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How to Replace Install Front Brakes 03-08 Honda Pilot

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How to Replace Install Front Brakes 03-08 Honda Pilot

Created on: 2017-08-09

Fading or worn out brakes? Learn from our experts in this video how to replace and prepare the front brakes yourself, including torque specs

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the 19mm lug nuts and wheel lock key with the vehicle on the ground
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel
  2. step 2 :Removing the Brake Pads
    • Remove the 12mm bolt from the brake hose bracket
    • Remove 12mm bolts from the brake caliper
    • Remove 17mm bolts from the brake caliper bracket
    • Pull the caliper and bracket aside and hang it with a bungee cord
  3. step 3 :Removing the Brake Rotor
    • Remove the screws from the rotor
    • Pull the rotor off
    • If the rotor will not come off, thread the lug nuts and strike the hub area of the rotor with the ball end of a ball peen hammer
    • Clean the hub with a wire brush
  4. step 4 :Installing the New Brake Rotor
    • Clean both sides of the rotor with brake parts cleaner
    • Slide the rotor on
    • Thread on one lug nut to hold the rotor in place
    • Put the bracket back into place
    • Start the bolts by hand
  5. step 5 :Installing the Brake Caliper and Bracket
    • Put an old pad in the caliper
    • Use a large C-clamp and the old pad to push the pistons back
    • Install the new brake pads into the bracket
    • Put the caliper and bracket on
    • Tighten the caliper bolts
  6. step 6 :Preparing the New Brake Pads
    • Clean the brake pad clips with a wire brush
    • Put the brake pad clips into the caliper bracket
    • Clean the brake pad slides with a wire brush
    • Apply grease to the caliper slides
    • Apply grease to the brake pad tabs
  7. step 7 :Installing the Brake Pads
    • Place the brake pads on
    • Thread the caliper bolts in
    • Tighten the bracket bolt to the brake line
    • Tighten the caliper bracket bolts to 80 foot-pounds of torque
    • Tighten the brake caliper bolts to 27 foot-pounds
    • Torque the brake hose bolt to 16 foot-pounds
  8. step 8 :Reattaching the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 80 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern
  9. step 9 :Testing the Brakes
    • Pump your brakes repeatedly until they feel firm
    • Test your brakes at 5 miles per hour and then 10 miles per hour
    • Road test the vehicle

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools

    Large C-Clamp

    Jack Stands

    Rubber Mallet

    Wire Brush

    Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Safety Glasses


    Bungee Cord

    Anti-Seize Grease

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions

    Torque Wrench


    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Pry Bar

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    12mm Socket

    17mm Socket

    19mm Socket

    21mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

    17mm Wrench

    21mm wrench

    12mm Wrench

Installation Video
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Hi, I’m Mike from 1A Auto. We’ve been selling auto parts for over 30 years!

If your vehicle is equipped with a wheel lock key, you want to make sure you have this before you start. You're going to use a breaker bar, and these are 19mm. Start with the wheel lock key one. Should always use a breaker bar on the wheel lock key, don't use an air impact, because you can easily break the key. Just get them loose, about half a turn. Should always loosen the lug nuts with a vehicle on the ground. Once you've loosened your lug nuts, raise and support your vehicle. We're going to use a lift for this so it'll make it easier to see what you're doing. But you can do this on jack stands in your driveway. With the vehicle in the air, now we can loosen the rest of the lug nuts. Careful as you loosen the last one, because the wheel might start to slide off the wheel studs.

I'm going to start by removing this 12mm bolt that is holding on our brake hose. Because once this caliper is loose, we need enough slack to bring it up and hang it from our spring. Take some rust penetrant oil and spray it on the threads. Take my 12mm wrench and break this free. Sometimes you have to work it back and forth once the oil's in there. Once it gets loose, I'm going to switch to a ratcheting wrench. I can use this or a 12mm socket ratchet. Pull that out of the bracket. I'm going to put our bolt back into the bracket so it doesn't get lost. Using the 12mm wrench, I'm going to remove the lower caliper bolt so that I can swing this caliper up and remove the pads.

