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Discussion Starter #1
GREETINGS -- these are my notes for my first rear caliper brake pad replacement.

supplies: new caliper brake pads, brakleen brake cleaner, silicone, permatex anti-seize lube; reuse existing brake pad insulators & retainers

according to service manual, no need to remove the caliper bracket to replace brake pads; however, caliper is often removed to clean with brakleen and lubricate with silicone.

brake cleaner is compatible with the caliper rubber parts. read brakleen instructions; protect non-caliper parts from spray & use newspaper or cardboard to catch excess. brakleen will evaporate

after removing pads or caliper, do not engage the brake or else a caliper rebuild may be required!

use permatex anti-seize lube on screw hole for the screw that protects the brake pad pin

loosen the brake pad mounting pin before loosening the 2 caliper mounting bolts

the rear brake insulator & retainers are reused, unless you buy an OEM kit; reuse or save the insulators & retainers

BEFORE pushing the brake piston back into position 1) clean the sides of the piston & inside of caliper with brakleen, 2) loosen the cap for the rear brake master cylinder, 3) push the piston back w/ a c-clamp or by reinstalling the old brake pads and then leveraging the piston into position w/a screw driver

THEN apply silicone to the sliding surface of the piston — the top edge of the piston; youtube shows application of silicone inside caliper at brake hose and bleeder valve connections; use silicone sparingly to prevent contaminating the brake pads

apply silicone to the brake pad mounting pin, mounting bolts & rubber boots, especially the rearmost bolt/boot — see the service manual illustration

apply silicone to the brake pad retainer surface that comes into contact with the piston (& also the outside surface of the brake pad on the other one).

apply silicone to the brake pad retainer/mounting clip at the lower-front part of the caliper

install brake pads on the caliper with the brake pad mounting pin. then install the caliper with the new pads into the teeth of the caliper mounting clip, then begin to connect the caliper forward-most mounting bolt & reach in from the chain side of the wheel to fully insert the brake pad into the mounting clip.

secure the rear mounting bolt, etc....and you are done.
 

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"BEFORE pushing the brake piston back into position 1) clean the sides of the piston & inside of caliper with brakleen, 2) loosen the cap for the rear brake master cylinder, 3) push the piston back w/ a c-clamp or by reinstalling the old brake pads and then leveraging the piston into position w/a screw driver"

I would change that step. If the rear master cylinder is full, and you loosen the cap, brake fluid will run down the outside of the master as you push the rear caliper piston back in its bore.
I suction the fluid from the master cylinder reservoir OR pinch off the line between the master cylinder and the caliper, then open the caliper bleeder and push the piston back in its bore. Some ABS systems dont take kindly to fluid being forced backwards through the system.
When replacing brake pads I always flush the old fluid out and replace with new. An air-powered brake bleeder tool makes this a 3-5 minute event. Be sure to return the reservoir cap seal to its fully retracted position.
 

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..... THEN apply silicone to the sliding surface of the piston — the top edge of the piston .....
Lube the bore of the caliper. That's where the sliding occurs. Realistically, you'll end up lubing both sufaces, but on the piston side it's the rings that do the sliding, not the piston. You wanna lube up in the bore to where the rings are.
 

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Since the bike is a 2012 it makes sense to flush out the old brake fluid, front and back brakes. Easy 1 man job, easier with a special speed bleeder nipple, forget the brand name.

Mark
 

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Since the bike is a 2012 it makes sense to flush out the old brake fluid, front and back brakes. Easy 1 man job, easier with a special speed bleeder nipple, forget the brand name.

Mark
Goodridge, SB7100 x 2 for the front and SB8125 for the rear. Easiest bleed ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MAZ -- your response hit the nail on the head. actually, i did not loosen the cap of the rear brake master cylinder because i did not want to take off the side panel and because i saw lots of youtubes, including Lemmy at Revzilla, that skipped that step. i believe extra fluid got pushed up into the master cylinder and the fluid in the cylinder is now probably past the "full" level. i will check that tomorrow. what kind of problem can result from skipping that step? next time i will not skip that step.

after i completed the job, i adjusted the break pedal, not the break light, because the brake light would not go OFF. i went for 20 drive in the neighborhood. everything appeared to be fine, except for the VERY HOT REAR BRAKE ROTOR, whereas the front rotors were just warm. the rear wheel spins freely enough when it is up on the center stand. is it normal for rotors to get HOT?

