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Discussion Starter #1
I think many of us feel that the brakes on our G2s are less than exceptional. I know that I do. The pedal feels a bit "mushy" to me, even after having the system bled twice to get rid of the gray "sludge" from the factory. They fade a bit when hauling heavy loads or trailering. I have PM'd a member here who mentioned MDX calipers as a possible upgrade.

I spent a small amount of time doing Google searches about these calipers, and I found some information on the Piloteers forum that has me scratching my head. Here is that information:

I also mentioned that the MDX calipers have slightly LESS total area vs the Pilot calipers. That will net a more aggressive brake bias setup (which is the brake system's contribution to stopping distance).
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- 4-piston fixed calipers do NOT increase fade resistance whatsoever. They increase solid pedal feel and modulation. This is because the caliper is WAY more stiff. They can also be made to reduce uneven pad wear by using pistons of different size on the leading vs trailing ends of the pads. Smaller leading piston and larger trailing pistons even out the friction across the uneven surface temp of the pad face.

- Larger rotors do increase fade resistance by storing more energy for a given temperature. They do increase brake torque, but that should be offset by decreasing piston area at that end to maintain brake bias.

- Your theory about increasing brake torque to stop the car sooner is completely bogus. It is NOT possible. Even your stock brake system can easily overcome the tires ability to hold traction. Want proof? Go stomp on your brakes......If you can lock them up or Hit ABS, then you DON"T need, nor can you use, more brake torque. It's always the tire that is the limiting factor. It's the tires that actually stop the car. You cannot get a tire to do more work by simply adding brake torque. It will just lock up those tires sooner. The sooner the fronts lock up relative to the rears, the longer your stopping distance is going to be (to a point). Especially with ABS systems. When you alter the clamping force of any given corner, it takes longer for the Computer to recognize this difference and adjust itself.

- Pads can increase fade resistance by utilizing a material with a higher working temp. But this usually comes at a price. The pad material will be more abrasive, as well as noisier at lower operating temperatures. Plus they typically dust and cost a lot more. You can also adjust brake torque with pad material by using a higher friction pad. But this is only a secondary adjustment that should be made. Higher friction pads will generate more heat and wear quicker.

  • larger rotors: increased fade resistance, shift bias
  • higher temp pads: increased fade resistance
  • higher friction pads: shift bias
  • higher temp fluid: increased fade & corrosion resistance
  • fixed calipers: increased pedal feel
  • caliper pistons: sized to shift bias
  • stainless hoses: increased pedal feel
I am not interested in stopping distance; I am interested in improving pedal-feel and reducing fade when trailering. I found boneyard 2008 MDX calipers for about 40 each, front, and about 50 each, rear. If a rebuild is required, OEM rebuild kits are around $35 each, aftermarket are under $10 each. It would not be very expensive to upgrade to DOT 5.1 fluid for improved boiling points.

Has anyone gone this route, and have you noticed any difference?
Am I chasing something that is either unattainable or not cost-effective? I am not going to spend thousands of dollars for a "Big Brake Kit" upgrade, and I do not want a Frankenstein vehicle.

Thank you for your input!
 

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Can't really tell you about the GEN 2, but I can tell you about this enhancement on a GEN 1. I did the MDX calipers and rotors and you'll find it discussed multiple places such as:
I’ve got a 2007 RTS with 255/65/17 MS2's. I used the following:

Calipers: Cardone - 19P3278 and 19P3279 (these have a 50mm piston)

Rotors: StopTech - 126.40071SL and 126.40071SR

Pads: StopTech - 30813780

So far, so good!
It does help with the gripping power. You'll still need to keep up with the brake flushes. The Odyssey and elements had air entering the brake system through the ABS Modulator (TSB 10-017 https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2010/RCRIT-10V098-0099.pdf). Seems like the RIdgeline has/had a similar issue (based on the number of complaints). but Honda's never done anything about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I appreciate that info. I guess, since I have an extended warranty, I will take it back to the dealership and complain about the brakes every 6 months or so. Perhaps mother Honda will do something about it... or perhaps they won't!

In the meantime, I may proceed with this upgrade. Thank you!
 

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The 2007-2013 MDX front brakes are a direct bolt on to the GenI Ridgeline. I wasn't under the impression that the GenII and GenI front brakes are cross compatible which would pretty much have to be the case if the MDX stuff is compatible with the GenII. Where are you getting the info that the MDX (2008 in your case) front calipers / caliper carrier and rotor are a bolt on fitment for the GenII?

