My Honda Del Sol was having slight issues with its brakes and I noticed that the rotors were pretty thin in the front. When replacing brake pads or the rotor, both should be serviced at the same time. For example, if the pads are worn out you should have the rotor either machined or replaced, such that the grooves left behind from the old pads dont shorten the life of the new pads.
Here is how I changed them:
- Put the car into gear and engage the emergency brake
- Crack the lug nuts - Using the tire wrench, give each of the wheel lug nuts a slight crack / one turn to loosen them up. You dont want to do this while the wheel is off the ground and put undue stress on the transmission.
- Lift the car - Jack up one side of the car on the spot just under where the door hinge is located. ( There is a cutout on the body where a piece of metal protrudes )
- Remove the wheel completely
- Remove the caliper bolt - On the back side of the caliper towards the bottom is a single caliper bolt with a 12mm head. Remove this bolt completely
- Remove the caliper / Hang - Using a mechanics wire / coat hanger, loop one end around the top of the strut leaving the other dangling downwards. Take the caliper and swing the bottom upwards and slide the caliper off of the top caliper slide. Hang the caliper on the free end of the wire so it doesn't put stress on the brake hose.
- Remove the pads - The pads should slide from the bottom off of the caliper bracket.
- Remove the caliper bracket - The caliper bracket is attached to the steering knuckle by two 17mm bolts on the backside. You may have to turn the steering wheel to gain a better advantage on using an impact wrench / ratchet to get these off as there are attached with a very high torque. Remove the bolts and set the caliper bracket aside.
- Remove the rotor - There are two small screws ( might have already been removed on a previous replacement) that hold the rotor onto the hub. Remove these as well. On my car they were hard to remove, so I used the impact wrench with a #2 Phillips bit.
- Install new rotor - Install new rotor on hub and optionally replace the two small screws. Most cars I have worked on do not have the screws holding the rotor in place and can be safely not replaced if you don't want to deal with it in the future.
- Clean caliper slides - Using a towel, wipe both the caliper bracket slide and the caliper bolt clean of grease. Using Caliper / Pad grease re-lubricate the slide / bolt.
- Install the caliper bracket - Two 17mm bolts
- Install the pads - Coat the backside of the pads with de-squeak compound. Lubricate the end tabs with caliper / pad grease
- Install the caliper - Using a C-Clamp or other compression device, push the caliper piston back into the caliper house slowly. Make sure you do not pinch the caliper piston rubber boot. Replace the 12mm caliper bolt. Make sure to remove the wire you used to temporarily hang the caliper.
- Check for clearance - Spin the hub by hand and make sure nothing is binding up
- Install the wheel - Replace the wheel and hand tighten the lugs
- Lower the car
- Torque the wheel lugs with the car on the ground.
- (Repeat for the other wheel)
Done. Take it out for a cautious test drive and make sure everything is working as expected.