Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My Ridge continues to drive on, now with 112,000 on the clock. About three years ago I did my brakes over after some negligence on my part to monitor pad wear and caliper function. I ended up having to replace the LR caliper, and in the process let in a huge amount of air. I attempted to bleed the brakes with a Harbor Freight vacuum brake bleeder, similar to a Mighty Vac. Whatever I tried, (hand held vacuum, 2 man pump the pedal,) I just couldn't get any pedal. I was still working so I ended up having it towed to my local general mechanic, who specializes in Chevrolet.

When I got the truck back, it did stop effectively, but the pedal was decidedly lower, and soft, but never went to the floor. Recently the same garage recommended doing something about the soft pedal, and perhaps the pads were needing replacing?? Soon after, I checked the pads and none were less than 50% worn, although they were the lower priced Auto Zone pads, not the DuraLast. Last weekend I got a shipment of Boche ceramic pads for all fours, but decided I'd go after the soft pedal first by doing brake bleeding. I got out my counterfeit Mighty Vac from Harbor Freight, which I've used with great success on my 2000 Corvette.

After carefully going through the factory bleed order with the compressor powered bleeder, I threw on the wheels and torqued them all up, looking forward to good hard, high pedal, (Jeez, almost sounds like Porn), but no- NO pedal at all, and it went to the floor with little effort. SO RULE ONE, WITH RIDGELINE GEN 1 TRUCKS- DON'T USE ANY VACUUM BLEEDING DEVICE.

I ran off to the local AZ, as they were on the way, although I like them, Advance, and O'Reilly equally. I ran into a very nice weekend manager who was super helpful, and pointed out the gravity method, which I hadn't heard of. Another guy close to my age, (60's) also jumped in and made recommendations to me. It was like a mechanic's pub or forum, with all sorts of helpful ideas. So I went home and looked up gravity bleeding and read 2 very detailed ways to do it and they were identical. Rule 2: the gravity method doesn't work with Gen 1 Ridges.

Next day, did the whole gravity thing, with letting each line flow for 35-45 minutes each, after taking off all four wheels and setting on jackstands. This took hours, but I was confident this would work. NOPE- no F'n pedal again. I was more than a little P-oed after that!

So back to the lap top and more research. I got a few hints from this great site- again, and found a very nice FSM excerpt put in by our SUPER MODERATOR, that I decided to follow to the letter, with the extra tip from another forum member who spoke of switching on the ignition while pumping the brakes, as it would open and energize the ABS control unit. I used the little white bottle with the magnet attached for solo pumping- There I go again getting kinky. No, really you know, the little white plastic bottle with hoses. Bottom line - it WORKED!

I really didn't want to call the tow truck again- a shade tree mechanic pride thing- and a being cheap thing. There is a problem though still....

I still have that soft pedal. I went around the truck twice doing the factory bleeding order, and put in a full quart of Prestone synthetic fluid. I pumped those brakes each 7 times, twice around. Does synthetic fluid not attract water like regular, or is it less likely to break down with heat?

Does anybody know the trick with getting the hard pedal back? When I started doing the brakes three years ago, despite having a seized caliper, very rusty components needing lubrication, and worn out pads, I did have a high, hard brake pedal.

What's the trick Honda Techs?

Best always,

Bluemill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
Thanks for documenting this all. My mechanic friend implied that the sliding front calipers are probably not sliding smoothly like they should, which is why I’m getting uneven pad wear. The calipers May be bending a little as they are first compressed, and then maybe sliding a bit after.

I appreciate your comments bc I know I need to bleed my brakes... probably due to just replace all four calipers too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
My Ridgeline has never had what I’d call a hard brake pedal; not even when it was brand new. I have had an extra soft and low pedal before, when I accidentally pulled the master cylinder dry. Straightforward 2-person flushing cleared that right up, though. Not sure what you may be experiencing at the moment.

Also, FWIW, all brake fluid is synthetic. That label on some bottles is just a label.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,145 Posts
Vaccuum or one-person bleeding did not work for me. Back in 2016, after replacing the brakes lines to SS lines and a shop bleeding the brakes, the mushy pedal was still there.
Last year, when I did my brake upgrade (6P/4P) and swapped out the master cylinder as well with Honda brand fluid. It was firm as hell, mostly attributed to the opposed/fixed caliper design compared to the floating style of the OE. However, few weeks back, the pedal started to feel a bit mushy (not as bad as OE) and though the fluid was dark, I tested it with the electronic brake fluid tester and it read to be bad.

I have three bottles of StopTech 600F brake fluid to swap into the G1 and my Odyssey. I believe it is the darn OEM fluid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
From my experience 2 man bleeding works best my RL. 1man never worked great. But like smufguy said the pedal would be high and hard but few days after it goes a little spongy. I think thats just how it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,751 Posts
I detailed my difficulties with brake bleeding on my Ridgelines in this thread:

Here are some lessons I learned . . .
1) when doing brake work that involves breaking the "seal" for brake connections do everything you can to minimize the amount of fluid lost / air infiltration into the system. For instance, have a solid bolt and nut ready to replace the hollow banjo bolts for brake fittings when you remove the caliper . . .Place saran wrap over top of the brake fluid reservoir and then put the cap back on (cap breathes, saran stops this and helps to slow the flow of brake fluid out of the system)
2)Even after the above precautions you are only going to get so far by using a vacuum brake bleeder (either hand pump or pneumatic). Its a good way to get things like new calipers filled and most of the air out of the system but you are wasting your time and fluid expecting to get that last bit of air out of the system with solo brake bleeding
3)The two person method is the best way to get the last bit (almost) of air out. There is nothing like having someone push the pedal while you open the bleed valves. I found that having my pneumatic vacuum bleeder attached while my helper pushed the pedal worked the best.
4)Even after doing the above 2 person method, having a shop use their specialized machine (BG) to bleed the brakes made a noticeable improvement.
5)Air in the system is not the only contributor to the mushy pedal. Front and rear calipers slide on carrier pins and if they aren't sliding optimally the brake feel will be mushy. For my MDX brake upgrade I used silicone grease which is reported to be well suited to pins that use rubber bushings on them (like the MDX), keeping things moving freely and not swelling the rubber. Syl-Glyde is a good product. I would suggest a yearly effort to clean and relube the caliper pins front and back.