Using a large flat bladed screwdriver or a small pry bar, I'm going to pry the caliper loose. We're going to rotate it up. See, those pads are pretty worn down. I'm going to remove these pads. Just with my fingers, so we can see, I'm just going to move this around—our caliper's sliding, nice little slides, and I can feel the lower slide is moving in and out. So this caliper's in good shape, and it's not seized up. Now I will remove the caliper bracket bolts—there's one on the bottom, one on the top, they are 17mm. You either need to use a rubber mallet or a deadblow hammer to break them free. Once one is loose, start working on the other one. You don't want to remove one completely and then try to loosen up the other one. It'll make it easier if the caliper is locked in place.

Now that they're loose, I'm going to take my 17mm socket and ratchet and use that to take them out, so it's a little easier. Quicker. Now I'm going to switch to the top one. Keep your hand on the caliper, because once this top bolt comes out, it will be loose. You don't want to hang it on the rubber brake hose. You want to have a bungee cord, or a stiff coat hanger, ready. And we're going to hang it from the spring. Put that aside. Use my fingers to get it out the rest of the way. Caliper is loose, going to lift it off the hub.

We're going to take a bungee cord, and we'll hang it from the spring. I'm going to swing the caliper back up, take our pin bolt, just loosely thread it in there so it's not hanging with all its weight on that one caliper bolt.

If you are replacing original rotors, they may have locating screws here and here that you will want to remove. This vehicle has already had the brakes done once, so these screws are not here anymore. Now I'm going to remove the old rotor. If it helps, you can take some rust penetrant oil, spray some around the hub. So this one's a little bit stuck. I'm going to thread on two of the lug nuts so the rotor doesn't fall off. And then using rubber mallet or a deadblow, just going to try to loosen it. So that rotor was caught on the edge of the hub, it's kind of rusty, and this was rusty in here, it was just a tight fit.

Before I put the new rotor on, I want to clean some of this rust off. I'm going to take a wire brush and just brush it off. Just work it around. Mostly going to do this inner hub, where the wheel sits. Now take some brake parts cleaner, and we're going to take off that penetrating oil we sprayed on there. This is our old disc brake and pads. This is our new disc brake and pads from As you can see. The new ones will come with backing plates just like the old ones, shims. And the anti-squeal tabs. And the squealing tabs for the wear indicators.

You can see these pads are pretty worn down. This is a fresh pad, compared to a pad that is basically worn out, and you can see the huge difference. Looking at the rotors, same amount of lug holes, same screw holes to mount them, both ventilated, these should work great and give you a lot better stopping power than these worn out brakes.

Take our new rotor. I'm going to place it on inside out. Take brake parts cleaner. I'm just going to clean it. Now I can flip it and put it on the correct way. Take one of your lug nuts that you're not using, just thread it on there so the caliper doesn't fall off, actually make it a little easier if it holds on there straight while you're trying to put the caliper back on. Take our brake parts cleaner, clean it off. Actually take a rag and get some of the heavier stuff. You want to keep this surface nice and clean, free of oil and grease, because that's where your pads are going to ride.

Now I need to compress this piston back into the caliper because it will not fit over the rotor with the new pads, because it's come too far out. So I'm un-threading it. Just going to hold it in this hand, and put this bolt aside. I will take one of our old pads, and place it just like that. I'm going to take a large C-clamp. I'm just going to thread it down, just kind of go slowly, because it's going to push fluid back up into the reservoir. We can see the piston is being pushed back into the caliper. You don't have to kill this, this should be good right about there. Take the C-clamp off. Get rid of our old pad.