If the MDX brakes really do fit you should make sure to compare the rotor / caliper piston diameters with the stock GenII equipment. Here is a thread I started on a brake upgrade project for my GenI. It included installing MDX front brakes as well as EBC dimpled / slotted rotors and EBC Yellowstuff brake pads. In this thread there is comparison of brake specs between a few different Honda / Acura products that you can compare to what is stock on the GenII. If you do go with MDX stuff I would either plan on rebuilding a used set or just getting a set of rebuilt calipers. Used calipers without a rebuild are an unknown and potential trouble and you don't want that with your front brakes. 2008 stuff is 12ish years old and there is no way I would slap those straight on my truck without rebuilding them, particularly if I was "upgrading" a barely three year old vehicle.

You may want consider focusing your efforts on improving the factory setup with a thorough brake fluid flush / exchange combined with the a quality set of aftermarket performance rotors and pads. Check out the recent GII thread on stainless steel brake lines . . .
 

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@HyperPete , as we were discussing this earlier, I would recommend following @eurban setup in the front for your G2.

You can start with just changing the rotors and pads, which will not affect the warranty. However, once you jump into the MDX caliper, you will void your warranty. If you are someone who is very particular about maintaining the warranty, then proceed with the former with just the pads and rotors.
 

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The issue that we are experiencing is that the six-speed transmission will only drop to 2nd gear, (no 1st), when used for keeping the vehicle and trailer slowed on steeper descents at speeds under 30 MPH, thus having a greater dependence on the brakes than we are accustomed. We only have a 1200 pound folding trailer and have smelled hot brakes, though we really have not experienced any brake fade. It maybe that we are currently just stuck in an uncommon grey area where a larger trailer will undoubtedly have it's own brakes and this situation would thus rectify itself?

Bill
 

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It maybe that we are currently just stuck in an uncommon grey area where a larger trailer will undoubtedly have it's own brakes and this situation would thus rectify itself?

Bill
If you are actively towing, then using a StopTech 126.40092 SL/SR rotors with a PowerStop Z36-1723 for the fronts would be a good start. You can also add the respective rears for a more balanced braking experienced.

I would not assume that the trailer brakes would somehow rectify your current issue. If the trailer brakes go, the only thing you have are the ones on your truck.
 

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@HyperPete , as we were discussing this earlier, I would recommend following @eurban setup in the front for your G2.

You can start with just changing the rotors and pads, which will not affect the warranty. However, once you jump into the MDX caliper, you will void your warranty. If you are someone who is very particular about maintaining the warranty, then proceed with the former with just the pads and rotors.
I'll ask this again . . .Do we really know that the 2007-2013 MDX front brakes are bolt on to the GenII? That would mean the GenII and GenI front brakes are cross compatible. I haven't seen any indication of this info on the forum . . .Perhaps I missed it?
 

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I'll ask this again . . .Do we really know that the 2007-2013 MDX front brakes are bolt on to the GenII? That would mean the GenII and GenI front brakes are cross compatible. I haven't seen any indication of this info on the forum . . .Perhaps I missed it?
  • The mount holes are the same for the Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline and it is 140mm.
  • The rotor physical dimensions are exactly the same on the G1 and Gen 2 Ridgeline. This is the identical rotor used on the current gen Passport, Pilot and Odyssey. However this rotor is of different design (than the G1 Ridgeline), but all physical dimensions including rotor diameter, thickness, hat height and hat diameter are identical.
  • I took my G5 Odyssey caliper + bracket, and put it on my G1 Hub with the G1 rotor. It fit perfect.
  • I took my G1 rotor and put it on my G5 Odyssey using the Odyssey hub and caliper, they fit.
  • I also took a Genesis Couple R-Caliper ) and used the Gen 1 rotor on the G5 hub, and it fit perfect.
  • I also took the same Brembo caliper, placed it on my Gen 1 hub with the Gen 1 rotor, and it fit perfect.
  • The same Brembo caliper bolted onto a current gen Pilot using its OEM brake rotors perfectly.
  • Current gen Ridgeline and Pilot have identical caliper sub assembly (caliper+bracket).
Thus I am sure the Gen 1 modifications (front) is the same for Gen 2 Ridgelines.

