Fatboy rear brakes discrepancy

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by nester024, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. nester024

    nester024 Member

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    Interesting issue, forgive its longwindedness but I find it somewhat disturbing...

    I took my old man's '07 Fatboy to the local mechanic to have the rear tire and brakes changed. When it came time to replace the pads, we noticed that the replacement pads spec'd in the book were slightly different than the ones in the bike; the tabs that hold the pads in place were somewhat bigger on the new pads.

    I went to the local dealer to get Harley pads, and found them to be identical to the EBC pads the mechanic had. I took both back to the dealer, and spoke to the parts department manager. He too had no idea why the pads spec'd were different than those in the bike (the original pads, 12,000 miles on the bike) and asked the service tech. The tech proceeded to tell me that there was a small lot of bikes made in 2007 that took those original pads, and that those pads were discontinued. He went on to tell me that when confronted with this issue, they grind the tabs on the new pads down to fit, and suggested I do the same.

    Essentially, the Harley Davidson mechanic told me to modify brake parts, HD brake parts mind you, to fit on a stock HD bike, having no concern that someone might do this wrong and have a rear brake bind or fail.

    Has anyone else seen this, or do I have a particularly rare rear caliper? I'm considering contacting the MOCO to find out how they can allow this to continue.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I agree there about grinding the pads. You will no doubt get pad noises (clicking) if the grinding isn't done exactly. Try another dealer and take the right pads with you to compare.
     
  3. nester024

    nester024 Member

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    Unfortunately I did the brakes a few weeks ago and have since discarded the pads, but I agree, grinding is not the way to go. When I went to Harley, one of the Bruce Rossmeyer chains here in Florida, several different individuals searched the computer and all came up with the same code which pointed to the pad that didn't fit.

    Speaking of clicking, the front brakes on my 08 Road King with ABS click when I apply them the first time on a ride. They then don't do it again until the next day. Is this normal? There is no lack of performance, ABS works, no issue there. Just a loud singular CLICK upon first application.
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    There's always some play in the pads that could cause a noise when first applied.
     
  5. nester024

    nester024 Member

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    Yeah, that was my assumption.
     
  6. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    yep i get that on my 08 to
     
  7. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Did you contact EBC and find out what their "take" is on their pads not fitting? If they say/recommend the "grind" technique, you may want to get that in writing (at the very least) or go with a different brand that will fit...too bad you tossed the old pads, generally I keep'em for pressing the pucks into the bores and comparison. :bigsmiley21:

    Always keep old parts for few months after a job, "JUST IN CASE" for problems like this that crop up. No preaching, just precaution from years of doing stuff myself (tossing old parts after they have been lyin' around is no problem at my house...) :s
     
  8. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    I thought i posted this earlier but must have got lost but grinding brake pads um .. NO dont care it ifs the tab the edge whatever .. it opens you to a lawsuit if the bike gets ina wreck no matter the cause they see something like brake pads were altered .. you will be the one getting sued and going to jail ..
     
  9. STEVE07

    STEVE07 Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderators

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    I am going to be the odd man out on this one ,if it only the keeper tabs that are oversized for your caliper I see no reason why you can't grind them down to fit your existing caliper.Its not going to take any integrity away from the pads
     
  10. nester024

    nester024 Member

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    I don't disagree, it should be fine, if done correctly, to grind the tabs down. What amazes me is that the answer I got from the dealer was that the pads for the caliper, manufactured not even two years ago, are no longer available from the MOCO and that I was instructed by a service tech to modify HD brake pads to fit a HD caliper, again, not even two years old.

    My primaru reason for starting this thread was that the tech claimed that while this mismatch of caliper and pad is rare, it is an occurance with this year/ model of bike and I wanted to know if anyone else had come across this problem.

    Otherwise, the brakes function as they should and all is well. My main concern would be if someone less mechanically inclined were told to put pads to grindstone and done something wrong.