6th Gen Civic Rear Disc Swap
(Thank-you to Hazone.com)
If you want to have more stopping power, it would be a good thing to have rear disc
brakes as part of your setup. Unfortunately, unless you have a 99-00 Civic Si, you are out
of luck. Here you will see how I converted the 99 project hybrid Civics' rear drums to
discs. I would like to add a few things. First, I did not end up changing the master
cylinder (even though I bought it) over to the Civic Si's because of time constraints. The
sizes are nearly identical on the 6th gen Civic EX (may also be on the 5th gen Ex's)
however on any other model it should be considered mandatory that the master cylinder
be changed otherwise your rear disks COULD lock up if you hit the brakes during a turn
causing you to spin out. Expect to spend half the day or more.
Sockets from 8mm-22mm
Wrenches from 8mm-22mm
Short and long extensions
Phillips head screwdriver
Brake Bleeding Kit Or clear hose that will fit on the bleed screw
Needle Nose Pliers
Medium flat head screwdriver
Brake Quiet spray
Rear trailing arms including rotors/calipers from 99-00 Civic Si, 94-01 Integra, or Del
99-00 Civic Si E-Brake cables
99-00 Civic Si/94-01 Integra Honda OEM rear brake pads
99-00 Civic Si proportioning valve
99-00 Civic Si 15/16 master cylinder (not 100% necessary for EX models)
99-00 Civic Si/ 94-01 Integra rear brake lines
1 liter of brake fluid (I recommend ATE Super Blue Race fluid, read more info about it
Speed Bleeders (order the ones for your cars for the front brakes and the ones for the car
that the new rears came from for the back)
Stainless steel braided brake lines (order the kit for the 99-00 Civic Si)
Start off by removing the rotors from the trailing arms. Do this by removing the heat
shields, they are held in by two 10mm bolts. Next, unbolt the calipers 2x12mm and the
caliper brackets 2x14mm. Use a Impact Driver (about 10-20 bucks at any auto parts
store) to remove the two disc retaining screws. DO NOT use a regular screwdriver
because it will almost always strip the head of the retaining screws. Now take the rotors
and have them turned to make sure that they are within spec. If it turns out that they are to
thin to turn, I would suggest buying Powerslot rotors because they are not very much
more than the AutoZone/pep boys price of 66 dollars for the set (power slot are only 99
for the set). And the Powerslot rotors will give you better stopping. See pic#1
Here is a picture of all the parts that are needed for the brake swap (there are some
pictured that aren't needed but I chose to get anyway)
Start by putting your car up on jack stands. I recommend putting all four corners on the
stands for easier brake bleeding later. Jack stands are cheap anyway so why not? Remove
From the inside of the car, remove the armrest by removing the six Phillips head screws.
When unscrewed, the armrest will come off by pulling toward the rear of the car.
Now, remove the two bolts that hold the E-Brake cables in place. disconnect the cables
from the E-Brake handle. It will be easier if your unscrew the adjusting bolt before
disconnecting the cable. P.S. make sure the E-Brake is not engaged.
Pull back the carpet from the back seat and push the two rubber seals down through the
holes where the cables come in.
We are now going to remove the brake fluid from the system. Loosen the bleeder screw
from one side and attach a bleeder hose to it. put the other end in a bucket or other
container. open the cap for the master cylinder and pump the brakes until no more fluid is
coming out of the bleeder hose.
Remove the brake line at the point where it connect to the hard line (unnumbered arrow)
You will need to unscrew the line and then remove the retaining clip. Position a jack
underneath the lower control arm so that it doesn't fall on your foot when you unbolt it.
Now remove the bolts for the trailing arm as numbered (I took pics of these while
reassembling, scroll down and check them out to see some of these locations). number
one is the compensator arm (short piece that attaches the trailing arm to the chassis)
remove the bolt at the point that connects to the chassis 1x10mm. Two is where the
bushing that goes through the trailing arm attaches to the chassis 2x12mm. Three is
where the lower control arm meets the trailing arm 1x10mm. Four is the where the shock
meets the lower control arm 1x10mm. And 5 is where the upper control arm meets the
trailing arm 1x10mm.
Lower the jack and place the trailing arm on the ground. Now you will need to remove
the old E-Brake cable. Remove the bolts pictured. Remove the old trailing arm and set it
off to the side. Reinstall the new cables just like you removed them. NOTE: when
installing the cable, make sure to run the line over the gas tank strap not underneath it.
Press the rubber seal on the cable into the opening of the chassis until it seats firmly.
Now onto the rear brake line. Install it just as the old one was. If you are installing steel
lines, you will not be reinstalling the clip because it comes with a retaining bolt instead.
Use the brake cleaner spray to give the calipers and hub assembly a quick cleaning. You
don't have to go crazy (unless you really want). Just make sure that any dirt that may
cause binding or sticking is cleaned off. Now fit the rotor onto the hub and use a Phillips
head screwdriver to install the two retaining screws into the rotor. You only
have to snug them in. Reattach the caliper bracket. Note from pic, I put the cardboard
there to protect the bottom of the rotor from the ground.
