Honda Accord/Civic/Prelude 1973-1983 Repair Guide




Early Models

On later models, when the brake drum or rear brake system has been serviced, depress brake pedal several times to set self-adjusting brakes before adjusting parking cable. On all models make sure the parking brake cable is properly adjusted.

  1. Block the front wheels and release the parking brake. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jackstands.
  3. Depress the brake pedal 2-3 times and release.
  5. The adjuster (if so equipped) is located on the inboard side, underneath the control arm. Turn the adjuster clockwise until the wheel no longer turns.
  7. Back off the adjuster two (2) clicks and turn the wheel to see if the brake shoes are dragging. If they are dragging, back off the adjuster one more click.


Free-play is the distance the pedal travels from the stop (brake light switch) until the pushrod actuates the master cylinder.

To check free-play, first measure the distance (with the carpet removed) from the floor to the brake pedal. Then disconnect the return spring and again measure the distance from the floor to the brake pedal. The difference between the two measurements is the pedal free-play. The specified free-play is 1.0-5.0mm. Free-play adjustment is made by loosening the locknut on the brake light switch and rotating the switch body until the specified clearance is obtained.

If there is no free-play, the master cylinder pistons will not return to their stops. This can block the compensating ports, which will prevent the brake pads and linings from returning fully when the pedal is released. This will result in rapid brake burn-up. Free-play provides a safety factor against normal rubber swell and expansion or deflection of body parts and pedal linkage.