What to Clean My Brakes With...

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Nailhead, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    The last ride I took was a mudfest, and it left some sort of residue on my front brakes that make them almost useless: it's like they're soaking wet all the time.

    What would clean rotors & pads, and restore them to their pre-mud effectiveness? Solvent? ScotchBrite?

    i'd post a photo, but I won't see the bike until Thursday.
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  2. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    Well, um, I'd start with brake cleaning solvent. Get the stuff in the red can. You can tell if it's the good stuff by the label on the back: "known by Kalifornia to give rats cancer"

    Soak the brake pads with it and rough them up with 80 grit. Heat them with a good heat gun, cool and repeat. Get them good and hot. If there's oil in them you'll see it bubble out. I've recovered a few pads that were oiled by leaking fork seals. Doesn't work all the time. Do it well ventilated because heating clorinated solvents makes phosgene gas, called Mustard Gas in WW One.

    Rough up the disks with 80 grit and brake cleaner. Don't use power tools, you may grind a bad spot.

    Ride it and do some repeated stops. Don't let it get real hot. You are coating the disks with brake material. It may take 10 or more stops for it to come back. About 100 miles to get to max. If it doesn't work, get new pads and rough the disks again.
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  3. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    Thanks, Zube, but it's not an oil-based problem, so do you still think I need to go through the heating process?

    I like the 80-grit idea: gets things done. :evil
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  4. ADVill

    ADVill Been here awhile

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    Maybe it's your brake.... Fluid. Mushy feeling? Pads don't get damp. I've run hours of ISDE Qualifier in the rain. They don't get wet...
    #4
  5. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    No, they feel same as ever, just ineffective. I just need an idea of how to remove the weird hardened masonry glaze from rotors & pads (see "residue" above).

    I wish I had a pic-- it really is hard to describe.

    Zuber's suggestion was the seed of an idea: 80-grit used flat on a metal plate to clean pads, then a Very Fine ScotchBrite to polish rotors. Any bad side to this I might not be seeing?
    #5
  6. uk_mouse

    uk_mouse Aquatic adventurer

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    I just use a wire brush on the pads.
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  7. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    Noted. I'll try almost anything at this point. I like brakes.
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  8. rossguzzi

    rossguzzi 990 Adv.

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    I had a MK1 Lemans Guzzi once. Rode it to Philip Island to see Superbikes. At South Australian border it started to rain. By the time we got to PI the rain was sidways and they canx the second race. Meeting was a wash out.
    I had no brakes untill we left Victoria and got a good day of no rain.
    So some pads can get effected by water. (this had no mud)
    No amount of applying brakes while moving changed things.

    Wife was not impressed years later when I told her !!!
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  9. stupot

    stupot Been here awhile

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    wd40 :evil
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  10. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    We'll take turns-- you're first.

    I've got a long ride planned for Saturday, and I'm not going to use those wheels (knobbies). I've got new rotors for the set I'll run (Mefos) so I'll just sand the pads with 80-grit & be on my way. That way I can procrastinate on the pottery-glazed rotors, which is really how I deal with most things.
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  11. woodchuckexc

    woodchuckexc Been here awhile

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    Use some 220grit sand paper. Use an orbital sander on rotors and place the paper on a flat surface and hand sand the pads. Id also flush the fluid. I prefer having fresh. Its cheap and easy.
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  12. kag

    kag Wander Lust

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    In the time it takes you to mess around cleaning pads.....other than just hosing them off with high pressure water.....you could change the pads.

    Cheap and easy
    #12
  13. pdxmotorhead

    pdxmotorhead Long timer

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    Have you bought pads for your KTM already?? You might remove the cheap bit,, easy YES. Unless someone knows a secret source for the sintered brembos for me? :D I just started shopping,, and so far not finding a brand pad for much under 100 for the front..
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  14. kag

    kag Wander Lust

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    I do not buy KTM nor Brembos brand.......have a look on ebay
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  15. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    HH...anything.
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  16. armourbl

    armourbl Adventure Life

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    Did you pull the calibers and remove the pads? Could be mud packed around the pads preventing them from moving properly. I know on my mud ride the calipers were packed solid.

    [​IMG]

    ben
    #16
  17. TheRog

    TheRog Dirtylittle funhaver

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    I have never heard of mud doing that , but brake cleaner, and sand paper works wonders
    I can't beleive the mud didn't rip the front fender off your bike. I get it now. WE don't have mud like that on the left coast.
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  18. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    Nope, don't use a wire brush. It will remove the soft material and leave the metal particles (on the semi-metalic pads).

    Nope, don't use fine scotchbrite on the disks, you need a rougher surface. A highly polished surface won't coat with material and it will squeal.
    #18
  19. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    Apparently, this whole mess was a confluence of completely disparate events happening coincidentally: the right side (in the direction of travel) spacer is just undersized enough to allow a portion of that brake caliper to rub on the rotor & leave a deposit of aluminum.

    The shitty braking action was the front brakes mysteriously reverting to their lousy performance of 3 years ago: pump them 4-6 times before they work. WTF??

    As near as I can tell, neither had anything to do with the other, or mud, or anything else-- it was all just one big fun coincidence.

    A new right-side spacer is on order.

    2 motorcycles down with shit front brakes. The restoration of my faith rests on 4LS & Benelli.

    Cocksuckers.
    #19
  20. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    Or shitty mechanics.

    Bet you didn't have the front wheel installed correctly and it has nothing to do with the spacer. Review how to align the forks.
    #20