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Old 10-31-2010, 12:48 PM
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Replace the rear calipers

Hi folks,

I had my 96 prelude checked yesterday because my handbrake isn't working. The mechanic told me that the handbrake cable is broken and the rear calipers need to be replaced due to rust. He quoted $188 for each caliper for a total of $376 plus labor. However, I don't feel any problem on pedal brake. He told me that the handbrake part of the rear calipers have problem and the pedal brake part will have problem soon.

Actually, I seldom/never use handbrake as my car is automatics, I just put it to park when stop. My question is, Do I really need to replace the calipers? The price is too stiff and I have been driving it quite a long time without handbrake already. Maybe I am not sure how the rear brakes work. Does pedal brake only apply to the front brakes or on all brakes?

Thanks. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:10 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

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Originally Posted by oceantin View Post
He told me...the pedal brake part will have problem soon.
There's the clue.

Quote:
Does pedal brake only apply to the front brakes or on all brakes?
The pedal acts on all four brake calipers.

Depending on what happens, the caliper will fail completely or freeze with the pad retracted, leaving you with uneven braking power across the car, or freeze with the pad against the rotor, where it will eventually wear down to the metal backing.

You might ask if he's quoting you the price for a new caliper, or for a rebuilt caliper -- the latter might be cheaper. Or if the current one's not rebuildable, see if he's willing to find a used, rebuilt one. One way or another, though, you can't just ignore it.
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:13 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Thanks Jamie. I will certainly have them changed. After I was driving my car today, I could smell some pad brake odor from one of my rear caliper. Does that means the caliper is freeze on the rotor? I need to drive about 200 miles tomorrow. Is it gonna be a problem? Really worry about it
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:39 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Could be. The easiest way to tell is to jack up that corner, make sure the handbrake's off, and spin the wheel. If the caliper's dragging, you'll be able to tell. Unless it rotates freely, I wouldn't drive 200 miles on it -- the whole thing will heat up, and if you wear the pad down to the metal backing, it could start a fire.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:22 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Carquest sells semi-loaded* remanufactured calipers (by Rebestos in McHenry, IL) for $99.99exchange with a lifetime warranty.

*
unloaded = caliper only (what you will get from Advance, Autozone, O'Reilly's, etc.)
semi-loaded = caliper AND caliper bracket (with new boots and slide pins)
fully-loaded = caliper, caliper bracket, and pads ~$130.00w/exchg
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:50 AM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Thanks TheJGB3. I don't think I have carquest around. But I came across a car parts online store that sell the A1 Cardone calipers.

autoshepherd.com A1 Cardone calipers

What do you think about those calipers?
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:00 AM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Actually there is another brand called Beck/Arnley calipers.

AutoShepherd | Beck/Arnley Disc Brake Caliper

Anyone heard of these two brands, A1 Cardone and Beck/Arnley? Which one is better? Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:44 AM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

After I did some research on calipers, I got three brands. There are A1 Cardone, Beck/Arnley and Raybestos.

AutoShepherd | A1 Cardone Friction Choice Calipers [Reman.] | A1C:19-B1598

AutoShepherd | Beck/Arnley Disc Brake Caliper

AutoShepherd | Raybestos PG Plus Friction Ready Caliper

Anyone heard of anything about these three brands of calipers? Any opinions are appreciated as I need to replace them ASAP. Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:38 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

those 3 are pretty common for re-manufactured parts. however, i wouldn't buy online. i'm pretty particular about the parts i put on my car. for example, i don't buy from a store i can't physically bring it back to and get my refund if its garbage. i also like to inspect the parts before i buy them. also like to bring back my old parts to get the core charge back. though i may pay a little more in doing so, its peace of mind that is the most important part.

with that being said, i would highly recommend that you take a trip to your local advance auto, autozone, or orilleys. and order a re-manufactured brake caliper.

there is no point in buying the fully loaded caliper. i was able to go to o'rilleys and get a rear caliper for something like 120 bucks. it included everything attached to the caliper (brake line mount bracket, e-brake spring assy.) it came with new boots and hardware if you needed it. brought back my old one and got like 50 bucks back iirc. like i said, it came with EVERYTHING YOU NEED...
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:33 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Thanks Beaker. So you mean you paid $120 first, then brought back the old one for $50 refund to get a net cost of $70? Does the old one need to be in good shape? Mine are rusty, will they take them?
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:28 AM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantin View Post
Hi folks,

I had my 96 prelude checked yesterday because my handbrake isn't working. The mechanic told me that the handbrake cable is broken and the rear calipers need to be replaced due to rust. He quoted $188 for each caliper for a total of $376 plus labor. However, I don't feel any problem on pedal brake. He told me that the handbrake part of the rear calipers have problem and the pedal brake part will have problem soon.

