Whilst the other cars have been in the spotlight, getting all the love and attention, the poor little Honda has been sitting off to the side, trundling along as the super reliable daily, clocking up the miles.
It was time to give the Honda some love. Its done 193,000km now and other than regular oil changes it doesn’t get so much as a wash. Its a workhorse, but we love it.
I’ve had some new pads and rotors in stock for over a year now just waiting to have the time to change them. The wear indicators had just started to squeal, so it was time to spin some spanners.
The car was also due another oil change, and I had ordered in a new torque mount as there was a concerning amount of drivetrain lash and thumping when coming on and off the throttle, especially in start stop traffic (which this car does a lot of).
I started with the oil change. After a quick run around the block to get some heat into the oil I lifted the car on quickjacks and set about draining the oil and removing the filter. The Honda is one of the easiest cars to do an oil change on. The filter is right at the front with easy access, and the drain plug has heaps of space around it. Both can drain into the same pan to save time and mess.
After filling up with exactly 4L of this cars favourite oil (Mitsubishi MSL), it was time to move onto the lower torque mount. This is pretty easy to do, and even easier than the one on the Mini. Undo the horizontal bolt and remove it, undo the big nut and push the bolt up through the mount. This bolt is a bit special, it has a locating tab on the top so will need to be rotated to remove and reinsert the bolt. The bolts need to be tightened on the specific pattern of the horizontal bolt first, and then the vertical nut.
The old mount was softer and easier to deflect than the new one. There was also cracking showing in the rubber.
Remove the pads and then the two bolts holding the carrier to the hub. These two need 108nm on reassembly.
Now the rotor is exposed. This is held on with two little screws, which everyone complains about. These are notorious for rusting and seizing into the hub and then rounding out. A bad time all around. Thankfully with some creativity and a rattlegun, these came out with no issue. Lots of anti-seize will help these to not be a prick in the future.
Be sure to scrub the face of the hub with a wire brush to get any crusty bits off, and then clean it thoroughly. Anything behind the rotor here will result in runout like on the TVR.
The new rotor slips on after a good clean with brake clean to get the oily stuff off them. Unfortunately I found out that the plastic these come wrapped in melts when exposed to brake cleaner and then makes a mess. Argh.
The screws were refitted to hold the rotor, with plenty of antiseize on the threads and then the carrier was refitted.
Before I could fit the new pads and caliper I had to push the piston back in the caliper. This is best done with the bleed nipple open so the displaced fluid can exit the caliper instead of being forced back up into the master. I use a big clamp to slowly push the piston back. I should probably buy the proper tool, but I do brakes so infrequently.
The fluid that came out of the calipers when I pushed the pistons back was nasty. Dark, almost black, fluid. I probably should have changed it sooner.
The last thing to do was to flush the brake fluid. I was changing to a different coloured fluid, not because its any better, but it’s just what I happened to have at hand. This made it easy to see when all the old fluid had been flushed through.
Interestingly, according to the Honda workshop manual, it recommends starting at the RH FR first (or closest to the master), which is backwards to everything I have learnt since I started working with cars. Normally you start with the wheel furthest from the master cylinder and work towards it.
I did this at all four corners. The fronts were quite dark, but the rear wasn’t too bad.
With that done, all that was left was to take the car out for a test run and bed the brakes in.
Bedding in was done as per the instructions that came with the pads (and what is considered pretty common anyway). Accelerate to 60kph or so, and using moderate brake force bring the car down to 10kph without stopping. Do this a few times, making sure not to stop for long periods with the brakes on or brake for long periods of time ie: down hill. Let the brakes cool off a bit between each time.
The torque mount seems to have made a decent difference too, with less thumping when coming on and off throttle. The true test will be on Monday after work where I will be stuck in traffic. That’s usually where the mount was the worst.
All in all, a good bit of love for the Honda. It deserves it for being an awesome daily.