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Rear Disc Brake Swap

 
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EFSS#17
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Location: Diamond Bar of So Cal.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:07 am    Post subject: Rear Disc Brake Swap  Reply with quote

So you got a set of Disc Brakes that you want to throw on to your ride. Easy task right? NOT! Well at least not for us first timers. I’m going try and take out all of the guess work with this write up. This project is for a 1991 Civic 4dr EX. So you may or may not have the same stock set up as I do. The EX’s I believe have the bigger front brake set up than the DX and LX’s. Plus I don’t know if after 1991 if the brake sizes have changed. This should help you to figure out what you basically need to get started and to get it bolted onto your car. And for you guys out there who don’t like to read, I’ve got lots o pictures for you to look at.
Stock 1991 CIVIC RTA’s (Rear Trailing Arm) will be replaced with 1990 DA RTA’s. There’s another option if you want, and that is to remove only the disc brake unit and e-brake from the DA RTA and bolt them onto the CIVIC RTA, let me know if your able to get the older Torx screws (T45) off either of the RTA’s without stripping them (mine aren’t but after trying to give them a few tries it felt as though the metal was about to give, so I stopped and just went with this option) If you have the power tools or hookups to get to a shop then take all your stuff there and get it done and in half the time, too. Otherwise, for us who cannot afford power tools, here’s what you’ll need.

Oh yeah before I forget…Bushings. I’ve heard many stories with the Energy Suspension (ES) bushings that they pop out well, I will be a test guinea pig and will figure this out for myself. I have read many posts to say that they’ve never had a problem with their ES bushings, this after having them in for at least a year or more…so that’s good so far. Another thing I’d recommend you do before the installation, I didn’t do it but will later is to install a Zerk fitting. Polyurethane is a great material, but when it rains they begin to squeak and it’ll sound like your driving an old beat up truck. Whereas rubber fittings are maintenance free. You decide.

Lets begin. You’ll need the following items to start the installation of your project. ES says to get 3 ½” washers from your favorite hardware store...I went to Home Depot, Loewe’s and ACE hardware, could not find that size. So I improvised, don’t ask how I came up with this idea but it worked very well. Go to the electrical aisle and pick out 4, 3 ½” round electrical housing plates, it will have a partially punched center. While at Ace I picked up 5” X5/8ths” bolt and nut, along with 2 fender washers as they are called for extra support. Using these will come in after you remove the older bushings. Please note that you can use any lubricant available. You’ll need plenty of it. Also 2 open ended adjustable crescent wrenches and 2 std. “-“ screwdrivers. Costs for supplies if you have tools = <$5.00


To remove the old bushings you will need the following items. A really good drill, a minimum of 3” cup steel bristle brush bit, and a propane torch…FIRE!! FIRE!!
Costs = <5.00 for the bit. Home Depot torch = $10-12.00. Drill = your choice.


STEP 1.
This is what the RTA will look like when you’ve burned the hell out of the bushings. Be careful of the rust proof coating on the arm, because of the heat this stuff will get very soft and will wipe away, don’t remove any of it. This whole process takes about 1 hr on each side. Costs for DA RTA, got mine for $120.00.


STEP 2
Once you’ve smoothed out all of the rubber from the pin and bushing cylinder you’ll end up with a smooth as a babies butt surface. So now let’s get those bushings on. OK so now you’ll need to grab the bolt, nut and all the tools as I indicated on the first pic. To load the bushing you’ll need to prep the RTA first with ES lube, use the whole tube. Next place the bushing on the outside of the RTA (rotor side), place 2 of the “aftermarket” washers on top then the fender washer and finally the screw. Slide the other 4 items from the bottom and start cranking until you see the bushing begin to slide itself in. It will go in at an angle. Now slow down the cranking once you get about ¾ of it into the cylinder. Here’s the critical part and I’ll explain more on this on the next photo. Pretend you are installing a tire onto your bicycle rim; only things are opposite each other. The rim is the bushing and tire is the Cylinder. Take the 2 screwdrivers and with the flat-side place them in between the cylinder and bushing, space them equally apart. Next flip the screwdrivers up at the same time, also while hold the bushing (otherwise get a friend to help) you’ll notice that the remainder of the bushing will begin to tuck into the cylinder. Once you get everything in simply apply some pressure with your hand on top of the bushing, remove the screw drivers and it should slide all the way through the other end. That’s it. This is was made easy for you as it cost me a bushing by trial and error…being a noob at this the first try didn’t go so well, while I was tourqing on the bushing I figured that all of the lube that was used would allow it to go in easily, well with all of the pressure that’s put on, the cylinder with its thin wall acted like a cutter and split off the piece of bushing that wouldn’t go in, see pic of bushing below. Cost for bushings = $40.00 (80.00 for me) – eBay. Estimated time for this step is approx 10 min. each side.


