How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com

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post #1 of 171 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

I have seen a few posts regarding excessive brake rub lately.

This is BAD. It wears pads, and over heats the braking system and can lead to premature brake fade on a race track. It also hurts top speed on a track, and can cause pads to glaze over, as well as excessive rotor wear in an extreme case.

Some light "scrubbing" noise is normal. There is nothing that mechanically pulls the pads back from the rotors other than the piston seals retracting some. You should be able to lift the front wheel and spin it with a good firm spin and it make a few rotations before it stops. If it seems to slow rather quickly, then your pistons are sticking in the calipers or something is hanging up in the braking system.

HOW TO!

first pull one caliper. ONLY one. DO NOT remove the other at the same time, as their is likely not enough fluid to compress both calipers at the same time and trying to do so can put air into the system at the reservoir

Pump the brakes until the pads in the caliper you have removed touch each other. Remove the pads then and inspect the pad guide pins for wear (wear on these pins can cause pad hangup as well). DO NOT PUMP MORE. You risk blowing the pistons out of the caliper. This is bad.

Using a good cleaner (NOT brake cleaner in my opinion, I use simple green) and a tooth brush clean all the grime off the pistons. Wash the simple green out with clean water. Simple green if not washed back out can cause oxidation on aluminum. But I have WAY better results with it than I do with any brake cleaner. Blow the calipers dry with air if you have it available once rinsed out.

One step I use, and you will be AMAZED at the results, is I use a dry teflon spray on the pistons.

Then collapse the pistons back into the calipers. Push the pistons ALL THE WAY back into the calipers, but be careful that while doing so, you dont push other pistons OUT of the calipers. This can be done with just your fingers. Do no use tools to do so, as you risk marring the piston sides and faces.

Make sure everything is dry. Pay special attention to INSIDE the cups of the pistons, that they are not holding any fluids still. I like to rotate the calipers around to be sure they are not holding fluids.

Then install the pads back into the caliper, and install the caliper onto the fork. Pump the brakes back up to bring that set of pads back to the rotors.

Repeat for opposite side.

Your wheel will spin VERY freely then if done properly


*OPTIONAL* if you are okay with the pads sometimes making some noise over bumps in the road, remove the spring plate that is across the guide pins. This is commonly called a "anti judder spring" You can also remove the squeal plates on the backs of the pads, but the pads obviously might squeal. Neither of those plates, or the spring, are needed for braking. The only things they are for is to keep things quiet. In fact I found the squeal plates to be galling the faces of my pucks before I did remove them.





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Last edited by Moto_Joe; 08-30-2011 at 09:32 PM.
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post #2 of 171 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

When you are done with this, It would not hurt to bleed your braking system and change the fluid.

To do this in the best way I have personally found, look here

https://www.gixxer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283074

Also look for my "front end.alignment" thread to help with brake drag too.




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post #3 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 03:05 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

Joe, what kind of dry teflon spray do you use?
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post #4 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

The Dupont stuff that I use on my chain believe it or not



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post #5 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 03:27 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

I believe it When you said you use teflon spray, dupont chain lube came to my mind instantly, but I decided to double check.
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post #6 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

As long as it is a dry spray it is good.

I do have another teflon spray made by PB blaster, that is not "dry". It seems to go on more like lithium grease. DO NOT use anything like that.



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post #7 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 04:55 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

Like this?: http://www.amazon.com/DuPont-Non-Stick-Dry-Film-Lubricant-DNS610101/dp/B003UTX0R8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315000273&sr=8-1
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post #8 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 03:36 AM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto_Joe View Post
The Dupont stuff that I use on my chain believe it or not
I started to use it on my chain and like it a lot. I'm still having a sort of a problem with my calipers. 1 month and 1k mile ago I've noticed that pistons in my left caliper were offset, so I rebuilt my calipers and checked rotor runout, although this was an rather an alignment issue and I made my wheel line up straight using one of your threads. Anyway, later I noticed my rotors were not heating up equally, just like in one of some threads before. I basically did the same thing as was suggested there, i.e., sanded down the brake pads and cleaned rotor surface. Still not heating up equally, and I noticed that some pistons are still sticky. So I opened up the calipers again, inside is perfect, seal groves are clean with no dirt, pistons look fine. So I wonder what else could it be? Sliding pins were also replaced with stainless ones, and it's just pistons themselves which don't want to move evenly. Could it happen because brake pads aren't new (8kmiles on them) and got slightly tapered because before the rebuild, some pistons were probably stuck big time, and now because of this taper some pistons move slightly not perpendicular to the brake disc and that causes them to get stuck?
P.S. I got 2 line stainless brake line setup, lines aren't clogged.
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post #9 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

