DIY Caliper Rebuild - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-25-2015, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up DIY Caliper Rebuild

Things you will most likely need:

Socket Set w/ ratchet
Catch Can
Allen Head Sockets/Keys
Brake Fluid
Your Model Caliper Rebuild Kit
Knife
Small Flat Head Screwdriver
Needle Nose Pliers
Brake Cleaner
Electrical Tape
Rags

Over time brake dust and other mineral deposits get collected on the caliper pistons and under the seals squeezing on the pistons, causing your brakes to seize up or have difficulty moving. When this happens, its time for a rebuild. Make sure you don't re-use your old seals, remember, this is your brakes! Also very important, make sure you understand how your pressure seal goes in, put in the wrong way and you will lose your brake fluid and probably crash.

Ok, first you need to loosen up your caliper mounting bolts so that you can get them off quickly. Loosen up the pad retaining pins also while the calipers are still attached. Get your catch can ready and rags placed on the rim. Next you will need to loosen up the brake line banjo bolt attached to the caliper. Just loosen it up, but will will start to leak some. Take the caliper off and get over the catch can. Take the brake line off, making sure to retain the banjo bolt and washers, and how they attached. Let the fluid drain into catch can. Do this to both sides.


Take the reservoir cap off and let remaining fluid drain out, I like to put a bag over one side as I use the catch can for the other side. Use a rag to clean out the reservoir.


Now you can take the pad retaining pins out and the brake pads as well. Note if you will how they went in.


So get yourself a nice work area and protect it with newspaper, this will be messy. You need to take the bolts out holding the two sides of the caliper together. On mine I used a 5/8, 12 point socket I believe.


When you have the two sides apart, hopefully you have pistons sticking out of the caliper some. This is what you want to see.


Ok, now you want to take the small rubber seal that's setting between the two halves, take it out with a knife or small screwdriver. It's important here not to mar up the caliper while doing this, be careful here and when your taking out the other seals.


So now we are ready to take the pistons out. I suggest using needle nose pliers and taping them up good with electrical tape, we do not want to scratch up or bite into the pistons. You might want to twist and pull. I can't stress enough, don't damage the pistons. When you get them out, they will have fluid behind them. The first comes out and you can drain the fluid in the catch can for them both. Also if your pistons are not out enough to grab, then you can used compressed air to get them to come out, be careful not to use to much. And take precaution, they will fly out and become a projectile, wrap the rags around them to prevent killing yourself.


Ok so now you have all the pistons out. Run your fingers from the bottom towards the rim. You will feel the edge of the pressure seals on the most interior aspect of the seal. This is the correct way they need to go back in. It's time to take the dust seals and pressure seals out. The dust seals will be towards the outside, just beneath the rim, and the pressure seal will be under that, about midway down. In the image, the dust seals are hard to see, and the pressure seals are a gray band. Use the knife get them out, Do not mar up the seating edges.


Clean the calipers and pistons with brake cleaner. Make sure the grooves the seals sit in are free of junk. Use a toothbrush if you need to.

The dust seals don't have a special way they go in, but the pressure seals do. You will notice one side of the pressure seal has a rounded edge and the other side, a sharp edge. The sharp edge goes facing down towards the bottom. This has to be done like this to ensure a tight seal while holding hydrolic pressure. Before you put the new seals in from your kit, you need to lubricate them with new brake fluid.


Next lube the pistons with brake fluid and insert back into the newly rebuilt caliper. Push the pistons all the way down, flush with calipers. Insert the small seal that goes between the two halves, make sure you lube it with brake fluid. Next you will need to bolt the two halves back together. Check your owners manual for torque specs. Your kit may come with new bleeder valves. If so this is a good time to switch them out. Put your pads back in, retainer pins in and mount up to the bike. Do not tighten the caliper mounting bolts just yet, just finger tight. You can tighten the pad retaining pins.

Ok, now it's time to bolt up the banjo bolts. Make sure you put back on just the way they came off, will most likely have two washers, each on one side of this bracket.


Arrange the lines how you will want them, and tighten those puppies up real good. Always torque them down to spec.

