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Discussion Starter #1
I heard a horrible squeaking from the rear yesterday and decided to replace the rear brake pads. Using frostypuck's excellent guide I went from this:



to this:



I've re-assembled everything and torqued it to spec. I also cleaned and greased the pins as has been recommended in other threads.

My question about how much I should expect the rear wheel to spin: if I pop the bike up on the centrestand, start it up and put it in first, the wheel turns fine. If I then let the wheel stop turning on its own and put it neutral, how easily should the rear wheel spin when turned by hand?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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There is no way to establish a parameter for that. There are too many variables. Put a finger on the axle end and spin the wheel. If you feel a rumble, replace the bearings. Disc brakes do not retract. The seals may put a slight pressure on the pistons but it's the variations in the rotor that push the pads back. All you can really do is clean the calipers, use a little brake lube on the sliding parts, check for wear in the moving parts and for even pad wear.
 

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I just put a new set of ebc pads on my rear.

On the stand idling in nuetral my rear wheel spins slowly. When I pull in the clutch it slows to a stop in about 3-4 revolutions.


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Discussion Starter #4
I just put a new set of ebc pads on my rear.

On the stand idling in neutral my rear wheel spins slowly. When I pull in the clutch it slows to a stop in about 3-4 revolutions.
Thanks for that data point! :hurray:

The pads I installed were the EBC FA174HH pads. When I put the bike up on the centerstand, in neutral the rear wheel does not spin at all. If it put it in first, the wheel spins, but immediately stops when I pull in the clutch. :confused:

All you can really do is clean the calipers, use a little brake lube on the sliding parts, check for wear in the moving parts and for even pad wear.
Is it worth riding around a bit with the pads in their current state and let the rotors wear down some of the material, or should the wheel just simply spin more freely from the get-go and I should diagnose this further?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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The pads I installed were the EBC FA174HH pads. When I put the bike up on the centerstand, in neutral the rear wheel does not spin at all. If it put it in first, the wheel spins, but immediately stops when I pull in the clutch.
So the question is whether the wheel should immediately stop. It should not.

Is it worth riding around a bit with the pads in their current state and let the rotors wear down some of the material, or should the wheel just simply spin more freely from the get-go and I should diagnose this further?
Give it a mile or two. See if the bike slows more quickly than normal when pulling in the clutch. Then see if the wheel still stops immediately as above. If it does, see if you can rock the caliper around to lessen the contact. There needs to be room for the piston to retract. Also make sure the wheel doesn't stop with the caliper removed. You may have to rebuild the caliper.
 

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The lopsided wear on your old pad suggests something is misaligned. I had a dealer cross a thread and fit my rear caliper wonky - pad looked just like yours. Worth checking.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The lopsided wear on your old pad suggests something is misaligned. I had a dealer cross a thread and fit my rear caliper wonky - pad looked just like yours. Worth checking.
Yep, sorry, I never posted an update. I took my bike to the dealer and they confirmed that the PO (or maybe me, they were quite diplomatic about it) had crossthreaded the front 14mm bolt. They were able to set it right and I will be following belvdr's advice from this thread next time I change my rear pads:

Lesson learned: to remove rear brake caliper, you only need to remove the rear bolt, flip the caliper up and toward the front, and then slide out from the wheel.
 

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Brake caliper piston operation

Caliper pistons are supported in their bores by flexible seals ( one or two), which sit in grooves cast ( or machined in) the bore. The seal has a slight grip on the piston ( tight fit ) and when pressure is applied to the caliper the the piston moves deforming the seal slightly. This movement forces brake pad into contact with brake rotor. When pressure is released the seal returns to it's original shape and pulls the piston back slightly.

This is why cleaning calipers of brake residue at each tire change and changing brake fluid every couple of years is such a key part of brake maintanance. Failure to do so may eventually cause the piston to stick in it's bore and not retract causing overhreating and /or premature pad and rotor wear.

As for caliper cleaning I remove the pads, noting original install and using a catch pan or bucket for containing the mess which follows do a vigerous scrubbing with a toothbrush and dilute Simple Green or suitable detergent then followup with water rinse and dry. Spray brake cleaners sometimes contain chlorinated solvents which can be pretty tough on piston seals in my opinion so I avoid these.
 
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