BikeHigh -- to lube the bore of the brake caliper i would have to remove the piston! Yikes!

mpom & BikeHigh -- i will get up the courage to bleed the brakes (& flush the radiator) at the next 2 year interval. thanks for the tips.

OTHER STUFF -- instead of using blue locklite on the threads for the 2 bolts, the brake pad pin & the pin cover -- i carefully applied permatex anti-seize to the threads only. that way, i could snug things up tightly without worries. comments?

the oem rear brake always felt weak to me. i practically had to stand up and stomp on the pedal to get an ABS reaction. today, i adjusted the brake pedal so that it will travel further down before it fully engages. too soon to say, but i think I am getting a better feel & feedback from the rear brake. maybe the brakes feel better because i cleaned the rotors with brakeleen and installed new brake pads. not sure.

the rear brake replacement taught me how & where to use the brakeleen & silicone, especially after harsh road conditions/chemicals in the winter. after i finished up with the rear brakes today, i sprayed the front calipers & rotors, applied silicone to 2 pins on each of the front calipers, and also applied a bit of silicone to the rubber parts. the rubber boots on the front calipers look very flimsy. i will want to replace them when i do the front brakes.

there was still plenty of life left in the rear brakes. next time, i will wait longer before i change them out. the wear on the brake pads was not perfectly even front to back and side to side. there was a divot on the piston side pad, on the top edge near the pin. maybe a rock hit it there. the rotor smooth, but there is a visible line on the rotor that correlates with the divot.

is this a great sport or what? thanks for all your help stromtroopers.
 

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No, there is enough of a gap between the piston and the bore to get a narrow tool of your own making in there and spread/pack some silicone grease in there. Cut a bamboo skewer, a zip tie, whatever you can come up with, that is relatively stiff and won't scratch the bore.
 

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I agree with flushing/bleeding the brakes at every change of pads, or 2 yr intervals if pads last longer than that. Waiting longer than that could cause expensive damage to the system. It is a very easy job and fluid is inexpensive.
 

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Jorge, remember one thing...YouTube isnt working on YOUR bike, and isnt going to be the one to fix it.
It's possible to have enough fluid in the reservoir to apply pressure to the caliper if the conditions are right. There is a high and low level markings on the reservoir for a reason.
You dont adjust the brake pedal to change the on/off points of the switch. You can change the pedal height to better suit your ergonomics, but the brake light switch is adjustable all by itself.
My Suzuki service manual doesnt show blue loctite or antiseize to be used on the pad retaining pin bolt. But it does show torque specs for all pad and caliper mounting bolts. "Snug" doesnt cut it.
I flush and change my brake fluid every year regardless of mileage. The master cylinder and caliper(s) you save may be your own. Fluid is inexpensive, the labor time is minimal, and new fluid prolongs the life of other brake hydraulic components. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, that is, it attracts moisture, which is black death to a brake or hydraulic system.

When you change parts like brake pads in this case, you have to look at the job as though you are renewing a system. Anything you skip or miss can compromise the end result. This is akin to replacing your car's noisy water pump and not sending out the rust-filled radiator for cleaning. This is not meant to say to rebuild or replace every single component of your brake system, but attend to the expendables like brake fluid flushing and bleeding.
I wouldnt be afraid of bleeding, I'd be concerned that your brake fluid isnt all it should be.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
BikeHigh -- thanks for explaining how to get lube down inside the piston bore to the piston ring.

locoblanco -- i will study up on the mechanics of bleeding/flushing the brakes. the shop charged me a great deal for that job and it is something that i should be able to handle without any trouble.

