You can screw the rear caliper pistons back in, by using a needle nose pliers and turning the cross or x notch in a clockwise direction. both caliper pistons will turn the same way. The reason they "screw" out, is for positive locking pressure when the parking brake is engaged.
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Remove the caliper mounting bolts and remove the caliper. Replace brake pads as necessary. Special tool is required to retract caliper piston to fit over new pads. (see picture below) Retract piston in caliper using special tool to rotate clockwise and make sure the notch in the piston is aligned properly so the tab on the inner pad will fit in properly. Reinstall caliper assembly and caliper mounting bolts.
You have to compress the caliper. If your design uses the brake pads as parking break, you need to rotate the piston while compressing it. there are tools that assist with this, but I use a C clamp and the old brake pad.
you will want to use a C-clamp for this. Take the c-clamp and an old brake pad, put the pad against the piston and the non-mobile end of the c-clamp on the back of the caliper. Turn the moving portion of the C-clamp in until it pushes the pad into the piston, and pushes the piston completely into the caliper. I hope this helps.
Front or rear brakes? The fronts are normal disc brakes, but the rears are drum. Basically, this means the fronts are super simple to swap out pads, but the rears... not so much.
For the fronts: 1) Secure the car. Park, Parking brake, chocks behind the rear wheels. (Unless you use a lift) 2) Break loose the lug nuts. (Do NOT remove them yet. ONLY break the torque on them.) 3) Jack the front of the car up. Alternatively, use a lift. 4) Remove wheels. NOTE: Do NOT EVER disconnect the hose going to the calipers. Doing this, even for a moment, will require a full bleed of the break system. Failure to correctly bleed the air from the system will result in having either uneven breaking, NO breaks, or somewhere in between. 5) On the inboard side of the caliper there should be two bolts. (On some models the caliper itself has the bolts and you can remove one and service it without having to remove the assembly.) If needed, remove the assembly from the hub by removing the two bolts. Try not to kink/damage/be too rough on the brake hose. Securing it with a ziptie, string, or wire is a good idea. 6) You should now be able to simply remove the old pads from the calipers. 7) Put the new pads into the calipers and reassemble. It's a good idea to put some medium strength lock-tite on the bolts to help prevent them from backing out. Make sure these two bolts are torqued down securely as if they back off the caliper could come off while driving. 8) After installing new pads there may not be enough clearance to accommodate the rotor. You will need to very carefully retract the pistons back inside the caliper to get this clearance back. It will NOT be easy/quick, but be careful so as not to damage the piston. 9) Best practices dictate you should at a minimum have the rotors "turned" or simply replaced EVERY time you replace the brake pads. Doing this will help ensure maximum stopping power and longevity of both rotor & pad. 10) Once everything is back together and the car is on the ground follow the pad manufacturers "bedding" instructions.
If you are wanting to service the rears... that's another (much more complex and involved) matter. :(
you need a special tool avalable at most parts stores. its a disc brake piston turning tool. you have to rotate piston clockwise while pushing in on piston. you can fabricate something that enguages the slots and push and turn till all the way in.make sure to note position of slots and put them in same place as was before or the pin on the pads wont enguage the slot
first break nuts loose. then jack car up. remove lug nuts and tire. use a 17 millimeter wrench or ratchet to remove the lower slide pin bolt. then rotate the caliper up and remove the pads. push the piston back into the caliper with a large set of adjustable pliers or c-clamp. then install new pads(highly recommend honda pads) and reverse the removal process.
First you should think about getting a repair manual. These will have detailed instructions complete with pictures and safety warnings. If you can't spend the $20 on a manual then here is what you need to do.
Just so you know I have done this on my 1994 Accord so there may be specific operations that differ on a 1998. I can give you some good general instructions. Also read through all the instructions before beginning.
Open the hood and take the cover off of the master cylinder reservoir. This will release the hydraulic pressure in the brake system. Remove the covers from both rear wheels and loosen the lug nuts, but do not remove them. Block both front wheels and release the parking brake. Jack the vehicle up one side at time and put the vehicle on jack stands. Remove both rear wheels. When replacing the pads you must do both sides of the car. Complete one side of the car before going to the other. This way you have a reference if you forget how something goes together.
With the wheel off you can now remove the brake caliper. You can remove the caliper shield if you like (it covers the rear portion of the caliper including the area where the parking brake is attached). Remove the caliper by removing the bolts holding it to the mounting bracket. My personal experience has been that these can be very tight. Make sure you are twisting them the correct direction and be careful to not round out the bolt. With the caliper removed you can now remove the brake pads and other hardware.
Remove both the inner and outer pads. If you are going to replace the pad retainers remove them as well. Prepare your new pads for installation. Install new pad retainers first if you removed them. Before putting the new pads on you should apply an anti squeal lubricant. Most auto parts stores will include this with your purchase of brake pads. On my Honda the inside and outside pads are different. The inside pad has a wear indicator on it. This looks like a flat doubled over piece of metal sticking out from the bottom of the pad. When the pad is installed the wear indicator is at the bottom.
Now you have to retract the piston in the caliper. On my Honda the piston is round with a groove in the shape of an X in the middle. Retract the piston by turning it clockwise. If you don't get the piston retracted the caliper won't fit over the new pads. Now replace the caliper. Make sure that the piston is oriented with the tab on the inner pad. The piston should slide over this tab until the tab rests in the center of the X. Secure the caliper by replace the bolts you removed. I found this difficult to do when replacing all the hardware. The new hardware will want to push the caliper out of place and lining up the holes for the bolts has to be exact. It is easiest to do this when the car is on a lift and you can work on the brakes at shoulder height. Now replace the caliper shield then do the other side.
You are now ready to test your work. Put the wheels back on and lower the car. Tighten the lug nuts again after you remove the jack. Put the cover back on the master cylinder reservoir. Pump the brakes several times to restore pressure. Put the parking brake on and start the car. Pump the brakes again and visually inspect the rear brakes for any leaking fluid (just for the off chance that you made a major goof). Also check the level of fluid in the master cylinder reservoir.
You should check your brakes in an isolated area before doing regular driving. I also like to check my job on the lug nuts after my first trip. You would be surprised how many shops and people forget to tighten them properly.
You may also want to check your parking brake. When you have the vehicle up on jack stands with the wheels on you should be able to rotate the wheels without any rubbing on the pads (of course the parking brake has to be off too). If there is any rubbing then your parking brake may be too tight, or you may have a problem with a caliper. Parking brake adjustment can be done easily as can replacement of a caliper. Make sure that your parking brake is not rubbing when released, and that is applying enough pressure when engaged.
Most auto parts stores have a little cube that fits on a 3/8 ratchet wrench. use this cube to screw in your caliper. it has various nibs on it to fit a number of brake calipers. costs about 10 bucks. screw it in clockwise until its almost flush to the caliper housing...if you screw it in too far...the boot will pop over the piston and you will have a bigger mess. sometimes a screwdriver can be used to turn it but i prefer not to bleed. lastly make sure the grooves on the brake caliper piston is horizontal as to allow the caliper to slip over any "Nibs" on the new pads that are for alignment purposes.