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Acura MDX Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 1st generation 2001 to 2006 Acura MDX including the part numbers.

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2006 MDX Rear Wheel
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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Rear of Vehicle
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically created to assist owners of the first generation (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006) Acura MDX in changing the rear disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Acura or Honda vehicles such as the RDX, ILX, TLX, RLX, TL, CL, RSX, RL, TSX, ZDX, NSX, Integra, Pilot, Accord, Civic, Fit, Clarity, CR-V, CR-Z, HR-V, Odyssey, Element  and Ridgeline with the VTEC 3.5L V6 engine may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 12mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet or a 12mm wrench and also an "F" clamp.

A few compatible replacement sets of new rear brake pads with their part numbers include the following: Bosch BE865H, Akebono ACT865, KFE KFE865-104, Wagner ZD865 and ACDelco 14D865CH.



 

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Spin Off Five Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Caliper, Bracket, Rotor
The first few steps are to drive the SUV on to a level surface, place the transmission in park and turn off the ignition.

Make sure that the emergency / parking brake is not engaged.

If the parking brake is engaged, you will not be able to pull the caliper off the old brake pads.

Place wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires to prevent the car from moving.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the rear wheel by turning them 1/4 to 1/2 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

Carefully raise the rear of the SUV with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

Do not solely rely on the floor jack to support the vehicle.

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

Remove the rear wheel and set it aside.

Once the wheel is out of the way, you'll be able to see the rear caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.

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Rear Brake Caliper
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Loosen Bottom Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
The rear brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts located on the back side of the caliper.

The two bolt heads face in towards the center of the cargo area.

Loosen the bottom caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the SUV) with the 12mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet or a 12mm wrench.

Then loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as viewed from the outside of the SUV) with the 12mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

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Tight Fit - Use 12mm Wrench
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Spin Out Lower Bolt
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Remove Top Caliper Bolt
If your ratchet is too large to fit over the top caliper bolt due to the brake fluid hose being in the way, use a standard 12mm wrench.

Spin out the two caliper bolts in the clockwise direction.

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Two Caliper Bolts Removed
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Pull Caliper Off Old Pads
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Rest Caliper On Rotor
Set the two caliper bolts aside in a safe place.

Carefully pull the caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.

Rest the caliper on the rotor or suspend it from the suspension spring with a bungee cord or a piece of twine.

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Old Pads In Bracket
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Pry Out With Screwdriver
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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

If you have trouble removing the old pads, use a flathead screwdriver to carefully loosen them out of the bracket.

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

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

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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Top Pad Abutment Clip
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Replacement Bottom Clip
If your set of new front brake pads includes a bag of replacement hardware such as the pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips, pull the old pad abutment clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Clean off the bracket, lug studs and rotor with brake parts cleaner spray.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to the new pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the bracket or the new pads.

Push the new pad abutment clips into the top and bottom of the bracket. Make sure they are fully seated.

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Remove Caliper Slider Pin
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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Attach "F" Clamp
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Pull the upper and lower caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots attached to the back side of the bracket.

Apply a small amount of grease to the smooth parts of the two pins and push them back into place.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the caliper piston will need 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.

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Right Rear of Engine Bay
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Twist Off Reservoir Cap
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Compress Caliper Piston
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and locate the brake fluid reservoir tank.

Twist off the grey plastic cap on the brake fluid reservoir by turning it 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction.

There are two wires attached to the cap for the brake fluid level sensor. Just leave the cap off to the side with the plunger for the sensor still inside the bottle.

Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the system.

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

Repeatedly check the level in the reservoir to prevent from having it overflow.

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



 

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Replace Reservoir Cap
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Install New Outer Pad
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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
As soon as you are done compressing the piston, replace the reservoir cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, so it readily absorbs moisture from the air which can lead to reduced braking performance and a soft or mushy brake pedal.

If your MDX has exhibited shuddering or vibrations in the rear end while braking, you probably need to replace the old OEM rotors with new rotors.

To replace the rotors, remove the two 14mm bolts on the back side of the bracket and remove the two set screws by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with a Phillips head screwdriver. Hit the rotor with a rubber mallet to loosen any rust that might make it difficult to slide the old rotor off the lug studs. Slide the new rotor into place, replace the set screws and replace the bracket by tightening the two 14mm bolts to 41 lb-ft of torque.

I recommend buying the Bosch BE865H ceramic brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon.

Install the two new brake pads into the bracket.

The wear indicator bar should be situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Spin In Lower Bolt
Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the caliper over the new brake pads and into the bracket.

Try to avoid kinking, bending, stressing or pulling on the rubber brake fluid hose which cause a leak to develop.

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

Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Spin In Upper Bolt
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Tighten Top Bolt
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Tighten Bottom Bolt
Tighten the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the SUV) with the 12mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet to just past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the caliper bolts to the service manual torque specification of 27 lb-ft.

If the caliper slider pins turn as you are attempting to tighten the caliper bolts, hold them in place with a wrench or a pair of pliers.

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

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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Replace Rear Wheel

If your brake pedal has been feeling soft or spongy and you need to almost floor the brake pedal to stop the SUV, the brake fluid might be contaminated with water or the brake lines might 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 fresh DOT 3 brake fluid.

For more on this topic, check out my Acura MDX Brake Line Bleeding Guide or the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

The brake fluid bleeder valve or "screw" is located underneath a rubber cap on the back side of the caliper just below the upper caliper bolt.

(The bleeder valve torque specification is 6 lb-ft. The valve can be opened or closed with a 10mm wrench.)

Push the rear wheel back into place.

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Spin On Five Lug Nuts
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Lower Car From Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts
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 five lug nuts in a criss-cross or "star" pattern with the lug nut wrench.

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

Continue progressively tightening the five lug nuts in a star or criss-cross pattern to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench and tighten the lug nuts to the 80 lb-ft of torque specification as listed in the owner's manual.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle 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, pour in some fresh DOT 3 fluid until the level reaches the "MAX" (maximum) line.

To break in your new rear 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 not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of fresh 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.

For more, please check out all of my 2001-2006 Acura MDX DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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