Before installing the new pads, apply some brake quiet to the pad side of the pad shims.
after a couple of minutes, place the shim on the pad backing and install the pads. the pad
with the silver tab on it (wear indicator) goes on the backside of the rotor.
Before installing the caliper onto the caliper bracket, you will need to expand the piston.
Do this by placing a flat head screwdriver in the cross slot and turning clockwise. The
piston will retract. Make sure that the rubber boot around the piston does not bind. If it
starts to bind or twist, stop and spray some brake cleaner on it and then try again. You
will want to stop when the piston is almost flush with the rubber boot. Make sure that the
piston is aligned with one of the slots facing down like in the pic. The pad has a nub that
fits into this slot.
Since you will most likely be getting the trailing arms from a junkyard, they will
probably have cut the old E-Brake cables and brake lines (if not your can reuse the old
ones) You will now need to remove the old E-Brake cables from the calipers, There are
one or two bolt that hold the cable to the trailing arm and a retaining clip where the cable
goes through a bracket. Also remove the end of the cable from the caliper by removing
the retaining clip from the retaining pin on the end of the cable (middle arrow). Save the
retaining clips and pin. Remove the brake line by unscrewing the banjo bolt. make sure
that both washers come out. Reinstall Caliper onto the caliper mounting bracket. Make
sure to not get any old brake fluid on the rotor. See pic# 3
You now need to reassemble the trailing arm in the reverse order. Start by placing it on a
jack and jacking it up until your can install the bolt into the upper control arm.
Next, reinstall the bolt for the shock and where the lower control arm meets the trailing
Install the compensator arm bolt, install it in as near the same position as it came out
(you'll be able to tell because there will be a clean area where the bolt came out.
Install the two bolts that hold the trailing arm to the chassis. Now route the E-Brake cable
through the trailing arm attach the mounting brackets. The cable will need to go through
the hole on the trailing arm nearest the front of the car and the rubber ball on the cable
will sit in the second hole. attach the cable end to the caliper and insert the retaining pin
Attach the rear brake lines mounting bracket to the bracket on the trailing arm. After
cleaning the banjo bolt and washers (replace if needed) attach the rear brake line to the
caliper. If you purchased the speed bleeders, install the one for the caliper your working
on now. Just unscrew the old one an screw the new on in until it is hand snug. Repeat this
process for the other side of the car.
Now to switch the proportioning valve. Follow the sequence shown in the picture to
remove the lines. See pic# 4
Next remove the two mounting bolts. Installation is the reverse of removal. In some cases
(like mine) it may be a real pain to get the lower mounting bolt in. If this happens you can
leave it out as there wont be much movement going on here anyway.
Now it is time to bleed the brakes. If you are using the Speed Bleeders, One at a time,
loosen the bleed screw about 1-2 turns and attach the bleed hose to it with the other end
in a bottle, or bleed cup. set the container on top of the disk or caliper so that it is above
the level of the bleeder screw (this just makes it easier to determine when there is
no longer bubbles coming out of the system. Now fill the master cylinder and pump the
brakes until no more air bubbles are coming out of the system. Make sure to check and
fill the master cylinder ever 10-15 pumps to make sure that the fluid level isn't to low to
let more air into the system. tighten screw and go on to the next one. Do this for all four
calipers. when finished, fill the master cylinder to the max level and replace the lid. If
you are not using Speed Bleeders, do the same as above except put some fluid in the
bottle or bleed cup so that there is fluid abbot the end of the hose (this will create a one
way valve) now while someone pumps the brakes, watch for air bubbles. When there are
no more bubbles tighten the bleed screw and proceed to the next one. Replace the two
rear brake heat shields.
Reinstall the wheels and lower the car off of the jack stands. You will now need to adjust
the E-Brake. Reinstall the cable ends the same way that they were removed. replace both
retaining bolts. the middle screw is an adjusting screw, you will want to adjust the
parking brake until it is fully engaged at about 6-10 clicks.
Now that you are finished, you will need to test drive the car. You will first make sure
that the parking brake is working by engaging it and (with the car in neutral) try pushing
the car (or if you are on an incline, let the car slowly roll and engage the parking brake, it
should stop the car. If not, put the car in gear and readjust the cable.) Start the car and go
for a very slow drive. go about 10 mph and make sure that the brakes stop the car. if
everything seems to be working, go about 25-30 mph and make sure that the brakes are
stopping the car. They will feel a little different than the old drums, if the brakes feel
spongy, there is a good chance that the brakes were not bleed completely, if this happens,
rebreed the brakes. Now that you are don the most important thing is to get an alignment.
by doing this swap you will have thrown off the rear thrust angle which will make your
car feel very loose in the rear and could potentially cause a wreck. I have not yet installed
the master cylinder. If I end up installing it, I will add that to this install.