MAZ -- thanks for explaining the ins & outs of the brake pedal adjustment & the brake pedal light adjustment. i'm glad that the brake pedal light would not go OFF because it caused me to adjust the brake pedal which was set too high after i had lowered the pegs a couple of years ago. also, the brake light will now go OFF.

i will definitely check the fill level on the rear brake master cylinder and also tighten the bolts according to torque specs for pad and caliper mounting bolts. fyi, it appears the factory put a dab of loclite on these. plus, a couple of folks on the internet had trouble with these threads getting stripped &/or seizing. the hex head allen wrench caliper bolt was tricky for me to thread back in, but i was forewarned about that and proceeded very carefully -- to protect the rubber boot and to avoid stripping the threads.

since my last posting, i've learned that brake rotors get very hot. still, my rear rotor was much hotter than my front rotors. maybe that is because the new pads are getting broken-in. i saw a post from GW explaining that unlike auto brake pads, motobike break pads should be broken-in gently.

happy trails.
 

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Jorge, the only time I had an issue with caliper pin bolts was with a Triumph Speed Triple where the previous owner use a US Allen wrench instead of the required Metric bit. The Allen head had rounded out, but the new owner had another caliper with the bolt on hand.
If you have a problem in the future with Loctite on the bolt, getting it started, etc, run a die or thread chaser on the bolt to remove the loctite or burrs, and run a tap into the receiving threads. Then reapply the loctite. I use a bench grinder with a fine wire wheel on the bolt threads to finish the threads and ease installation. If you use an Allen bit and long(12") extension, it'll be easier to start the threads straight than using a regular Allen wrench, even the long end. NEVER use a universal or wobble extension on an Allen or Torx bolt.
 

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Jorge, bleeding is easy. The simplest method is to pump the lever, (or pedal), and while holding it tight, loosen the bleeder valve just enough to allow fluid to flow as you slowly pull the lever all the way to the bar, hold it there, close the valve. Pump and repeat. Watch the level in the master cylinder, don't let it go empty. As you put fresh fluid in, and continue to bleed, when you see clean fluid come out of the bleeder you're done. You should see no bubbles in the fluid, that would indicate air in the system.
Be sure to cover any parts that fluid will squirt on, when you open the valve it will shoot out in a stream. You should also siphon the old fluid from the master and fill with fresh fluid before starting the process, it will go faster.
There are various vacuum tools, speed bleeders, etc., to facilitate the process, but that is the basic procedure.
If you have ABS it's a good idea to find some gravel or dirt, activate the ABS a few times, and bleed a couple final squirts to make sure all the old stuff is out.
Finally, after it's all tight, use a pipe cleaner or tightly rolled tissue to clean the hole in the center of the bleeder valve. Any residual fluid here could seep out and make you think there is a leak when there is not.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
locoblanco -- wow. i'll add this info to my "how to bleed the brakes" file. you make it sound very doable. of course, i would do the process you describe separately for the front and the rear master cylinders, and also each caliper has its own bleeder valve, correct? for the 2012+ 650 that would be 2 valves in the front and 1 in the rear. any particular order for the front valves? one at a time or both at the same time, little by little? please recommend a specific speed bleeder that's easy to install & work with, and let me know if there are any tips for installing the bleeders, similar to your tip about cleaning out the center of the bleeder valve. any reason why i shouldnt activate the ABS on the asphalt versus dirt or gravel -- as part of the process for bleeding the valves? i sometimes practice using the ABS for short distances at 10 - 20 mph on the asphalt. maybe i should quit doing that.
 

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Jorge, dont look at this as bleeding your brakes--rather, look at it as flushing your brake hydraulic ,system, repreplacing the fluid, THEN bleeding your brakes, that is, purging the system of air.
Use the recommended DOT4 fluid, and crack open the banjo bolts at the master cylinders as you apply a little pressure to the lever or pedal. Air likes to hide in these fittings even when bleeding through the caliper bleeder valves. After you crack the fitting open, apply slight brake pressure and look for bubbles at the end of the line where it meets the caliper(s). Finally, bleed at the bleeder screw. If you can, suction out the brake fluid from the reservoirs, then refill with fresh fluid. The idea here is to use fresh fluid to displace the old fluid. Do not let a reservoir go dry,you'll have the possibility of introducing air into the system whiich is exactly what you DONT want.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
MAZ -- i will look at this closely on the moto when it quits raining and then get back to you. i'll do my homework and then get back to you. thanks for sharing your expertise.
 

