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Rear Brake Job - Need Help

Softail Models

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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 06:54 PM     #1
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Rear Brake Job - Need Help

Ok so I took the rear brake pads out of the caliper housing but now the pistions are out of the housing enough so that i cant squeeze the new pads in. How do I compress the pistions back in so that I have enough clearance to install the new pads? Thanks

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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 07:05 PM     #2
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Re: Rear Brake Job - Need Help

You have to use something preferably not metal to pry them back in. It may be easier if you open the bleeder to do it but don't release the force on the pucks without first closing the bleeder.

Maybe a wooden door wedge or plastic puddy knife.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 10:35 PM     #3
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Re: Rear Brake Job - Need Help

I would remove the rear brake reservoir, then gently pry the pistons back in with a thin door shim (see tips section) or similar soft material that won't damage your calipers or rotors. When you push them back in the fluid may run over so remove some before or have a helper standing by with a clean rag. Ensure you push the rubber bellows back in on the lid and fill with new, clean, appropriate specfication brake fluid.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 10:38 PM     #4
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Re: Rear Brake Job - Need Help

I have used a "C" clamp and 1/4 inch piece ifwood just big enough for the piston.

Tight the clamp very slowly and you can feel the piston move.
Be carefull not to pinch the rubber seal as you near bottom
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Old Sep 24th, 2008, 01:56 AM     #5
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Re: Rear Brake Job - Need Help

If you slide the old pads back in and gently pry with a paint scraper the pistons will move to allow the new pads to be installed. Remove the cap on your resevoir to allow the fluid to travel back from the piston.
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Old Sep 24th, 2008, 04:57 PM     #6
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Re: Rear Brake Job - Need Help

Before you start trying to force the pistons in, make sure they are not cocked. And as I'm sure you've read in many other posts....use the correct brake fluid!!!!!
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Old Sep 26th, 2008, 11:18 AM     #7
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Re: Rear Brake Job - Need Help

The best method for retracting caliper pistons is to open the bleeder valve slightly then slowly slide the pistons back into the cylinder with a c-clamp. Careful not to cock and jam the piston during the retraction. A small portion of brake fluid will leak out of the bleeder. Once the piston is back in place, tighten the bleeder valve and install pads. Replace brake fluid at the reservior. If you try to retract the pistons without releaving the brake fluid pressure, you stand a chance of damaging the master cylinder.
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