"The Mothership" - 1998 Civic - Maintenance Log

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Updates on the brake situation: https://www.clubcivic.com/forum/threads/brakes-pulse-shaking-the-steering-wheel-and-car.233780/post-3462653

Mothership is at the shop today. The parking brake has been sticking when I disengage it in the morning, and between that and the brakes pulsing I finally decided to throw money at the problem since I don't have the free time to work on it. It should have waited until next week, since I'm driving to Atlanta after work, but oh well.

The shop called and said that the rear brakes are a total loss, and they'll replace all of the hardware for $400 :???: Apparently one side's wheel cylinder failed, and the other side was over-heated as a result.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
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5+ Year Member
And $450 later.... With new shoes, hardware, wheel cylinders, and drums.. The scorched earth approach to fixing the problem has worked. The rear brakes no longer pulse!

.. Of course, now I can feel that the front brakes are pulsing :x
 


pmac193

Thundermuff
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
10+ Year Member
And $450 later.... With new shoes, hardware, wheel cylinders, and drums.. The scorched earth approach to fixing the problem has worked. The rear brakes no longer pulse!

.. Of course, now I can feel that the front brakes are pulsing :x
Did you say you put on front brakes not too long ago? What did you replace then? Wouldn't be a bad time to make a little upgrade.

Type R remans are dirt cheap and no core charge. Pair these with base mini cooper rotors and TSX pads.

Rock Auto PowerStop S1460
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Did you say you put on front brakes not too long ago? What did you replace then? Wouldn't be a bad time to make a little upgrade.

Type R remans are dirt cheap and no core charge. Pair these with base mini cooper rotors and TSX pads.

Rock Auto PowerStop S1460
Thanks man. Yeah, I replaced everything about two years ago now. And the pulsing/shaking has just been a constant since. I bought all the material on Rock Auto, and the front rotors are PowerStop, yeah. I didn't think I was buying junk hardware... But they just never settled in. I still suspect I messed up some finesse or detail while installing them that caused the pulsing.

Type R as in upgrade the wheel hub to a Type R one, brakes and all? Now that the rear brakes are working properly, I'm definitely interested in following through to get the fronts working properly... Though I've already had the front rotors turned at a shop... And they have (I believe) nice quality Akebono brake pads... Maybe the front suspension/bushings is to blame?
 


pmac193

Thundermuff
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
10+ Year Member
Thanks man. Yeah, I replaced everything about two years ago now. And the pulsing/shaking has just been a constant since. I bought all the material on Rock Auto, and the front rotors are PowerStop, yeah. I didn't think I was buying junk hardware... But they just never settled in. I still suspect I messed up some finesse or detail while installing them that caused the pulsing.

Type R as in upgrade the wheel hub to a Type R one, brakes and all? Now that the rear brakes are working properly, I'm definitely interested in following through to get the fronts working properly... Though I've already had the front rotors turned at a shop... And they have (I believe) nice quality Akebono brake pads... Maybe the front suspension/bushings is to blame?
Is the pulsing only under braking or all the time? Does it sound like anything is dragging under acceleration or while coasting?

The R brakes are a bolt on for the EX spindles. No adapters or machining needed. The mini cooper uses the same size rotor as an ITR, but 4x100 instead of 5x114.

I took some pics of the install here- https://www.clubcivic.com/forum/threads/pmac193s-97-del-sol.185359/page-12
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Pulsing exclusively while braking. Today I drove 200 miles back from Atlanta, and noticed that 1) Some times the brakes apply pretty smoothly, other times it's rougher, and 2) the remaining pulsing is accompanied by some shaking in the steering wheel. Something may be dragging, but I don't notice it, this is the only car I've daily-ed... ever.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out!
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Uhoh... The rear brakes are starting to "shush shush shush" again. $10 says they'll go back to how they were. What could be causing that?!

It's raining today, and I noticed water trickling in on the passenger side door :???:

Also, I ordered replacement seatbelts today... Got tired of them not retracting properly. This car is getting expensive.
 

SeanShine

New Member
5+ Year Member
Heya Ctag! I have been reading through your thread and its really cool to see someone who is keeping their civic alive!

Uhoh... The rear brakes are starting to "shush shush shush" again. $10 says they'll go back to how they were. What could be causing that?!
Im a former Honda technician, and I might have a few ideas to help you with your brake pulsation. Brake pulsation can come from a few different things, but two are the most common. Either the rotors/drums have hot spots, or they have excessive runout.

Hot spots are caused by heavy braking. You can see them as slightly discolored (darker) areas on the surface of the rotor/drum. You can google "brake rotor hot spots" to see pictures of what I'm talking about.

I know you probably don't feel like you do heavy braking, but in reality these civics came with very small brakes and coming down from highway speed means that there really isn't a lot of surface area for the rotors/drums to dissipate heat. The only real way to get around creating hot spots is to upgrade the brakes with either larger ones (perhaps replace the front brakes with ones off of an integra?) or to get rotors that are drilled and slotted (so they have more surface area, and can dissipate heat easier). I would warn against drilled and slotted rotors on a daily driven car, because if they start to have problems with squeaking or vibration, you can't resurface them and you have to replace them.

