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3.31.2011

Replaced my Brake Rotors

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For about a year, I have been noticing my Honda Odyssey's steering wheel to shake a little bit every time I would step on the brake. I thought that it was the wheels so I had them balanced but the shaking didn't go away.

I brought it at the dealership for its regular maintenance hoping that Honda would spot the issue during their road test but instead they suggested to do a wheel alignment in which I agreed because I can't remember the last time it was done. The shaking didn't go away as well.

I talked to my mechanic friend and asked him to test drive my Odyssey. He said that the problem is with the rotors, it may be warped and needs resurfacing or replacement in the future. Since the shaking was not that bad when he tested it, he suggested replacing the rotors at the same time as the brake pads. Well, that was about 6 months ago. 

The shaking went from tolerable to annoying. I remember that I just replaced my brake pads in December 2009 (see this post) and I really can't stand it anymore. I looked online on YouTube on how do to it and found it easy enough that I can do it, so I went to Autozone and bought the rotors. I took some pictures on how I did it and hopefully you can learn from my experience.

The 1st thing you need to do is to loosen the lug nuts a little (don't completely remove the lug nuts). Next is to jack up your car. Once you've raised your car, remove all the lug nuts and remove the tire.

This is what you'll probably see. On the right is the brake caliper.
At the back of the caliper, there are 4 bolts (2 on the brake caliper and 2 on the bracket). On the picture below, the bottom 2 bolts are for the caliper while the top 2 bolts are for the bracket). Remove the bolts of the caliper first.
Put the caliper somewhere you will not just leave it hanging. What I did is I rested the caliper on top of the control arm (I think that's what it's called but I'm not 100% sure).
Remove the brake pads next and then remove the bracket bolts. You should have something like this.
Here's a picture of the bracket.
The next thing to do is to remove the 2 screws that's holding the rotor. Screws are shown below at about the 1 o'clock and 7 o'clock areas.
I have seen several ways to loosen the screws on YouTube but I opted for the Impact Screwdriver as pictured below.
After several taps of the hammer on the impact screwdriver, I was able to remove the screws.
Sometimes, the rotors will not just slide out immediately. An option that will help in removing the rotors is to use bolts and tighten them alternately on the rotor. In my case, I used size 8 bolts (see below).
Tadaaa!!! I got the rotor removed.
Side by side view of the old and new rotors.
Top side-by-side view.
The installation of the rotors is the reverse of the removal. I applied an anti-seize compound on the screw threads before putting them in so I won't have a hard time removing them the next time I do this again.
I re-attached the caliper bracket and similar to the screws, I also used anti-seize on the bolt threads.
I used this tool to push back the brake piston on the caliper
Here's how you can do it. I placed one of the brake pads and then used the tool to push the pad and the piston.
Installed the brake caliper.
After doing the removal steps I mentioned above, here's a picture of the other side without the rotor.
 New rotor and re-installed the brake caliper.

After replacing both rotors, I went out for a test drive and sure enough the shaking while braking went away. Since it was my 1st time doing the rotor replacement, I spent about an hour and a half replacing both rotors. I spent about $110 for the rotors but would probably have spent more if I brought it to a shop. I saved some money by doing the labor myself and learned something new.

That same day, I decided to go to BJ's tire center and had my tires rotated and balanced thinking that the thread wear may not be even due to the shaking.

After a couple of days, I then helped my dad replace the rotors on his Honda Civic. The procedure is pretty much the same so I didn't take any more pictures.

4 comments

World Cup 2011 Highlights said...

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romariofurtez said...

Interesting insight about brakes.I'm sure this will be helpful to good break service.

jyot said...

Great information on this grea site...thanks for sharing...

Jack Mark said...

It is a great website.. The Design looks very good.. Keep working like that!.
Best Brake Rotors for Trucks

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