Step 3-Optional
OK, the bushings are in. Now let’s look at the brake assy, if you have the money and unless the brake rotors aren’t warped and pads aren’t worn too thin, take the advantage of buying these items before you install the brake assy. I don’t have the cash so I’ll just put some estimated cost on here from eBay. (Hawk rear brake pads w/free shipping - $35.00) (rear rotors – after market blanks = w/shipping $49.00 or cross drilled Brembo’s w/shipping $90.00). I may buy the pads because the ones I have are getting there (found some from ebay made by Verto – They are either European or S.A. but anyway they worked out very well. Semi Metallic and only spent $11.00 complete.


Step 4 – Optional
Painting your Brake assy. I bought 1 can of Hi temp. brake paint. I’m going with Cast Aluminum for that stock look. I took that same cup brush and drill and cleaned off all of the brake dust and grime from the assy. I’m also going to apply the paint to the outside of the rotors to prevent rust, will also do the same for the front rotors, too. This is all very easy and since I removed the brake assy. from the RTA’s first this will look first class.
Cost for paint = $7.99 per can. Total time about 2 hrs. for all 4 rotors.


Step 5 – Optional but recommended – Replacing the Brake Lines.

This part is important please read.
Now of course I know you will be doing this and most of you will buy the steel braided lines. However, since I don’t do a lot of road racing or Auto-X, stock will do just fine. A friend of mine whom I bought these lines from (see pic below) told me that CIVIC SI brake lines would be a direct bolt on, and even the junk yard I went to said that the Brake line that I have is the right length. However, after looking at the brake lines on the DA and comparing them with the CIVIC SI, these are two totally different designs. The DA brake line has 2 mounting points, where as the CIVIC SI has only 1.
So at this point I can only say that the 4dr’s will require the DA brake line. The Hatch backs I don’t know, you will have to check that out for yourself.


Step 6 – Installation of the Rear Trailing Arms

Take the time to make sure you have the following items before you begin. I thought a lot about safety and so should you…ya I know blah blah blah.

You will need these tools and equipment to get the job done quickly and easily.
equipment

1. 2+ ton floor jack
2. 4 very durable jack stands
3. Safety glasses….I’m telling you, get them, even though they may look stupid.
4. Portable shop light.
5. If you have a creeper or stool those will help.
6. Hand held brake bleeding vacuum pump. (Sears has them for $40.00) it’s a great investment and you can do it with one person, actually they lie because you need someone to watch the reservoir from emptying. You should replace the fluid once every few years I believe anyway. BUY IT!!
7. Brake fluid catch can. ($4.00, I got mine from Sears).
8. Work gloves, you know the ones NASCAR teams use.

Tools

For the tools I used ½ “ drive, 6 point sockets (if you use the 12 point your mostly going to strip bolts that have never been removed) and ratchet wrench.
1. 10mm open end socket wrench. This is a must to undo the brake line.
2. 10,12,14,17 and 18mm sockets.
3. Breaker bar very handy when removing bolts and just for leverage.
4. Needle nose pliers
5. 1 standard “-“and 1 Phillips “+” screwdriver.
6. Wire snips.


E-BRAKE REMOVAL – In Car
OK, now before you lift the car, go into your back seat area and remove the e-brake and shifter housing. Release the parking brake and unbolt the two bolts that are holding the e-brake lines. Then remove the two lines from the e-brake cradle. Now here is something that you may have to do, I didn’t as I think I got lucky. There are 3 plastic plugs that are at either end and at the center edge of the bench seat. Take your wire snips and without cutting the head off but simply use them for leverage to lift them out from the floor. Doing this will allow you to fold over the carpet enough to get your hands through to route the cables.



E-BRAKE REMOVAL – out of car
This is probably the hardest part of the whole changeover, because you have to get underneath the car. Start by removing the 3 bolts hold the cable in place. There is one on the RTA and two on the underbody. Next you will need to remove the Heat Shield, there are 4 bolts to this, Yank out the heat shield and put all of your bolts onto the shield for safe keeping. Next there are 3 bolts holding the rubber boot and metal housing to hold the two cables in place once you’ve unbolted the metal housing give a good yank at the cable and out they come. You can now remove the cable from one side and then the other from the rubber housing.