Excessive runout can be two things. Either its high spots and low spots on the surface of the rotor/drum, or the rotor and drum are not seating properly.

Here is what I would do:

I have seen A LOT of brand new drums that are out of round. Especially when they are inexpensive replacements. I would suggest taking the drums to a tire/brake shop and having them resurface the drums using a brake lathe. That will ensure that you have a perfectly round surface for your brake shoes to run against. A "shush shush shush" noise is usually caused by the brake shoes slightly touching the drum in a certain spot. The other thing you can check is to make sure that the backing plate isn't touching the drum at a certain point. Also, I don't know if you have adjusted the rear brake shoes, but if you do, then I would recommend using a couple of lug nuts to keep the Drum fixed securely against the hub (so its not slightly crooked).

That brings up the second thing that I would try. I would make sure that front and rear hubs are REALLY CLEAN from any surface rust. You can imagine that even if there is 0.01 of an inch of rust on a certain spot on the hub, that it would be multiplied 10x by the time you get to the outer edge of the rotor. You can use a wire brush and a flat headed screwdriver to scrape off all surface rust from the hub when you install the rotors and drums.

Its much less common to see new front rotors that come out of the box with excessive runout, so If you replace / resurface the front rotors and make sure that the hub and rotor surfaces are clean from rust, then that should really help you avoid brake pulsation.

Of course, all of this information is assuming that your wheel bearings don't have excessive play (extremely rare on these Hondas) and that you don't have bad suspension parts (upper ball joints, lower ball joints, outer and inner tie rods, etc).

I know this is a lot of information, but I also hate brake pulsation/noises and I would love to help you fix your civic and keep it on the road! Let me know if you have any questions.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Heya Ctag! I have been reading through your thread and its really cool to see someone who is keeping their civic alive!



Im a former Honda technician, and I might have a few ideas to help you with your brake pulsation. Brake pulsation can come from a few different things, but two are the most common. Either the rotors/drums have hot spots, or they have excessive runout.

Hot spots are caused by heavy braking. You can see them as slightly discolored (darker) areas on the surface of the rotor/drum. You can google "brake rotor hot spots" to see pictures of what I'm talking about.

I know you probably don't feel like you do heavy braking, but in reality these civics came with very small brakes and coming down from highway speed means that there really isn't a lot of surface area for the rotors/drums to dissipate heat. The only real way to get around creating hot spots is to upgrade the brakes with either larger ones (perhaps replace the front brakes with ones off of an integra?) or to get rotors that are drilled and slotted (so they have more surface area, and can dissipate heat easier). I would warn against drilled and slotted rotors on a daily driven car, because if they start to have problems with squeaking or vibration, you can't resurface them and you have to replace them.

Excessive runout can be two things. Either its high spots and low spots on the surface of the rotor/drum, or the rotor and drum are not seating properly.

Here is what I would do:

I have seen A LOT of brand new drums that are out of round. Especially when they are inexpensive replacements. I would suggest taking the drums to a tire/brake shop and having them resurface the drums using a brake lathe. That will ensure that you have a perfectly round surface for your brake shoes to run against. A "shush shush shush" noise is usually caused by the brake shoes slightly touching the drum in a certain spot. The other thing you can check is to make sure that the backing plate isn't touching the drum at a certain point. Also, I don't know if you have adjusted the rear brake shoes, but if you do, then I would recommend using a couple of lug nuts to keep the Drum fixed securely against the hub (so its not slightly crooked).

That brings up the second thing that I would try. I would make sure that front and rear hubs are REALLY CLEAN from any surface rust. You can imagine that even if there is 0.01 of an inch of rust on a certain spot on the hub, that it would be multiplied 10x by the time you get to the outer edge of the rotor. You can use a wire brush and a flat headed screwdriver to scrape off all surface rust from the hub when you install the rotors and drums.

Its much less common to see new front rotors that come out of the box with excessive runout, so If you replace / resurface the front rotors and make sure that the hub and rotor surfaces are clean from rust, then that should really help you avoid brake pulsation.

Of course, all of this information is assuming that your wheel bearings don't have excessive play (extremely rare on these Hondas) and that you don't have bad suspension parts (upper ball joints, lower ball joints, outer and inner tie rods, etc).

I know this is a lot of information, but I also hate brake pulsation/noises and I would love to help you fix your civic and keep it on the road! Let me know if you have any questions.
SeanShine, thank you for the detailed response! I'm sorry to be so late getting back to you, things have been crazy over here. I'll do my best to follow up with your advice.

This has been a kinda bad week for the Mothership. First the passenger door speaker failed, so my morning commute doesn't sound as good anymore. Then I noticed that the windsheild wipers were sporadically wiping... So it looks like the switch on them is going out. And then tonight the car wouldn't start. No crank, but the dash lights would turn off. Ended up being the clutch pedal interlock switch, which isn't even visible when looking at the assembly from below. I replaced the crumbled plastic with another one of those screw-washer plastic trim plugs, and it seems to work.
 

