Brake Pads and Rotors
Acura CL
Nissan Xterra

How do you change the rotors on a 2003 Acura CL?

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October 22, 2017 7:20AM

Take off the tire (obvious), remove the two caliper bolts (12mm), and move the caliper off of the brake assembly: the brake line is short, so you have to have something to set the caliper on, or fashion a hook to hang it from if you don't want to disconnect the brake line. I used a metal hanger as a hook, and hung the caliper by the upper mounting hole suspended from the upper control arm. Next, you remove the two brake pad mount bolts (14mm) and remove the entire assembly with the brake pads on it. The rotor is now completely exposed and is ready for removal. There are two Phillips screws holding in onto the hub, and possibly a few years of road gunk too. My screws were rusted and stuck in place. I bought a tool at Sears that is a hammer-actuated hand impact wrench. It retails for $30. You put the screw adapter on and line it up with the screw, then start whacking it with a hammer. Each whack puts a ton of torque on the screw and will rotate it approximately 20 degrees. That did the trick with my stuck and partially stripped screws, but I'll bet a full out impact wrench with screw tip will work too. Once both screws are out, the rotor is technically unsecured, but again may be stuck from years of gunk as mine were. There are two other holes in the rotor hat for removal screws. By threading screws into those holes, you put pressure on the hub, and force the rotor off. I found that the screws are approximately 1/2 inch diameter. I had some old HW laying around, and found two conduit clamps for industrial wiring jobs that had mounting screws with square heads that fit perfectly. The square heads were slightly difficult to work with, but a 8mm or 9mm open-ended box wrench fit perfectly, and after about 3-4 turns apiece, the rotors popped right off. Install your new rotor, put the brake pad assembly back on and reinstall the caliper. One additional note: the screws through the rotors are unnecessary. The caliper holds it securely in place, and even if it didn't, the pressure of the wheel will hold it snug as well, so do yourself a favor, don't reinstall the two screws into your new rotors. I used mine to hold it in place while I reinstalled the calipers and pads, but then removed them and tossed them.