Changing the front rotors on my acura 1.7el

Fri Sep 7 0:42:26 2007 EDT (-0400 GMT)

The Challenge

You may recall that in April I changed the rear rotors on my Acura 1.7 (“The Super Civic”). The Acura 1.7 EL and the American Civic Si are the only two version of this world Honda platform that use rear disc brakes over the not-so-sporty drumb brakes found in the regular Civic. The front disc brakes set up on all of these cars are the same. This summer my front left rotor started to warp as one would expect with its age and I figured that the front rotors need an improvement of quality for the vehicle to meet it’s ultimate potential — and now it does! The best news is if you read this article the whole way you can learn how your Civic 2.0 SI 2002-2003, Civic/EL 1.7 2001-2005, Civic 1.6/EL 1989-2000 or Del Sol VTEC can have the same part cheap!

I did some relatively extensive research on the best option. I wanted brakes that would give good feel, stop hard and look cool but at the same time be street-able and cost-effective. This ruled out bigger rotors, as I didn’t want to change the calibers that clamp down on the rotors. Additionally, I had purchased carbon pads for all of the calibers back in April , I wanted to re-use those. Ultimately this meant increasing the efficiency of the current rotor dimensions. The part I needed turned out to be Magnum Original Cross-Drilled Rotors.

The Solution
Magnum Brake Rotors
Magnum Cross-Drilled Rotors are Canadian made rotors that have holes in them that allow the gas created by the extreme heat of breaking to escape into the venting between the two surfaces of the rotor. This keeps the rotor cooler and prevents the “float” effect of gasses or water building up between the rotor and the pad. An other technology is slotting, which is an actual grove that pushes hot gasses away – that level of venting is really only needed for racing and not my street car.


Installing the front rotors proved easier than the rear rotors because I had my impact screwdriver for when the going got rough. I don’t want to detail the whole process, for interest and liability sake, but here’s the highlights:

  • My Impact Screwdriver came in handy for loosening the rotor screws.
    Impact Screwdriver
  • Getting that warped rotors off – five minutes of hammer clanging!
  • I scuffed up the rotors with a wire brush to remove the anti-corrosion finish, and some of the black powder coat — oh well.
    Cleaning rotor
  • Those front brake rotors were sanded vertically in order to remove the linear wear from the previous pads.
    Sanding Pads

Everything worked out well and I’m very happy with the current brake system. One concern, after all the research for the right part I was only looking for the best shipping rate on E-Bay. I very quickly while at work bought 2 items listed as “Drilled Rotor Civic 1.3 1.6 1.7 2.0 Si Hybird Del Sol F” — when they showed up I learnt they meant rotorS and I now had 4 of them. It meant I spent/saved $40 US more than I had to.

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