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SeanShine

New Member
5+ Year Member
Nice fix on the clutch switch. Those plastic plugs always seem to break. Which makes me wonder why honda used them in the first place.

I actually just dealt with an intermittent wiper problem with my civic! There is a really simple ohms test that you can do to the wiper switch if you want to test it. I posted the repair on my build thread.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
.. Still haven't fixed the windshield wipers, I need to just bite the bullet and make time to fix that and the passenger side window (that's coming loose)

Changed the oil today though.
3.5 Qt of 5-w30 O'Reilly High-Mileage non-synthetic
New Bosch Premium filter
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
The passenger window has been making an awful racket when lowered recently. I figured the mounts for it must be loose, so I took the door trim off and investigated. As far as I can tell, the bolts are all tight.. The slop is in the motor assembly now. I guess it's time for a replacement.

I didn't want to end on a low note like that, so I continued on and looked at the windshield wipers. @SeanShine has a great writeup on his build thread, but it covers failures in the driver switch assembly, and I'm pretty sure that part is OK on my car. I took the motor assembly off and then apart. Inside I found two contact switches, one of which had developed a fracture and no longer opened. I took it off, cleaned the contacts with sandpaper, and then soldered the piece of metal back. I sealed the whole thing up with a smidge of RTV to make sure it's watertight again. I put the assembly back on the car (sans wipers) and it appears to work properly now! I'm hoping to paint the wiper arms before re-installing them.

I know it won't last as long now that there's solder stiffening that joint, but I am interested to see how much more usable life I get out of it.

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Johnp410

New Member
As you can tell from likes, I really enjoyed your thread, can't wait to see what you do next. I'm a full grown male and I am intimidated by the whole rebuilding the trans thing. (I don't mean "full grown" to be insulting in any way, just stating that you are a lot younger than me), but your inspiring to say the least. I had off work, and went through this whole thread and, I learned some, but I'm more inspired by your ventures. Keep up the good work.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
As you can tell from likes, I really enjoyed your thread, can't wait to see what you do next. I'm a full grown male and I am intimidated by the whole rebuilding the trans thing. (I don't mean "full grown" to be insulting in any way, just stating that you are a lot younger than me), but your inspiring to say the least. I had off work, and went through this whole thread and, I learned some, but I'm more inspired by your ventures. Keep up the good work.
@Johnp410 Thank you! Hearing that makes writing the posts all worthwhile :beer:

Speaking of next... A replacement motor assembly for the passenger window arrived. I've been too busy running around trying to get situated at my new job to do anything, but installing that is definitely next on the list.
 

Johnp410

New Member
@Johnp410 Thank you! Hearing that makes writing the posts all worthwhile :beer:

Speaking of next... A replacement motor assembly for the passenger window arrived. I've been too busy running around trying to get situated at my new job to do anything, but installing that is definitely next on the list.
I'm going through something similar with my passenger side window. It keeps going off track, I removed the stripping all around the window, washed it in Dawn and scrubbed with a brush, previous owner decided to use white lithium grease lmao so I got that cleaned up but I'm still having issues. Surprised you haven't gotten into suspension to heavy. That's the other problem I'm having now. Previous owner also splurged on eBay suspension and steering bits, everything is dry rotted, replacing the worse looking things first. Lol hope to rebuild this d16y8 might just replace with the same motor for time being. Naturally I'm enticed by the swap idea, but might just do a strong rebuild and turbo eventually and go from there. Transmissions scare me though.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
previous owner decided to use white lithium grease
That definitely sounds like something I would do :rolf:

Your plans for your car sound good to me. Transmission rebuilds are totally doable, you've got this! Just read the through the manual a few times, look up a forum thread or two, and you're good to go. You saw I made some mistakes like crushing the little friction ring, don't be afraid to step back and look things over before hitting it with a hammer.

I'm surprised that you caught on about the suspension. I pretty much haven't touched a thing about it, because it scares me. Maybe I should take my own advice :lol:

And I'm subscribed to your thread now :thumbs up Put a link to it in your signature so people can find it easily.
 

Johnp410

New Member
That definitely sounds like something I would do :rolf:
Lmao the window worked for awhile, I kept cleaning it off, and it kept showing up, then it came off track, when I fixed it I realized then what they had done.
I'll try and figure out the signature, thing. Thanks, probably the most boring thread ever, but I'll start to document things and maybe recap the things I've done.
I'll definitely use your photos as reference, and check out the manual. Which did you use? In my Haynes manual it basically says take it to a shop. I've got the link to a manual here, haven't checked it out yet.
Suspension isn't anything to really be afraid of, as long as you follow directions. You'd do fine I'm sure, especially with your attention to detail.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
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For the signature, click on your username for the popup and then click on the Signature button!
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If you're on mobile then idk :roll:

Your thread has a picture and a list of things to do, that's a good start!
 


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