OEM Gen 1 caliper is very different than the Gen 2. Also the OEM Gen 1 pads are much smaller than Gen 2 Pads.
 

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Hate to butt into a conversation,just looking for clarity, but based on what I read from another thread,
where smufguy was talking about replacing the rotors and pads to high performance; I was under the impression that that alone would probably be sufficient and no need to change up the calipers...
Is that correct? Or am I over simplifying things.
 

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Hate to butt into a conversation,just looking for clarity, but based on what I read from another thread,
where smufguy was talking about replacing the rotors and pads to high performance; I was under the impression that that alone would probably be sufficient and no need to change up the calipers...
Is that correct? Or am I over simplifying things.
My response to Bill was just replacing the pads and rotors.

My earlier discussion with HyperPete was in regards to swapping to an MDX caliper+bracket along with a 330mm rotor on the front, like many in the G1 community, to get better pedal feedback.
 

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Hate to butt into a conversation,just looking for clarity, but based on what I read from another thread,
where smufguy was talking about replacing the rotors and pads to high performance; I was under the impression that that alone would probably be sufficient and no need to change up the calipers...
Is that correct? Or am I over simplifying things.
OP wants to improve "brake pedal-feel" and thinks modding the whole brake system can get him that...
smufguy has "braking improvement" based on his rotor/pads upgrades.

2 different world problems going on.
 

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  • The mount holes are the same for the Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline and it is 140mm.
  • The rotor physical dimensions are exactly the same on the G1 and Gen 2 Ridgeline. This is the identical rotor used on the current gen Passport, Pilot and Odyssey. However this rotor is of different design (than the G1 Ridgeline), but all physical dimensions including rotor diameter, thickness, hat height and hat diameter are identical.
  • I took my G5 Odyssey caliper + bracket, and put it on my G1 Hub with the G1 rotor. It fit perfect.
  • I took my G1 rotor and put it on my G5 Odyssey using the Odyssey hub and caliper, they fit.
  • I also took a Genesis Couple R-Caliper ) and used the Gen 1 rotor on the G5 hub, and it fit perfect.
  • I also took the same Brembo caliper, placed it on my Gen 1 hub with the Gen 1 rotor, and it fit perfect.
  • The same Brembo caliper bolted onto a current gen Pilot using its OEM brake rotors perfectly.
  • Current gen Ridgeline and Pilot have identical caliper sub assembly (caliper+bracket).
Thus I am sure the Gen 1 modifications (front) is the same for Gen 2 Ridgelines.

OEM Gen 1 caliper is very different than the Gen 2. Also the OEM Gen 1 pads are much smaller than Gen 2 Pads.
Smuf,
What are your thoughts on those Brembo calipers that are for the Hyundai Genesis Coupe? I see that you can get a rebuilt set on Rockauto for not too much $. I assume that they bolt directly to the hub without any caliper carrier? Are their pads big enough that they match the swept area of the stock setup? How suitable would they be for a porky (vs their original Hyundai fitment) GenI that hauls loads and tows? . . .I'm sticking with my MDX setup but this sounds like it could be an interesting option. . .
Thanks!
 

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So here are some facts

  • The OEM Brembo calipers on the Genesis Couple R are a typical 150mm wide calipers. So they are rather wide, compared to something like Wilwoods.
  • They also carry four 42mm caliper pistons, resulting in a total caliper piston area of 5538.96 sq.mm.
  • The Acura RLs ('05-'12) with the 4-piston caliper had four 43mm caliper pistons, with a total piston area of 5805.86 sq.mm.
  • Stock G2 has twin 47.5mm caliper pistons with a total piston area of 3542.31 sq.mm
Here are things that I know

