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Honda Pilot Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 1st generation 2003 to 2008 Honda Pilot including the part numbers.

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2006 Pilot Front Wheel
Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
Raise Front of SUV
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008) Honda Pilot SUV in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Honda or Acura vehicles such as the Accord, Civic, Crosstour, CR-V, CR-Z, Fit, Insight, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, ILX, TSX, TLX, TL, RLX, RDX, NSX and MDX may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: Akebono ACT914, ACDelco 14D914CH, Power Stop Z23-914, Bosch BC943, KFE KFE914-104, Wagner ThermoQuiet QC943 and genuine OEM Honda 45022-S9V-A01.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 12mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratchet, an "F" clamp and a tube of synthetic brake caliper grease.

Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
Five Lug Nuts Removed
Rotor, Bracket & Caliper
The first few steps are to park the SUV on a level surface, turn off the engine and firmly engage the emergency / parking brake.

Place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to prevent the car from moving while you are replacing the front brake pads.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counterclockwise with the tire iron.

Raise the front of the vehicle with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

I prefer to work on one side of the SUV at a time to keep three tires on the ground for extra safety.

Spin off the five lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull off the front wheel to reveal the rotor, bracket, caliper and suspension.

Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
Loosen Bottom Caliper Bolt
Spin Out Lower Bolt
Loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the SUV) with the 12mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Then loosen the bottom 12mm caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle).

Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Remove Top Caliper Bolt
Pull Off Brake Caliper
Rest Caliper On Suspension
Gently pull the brake caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.

Carefully rest the caliper on top of the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

Try to avoid stressing, kinking, bending or pulling on the rubber brake fluid hose.

Two "V" Spring Clips
Pull Off Spring Clips
"V" Spring Clips Removed
Remove the two "V" shaped metal spring clips off the outer edge of the old brake pads and set them aside in a safe place.

If your new brake pads included new "V" spring clips, you can discard the old ones. Otherwise, save them for re-installation later on.

Wear Bar - Bottom Inner Pad
Remove Old Outer Pad
Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bar or "squeal" bar is located on the old pads.

On this 2006 Pilot, the wear indicator bar was situated at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

If your new brake pads included replacement hardware, pull the old pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the areas of the bracket and abutment clips that will come in contact with each other and also the ears of the new pads.

Top Pad Abutment Clip
Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
Lubricate & Replace Pins
Push the new pad abutment clips in to the top and bottom of the bracket.

In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins or "guide bolts" need to be well lubricated.

Pull the caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots, apply a thin layer of grease to the smooth parts of each one and push them back in to their rubber dust boots.

Attach "F" Clamp
Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
Compress Caliper Piston
In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the piston needs to be compressed back.

Attach the "F" clamp to the caliper and use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and twist off the black plastic brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the lines when you compress the piston.

Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to push back the caliper piston.

Continue compressing the caliper piston until it is almost flush with the rubber dust boot that surrounds it.

Try to avoid pinching or damaging the rubber dust boot surrounding the piston.


Replace Reservoir Cap
Install New Outer Pad
Wear Bar - Bottom Inner Pad
Replace the reservoir cap as soon as possible by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Brake fluid is "hygroscopic" which means it readily absorbs moisture from the air leading to reduced stopping performance.

Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, lug nut studs and the brake caliper assembly with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since inhaling brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust can be carcinogenic (cancer causing) if inhaled.

 If your Pilot previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations in the front end during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the SUV's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just change the pads with excellent results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, remove the two set screws on the front of the rotor and the two bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Remove the bracket and set it aside in a safe place. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place. Tighten the bracket bolts to about 80 lb-ft of torque.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to any area where there is metal to metal contact such as the outer lip of the caliper pistons. Do not apply brake parts lubricant to the friction surface of the new pads or to the rotor.

I recommend buying the Akebono ACT914 front brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon. If you prefer to have the genuine OEM brake pads the part number is Honda 45022-S9V-A01.

Push Pads Against Rotor
Replace "V" Spring Clips
Lower Caliper Over Pads
Install the new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear indicator bar situated at the bottom of the inner pad.

Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Re-attach the two "V" shaped metal spring clips with their narrow points facing towards each other.

Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and in to the bracket.

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding holes in the slider pins within the bracket.

Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
Spin In Lower Caliper Bolt
Tighten Counterclockwise
Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the SUV) to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the caliper bolts by turning them counterclockwise (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 12mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet to just past hand tight or about 27 lb-ft of torque.

Double check that the two caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Tighten Upper 12mm Bolt
Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Replace Front Wheel

If your brake pedal previously felt soft or spongy, the brake fluid might be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain some air bubbles.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with new DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

Update - Please take a look at my 2001-2006 Acura MDX Brake Line Bleeding Guide since the procedure is the same as for this 2008 Honda Pilot.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is covered by a rubber cap and located just below the top caliper bolt.

Push the front wheel back in to place.

Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
Lower SUV From Stands
Torque To 80 lb-ft
Spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in the clockwise direction in a "star" or "criss cross" pattern with the tire iron.

Carefully lower the SUV from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in the clockwise direction in a "star" or "criss cross" pattern to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight or about 80 lb-ft of torque.

It would be best to use a torque wrench or an impact wrench with a torque stick to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Sit in the driver's seat of the car and firmly push down the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, add some fresh DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid.

To break in your new front brake pads, just drive normally for the first several hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy and/or not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

Don't forget to record the brake pad change in your SUV's service records.

For more, check out all of my 2003-2008 Honda Pilot DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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