Interesting brake jobs this weekend...

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The front brakes on our MDX were acting a little odd lately. If you stopped quickly, sometimes you'd hear a grinding noise in the front end. There hasn't been much "bite" to these brakes either...the pedal felt soft and they just weren't that impressive. And the CR-V's front brakes had gone back to rattling, so I wanted to get in there are fix it for good. So I bought new front hardware kits for both and did both this weekend. No pads or rotors for each, just new hardware. The MDX's rotors had black "stripes" in them...guy where I had them turned said they probably got hot and glazed. I thought that was odd. OEM Advics pads and USA-made rotors. So I re-installed them and put new pin boots and grease on the caliper mounts. Made sure to put the pins back where they went...the one with the bushing went on the bottom and the plain pin on the top. Re-torqued everything and it drove better. Still a slightly squishy pedal...probably needs a brake bleed. Everything came off okay on the CR-V. OEM rotors (good still) and OEM Sumitomo pads (good still). On the driver side, the caliper pin with the bushing was on the bottom, just like on the Acura, and I re-installed it on the bottom. But I noticed something weird on the passenger side: the pin with the bushing was in the top. Wait a minute. On the Acura, both bushing pins were at the bottom... So I log on to Alldatadiy.com right quick and take a look. Son of a gun: the pins with the bushings go on the top in the CR-V. One of these was in wrong, and for who knows how long. Lemme check the Acura while I'm in here. Sure 'nuff, pins with bushings go in the top. So I button the CR-V back up, and the rattle is gone again...hopefully for good. Nice FIRM pedal now, though it was already good. I swear, it stops so fast now, I feel like I can get the back wheels to lift up off the pavement. So I open the Acura back up and swap the caliper pins. Holy cow, what a difference. Now the brakes feel like Honda brakes. Even my wife noticed how much better the brakes feel; she normally doesn't perceive differences like that. Those pins in the Acura have been backwards since it was built. My folks never had brake work done on it. And when I did the pads and rotors last time, I didn't mess with the pins, nor would I have swapped caliper mounts from left to right.
 
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That's really odd, especially for Acura to do that at the factory. Glad you got it sorted out. My sister has a new TL...sweet car. Has awesome brakes too.
 

Hokiefyd

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I knew the brakes on this weren't right, but I just figured I needed to do a bleeding. Now it has the brakes I expected of an Acura. I wonder if they get these caliper mounts pre-loaded at the factory. So much is subbed-out these days, you never know what the automobile manufacturers actually "manufacture" anymore. They're more like automobile assemblers.
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
I wonder if they get these caliper mounts pre-loaded at the factory. So much is subbed-out these days, you never know what the automobile manufacturers actually "manufacture" anymore. They're more like automobile assemblers.
I went thru the Corvette factory a few years back and it was amazing to see the process and how many of the components were already fully assembled. Engines in full dress complete with the harness, etc. Really streamlined, and that was in the late '90s. I suppose if they had to take the time to assemble everything, the cost would skyrocket and production go way down.
 

Hokiefyd

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I was talking about it with a friend who has an Odyssey and he said one of the main complaints about the Odyssey is a soft brake pedal. I wonder if this problem is more pervasive. The brake caliper has Nissin cast into it, but Advics is the OEM for the front pads (Nissin is the OEM for the rear pads). I wonder if either Nissin or Advics supplies a complete assembled caliper and caliper bracket assembly...at that point, it's just two 19mm bolts to mount to the knuckle. Whomever did it, Advics, Nissan, Acura, etc, it looks like somebody screwed up.
 
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The brakes on our Accord are easy to work on but the brakes in general have been rather annoying. And I always notice that Hondas are industry-lagging in their stopping distances per segment. I find it ridiculous that we get about 30k or less out of the rear pads. But I've never noticed a soft pedal.
 
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Originally Posted By: cchase
The brakes on our Accord are easy to work on but the brakes in general have been rather annoying. And I always notice that Hondas are industry-lagging in their stopping distances per segment. I find it ridiculous that we get about 30k or less out of the rear pads. But I've never noticed a soft pedal.
do you drive an 08+ accord? those had a widely known problem with rear pads wearing out at ridiculous rates.
 
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Change the brake fluid, its usually neglected. Its amazing what bleeding the heck out of the lines and getting some fresh brake fluid to the calipers will do.
 
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Originally Posted By: swirlparanoid
Originally Posted By: cchase
The brakes on our Accord are easy to work on but the brakes in general have been rather annoying. And I always notice that Hondas are industry-lagging in their stopping distances per segment. I find it ridiculous that we get about 30k or less out of the rear pads. But I've never noticed a soft pedal.
do you drive an 08+ accord? those had a widely known problem with rear pads wearing out at ridiculous rates.
No, 2003.
 
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Can somebody explain me how accidentally swapping the pins could lead to soft pedal? Increase in noise is something which I can understand.
 

cmf

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I'm glad you figured it out. Acuras are not known for brake performance though. Consumer reports did a test on luxury SUV braking power and the MDX was the worst. And the only non-luxury SUV to lose to the MDX was the trailblazer.
 

Hokiefyd

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Originally Posted By: Vikas
Can somebody explain me how accidentally swapping the pins could lead to soft pedal? Increase in noise is something which I can understand.
I don't understand it either. But the service manual notes very clearly that a number of things can happen when the pins are switched. A soft pedal wasn't one of them, but uneven brake wear and caliper dragging were mentioned. This may have been the reason why my front rotors were glazed.
 

Hokiefyd

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Originally Posted By: cmf
I'm glad you figured it out. Acuras are not known for brake performance though. Consumer reports did a test on luxury SUV braking power and the MDX was the worst. And the only non-luxury SUV to lose to the MDX was the trailblazer.
Yeah, the MDX, or at least this generation, isn't known for short stopping distances. I think I improved the brakes back to where they should have been in stock form. They were probably worse than stock for all of these 70k miles.
 
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