People reading this, please reply if you liked how it worked for you



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post #10 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 07:01 AM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

will give this a try tonight or tomorrow nice write up

can I pick up the duplont teflon spray at a place like advanced auto?

Does the teflon break down over time due to the heat, and this process have to be repeated based on track time?
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post #11 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

I get it from Lowes. Dupont brand.

I dont know if it breaks down or not. I am sure it goes away since it is not a treatment like a cooking pan, but rather sprayed on. I re-apply each time I clean my calipers, which is nearly every time I have my front wheel off.

I am a bit anal about my brakes though



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post #12 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 08:46 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

You caught one thing I should have been doing all along..

"Inspecting the caliper pins for wear.."

I am in the middle of cleaning em and putting em back on right now as I just changed my rear and front tire and spark plugs and fork fluid.. Still gotta clean the filter and safety wire everything back up.

Any idea of any aftermarket ones or am I going to have to spring for OEM ones at $21 a pop?
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post #13 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 08:47 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

Oh..and nice writeup BTW!
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post #14 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 09:16 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

Are you talking about OEM caliper slider pins? Those are way overpriced, try looking at stainless ones from tastynuts, lot less expensive.
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post #15 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

Yes, get the tastynuts (proboltUSA) stainless ones.

I get the pre-drilled hex head ones rather than the allen head.



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post #16 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 10:58 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

Predrilled? Hells yes.. Thanks guys.
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post #17 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 11:12 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

If you keep up with semi-regular maintenance of the calipers this will keep them in good shape. However, if you severly neglect them I find a full teardown is neccessary to get them back to like new conditions.

I did this on an 86 GSXR-1100 and 04 GSXR-600 set of front calipers. In the case with these the calipers were completely caked with crud to the point that some had made it past the outer dust seals. In breaking calipers completely down (popping out the pistons, splitting the calipers) I found that the fluid back there was slightly contaminated with fine grit.

The outer piston surfaces can be scrubbed with Scotchbrite without fear of scratching/marring the surface and it will get even the nastiest caked on shit that will not come off with Simple Green and a toothbrush. Also popping out all the seals and cleaning them with hot soapy water was necessary. You can replace them, but as long as they are not torn up and showing signs of leaking they can be reused (I've done it a couple times without issue).

The whole process is not THAT difficult (just be slow and methodical, your also need T40 I think Torx driver to split the calipers), and it will return your brakes to like new condition......and it's amazing how used to crappy brakes you become over time and how different they will feel when they are simply working as they should be. I would coincide it with a time that you are planning to flush and bleed the calipers anyway, and/or replacing brake lines.....since you already have a reason to drain the system of fluid.


........the idea of course is to maintain them enough somewhat regularly so they don't get to that point.

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Last edited by SPL170db; 09-16-2011 at 11:15 PM.
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post #18 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 01:07 AM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

I maintain mine regularly, very regularly. I hate brake dust. I always use a scotch brite pad wherever I can reach easily and a tootherbrush everywhere else. I have only pulled my calipers apart once and cleaned them after I had them lock up on me about a year after I got the bike. Not enough to throw me, but they wouldn't open back up until I had totally stopped. The issue turned out to be a really warped rotor.
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post #19 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 04:01 PM
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

couldn't find any teflon spray exaclty, but got some graphite spray..leaves no film or residue. Dry spray.

Will give this a try tomorrow
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post #20 of 171 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How To Clean Calipers and cure sticky pistons or brake rubbing

May work.

You can get teflon spray if all else fails in a bicycle section of wal mart. But should have it at any hardware store.



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