Begin with unbolting the hard brake line and lift it out from the flex line, immediately plug in your brake fluid catch can to the hard line. Remove the clip that is holding the flex brake line to the mounting bracket, and then pull it down and out.

[b]REMOVAL OF THE RTA

Begin by removing only the following bolts on the diagram below. If you remove the Compensator bolt that is attached to the frame of the car you’re in for a lot of trouble. For some reason I believe there may be floating items that allow for Toe adjustment and if it’s removed, serious work will have to be done to correct it. So this means if you haven’t taken the compensator arm off from your donor parts then do so. Also, don't use the DA compensator arm as it is about a ½” longer from the Civic C-arm. If you use the DA C-arm you will create huge Toe out at the wheels.






COMPARISON OF CIVIC & DA LCA (Lower Control Arm)

Use the Civic LCA, not the DA. Using the DA will cause way too much camber and put undo stress on the suspension. The Civic LCA is on the left.


COMPARISON OF THE CIVIC & DA RTA.
As you can see both arms are similar but not exactly the same.


Step 7 Bolting the RTA’s back onto the car.
You can choose how you want to rebolt everything back. I did it in this pattern as it seemed to be easier. Begin with the Compensator bolt, secondly the UCA, Next the LCA, then the 2 RTA bolts then finally the strut.

Step 8 – Replacing the E-brake cables – See Removal of E-Brake lines and perform everything in reverse order.

Step 9 - Replace the Caliper hardware then connect the brake lines and connect the e-brake line as well. Use the needle nose pliers for connecting the clip with the pin to hold the e brake in place.


[b]Step 10 – You’re ready to bleed the system. You will need to use a small maybe 6” adjustable crescent wrench for this. I have learned to always bleed the system farthest from the Master Cylinder, so I begin with the Rear passenger side, then Driver Rear side, then go to the front and begin with the Passenger side and finally the Driver side. If you use the hand vacuum pump, simply connect the tubing to the bleed nipple once you’ve loosened it. Begin pumping until you see fluid flow through, there will be an appearance of bubbles and this is normal. So long as you have constant pressure on the gauge, there is no air in the system. The pressure gauge will normally read around 20-30 lbs of pressure make sure you maintain this for a good 10 seconds or so to get as much air out and more brake fluid in. Once you get enough fluid through tighten the nipple back up tight. Get a buddy to assist with monitoring the brake fluid reservoir.

Since I have an EX model the MC is a 15/16ths and is the same as the DA. I believe other 4dr models may be different, what does this mean? I don’t have any need for the 40/40 proportioning valve but for other models this may be required as the brake systems are different.

You’re done, lower the car and admire your work. Don’t get too wild you will need to adjust the e-brake line. Take a 12mm open ended wrench and go on a slow drive with the car to adjust the tension. If you adjust it too much the brakes will bind and you will cause the motor to labor with the added pressure. If so undo the tension and test it again.

Also make sure that when you make a test run of the brakes themselves to monitor the tension. For some replacements of these there have been times with the brake booster loading extreme pressure causing the rear brakes to lock up. There are write ups on Honda-Tech which will show you how to do this.



Some thanks to UNKNOWN MEMBER for selling a great donor swap to me from his DA.
Thanks to Ralph, and Steve-O for helping me out with the parts and brake bleed.
and other H-T'ers for giving such great advice.

***DISCLAIMER***
If I forgot something please let me know and I'll make the corrections. Please use common sense when performing this kind of work. any mistakes you make aren't mine this has been developed to use as a reference not a "this is how it should be done, so do it my way".
Thanks for reading and good luck. =)
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Ricer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice writeup... definitly on my list of things to do
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sticky.
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EFSS#17
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol I wondered when someone would first use that smiley. Laughing
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Denton15501
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So whats the guess forwards buying the stock Jdm Si-r 4dr rear brakes or should I go with the JDm XSi Jdm Da rear brakes from passwordjdm.com
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just go with cheap USDM DA rear disks like he showed in the writeup.. no reason to get the MaD TyTe JDM brakes yO!... just a waste of money.. disk brakes are disk brakes.. its just the different hub you want anyways.. upgrading the rotors and calipers is easy with aftermarket parts if thats what you're going for..
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you grab the JDM rears, as cool as they may be.... what happens if the calipers ever need to be replaced, or the rotors? I would say that the parts will be next to impossible? or are they the same as a USDM model? at least with the DA rears, the parts will always be available.
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EFSS#17
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would DEFINITELY go with what these guys are saying. You can probably pick up a complete rear DA set up from the yard for about 150 bills maybe lower. Or look up Honda Tech and the hundred's of other Honda/Acura websites. Some will bargain off a complete set up with you. And just go with local pick up, there are hundreds of DA's out there. I could just ramble about this all day.
**
Just remember if you have an LX or DX be sure to snip off the 40/40 proportioning valve from the DA. The EX will have the 40/30(40/35??) which in my opinion works just fine...I've had my rear set up for about a year now and no problems....except with my harsh driving my front rotors are beginning to warp.
And finally you should go with a 15/16 master cylinder.. the others are too weaksauce won't have enough brute force to slow you down.
**
I just need to go buy some steel braided lines.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i can't believe that I have nearly 100 hits on his write up. more popular than I thought. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i can definitly believe it.. its something we all wanna do at some point.. no one likes drum brakes.. lol
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:08 pm    Post subject: I was in Atl Reply with quote