I'm going to unhook the caliper that we've got hanging here on the strut. Don't forget to take the bungee cord or coat hanger out of here that you're using. Take one of my caliper bolts, and I'm going to mount the caliper back up. Might have to move the caliper around so you find the threads in the hole. Might just have to wiggle the caliper around and try to thread the bolt in by hand until you catch the threads. So I've got this one close, I'm going to get it finger tight. I'm going to work on the bottom one.

Take our 17mm socket and ratchet, just going to get it snug right now, I'm not ready to torque these. And the bracket bolt to the hub, the lower bolt from the caliper pin is still out, I'm just going to rotate the caliper up, then take a bungee cord and just hold it up and out of the way while I work. Then I reuse these brake pad clips, they're stainless so they typically don't rust, I'm just going to clean 'em up. Just going to use a flatheaded screwdriver to get them out of here, so I can take them over to the bench and clean them. I'm using the inside of the box just to keep the brake parts cleaner and dirt contained so it doesn't get everywhere and make a mess. Take a little bit of brake parts cleaner, spray it on here. Take a wire brush, brush these out so they're nice and clean. This is where the pads ride. Don't have to be sparkling and new, just get the heavy dirt out of there. So that's a clean one and that's a dirty one. We're going to do the same for both. With our clean brake pad clips we're going to put them back in.

Did get some grease here so I'm going to clean that off with some brake parts cleaner. I'm going to take our new pad, take some brake parts cleaner, just in case you touched the surface by accident, and just spray this with some brake parts cleaner. Make sure it's nice and clean. That already evaporated. Take some brake caliper grease, put a little bit on the ears. This is the inside pad, with the wear indicator. Place it in the bottom first, rotate it up. Make sure my clip is seeded. The inside pad is installed. Install our outside pad. Make sure the pads are nice and tight against the rotor, roll the caliper down. If you get the piston compressed all the way it should just slide right over it.

Take our lower caliper bolt now, goes into the pin. Let's take our bolt back out of the strut bracket here that is holding the brake hose. Place it back where it belongs, put the bolt back in, take my 12mm ratcheting wrench, torque the lower 17mm bolt to 79.6, we're going to do 80 foot-pounds. Now torque the upper caliper back-up bolt, may need to add an extension to your torque wrench to reach it. Torque the lower caliper slide pin bolt 27 foot-pounds. We didn't undo this one, but I'm just going to check it. I'm going to torque the bolt holding on the brake hose to 16 foot pounds. Now you can remove this lug nut you had holding on the brake rotor.

Now we'll finish with the brakes, put the wheel back on. We'll start with our locking load because it's got a nice little tool you can hold it with. The key. Get the wheel seated on the hub. Take the rest of our lug nuts, so you have all your lug nuts sorted by hand, you can snug them up with your ratchet. Just want to get them seated, I will torque the wheel when it's on the ground. Put the wheel lock key on, sometimes you just have to spin it around so it lines up. Take our torque wrench, set to 80 foot pounds. Before you drive the vehicle, gently press the brake pedal about a third of the way, repeatedly, until it gets hard. Once you feel the brake pedal become hard, your job is complete, and you're ready to drive the vehicle.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Large C-Clamp
  • Jack Stands
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Wire Brush
  • Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Bungee Cord
  • Anti-Seize Grease

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 12mm Socket
  • 17mm Socket
  • 19mm Socket
  • 21mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 17mm Wrench
  • 21mm wrench
  • 12mm Wrench

2003 - 2008  Honda  Pilot
2001 - 2006  Acura  MDX
2013 - 2014  Honda  FIT
2002 - 2006  Honda  CR-V
2003 - 2011  Honda  Element
2012 - 2015  Honda  Civic
2013 - 2015  Honda  Civic
2016 - 2016  Honda  Civic
2003 - 2007  Honda  Accord
2013 - 2015  Acura  ILX
2012 - 2016  Honda  CR-V
2008 - 2012  Honda  Accord
2016 - 2016  Honda  CR-Z
2008 - 2017  Honda  Accord
2017 - 2020  Honda  Civic
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