How to: Replace front brake pads - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-18-2010, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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How to: Replace front brake pads

If you're looking to change your brake pads, but aren't sure what's involved- look no further. This is a pad replacement on an '02 DL1000, which has 20,000 miles and probably the original pads.
Old pad/New pad

If you are removing the front wheel to replace tires or for some other reason, it is a good idea to check the condition of your pads. Think about timing your wheel removal for the same time as your brake pads, since it requires removing the calipers to get the wheel off anyway.
FRONT:
Tools you will need:
14mm socket
needlenose pliers or small screwdriver
C-clamp

First, remove these two bolts that hold the caliper on:


Don't let the caliper hang by the hose for any length of time:


turn the freed caliper over in your hand and look for the small cotter pin. You'll need a small screwdriver or needlenose pliers to remove this pin:


Once the cotter pin is out, it is possible to remove the pin that holds in the pads. It should slide out easily:


Once the pin is out, it is easy to unhook the pads from the pin that keeps them in the caliper.
At this point, you'll want to remove the master cylinder cover and cap, and place a rag or absorbant something over the opening. Use your C-clamp againt the old pad to gently and evenly push the pistons back into the caliper. This gives enough room for the new, thicker pads to slide over the rotor when its time to re-install.



Here's the time to slow down a bit. The back of the old pads had a metal shim. Remove this shim and place it onto the back of the new pad. I like to put a bit of Disk Brake Grease between the pad and shim, and where the shim meets the pistons:



Now just rest the pads inside the caliper, they can only go in one way, and slide the pin back in. I like to put a tiny bit of grease on this pin, as well.

Rotate the pin so you can find the hols the cotter pin goes thru, the cotter pin can only go in one way, too.
Now just slide the caliper over the rotor, and bolt back to the fork. The book recommends about 28 ft lbs on the caliper mounting bolts.
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-16-2011, 07:57 PM
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Talking coonass

Thanks for the tutorial... now that I am put out to pasture I have lots of time and not too much $$, With your help I'll change the pads myself.. Most helpful..
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-27-2011, 08:00 PM
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I just did this last night. Very easy.

Q: why remove the master cylinder cover?

Also, for what it's worth I didn't need a C-clamp - just firm finger pressure was needed to compress the pistons.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-27-2011, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarhack View Post
I just did this last night. Very easy.

Q: why remove the master cylinder cover?

Also, for what it's worth I didn't need a C-clamp - just firm finger pressure was needed to compress the pistons.
I found the same on my 650. Much easier than on a car.

Also, I found it to be a huge PITA to re-install the front wheel, because it involved trying to hold the wheel in the air with 1 hand, wedge the right-side bracket in with my 2nd hand, wedge the speed sensor in place with my 3rd hand (since the wire is way too short to be inserted into the hub until JUST before it gets to the fork), and a 4th hand to insert the axle.

If they had made my speed sensor wire about 1" longer, I'd have been able to slap it into the hub before I tried to line the wheel up the fork, and the job would have been MUCH easier.

DL1k may be different.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-27-2011, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rconti View Post
I found the same on my 650. Much easier than on a car.

Also, I found it to be a huge PITA to re-install the front wheel, because it involved trying to hold the wheel in the air with 1 hand, wedge the right-side bracket in with my 2nd hand, wedge the speed sensor in place with my 3rd hand (since the wire is way too short to be inserted into the hub until JUST before it gets to the fork), and a 4th hand to insert the axle.

If they had made my speed sensor wire about 1" longer, I'd have been able to slap it into the hub before I tried to line the wheel up the fork, and the job would have been MUCH easier.

DL1k may be different.
Don't try to hold the wheel in the air. Use wedges to do the work for you. The installation is very easy that way.


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post #6 of 19 Old 07-27-2011, 10:46 PM
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It looks like the original pads had quite a bit of life left in them.




1979 GL1000 Goldwing / 1992 Nighthawk 250 - Baby
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-27-2011, 11:28 PM
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I've often resorted to using my foot to elevate the front wheel enough to get the axle installed......It looks bizarre from people walking by, but really, you only need a good foot, and a bit 'o luck.

Also, did you inspect your pins for galling? If so, how did you address this?

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post #8 of 19 Old 07-28-2011, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janiceclanfield View Post
It looks like the original pads had quite a bit of life left in them.
+1

Aren't the little "V" markings you can see when the pad is on edge, the wear indicators? As long as they are there you have pad life???
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-28-2011, 10:43 AM
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You left out the part about the bit of oil and wirebrush work on the c-clamp.

The old pads are OK down to 1 mm thickness of friction material.

Thanks for the write up. After the calipers are reinstalled with Loctite on the bolt threads, the brake lever needs to be squeezed several times to position the pads against the discs, and the brake fluid level checked.* It is indeed a truly interesting experience to take on of the first ride with new pads without squeezing them against the disc first! New pads need a break in, so brake gently, then moderately several times before you might have a need for max braking.

*It is normal for the brake fluid level to drop as the pads wear. More fluid is residing in the calipers and less in the reservoir as the friction material wears down. The fluid level with somewhat worn brakes doesn't need to be at the top of the bulls-eye window, and should be up there with new pads. All brake fluids of the same DOT category are more alike than different and can be mixed. Don't be hyped by "synthetic" on the label...all are synthetic; there is nothing natural about polyglycol ether. DOT4 fluid is right for our brakes. Always buy the smallest bottles of fluid and use a new, sealed bottle when flushing the brakes.

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Last edited by PTRider; 07-28-2011 at 10:50 AM.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-24-2012, 02:30 PM
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i changed pads before . . . i think . . my memory is failing me (which is really sad considering my age) . . but it was like five years ago on an Intruder.

This thread reassured me that I should be able to accomplish this with my limited motorcycle maintenance abilities . .. . although i do not currently own any loctite. . hmmm

. . . still think i'll invite my R1 buddy over who constantly is tearing apart/reassembling/upgrading his bike
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