Ok now it's time to bleed the dry brake system of air and fill with fluid. This can be done several ways, and I'm not going to get into that, so make sure you do this properly. Air in the brake lines is very bad.

After you have fresh fluid in and your brake lever is working great now, pump your brake lever to build up pressure and check that all the pistons have engaged. Spin the front wheel and apply brakes, do this several times and have someone hold the brake tight or zip tie it. While they are engaged on the rotor, this is when you need to tighten down the caliper mounting bolts. Torque to spec. Congratulations, you now have a brand new braking system.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-25-2015, 01:21 PM
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^ You do know they make a $14 tool to pull the caliper pistons out that will not mar them and is way easier to use than vise grips with electrical tape...

I highly suggest going that route instead of risking marking up the surface of the piston where the dust and oil seal will slide by

And I assume you intend people to install new orings that seal the caliper halves- if they are going to use a sharp object to remove them....

Stupid people say stupid things on the internet, so be wary of who those people are. If you solicit advice on the internet, just keep in mind 99% of what you'll receive is not based on fact or science-and likely atleast 95% of it is based on bullshit and bravado regurgitated from some other schlub who also did not experience any of what they claim and are also full of shit. If you don't like my bluntness- too bad. I am not here to please you, so move along, your approval is not desired nor is it needed. So before opening your pie hole and adding more stupidity, perhaps sit back, listen, absorb and learn something. You know that saying, it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-25-2015, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverszzr View Post
^ You do know they make a $14 tool to pull the caliper pistons out that will not mar them and is way easier to use than vise grips with electrical tape...

I highly suggest going that route instead of risking marking up the surface of the piston where the dust and oil seal will slide by

And I assume you intend people to install new orings that seal the caliper halves- if they are going to use a sharp object to remove them....
I didn't know about the tool, what's it called and who makes it? Yes I would prefer the tool. Of course they should install the new o-rings, should be wih the kit. I do discuss the install of that, might not have said use the new one from the kit. will edit that in.

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post #4 of 6 Old 04-25-2015, 02:14 PM
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Great write up and thanks for chiming in Rivers about that tool! Gunna book mark this.

Is there any ballpark of when you should rebuild them? I know this depends on use but is this something that you wait until you start noticing brake fade or is it something you generally do around like a 2 year mark or something?
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-25-2015, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedAndBlack View Post
Great write up and thanks for chiming in Rivers about that tool! Gunna book mark this.

Is there any ballpark of when you should rebuild them? I know this depends on use but is this something that you wait until you start noticing brake fade or is it something you generally do around like a 2 year mark or something?
i think its a good idea to do yearly maintance on them, mainly cleaning them trying to keep the Pistons clean. And while your cleaning them test if the Pistons are all working together, applying even pressure. If not it's time to rebuild. If your riding the track, your probably needing to check your drakes more often. Also bleeding the brake fluid with new fluid often will fix "brake fade."
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-25-2015, 05:34 PM
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I clean my calipers---pistons-pins etc everytime I do a tire change, and thus far 8 years and 80k later have not had to rebuild them... I also flush the brake fluid usually twice a year, often 3 or even 4 times a year though...... fluid is dirt cheap

However I see numerous bikes all the time with 10k or so that are 5-10 years old and only 1 of the 4 pistons moves freely etc and those you end up taking apart and cleaning and installing new seals etc.........


The brake piston tool.......... This was just the first link I found......... The auto parts store sells them- I am pretty sure I only paid like $14 for mine

Amazon.com: KiWAV Brake Piston Removal Pliers for motorcycle ATV scooter Dirtbike: Automotive

Stupid people say stupid things on the internet, so be wary of who those people are. If you solicit advice on the internet, just keep in mind 99% of what you'll receive is not based on fact or science-and likely atleast 95% of it is based on bullshit and bravado regurgitated from some other schlub who also did not experience any of what they claim and are also full of shit. If you don't like my bluntness- too bad. I am not here to please you, so move along, your approval is not desired nor is it needed. So before opening your pie hole and adding more stupidity, perhaps sit back, listen, absorb and learn something. You know that saying, it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!
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