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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys I've been chasing a braking issue ever since I bought the car. The first 50% of brake pedal travel is does nothing. It's a dead zone. It doesn't apply the brakes. Then after the dead play the brakes work and the pedal firms up. Things I've done.

New stoptech brake pads

New brembo rotors

Put Teflon tape on bleeder screws

Bled the brakes 5 different ways, multiple times. Bled until air bubbles stopped coming out of bleeder.

Replaced calipers

Junkyard brake master cylinder

Adjusted the drum brakes by reversing and braking. This kinda worked temporarily, but it felt like the rear brakes were being applied first under braking, after this adjustment.

I'm getting really frustrated And tired of working on the car. I just want my ****ing brakes to work well and feel confident.
 

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2001 5S "Turbo"
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While sitting still, pump the brakes "A LOT" probably over 50 times.
 

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Bled until air bubbles come out of bleeder.
Are you sure you are doing the brake bleeding correctly? You should never see bubbles come out of the bleeder. And if you do, a mechanic might assume that the reservoir had been allowed to go dry, and/or another failed component is allowing air into the system.

There is also the question of whether or not air can become trapped in the antilock brake system, and whether or not standard bleeding techniques can remove it. On some vehicles, this requires activation of the antilock brake system with the appropriate tool.

Perhaps someone can comment on this latter bit. Paying an experienced Honda mechanic to perform a full flush and bleed may be a good way to at least eliminate that factor in the equation.

You also mentioned the junkyard master cylinder. Perhaps its seal leaks and it is drawing in air, one of several potential sources of air. There are other potential sources of air or other issues.

This one I would pay for the education, take it to an experienced Honda mechanic, and learn from their diagnosis and repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Willie: While the car is on? and on the ground?

I cycle the ABS alot. I drive in the santa cruz mountains alot, spiritedly.



Sean: I misstyped, i meant to say I bled until there were no air bubbles. Well the braking is the same after the junkyard master cylinder. I bench bled, and bled the whole system again until there were no more bubbles.

I did also replace my drum shoes, but not the drums. Maybe ill just replace the drums, springs, and wheel cylinders as well.
I had this same problem on my 1990 civic hatch (with drum brakes) a few years ago, and never figured it out. I literally replaced all front and rear brake components. Never had this issue on a car with rear discs.

A mechanic will easily charge a minimum of 300$, or probably double that. which is not an really an option for me because im currently throwing money at my track car.
 

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Seems like you've covered your bases. The only thing you haven't done is checked the pedal itself. Seems possible that the pedal stopper/return mechanism could be broken and the pedal is rebounding to a higher level than it should. Not really sure how that's jiggered, but it'd be easy to poke your head down there and make sure the pedal mechanism is functioning properly... On the other hand, seems like one would readily notice if the pedal were rebounding too high...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hmm true, I considered adjusting the brake pedal. I know adjusting the pedal can cause the pads to drag however, so I have to do some research. Something tells me my issue has to do with the rear brakes.
 

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I don't see how it could be the rear brakes - even if you had no rear brakes you shouldn't have 50% of the pedal travel being free play...

edit: I just took a quick peek at the service manual - I didn't even realize the pedal is fully adjustable. Standard pedal height ("with carpet removed") is 7 1/4 inches, freeplay is 1/16-3/16 inches. Probably worth finding that page in the pdf service manual, checking your pedal adjustment...
 

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Brakes are a huge safety issue and you have an expert like 5 hours away. Make the call and plan for when you have a day to take it there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well just an update. Today I changed swapped brake booster with a junkyard brake booster and the issue is the same. However with the new booster the brake lights are stuck on. I havent adjusted it yet.

I even re-bled by running a hose from the rear caliper directly to the Master Cylinder resovoir so I could watch the air bubbles with my own eyes. I gave it like 200 pumps, and there were no more air bubbles and I have the cleanest brake fluid I've every seen in a car.


The Manual Transmission Brake Master Cylinder is literally sold out everwhere. Even remanufactured ones, even dealerships. I ordered one from Autozone just now, but i have a strong feeling its going to be for the CVT version of the car.

I will note, even though the first 50% of pedal travel is super soft, the brakes do still grab progressively through that first 50%. Once i hit the next 50% the brake pedal firms up and grabs hard like it should. So if I do adjust my brake pedal, my brakes will surely drag.

I really would hate to give up on the insight, because I like the chassis and had longterm plans for it. Hell I even swapped a H1C1 transmission into it already. I am a mechanic, but this has me stumped, especially with the lack of aftermarket parts. This chassis has so much motorsport potential, it really sucks honda doesnt care about it.

I have messaged mr scott as well.
 

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I would just actually call Jue Motors and book an appointment if you feel comfortable driving it down. Alternatively still take it down but get a uhaul and a tow dolly.
 

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You might be able to find a rebuild kit for the cylinders. But also examine air in ABS and bleeding method. See insightcentral.net/threads/insight-brake-fluid-change-problems.25472
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I took it to a trusted mechanic and he looked everything over. He bled the brakes with me there, and there was no air in the lines. So he adjusted my rear drums, and that did help alot. The brake feel still isnt what it should be, but anyways the car is safe for daily driving now which is what counts.
 
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