How To: Remove and replace front brake pads on 2009-2012 ZX6R - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 01-17-2014, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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How To: Remove and replace front brake pads on 2009-2012 ZX6R

First off: This is such an easy job that a write-up is probably overkill. With that being said let's do this.

For the past two weeks or so I have been hearing a slight grinding-type noise when stopping; it only happened during the last 2-3 feet. I could also feel it a little bit through the brake lever.

I recommend downloading the service manual. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Again, this is a really simple task. You will need is a #5 metric allen wrench, and to be honest you could probably do the entire job with just the allen wrench.

It's so easy that you should be following the service manual recommendations (below).

This isn't like your car where you hear a squeak by design when it's time for new pads; you have to pull the pads out and look at them. The service manual states that pad thickness less than 1mm is unserviceable. You’ll need a caliper to measure them, but it’s pretty obvious when they are worn to nothing. You’ll see some of that below.

Each caliper has two allen pad pins on the side. They're metric #5. Each one holds two pads and goes through a metal spring-like clip which is on top of the pads.

When you pull it out it will look something like this:

Here's the little metal clip-type thing covering the two pads.

Now you can pull the pads out. Here I am using the allen wrench to fish the pad out. Sorry it's blurry.

After everything was taken out I cleaned everything up with brake cleaner. I also discovered the source of the sound. This was the worse one:

So, back in the car, drive to Cycle Gear, and bought some Galfer sintered brake pads.

Replacing the pads is as simple as repeating the steps outlined above in reverse. One of the things I failed to capture in a photo is pushing the piston back with a screwdriver so the new pads will go back in between the disk and piston. As you can see I got the new pads in correctly.

If you push the pad down too far down you’ll see it peeking out of the bottom. Push it back up until the holes all align.

Now put the clip back on top of the pads gently. It only fits in one way; here you can see from the shape which way it goes.

Here I used one my thumb to press the pin in while pushing down on the clip with my index finger...gently. You don’t want to push the pads down too far and mess up the alignment.

When you tighten the pad pins they should be torqued to 17 Newton/meters or 13 ft/lbs. I need to buy a torque wrench as I should be doing this stuff the right way.

Now… on to some questions I have for you savvy folks.

EDIT: I received some answers to these via PM so I'll add them to this thread and respond in kind.

1. On both calipers the top two pads were in great condition, you could still quite clearly see the wear indicator lines (they disappear when the pad is worn below serviceable limits). When I pulled the bottom two pads, both the inboard and outboard pads were worn to almost nothing on both calipers. The photo above is the worst one, the other three weren't as bad. I only replaced these four and I put the ones that were still good back in the top where they were. Should I go ahead and replace them? This means I need to buy another 4 pads….

I was advised to replace ALL pads at the same time.

2. What would cause the uneven wear? It WAS consistently the bottom inboard and outboard pads on both calipers. I am going to bleed the brakes tonight and see if I get any bubbles, maybe there is air in the calipers and the liquid is pressing the bottom pistons of the calipers and an air bubble is on the top? Just a theory.

Uneven wear could be caused by sticking pistons. I find it odd that the top pistons on both calipers would be sticking, however I did liberally douche out the calipers with brake cleaner spray when I took the pads out. I should have documented this better. I will replace the other 4 pads and possibly get a caliper to measure them in the future.

3. During future inspections should I go ahead and rotate the pads, meaning if the bottoms are wearing faster than the top pads should I swap them to get them to wear evenly, similar to how tires should be rotated on a car?

Pads are not, according to the feedback I received, to be rotated like tires. Replace them all and address the uneven wear issue as a separate problem. Perhaps my next how-to will be the disassembly of stock Nissin calipers, cleaning, and replacement of the seals.

Feedback is most welcome, especially since this is probably the most important system on the bike.
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Last edited by Kozaru; 01-17-2014 at 07:56 PM. Reason: Received feedback via PM
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post #2 of 2 Old 01-17-2014, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Arizona
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Good info, thanks
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