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Discussion Starter #1
2015 Pilot. Just changed rotors and pads with Powerstop hardware. Got the slotted rotors. Now on the initial depression of the brake pedal during reverse or forward movement, I hear a clunk from the front. Every subsequent time I use the brakes on the same direction of movement, it's fine. However, if I were to be going in reverse and then switch to drive, the first time I brake going forward it clunks again.

I took everything apart to inspect and it all seems fine. I'm left scratching my head...
 

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The pads need to fit snugly in the caliper, else they will make a noise when you change direction. If you failed to correctly install the pad shims at the ends of the pads, you'll get a noise as the pads move in the caliper. But it isn't usually described as a clunk. More likely is that you didn't sufficiently tighten the brake caliper bolts to the spindles, and the caliper is moving. This is NOT GOOD, and needs to be checked/remedied before you drive the car. The correct torque on the bolts into the slide pins is 53 lbs/ft, probably three times what you'd expect for a flanged capscrew that size. For the caliper to spindle bolts, the ones hat hold the caliper frame to the spindle, the correct torque is 101 lbs/ft. There's normally no need to remove these bolts unless you are servicing the caliper itself, or you are removing the rotor.

Be sure to double-check the wheel nut torque while you are at it. Those are 94 lbs/ft IIRC.

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I get to see too many DIY fixers working on the cars without the correct tools. A torque wrench is essential to make sure parts don't fall off (bolts too loose) as well as avoiding fastener or thread damage in a part (bolts too tight). There are certainly ways to spend $hundreds on such tools, especially considering it takes at least three sizes for the work most home mechanics take on. Even the inexpensive click-type wrenches at Harbor Freight or Northern Tool stores are way better than none. For sure they are more accurate than the self-calibrated fore-arm method. "That should be good enough" or "that feels about right", all the way to "that's not going anywhere, but let's give it a little more just to be sure!" are failure time bombs waiting to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The pads need to fit snugly in the caliper, else they will make a noise when you change direction. If you failed to correctly install the pad shims at the ends of the pads, you'll get a noise as the pads move in the caliper. But it isn't usually described as a clunk. More likely is that you didn't sufficiently tighten the brake caliper bolts to the spindles, and the caliper is moving. This is NOT GOOD, and needs to be checked/remedied before you drive the car. The correct torque on the bolts into the slide pins is 53 lbs/ft, probably three times what you'd expect for a flanged capscrew that size. For the caliper to spindle bolts, the ones hat hold the caliper frame to the spindle, the correct torque is 101 lbs/ft. There's normally no need to remove these bolts unless you are servicing the caliper itself, or you are removing the rotor.

Be sure to double-check the wheel nut torque while you are at it. Those are 94 lbs/ft IIRC.

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I get to see too many DIY fixers working on the cars without the correct tools. A torque wrench is essential to make sure parts don't fall off (bolts too loose) as well as avoiding fastener or thread damage in a part (bolts too tight). There are certainly ways to spend $hundreds on such tools, especially considering it takes at least three sizes for the work most home mechanics take on. Even the inexpensive click-type wrenches at Harbor Freight or Northern Tool stores are way better than none. For sure they are more accurate than the self-calibrated fore-arm method. "That should be good enough" or "that feels about right", all the way to "that's not going anywhere, but let's give it a little more just to be sure!" are failure time bombs waiting to happen.
I'm certain the shims we're installed and the pads fit snugly. I have a torque wrench but I didn't use it on this job. I'm sure they're tight enough, but I will go back and make sure.
 

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Sounds like your pads have a bit of rotational travel. When the pad is placed in caliper frame, it should be snug, no vertical movement.
 

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Torque wrench is a must. Caliper frame is about 75 ft/lb, quite a bit of torque. Caliper pins are 27 ft/lb, a rather light touch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Torque wrench is a must. Caliper frame is about 75 ft/lb, quite a bit of torque. Caliper pins are 27 ft/lb, a rather light touch.
I have a torque wrench. I rotated my tires today and just confirmed everything is torqued to spec. All the pads, shims, races, and spring clips are installed properly. The pads don't seem to have vertical play. I'm scratching my head on this one.
 

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This seems like a Pilot thing to me. The brakes are kind of noisy, at least in my experience.
 

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I'm certain the shims we're installed and the pads fit snugly. I have a torque wrench but I didn't use it on this job. I'm sure they're tight enough, but I will go back and make sure.
Not to be a jerk, but without using a torque wrench, especially on a brake job, you are not sure they're tight enough. I do a ton of DIY work of various kinds, and with some jobs it's ok to be "sure", but your life and the lives of anyone who rides in your vehicle or anyone else on the road around you depend on your brake fasteners torqued properly so they don't come apart and cause you to lose control of your vehicle and/or be unable to stop. You have the torque wrench. Use it.
 

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This seems like a Pilot thing to me. The brakes are kind of noisy, at least in my experience.
Most Pilot owners don’t have this complaint. How can you claim this is a “Pilot thing”? If the wrong pads are used, which is likely from a third party, you can expect problems. There is a reason why Honda builds their vehicles with Honda parts - it’s because they work!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not to be a jerk, but without using a torque wrench, especially on a brake job, you are not sure they're tight enough. I do a ton of DIY work of various kinds, and with some jobs it's ok to be "sure", but your life and the lives of anyone who rides in your vehicle or anyone else on the road around you depend on your brake fasteners torqued properly so they don't come apart and cause you to lose control of your vehicle and/or be unable to stop. You have the torque wrench. Use it.
Not 100% sure, you're right. But I double checked everything yesterday with my torque wrench and all fasteners are torqued to spec.
 