Take away . . .Next time I will just use the solo vacuum method to get it close. I will try the ignition switch on tip to see if that helps. I will then take it to a shop with a quality professional bleeding machine (Like the BG) and have them finish it up.

For whatever reason, the Ridgelines brake plumbing is confoundingly difficult for the home mechanic to remove every last bit of air from the system.

I now have about 10k miles on my Ridge since the MDX upgrade and professional brake bleeding. Pedal is as good as ever and the brake performance with the MDX fronts, and EBC pads and rotors is a treat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,893 Posts
I've always done two-person brake bleeds as I don't particularly trust the bleeding system things. That and the two-person method doesn't require a tool to purchase and store. My wife has gotten really good at doing this and I don't even have to tell her what to do now. I have never had an issue with a soft or no pedal feel in my RL although I wouldn't exactly call it a "firm" pedal. I've also never been disappointed with the stopping power of my truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Please disregard my ineptness with editing the quote of Ian RTL- I didn't mean to question his thoughtful post at all, and now I can't figure how to edit or delete it.

The important thing is that I did make some headway improving my braking. I contacted a Honda Master tech that I know from another auto forum who is very kind and knowledgeable. He said that Honda told them to take the vehicles out and slam on the brakes and get the ABS control units to start clicking- and that bleeds out the air. I did this with gusto on a 1/2 mile, down hill wide gravel driveway to a remote Victorian art museum/society location- slamming ten times. The pedal had a discernible improvement, but was still a little soft.

Then I followed thru a week later with Bosch ceramic formula pads, and a complete rust descaling and lubricating of the pad slides and caliper posts. The rf caliper post slides were, dry grease wise, corroded, and seized! Pad wear was fairly even to the other side, but there is no way that this caliper could respond to its potential. So RULE 3- Don't ever skip popping open the boots, and checking and relubing your caliper slide posts! The Bosch pads are nice, but the slides they provided are way off, so I cleaned and lubed the ones from 3 years ago.

Eric the Car Guy- a very entertaining and talented internet wrench had the same slam on the brakes fix for all Hondas! He's good and he usually gives you a laugh or two!

While watching Motortrend TV today, Ant Anstead (Wheeler Dealers) did a soft pedal bleed via a scan tool on a Dodge/Ram SRT via scan tool! I will try my Foxwell scanner which is focused on BMW, but perhaps it has more capabilities than just code reading for other makes.

Even if I can't get the scanner to do anything, I'm very pleased with my results, and the big 2 ton plus truck stops like a cat now, really it's damn good. A little soft pedal, but the truck is stopping a lot quicker than before- a couple of new tires from Walmart and I'll be all set for inspection in January!

Best always,
Bluemill
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,861 Posts
I've had generally good results with all methods of brake fluid bleeding. I've used gravity, vacuum assist from my MityVac, vacuum assist with the Harbor Freight tool and my air compressor, and pressure bleeding with my Motive pressure bleeder. Oh, and 2 person bleeding.

I was not happy with the vacuum bleeding as I got a lot of air leakage around the bleeder bolt threads. The pressure bleeder works great... when you can get the seal just right on the fluid reservoir. Gravity is s l o w. 2 person worked the best.

I normally do solo work. But the last time I put a new set of pads on the Pilot and bled the brakes with fresh fluid, I could not get a hard pedal to save my life. I finally had to get my wife to come out and pump and hold the brakes while I cracked the bleeder bolt and bled each line. Finally got a good hard pedal. I have no idea why my normal solo routine failed. Still scratching my head on that one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,893 Posts
^ What would we do without our wives? :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,145 Posts
^ What would we do without our wives? :)
I dare not ask my wife for help with my truck. She always starts off by 'NOW, WHAT are you doing to the truck??' Typically after 20 mins she moves on to 'HOW long is this going to take, I have other things to take care of'. At this point I tell her it will take 10 more mins and then I find her on the couch scrolling through social media.

What was your question again Ian............... what we would do without our wives? As our late Billy Graham mentioned 'Never thought about divorce; but murder, yes'. :) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,893 Posts
^^^ Haha!! Now that made me chuckle. I'm a pretty lucky guy in that my wife has not yet made me think of fitting her with concrete shoes while swimming in the river. I can't say the same for her about me though. If she weren't around, I would be a disheveled mess of a human being.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
I dare not ask my wife for help with my truck. She always starts off by 'NOW, WHAT are you doing to the truck??' Typically after 20 mins she moves on to 'HOW long is this going to take, I have other things to take care of'. At this point I tell her it will take 10 more mins and then I find her on the couch scrolling through social media.

What was your question again Ian............... what we would do without our wives? As our late Billy Graham mentioned 'Never thought about divorce; but murder, yes'. :) :)
My dad always said to me when I was growing up, “If you ever get married, don’t marry a woman.” He stopped saying that after I got married. I guess he knew that I knew I should have listened. :D


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top