  • Biggest problem is the wheel. NO stock Gen 2 Ridgeline, current gen Pilot or Odyssey wheel will clear the caliper; the spokes actually hit. For those who want to keep the OEM wheel and tires, this is a deal breaker.
  • The caliper bolt's stud is smaller on the Brembo caliper, compared to the OEM. Need to use a 14x12x15mm self lubricating bearing sleeve to ensure proper & secure fit. Torque to use would be that of the Genesis'.
  • The brake line would have to be the Coupe R's, however, it is a tad shorter in length compared to a G1 (have not checked the G2's). Cannot use the OEM Honda (G1) line as the banjo head is fatter on the Coupe R's. From two sources, the thread specs of the brake flex line to the hard line is the same on the OEM Honda & Coupe R. I would presume the G2 is similar to G1.
  • The Genesis Coupe R came with 340mm Rotor and using these calipers on a 320mm rotor will place the caliper about 20mm lower (towards the centerline of hub/axle) which causes extremely limited wheel choices. A custom brake caliper clearance template needs to be made available for wheel dealers to use and choose wheels that would clear this combination.
  • A member on Piloteers forum ran OEM Pilot rotors with these calipers and used a 25mm spacer to clear the calipers with his 20" OEM wheel. I strongly advocate against using such a spacer, and an aftermarket wheel with a +45mm or +50mm offset with a 255 width tires can bring the scrub radius between +8mm and +3mm (of a G2). However landing on a wheel with a spoke design that can clear a low slung caliper is still tough.
  • I have an OEM 2008 Acura MDX wheel (42700STXA01) that I need to test fit and see if it clears the caliper. If it clears, then folks could use those wheels (if desired) with a 255/60 tires with only +8mm variance in the scrub radius. One could use a 265/60 tires, but I am not positive how it would clear the G2 wheel well. If it does not rub anything then one is left with a 30.5" tire and the whole package resulting in a +6mm scrub variance of a G2.
  • The Hyundi Genesis Coupe pad has a height of 77.4mm and brake surface of the G2 rotor is 77mm. The top of the pad material, sits level with the top/outer edge of the rotor, so the area being swept by the pad is ideal.
Below pictures are off my current Gen 1 wheel and Gen 1 hub. The Wheel is a 18" x 8.5" w/+40mm offset. Since I run 255/60 tires, my scrub is only +3mm compared to G1 OEM, under OEM suspension setting. No spacers are used on this and it cleared with the lowest part of the caliper being around 1.5mm from the spokes. Though forged caliper makers have recommended 2.0mm min clearance, I have seem stock corvettes running their stock brakes and wheels having around 1mm of clearance.


400988
400990



If one chooses to go with this setup, I would highly recommend NOT using OEM brake rotors and switching to performance rotors by EBC or StopTech. These performance rotors, combined with their metallurgy, cooling vanes and thus better thermal management, can withstand the heat generated by these massive calipers and prevent glazed rotors.


Below is the test picture of the caliper bolted up to a OEM Gen 5 odyssey hub with a Gen 5 Odyssey rotor. This setup would be similar to current gen Pilot, Passport and Ridgeline.

400989


There is a company called Ceika, that claims to do brake kits & suspension components for virtually any make of vehicle out there and they have a kit for the '09-'15 Pilot. CEIKA Custom Big Brake Kit for Honda Pilot (09~15). Though I have reached out to them about coilovers for a Gen 1 Ridgeline, I have not discussed with them directly about any specs on their brake it. However, I have read mixed reviews about them on virtually every single automotive enthusiast forum out there. Since the company is not based in USA, the buyer assumes all risks associated with it.
 

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Thanks for ALL that info!
Might I ask what is your motivation on playing around with this setup? You already have a custom brake setup on your Ridge right?
 

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Thanks for ALL that info!
Might I ask what it your motivation on playing around with this setup? You already have a custom brake setup on your Ridge right?
You are welcome.
Prior to my setup on the G1, I had already started doing a bunch of research, but placed in hold as I was not able to get much information from the web. Thus I settled with Rotora.
Then I bought the Gen 5 Odyssey and was stuck with the OEM brakes that my wife started to ride pretty hard and it started to develop that nasty shudder when you gently brake. Since there is not much available in regards to performance brake rotors and pads (OEM replacement) for these, I started to dust off my research and this time around, a lot of information started to show up. Noticing that this is a double win as anything I could do for the G5 Odyssey, can be essentially a bolt on for the G1 & G2 Ridgelines. I figured that if I could get this to work with little to no effort, make it cost conscious and make it essentially a bolt on, then the community here would benefit greatly, let alone folks with a Pilot, Passport or Odyssey.

So my motivation was essentially to get some better braking for my Odyssey. :)
 

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Got it!
What kind of pad fitments are available for the those Brembo's. Yellowstuff perhaps?
Would the MDX rotor which is 330mm be a better choice or would you then need some sort of adapter to shift the the caliper farther out?
 
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