'93 Honda Civic shakes violently during braking

Tiny
JBUM
  • 1993 HONDA CIVIC

1. 1993 Honda Civic DX Sedan - 1.5L 4 cylinder
2. 159000 miles
3. Manual Transmission

I know the subject makes it sound like a warped rotor but I've had a new rotor and pad put in and it's still the same issue.

I ran over a center divider (wasn't paying attention) and I believe the entire car went over. I can see the scrapes on the plastic covers underneath. The caster angle on the driver side wheel is -0.1 degrees now, not positive.

Anyways, the front end of the car shakes violently during braking depending on the speed. During low speed ( < 30), I don't really feel much. During 60mph+ I definitely feel the whole front end shake and it's loud.

I feel as if there is something loose in the front suspension - bushing, bolt, etc. I've tried shaking my wheels by hand but didn't feel any looseness.

also, during normal driving, I feel some slightly rumbling sensation (vibration not shaking) through the steering wheels. It never did that before and my friend's civic does not do that. It's worse on rough roads.

i want to add one more thing. When I brake "hard" meaning stepping on the pedal with more force than required, the shaking is deadened quite a bit. It's the worst when I apply a medium amount of force.

what could be causing this?

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Monday, October 29th, 2007 AT 3:01 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
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You did do both sides on the pads and rotors correct?

IS the caliper loose at all. Did you try to use the parking brake to make sure the rear isn't the source.

With someone outside the car, and another driving, have the driver apply the brakes while passing the observer. This "may" help to determine what wheel it is coming through by sight or sound. Control arm bushing maybe.

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Monday, October 29th, 2007 AT 8:08 AM
Tiny
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Yes, I replaced the rotors and pads on both of the front wheels. I did not sense any looseness in the calipers when I was doing the work. The bolts and parts were all tightened to torque spec and felt strong.

Using the rear parking brake (it's a drum brake) has "some slight" vibration but it's definitely not the violent shaking I'm experiencing.

I guess I should visually inspect the car like you said.

Just to completely rule out warped rotors, can I lift the car up on jacks and rev the car in gear (possibly shift up to 5th gear) and then brake lightly to see if I feel some shaking? Maybe this won't transmit the same amount of vibration as when the car is on the ground.

Thanks.

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Monday, October 29th, 2007 AT 11:27 AM
Tiny
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It probably won't show it like that as there is no load on them. Did the vibration changed what-so-ever when you replaced them?

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Monday, October 29th, 2007 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
GNDXERO
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I have a 93 lx sedan 1.5.
I have the same exact problem to the T that you are describing. I have replaced the following, with brand new parts.
Rotors, Pads, Shocks, Springs, All suspension bushings, shock mount bushings, CV axles, wheel bearings, upper control arms, lower and upper ball joints. Basically everything.
It still shakes, the same exact way, about 50mph, medium pressure, real light and it doesn't shake violently, real hard and it doesn't shake violently. Pulled up on the ebrake and shakes a small amount, but I have one wheel in the back that's not balanced. I got a full 4 wheel alignment, and still shakes.

My car also wanders on the interstate when driving on crowned roads, hold the steering wheel perfectly straight and the car darts from side to side. May be unrelated, but wanted to mention it.

I feel your pain!

The only thing, I can think of at this point, (the only thing I haven't replaced) is the inner tie rod ends. There honestly is NOTHING I haven't replaced in my entire suspension, so i'm lost at this point.

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 AT 12:25 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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The wandering of your vehicle can be associated with the rack system.

Am I wrong on the brakes but wasn't there an issue about the rotors and the number of supports between the sides of the rotors?

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 AT 2:44 PM
Tiny
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Ya Know I think your right Bruce, there were a problem with micro-cracking on some aftermarket rotors in the vent hole areas.

And now that you mention it, we used to bring in a guy that would machine the rotors on the car on those old hondas.

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 AT 6:34 PM
Tiny
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Sorry about the delay in my response. I did not get a notification email that this topic was updated.

Anyways, to answer your question, after replacing the rotors/pads, I felt a the shaking of the steering wheel diminish quite a bit. To almost none (at least the vibration contributed by the warped rotors).

The vibration has diminished a bit lately. I still feel it especially when I'm going downhill and braking at around 40+ mph. Again, if I brake hard the shaking is lessened but I can still feel some shaking from "some" looseness in the front end.

My guess is that if I brake hard, it locks the loose suspension to a position but medium force allows the suspension to rock back and forth. This is all just a "what if" kind of guess.

I agree. It's hard to determine anything since I can't see it under load.

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Monday, November 19th, 2007 AT 5:20 PM

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