot after a 2 mile drive at 60 mph with a couple of somewhat hard stops. The parking brake seems to work, but I can't tell if it is as strong as it was to begin with, since I rarely use it.

Finally can someone explain how this rear piston works? It seems like it can't turn under normal driving conditions, since the grooves in the piston face seem to engage with metal "nubs" on the back of the pad. So as the pads wear, the piston extends, and you have to retract it by pushing and turning (or is it just turning)? This seems odd, since if there is something threaded inside the piston, wouldn't it run out of threads eventually?? Sorry if this doesn't make sense - I am having a hard time explaining it! I am assuming that this turning motion is somehow related to the actuation of the parking brake? I noticed that the actuation of the PB seems to rotate an arm on the back of the caliper and the piston extends and retracts slightly.

Thanks for your help and understanding!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This link explains how the rear brake piston works, the Honda rear caliper system is pretty much identical.

http://www.autoshop101.com/forms/brake06.pdf

It is possible that some damage occurred since you said it may not have turned the whole time while being retracted.
Wow - nice post. Very informative document!

So just curious - do you think that I may have done any damage? I am trying to figure out from those images what would "give" if I was pressing the piston in without turning.
 

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Well, it's possible there may be some damage to the threads on the sleeve nut or adjusting bolt. Similar to pushing a threaded nut onto a threaded bolt; some threads may have gotten damaged/stripped. That would just be a guess though.
 

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I'm not sure how the honda's rear brakes work, but alot of cars with a cable ebrake and rear brakes need to be screwed back in. There is a special tool to do this. You can usually just compress the fronts with a c-clamp.

If the rears were supposed to be screwed in then you might have a problem if you just compressed them... I dont know though if you would be able to just compress them if they were the screw in style piston. The screw in style usually wont compress, and if you did get them to compress i'm willing to bet it was HARD to do... if thats the case, you might have damaged something, probably the ebrake.

Did the piston have a cross design on it like a plus sign? +..... That is usually a tell tale sign they are a screw in style piston. The front caliper pistons should be hollow.

This is just a generalization, I havent done brakes on the honda yet.
 

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I did the same thing on my '94 Prelude and the brakes worked fine. Just be careful next time. As far as the smell after a few minutes...it's probably just the new pads being used for the first time. If it continues, then it may be worth investigating...
 

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I learned the proper procedure this way too, only I used a hammer to pound the cylinder back into position. While this was foolish and I quickly regretted doing it, the caliper continued to work for another 70,000 miles before I had to change the pads again.
 
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