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If the clunk occurs first time braking going forward and first time braking going backward, SOMETHING has to be shifting there. Maybe something inside the rotors? Some small metal part fell into a slot or something? Does the clink appear to originate on the driver or passenger side or hard to tell? I would jack up the car, give the wheel a spin and then stop it abruptly - in both directions. See if the clunk happens even when not engaging brakes.
 

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My thoughts of things to inspect would be:

Out of spec rotors with oversized holes, moving against the lugs on each direction change.
Out of spec pads, too small, and slamming against the shims on the caliper slides.
Worn out slide pins with no silicone lubrication left.
Worn out ball joints, control arm bushings, or strut tower bearings
 
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Most Pilot owners don’t have this complaint. How can you claim this is a “Pilot thing”? If the wrong pads are used, which is likely from a third party, you can expect problems. There is a reason why Honda builds their vehicles with Honda parts - it’s because they work!
[/QUOTE/]

When I put the car from drive to reverse (or the other way) while holding the brakes, there always is a bit of a rubbing noise during that switch. When I get my car washed the brakes make the most horrible noises until everything dries. I have found this to be the case with several other Pilots I’ve been a passenger in or driven. Whatever...I may be wrong.

As a side note, how can any problem brought up on this website be considered a Pilot problem? This is an extremely small group so compared to the total number of pilots on the road most of the problems people have are completely random.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If the clunk occurs first time braking going forward and first time braking going backward, SOMETHING has to be shifting there. Maybe something inside the rotors? Some small metal part fell into a slot or something? Does the clink appear to originate on the driver or passenger side or hard to tell? I would jack up the car, give the wheel a spin and then stop it abruptly - in both directions. See if the clunk happens even when not engaging brakes.
  • If it was something inside the rotor, I would hear it before I depressed the brake pedal. I only hear it when I am braking.
  • The noise is coming from both the passenger and drivers side front brake.
That is a good tip. Problem is I am almost always alone when doing these jobs.Wish I had a lift so I could start the vehicle off the ground.
 

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Out of spec rotors with oversized holes, moving against the lugs on each direction change.
Definitely a possibility. Should be visible if one takes the wheel off and looks direct at the lugs. Were retaining phillips screws reinstalled?
Out of spec pads, too small, and slamming against the shims on the caliper slides.
OP has confirmed that pads are snug in the hardware with no play.
Worn out slide pins with no silicone lubrication left.
Worn out ball joints, control arm bushings, or strut tower bearings
I suppose in case of those, problem would be happening before the brake job too....

Oversize holes on rotors would be the most likely cause here.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My thoughts of things to inspect would be:

Out of spec rotors with oversized holes, moving against the lugs on each direction change.
Out of spec pads, too small, and slamming against the shims on the caliper slides.
Worn out slide pins with no silicone lubrication left.
Worn out ball joints, control arm bushings, or strut tower bearings
  • If the rotor holes were oversized, I would be hearing the noise from the rear as well. Plus, with those rotor screws that Honda uses, wouldn't these prevent this from happening?
  • The pads feel snug inside the caliper clips, but I cannot replicate the forces of the vehicle with my hands. This is what I am leaning towards. This and a combination of crappy clips that Powerstop sends (honestly, they are crap).\
  • I don't see how worn slide pins would cause a clink/clunk during breaking only the first time in every direction.
  • I have examined the joints in the front - all boots are fine and suspension looks brand new. Plus, if this was caused by bad suspension, I would hear it every time I brake and not the initial brake in each direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Definitely a possibility. Should be visible if one takes the wheel off and looks direct at the lugs. Were retaining phillips screws reinstalled?

OP has confirmed that pads are snug in the hardware with no play.

I suppose in case of those, problem would be happening before the brake job too....

Oversize holes on rotors would be the most likely cause here.
  • Yes, retaining screws were reinstalled.
  • I think if the rotor holes were the culprit, I would be hearing it from the back too? And is this even a possibility despite Honda using those retaining screws in the rotor? With those, I wouldn't think the rotor would have the chance to move that much.
 

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Rear rotors are different from front (size/shape) so might work different. The retaining phillips screws would not allow rotor movement - unless they get sheared off. Removing the wheel, taking a look at the rotor holes, and maybe taking out one of the retaining screws to see if it is intact - that would confirm or eliminate the hypothesis of rotor movement.

Then, it is pretty much down to pad moving and slamming against top/bottom. If you think PowerStop clips are low quality, maybe that is the problem. I did brakes on several cars, including Pilot 07 and '13 using Akebono ceramics, no clunking on those.
 

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Rear rotors are different from front (size/shape) so might work different. The retaining phillips screws would not allow rotor movement - unless they get sheared off. Removing the wheel, taking a look at the rotor holes, and maybe taking out one of the retaining screws to see if it is intact - that would confirm or eliminate the hypothesis of rotor movement.

Then, it is pretty much down to pad moving and slamming against top/bottom. If you think PowerStop clips are low quality, maybe that is the problem. I did brakes on several cars, including Pilot 07 and '13 using Akebono ceramics, no clunking on those.
On my 16, never touched the brakes (as far as pads removal) and it does the same from day 1. Seen many more cars do the same


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