ok well- which is wider jdm sir rear end or the Da rear end becuz I thinking of swapping in the whole rear end of the Dais it wider becuz personally I want wider rear end
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wider? what? if you want the rear end "wider" get a different wheel offset or wheel spacers.. the JDM stuff isnt any different..
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

umm so you are saying the da n the Ed-Ef rear end is the same lenght exact
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

length? length has nothing to do with how wide the rear end is
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well do you know if the the da rear end is longer or is the ED-EF 1
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EFSS#17
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your putting too much thought into this. The DA EG and EF have different geometries, but are compatible with slight mods or changes UCA and LCA's. There is a definite difference in the diameter of the RTA bushing diameters on the DA and EG as compared to the EF. I'm thinking that the bushing diameter is bigger in the DA and smaller on the EG and I believe the EF. Thats about the only major difference however the length and mounting points are exactly the same.
**
If you have some pics of some JDM suspension pieces you'd like to show us and make a comparo, please do.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool thanks I just going full Da rear end
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice write up. very detailed. the pictures help the explaination greatly. good job. and i hate drum brakes. now i gotta hunt for some da parts. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great write up, im thinking of getting a DC rear disc from a friend, it all will work as long as i use all of the civics "arms", correct?
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great write-up, i'm sure this will help a lot of people Very Happy

is there a difference in length between the DA and EF compensator arms? i did this swap using CRX rear trailing arms/ disc brakes and had to re-use the civc compensator arms as the CRX's were shorter. just a thought if someone decides to go a different route than the DA set-up. also i noticed using a 4040 valve will give you weak braking as well as the inability to lock them up if using CRX rear disc conversion, this is with Hawk HPS pads at all 4 as well as S.S. lines. i would recommend using the one already on your car or get the CRX prop. valve.  

4G Addict- there is no diference in brake parts jdm-usdm for EF8-9, not sure about EF2? rear calipers and rotors are all the same... for Civics...maybe the exception is CTR?

also EFSS#17 how are your EnergySuspension trailing arm bushing working out? i had these on my 95 DB7 and they bound up so bad, they made my rear suspension sound like it was breaking or falling apart. however i didn't install a zerk fitting at the time either.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cmbjr89zc wrote:
great write-up, i'm sure this will help a lot of people Very Happy

is there a difference in length between the DA and EF compensator arms? i did this swap using CRX rear trailing arms/ disc brakes and had to re-use the civc compensator arms as the CRX's were shorter. just a thought if someone decides to go a different route than the DA set-up. also i noticed using a 4040 valve will give you weak braking as well as the inability to lock them up if using CRX rear disc conversion, this is with Hawk HPS pads at all 4 as well as S.S. lines. i would recommend using the one already on your car or get the CRX prop. valve.  

4G Addict- there is no diference in brake parts jdm-usdm for EF8-9, not sure about EF2? rear calipers and rotors are all the same... for Civics...maybe the exception is CTR?

also EFSS#17 how are your EnergySuspension trailing arm bushing working out? i had these on my 95 DB7 and they bound up so bad, they made my rear suspension sound like it was breaking or falling apart. however i didn't install a zerk fitting at the time either.


EFSS #17 has since sold his car,
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cmbjr89zc
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats what i get for not looking at the posted dates... Embarassed
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, now that I realize that I had EFSS#17 as my old account, I guess responding won't hurt.  Even though its been a year since the question was asked.

re: ES RTA bushings.   I bought the black one which are impregnated with graphite, no need for a zerk fitting.  I have also applied them onto my DA and have had them in place with not 1 single problem to report.  Granted i don't track this car, its a daily driver.  So if your planning on tracking your ride, you may want stiffer or more upgraded bushings.

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