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95 Integra LS: rotor was replaced and the brakepads are positioned for service.

The rear-brake caliper gap must be opened wide enough to receive the new rotor, that is sandwiched between the two new brakepads. The piston must be moved to open the caliper gap wide enough for two brakepads and the rotor. I expect that the piston must be fully retracted and flush with the caliper body.

A large C-clamp, powered by an 18" socket wrench attempts opening the caliper gap lever. A ridiculous amount of torque is applied to open the gap. I do not think that this amount of torque should be necessary: therein lies my concern that I am doing something wrong.

It is not clear to me if it is necessary to somehow open up the sealed brake fluid system so that the caliper piston will not close up the gap or how to do this if need be.

enter image description here

UDPATE: I now suspect that the Piston in center of photo must be rotated and not compressed by a C-clamp:

enter image description here

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  • It has to be pressed AND rotated at the same time. – HandyHowie May 18 at 5:45
  • It is a good idea to crack open the calliper bleed nipple when pushing the piston back. Brake fluid that has been inside the hot calliper can then be discarded rather than pushed back into the brake system. Make sure you top up your reservoir if necessary. – HandyHowie May 18 at 5:51
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It should not take a "ridiculous amount of torque" to open up the pad spacing to fit over the rotor. First of all, before you place the new pads you should ensure that the piston is pushed back into the cylinder of the caliper so that it's flush (or nearly flush depending on the design) with the surface of the caliper.

How you push the piston in depends on the specific design of the caliper. Most can just be pushed in with a tool that is commonly and inexpensively available at auto parts stores:

Brake Caliper Tool

Some, however, have an indexing mechanism where you need a different tool that presses and turns at the same time. To tell the difference you'll want to consult your SERVICE MANUAL which should indicate the correct procedure.

Otherwise you may have a problem with your caliper and/or piston such as gummed up or hardened (i.e. "cooked") brake fluid and a caliper rebuild or replacement is warranted.

I fear that regardless of why, your application of excessive force may have damaged things so you'll want to disassemble and inspect the caliper and also the brake lines before proceeding.

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  • Thanks for the response. As you can see from the screenshot, I am doing my best with the Integra service manual. Can you provide the link to the tool in the photograph or the name so I can look it up Amazon (or wherever it is sold). – gatorback May 17 at 18:19
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    Just search for "brake caliper tool" in your favorite search engine and you will see multiple options. You can also search for "Brake Caliper Wind Back Tool" for the other type of tool for differing calipers. – jwh20 May 17 at 18:21
  • Generally if your calliper has an integrated parking brake you need the tool that rotates the piston as it is pushed back in. – HandyHowie May 17 at 18:52
  • Does a 95 Integra LS 4 door have an integrated parking brake? I ask because after Googling, it is not clear to me as to what an IPB is. I do believe the parking break engages the rear brakes. – gatorback May 17 at 20:14
  • @gatorback The drawing in your question shows a parking brake cable attached to the calliper. – HandyHowie May 17 at 22:24

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