Actually, I seldom/never use handbrake as my car is automatics, I just put it to park when stop. My question is, Do I really need to replace the calipers? The price is too stiff and I have been driving it quite a long time without handbrake already. Maybe I am not sure how the rear brakes work. Does pedal brake only apply to the front brakes or on all brakes?

Thanks. Any help will be appreciated.
Check if there is any rust on the rotors in the back. If there is rust, then the rears are not engaging. The rear brakes only do maybe 10-20% of the work. My rears are messed up and I only hear them engage when I brake hard. If you're careful, you can get by.

If they are rust free, then jack up and rotate the wheel by hand. If you have no problem rotating them, then you're good and rear calipers work fine and just the e-brake line is broken.

I wouldn't worry about going to the grinding down to the metal part. Before that, you'll be hearing a huge creaking for a while which the metal part of the brake pad which tells you it's worn out. It's not a huge concern in the rear since they don't engage all the time anyway.

I was a junkyard and I saw a 93 lude had rear caliper cover brackets. Mine didn't. It was probably some shop who changed pads and just threw the cover brackets away!
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:35 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

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Originally Posted by mr0x View Post
Check if there is any rust on the rotors in the back. If there is rust, then the rears are not engaging. The rear brakes only do maybe 10-20% of the work. My rears are messed up and I only hear them engage when I brake hard. If you're careful, you can get by.

If they are rust free, then jack up and rotate the wheel by hand. If you have no problem rotating them, then you're good and rear calipers work fine and just the e-brake line is broken.

I wouldn't worry about going to the grinding down to the metal part. Before that, you'll be hearing a huge creaking for a while which the metal part of the brake pad which tells you it's worn out. It's not a huge concern in the rear since they don't engage all the time anyway.

I was a junkyard and I saw a 93 lude had rear caliper cover brackets. Mine didn't. It was probably some shop who changed pads and just threw the cover brackets away!
Thanks mr0x!! Your explanation enlightened me. I don't see rust on the rear rotor surface. This is the story. After I had my handbrake checked, I drove for like half hours and I can smell the brake pad odor coming from my rear right caliper, so I brought it back to the mechanic and he told me that he over tighten the brake cable so the caliper is engaged all the time. Then he loosened the cable up but the caliper was still engaged. He told me the reason is that the coil springs inside the caliper is rusted so the caliper doesn't get back to the loosen state. Then he used a hammer to hit it loose. He told me not to use handbrake before the caliper is replaced because the caliper will not release afterward. I will not use the handbrake anytime soon. But according to what you said, rear caliper does engage sometime on pedal brake. If the rear caliper engage next time, does that means it will have the as problem as I pull the handbrake?
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:01 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

yeah, it's that simple. and they don't need to be in good shape. it will get rebuilt and sold again. the rust is not a big deal. they can sand/clean that off and give it a good coat of CPC (WD-40 on steroids). and they'll replace the internals. saves them money since they don't have to make a whole new one, just replace the mechanical pieces at probably half or a third of the cost. and then you save money by buying a like new part with the same reliability of a new part and half the price.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:00 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

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Originally Posted by oceantin View Post
Thanks mr0x!! Your explanation enlightened me. I don't see rust on the rear rotor surface. This is the story. After I had my handbrake checked, I drove for like half hours and I can smell the brake pad odor coming from my rear right caliper, so I brought it back to the mechanic and he told me that he over tighten the brake cable so the caliper is engaged all the time. Then he loosened the cable up but the caliper was still engaged. He told me the reason is that the coil springs inside the caliper is rusted so the caliper doesn't get back to the loosen state. Then he used a hammer to hit it loose. He told me not to use handbrake before the caliper is replaced because the caliper will not release afterward. I will not use the handbrake anytime soon. But according to what you said, rear caliper does engage sometime on pedal brake. If the rear caliper engage next time, does that means it will have the as problem as I pull the handbrake?
Yes, the handbrake is also attached to the hydraulic system on Hondas.

Sorry, I don't understand what the mechanic said to you. Coiled springs inside? I think a caliper has pistons and seals only inside. When the brake pedal is pressed, the hydraulic pressure pushes the brake pads against the rotor. When the brake pedal is not pressed, the rotors themselves push the pads away without the aid of any spring mechanism. The spring mechanism that I know in the brake system is the one that holds the pad in place to prevent noise. I don't really see how the piston can move one way easily and not move the other way.

I'm not an expert on these things so maybe someone else will chip in and make things clear. I might be completely wrong on this but that was what I think.

Anyway, there is a video on youtube about rear brake components.


and about rebuilding a caliper (arounds part 7-8)
Tools for Rebuilding Brake Calipers: How to Rebuild Front Brake Calipers | eHow.com
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:09 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

These two videos are exactly what I wanted to know. If there is no coil spring to pull the piston back to loosen state, what exactly cause my caliper to clamp on the rotor all the time once it is engaged? The rotor should put it away.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:57 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

The caliper rides on the slide pins on the caliper bracket. These slide pins are what move with the caliper piston to engage/disengage the pads against the rotor.