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The flushing/bleeding process is actually much easier to do than it is to explain. One valve at a time, doesn't matter which you do first for the front.
As for activating the ABS, it's just easier on a loose surface, don't have to get going very fast so probably safer too. I personally don't use any special equipment, just pump the lever and loosen/tighten the valves. Nothing wrong with the fancy stuff if you want to use it, just personal preference.
 

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Speed bleeders were referenced above. Installing them will save a lot of back and forth loosening and tightening the bleeders. Makes it very much a one man job.
 

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Bleeding brakes on a motorcycle is a one-man job anyway. A hand on the lever or pedal, the other on the wrench, and that's all there is. The other aids make the job faster and cleaner, but are certainly doable without.
I prefer vacuum-bleeding. Suction out the master, fill with fresh, suction from the caliper until the reservoir is just above empty, refill with fresh, repeat until you have fresh fluid being suctioned from the caliper. I finish by holding light pressure on the lever or pedal, than beginning at the master, crack loose the brake line's banjo bolt,a nd watch for bubbles, then retighten the banjo bolt. Repeat at the caliper end of the line. Finally, apply light pressure and open the bleeder to expel any remaining bubbles. A box-end 6-point combination wrench is preferable to a worn-out 12-point wrench. Not really necessary, but I use dedicated metric 6-point brake bleeding wrenches. Encounter a rounded-off bleeder screw and you'll see the need. Flushing and bleeding both systems is about a 5-10 minute job at most. This is what I use, and I ain't in a hurry:
https://www.tooltopia.com/otc-tools-8104a.aspx?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=PLA&scid=scbplpOTC8104A&sc_intid=OTC8104A
 

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Discussion Starter #19
locoblanco, BikeHigh & MAZ -- first of all, i finished up the brake pad replacement as directed by MAZ. to access the rear master cylinder the service manual wants me to remove the frame cover and the frame side cover. instead, i just loosened the frame side cover and reached in to remove the lid and gasket from the m.c. then, i used a rolled up paper towel to soak up the excess fluid that resulted when i pushed the brake piston back into the master cylinder. second, i went back and used the torque wrench on the 2 bolts and the pin that i removed when i replaced the brake pads. it was good to practice using the torque wrench.

the service manual has a great deal to say about how to do the brake flush, etc. i will spend the next couple of weeks reviewing that info and compare with the info you've provided...and then start a new thread regarding my understanding of all that.

my more pressing QUESTION concerns the Eastern Beaver H4 dual relay w/ one Hi beam cut switch. i installed that last spring and everything seems to be working fine. when i'm running the Lo beams, and switch the Hi beam cut....it dims one of my Lo beams and frees up juice for the heated gear.
if i am running the Hi beams and switch the Hi beam cut...it dims the Hi beam on the same side.

i was surprised that there was any dimming when i use the Hi cut while operating the Lo beams, but it certainly does what i want it to do...and causes the volt meter to go from red to green when i am using heated gear. i'm guessing that motobike headlights power both the Lo beams bulb and the Hi beam bulbs when in the Lo beam setting; and then when you switch to Hi beam...it sends even more juice to the Hi beam bulbs.

i mentioned this to jim at Eastern Beaver and he replied....."dimming is caused by a bad ground." i messed with the electrics a bit and then decided to let it go. maybe jim didnt understand my question...or something. i also posted the same question here at Stromtrooper, but nobody got back to me on that. oh well. there you have it.

thanks again for all your help with the brake pads.
 

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Jorge, without a wiring diagram of your lighting system and whatever you have wired in with the Eastern Beaver stuff, I can't tell you what, if anything is wrong. BUT...if you have power to a bulb, then the other wire is a ground. A loose ground or poor ground connection will cause a dim bulb...as will a resistance in the power circuit as well.
EVERYTHING is able to be diagnosed..
 
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