Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not the first person to do this, but I wanted to share my experience.
When I bought my 08 Ridgeline, it had very soft brake pedal feel. Front brake pads were almost gone and fluid low.
I use Hawk pads on my racecar, so I bought Hawk LTS for the Ridgeline assuming it would be the best bet. Honda bled the brakes and I still didn't have the pedal feel I wanted.
It would stop, but there was significant dead travel before the brakes really stopped. You had to stand on the pedal and be firm for even lighter braking.

I found a write up on this and bought 2010 Acura MDX (3.7) front calipers. I used Rock Auto Cardone Ultra. Of the three levels of Cardone, these are supposed to be the best and come with a nice anti-corrosive coating to prevent rust. There was a core charge, but I just sent back my old Ridgeline calipers and they credited me back.

I bought the cheapest rotors on Rock Auto, which at the time were Raybestos. They were actually super nice for the price.
I got Stoptech stainless steel braided lines to replace the front hoses. They were the right length and good fitment.
For pads I went OEM 2010 Honda Pilot pads (same as MDX).

Why no Hawk? We had a theory... The Hawk pads were metallic. They were made to withstand higher temperatures. This also means they are HARD pads. A year of daily driving and towing and I had tons of pad left. From what I've heard, OEM pads typically last only a year on these vehicles - they're much softer - a ceramic metallic. Softer pad = more initial bite. As for the heat - I figured if it's good enough for OEM it's good enough to tow with. When towing, you're never on the brakes enough to overheat the pad. Usually you're making multiple low speed stops in town or a single high speed slow down on the highway..

I did a brief bed-in procedure and they were already feeling better than they ever had before. Next, I am going to replace the rear pads with OEM to have matching softer pads with more bite.

Some specs... 1st gen Ridgeline has 12.6" front 13" rear brakes if I recall correctly. The 3.7 MDX and parallel generation Pilot had 13" fronts (and smaller rears). The current production MDX and Pilot went back down to a 12.6" front meaning the 3.7 generation had the largest production front brakes on a Honda. Visually, you can see a small difference in width of the rotor, but the bigger change is how tall the pad is compared the stock Ridgeline one.

If you have an extra $300-400 to burn, I highly recommend this upgrade. Do it at your next brake change or just do it now. No time like the present.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle

Automotive tire Locking hubs Motor vehicle Alloy wheel Vehicle brake
 

·
Super Moderator
2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
Joined
·
7,615 Posts
If you haven't done the rears yet, well I'm shocked. They traditionally go out before the fronts. I think since you've started replacing brake lines, I'd replace the 2 or 3 remaining to everything is the same, also inspect the existing steel brake lines. Replacing the flexible brake lines are on my short list of items to do soon.

Funny your decision to return the "core" When I ever do this upgrade it's on my short list, kind of waiting until calipers need replacing since I don't have anything to tow currently
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you haven't done the rears yet, well I'm shocked. They traditionally go out before the fronts. I think since you've started replacing brake lines, I'd replace the 2 or 3 remaining to everything is the same, also inspect the existing steel brake lines. Replacing the flexible brake lines are on my short list of items to do soon.

Funny your decision to return the "core" When I ever do this upgrade it's on my short list, kind of waiting until calipers need replacing since I don't have anything to tow currently
I just put OEM rear pads on over the weekend. It firmed up the pedal a touch more. Truck doesn't "push" as much. I'm not worried about stainless in the rear. My racecar has all stainless lines, but on a road vehicle, it's not really necessary. The fronts do almost all of the braking, so they make the biggest difference.

My calipers didn't need to be replaced, nor did my rotors or pads. I wouldn't let that stop you though! Fresh calipers certainly wasn't a bad thing. Always preferable to replace things at your leisure than to wait until you're in a pinch with a stuck caliper. I realize it's not the most wallet-friendly way or thinking, but it's good peace of mind. If you do the upgrade, let me know what you think! I think the OEM pads are the way to go for best pedal feel and initial bite.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top