In the Honda exploded parts view below of the rear disc setup on 4th & 5th gen Preludes



#17 & 32 are the caliper slide pins
#8 is the caliper piston

#22, & 13 are the springs mentioned by MrOx (which are to prevent the pads from making noise (rattling)
and 30 & 31 are the caliper covers he mentioned in an earlier post

Most likely the spring the mechanic was talking about being rusted was #34 (the spring that retracts the parking brake lever when released).
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:57 AM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr0x View Post
Yes, the handbrake is also attached to the hydraulic system on Hondas.

Sorry, I don't understand what the mechanic said to you. Coiled springs inside? I think a caliper has pistons and seals only inside. When the brake pedal is pressed, the hydraulic pressure pushes the brake pads against the rotor. When the brake pedal is not pressed, the rotors themselves push the pads away without the aid of any spring mechanism. The spring mechanism that I know in the brake system is the one that holds the pad in place to prevent noise. I don't really see how the piston can move one way easily and not move the other way.
nope. the e-brake mechanism is simply a spring and a cam. when you pull the e-brake it yanks on a spring that is attached to a cam. as the cam(barely 1/2 full turn) it interacts internally with the piston which pushes on the brake pad to make contact with the rotor. the spring is what returns the cam back to its original position when the e-brake is released. the e-brake has NOTHING to do with the hydraulic system. either the cam is seized or the spring. it happens. it's not all that uncommon. JGB3 has it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJGB3 View Post

an earlier post
Most likely the spring the mechanic was talking about being rusted was #34 (the spring that retracts the parking brake lever when released).
the spring (#34) is attached to the cam (#26) via what ever honda wants to call #33 (what the e-brake cable is attached to) and a nut (#21)
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:38 AM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Thanks Beaker, now I know a lot more about the rear calipers. Once the handbrake of my car is applied, the rear calipers will not release the rotor due to the seized coil spring or cam.
But how about the pedal brake? If the pedal brake is applied and the rear calipers are engaged, will the caliper be able to release with a seized coil spring or cam?
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:28 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
nope. the e-brake mechanism is simply a spring and a cam. when you pull the e-brake it yanks on a spring that is attached to a cam. as the cam(barely 1/2 full turn) it interacts internally with the piston which pushes on the brake pad to make contact with the rotor. the spring is what returns the cam back to its original position when the e-brake is released. the e-brake has NOTHING to do with the hydraulic system. either the cam is seized or the spring. it happens. it's not all that uncommon. JGB3 has it right.

the spring (#34) is attached to the cam (#26) via what ever honda wants to call #33 (what the e-brake cable is attached to) and a nut (#21)
That's a really cool explanation. Thanks.

What I meant was that in some cars, the hand brake is connected to a separate brake drum and the brake pedal is connected to the calipers. But, in Hondas, the hand brake also pushes the hydraulic piston in the calipers.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:05 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantin View Post
Thanks Beaker, now I know a lot more about the rear calipers. Once the handbrake of my car is applied, the rear calipers will not release the rotor due to the seized coil spring or cam.
But how about the pedal brake? If the pedal brake is applied and the rear calipers are engaged, will the caliper be able to release with a seized coil spring or cam?
no. when you take your foot off the brake, the caliper will continue to reset back to its seized position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr0x View Post
That's a really cool explanation. Thanks.

What I meant was that in some cars, the hand brake is connected to a separate brake drum and the brake pedal is connected to the calipers. But, in Hondas, the hand brake also pushes the hydraulic piston in the calipers.
oh ok, i misunderstood you. but i see what you are saying.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:21 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
no. when you take your foot off the brake, the caliper will continue to reset back to its seized position.
Oh! That means the rusted caliper could still have chance to clamp and stuck on the rotor even though I don't use handbrake (with hard pedal brake)?
If that's the case, I really need to replace them ASAP.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:22 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

i was just thinking. i guess it really depends on what is seized.. but regardless of what is seized, you should replace it asap. if you take to long, eventually you'll have to replace your rotor too. and my philosophy with many things, if you replace 1, you might as well replace them all.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:25 PM
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Re: Replace the rear calipers

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Originally Posted by oceantin View Post
Oh! That means the rusted caliper could still have chance to clamp and stuck on the rotor even though I don't use handbrake (with hard pedal brake)?
If that's the case, I really need to replace them ASAP.
I was doing by rear brake pads/rotors this weekend. I also know one of calipers is seized (can't turn it by hand!).

Advance Auto sells calipers for $80 each. I got one at the junkyard for around $20 but getting the hand brake cable off was a pain.

If that big coil spring is seized, then it connects only to the hand brake. But, I was at the junkyard and there were two ludes and one had plants growing through the car but that coil spring wasn't even rusted on either of them.

Don't change parts until you're sure they're bad.
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