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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This all started about four months ago when I started noticing a squeak from my brakes. I thought that it was most likely time for some new pads. Well, being tight on money, I went out and bought front pads only. I don't buy cheap pads so they were the Hawks HPS pads. I found a weekend where I had time to do them and started on the project. Started on the right side and got done with them in no time. The problems start on the left side, got it all apart, changed the pads, and started to push the piston back in, wouldn't move. So I went to the local shop and asked them if they had the brake caliper tool, which they did and let me borrow, and finished the job that way. About a week later, all you could smell was burning brakes. Looked at the rotor, and you could see it was starting to turn blue from the heat. Went back to the shop and bought a new caliper, at cost, and swapped it out. The next week, the smell was back. It seems the right caliper didn't want to be away from its failing buddy and failed itself. Went back to the shop and order another caliper. The lady ordering the part at the store doesn't really know either how to read or how to listen because it took four times for her to realize that an SI is different from a normal CRX, so I kept getting the wrong caliper for the car. (Note to all, the squeaking hasn't stopped yet. Must be the rears.)

Fast forward to yesterday. I get some more cash in my pockets so I go out and buy the pads for the rear. I know you need a tool for the rear, which seems to be very hard to find because I've been looking and still haven't found it. My school has it but won't let me use it because I'm not in the brake class, no help there. So, another trip to the shop where we are now on a first name basis; He has the tool but wont loan it to me, so he does the next best thing. Lets me do the work at the shop on the lift. (using a lift is so much easier) I'm now calling this man a lifesaver. Started pulling the wheels off and I notice that the calipers look to be in the same condition as the fronts were in but think nothing of it. Pull the calipers off and see that the brakes do need to be changed, good thing I'm doing them. I go to start pushing in the piston and low and behold, they won't move. Try WD-40 and a lot of force, still nothing. So, I had him order me up some new calipers for the rear and here I wait. The brakes just haven't been giving me a brake lately. I go back Friday to install them and hope the car gods will be happy for at least the winter because my funds are running low.

I'm seeing a lot of Silver linings being said so here is mine,
Silver lining. I know the brakes are going to work now and should for a long time to come.
 

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This is what "upgrades" are for. No better reason to upgrade, than failing parts.

But yea...calipers are known to seize. And they usually go all at the same time, or just one after another.
I do know however that over here in EDMland you have caliper refurbishment kits. New piston and seals etc.

On the other hand, I noticed how cheap calipers are there. And just swapping a caliper instead of refurbishing a rusty old one is SO much easier and more rewarding.
 

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I don't see why people are so opposed to rebuilding, Its really not hard, nor does it take that long, and it gives you an excuse to flush that ****ty brake fluid thats prob been in there for while. Its mostly surface buildup of corrosion that causes the calipers to stick. I've rebuilt old calipers on my trucks, cars and bikes with much success. Often times, if you really want to you can get away without even replacing the seals.

In fact two years ago, shortly after getting my 91 Si I was driving down the highway in Ohio (working for honda r&d at the time) and i got a horrible shaking in my steering wheel. Pulled off and the front left wheel was burning hot. So i took the rim off, got a hammer and banged the caliper a little loose and went home slowly using a lot of compression braking. I disassembled the calipers that night, cleaned the pistons with some steel wool, cleaned the seals with some soap and water, cleaned it all up and reassembled. These brakes have been working more than faithfully ever since. And i didn't have to pay the extra 100 bucks for a pair of calipers.

Also, just as a note, i think if you have a brake problem, you should always inspect all four before just assuming its the fronts.
 

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jmart said:
I don't see why people are so opposed to rebuilding, Its really not hard, nor does it take that long, and it gives you an excuse to flush that [crappy] brake fluid thats prob been in there for while. Its mostly surface buildup of corrosion that causes the calipers to stick. I've rebuilt old calipers on my trucks, cars and bikes with much success. Often times, if you really want to you can get away without even replacing the seals.

In fact two years ago, shortly after getting my 91 Si I was driving down the highway in Ohio (working for honda r&d at the time) and i got a horrible shaking in my steering wheel. Pulled off and the front left wheel was burning hot. So i took the rim off, got a hammer and banged the caliper a little loose and went home slowly using a lot of compression braking. I disassembled the calipers that night, cleaned the pistons with some steel wool, cleaned the seals with some soap and water, cleaned it all up and reassembled. These brakes have been working more than faithfully ever since. And i didn't have to pay the extra 100 bucks for a pair of calipers.

Also, just as a note, i think if you have a brake problem, you should always inspect all four before just assuming its the fronts.
Right on jmart. The first brakes I ever did were the front brakes on my old 700S. I was taking the forks apart to install new seals, and decided to do the brakes while they were off. It was cake, and they were more complex than the CRX brakes by a bit. I didn't reuse seals for the pistons (twin pistons, two rotors, three of the pistons were seized), I didn't even use a manual. Rebuilding brakes is one of the easiest jobs on the car, it's just a bit messy. As long as the bleeders aren't broken off in there, then there isn't any reason to replace them. Disassemble, clean (and paint if you like), hone/polish the cylinder, reassemble, install, bleed. Jared's car has a set of EX brakes from the junkyard that he rebuilt, who knows how long they were sitting... but they work great.
 

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I can see rebuilding them, but if they are that gunked or rusted up, I'll buy new/rebuilt... let someone else de-rust them, lol.
 

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Dodo said:
I go to start pushing in the piston and low and behold, they won't move. Try WD-40 and a lot of force, still nothing.
You were trying to turn the piston clockwise, right? The emergency brake mechanisim won't let you just push the pistons back in like with the front calipers.
If all the calipers are locking up, I would look for some part they have in common. Maybe the proportioning valve is crudded up and preventing pressure from being released?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
SETI20 said:
This is what "upgrades" are for. No better reason to upgrade, than failing parts.
That was the plan but it all fail to soon for me to upgrade them. I had no money to do the upgrades.

Update. The brakes are done, finally. Took me about two hours to do the rears most just trying to get them off. They were pretty rusty. Lucky me had a new braket in the box that i gladly put on. They look so much better then the old ones. Had a slight problem with the pedal feeling real soft, but came home a rebleed them and it seems to be fine now. Wont know in till i do the test drive.

The only thing left to do to the car is to wash and wax her for the winter and switch tires. A good project for next weekend.

This will hopefully be the last of the "Brakes from hell" story that i tell you, but im sure i will have other storys with the car that i will share with all.

This is Tom signing out.
 
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