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  1. #1
    Hard as nails
    Reputation: Dirtman's Avatar
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    03 XT Hydro set up (Easy?) (Difficult?)

    I just purchased 03 XT hydros for my VT. I spent last night reading every line in the directions very carefully. The bleeding process seems easy - if it goes the way they Shimano says it will. But I would like some practical feedback. Any input is greatly appreciated. I plan to tackle it within the next couple of days.

    Or should I just take they to the LBS to be set up?
    THANKS

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fat Elvis's Avatar
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    I have the same brakes.

    They're my first set of discs, and I didn't have any major problems setting them up. It's pretty easy. It does take a while to bleed them. Probably the hardest thing is finding an 8mm wrench that will open and close the bleed valve on the caliper. There's not a lot of room down there. I ended up grinding down a box wrench so that it would fit. You may have to pump the lever for 10 minutes or so, but it's pretty obvious when you've gotten out all of the air. Just be careful not to get oil on the pads or rotors. As far as bolting up the calipers goes, I got lucky in the front, and didn't have to play around with any shims. On the rear, I had to have a small amount of material faced off of the tab in order to get the caliper to not rub on the outside of the rotor. During the first couple of months of riding, I had some problems with squealing, particularly when the brakes got hot, but it hasn't been a problem since (3 months or so). I got caught in the rain once, and it seemed like riding in the wet may have helped. Otherwise, I really like the brakes. They feel good, and have plenty of power. If I were you, I'd set them up yourself. That way, if something goes wrong somewhere down the line, you'll be able to fix the problem yourself.

  3. #3
    Hard as nails
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    Thank You

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Elvis
    They're my first set of discs, and I didn't have any major problems setting them up. It's pretty easy. It does take a while to bleed them. Probably the hardest thing is finding an 8mm wrench that will open and close the bleed valve on the caliper. There's not a lot of room down there. I ended up grinding down a box wrench so that it would fit. You may have to pump the lever for 10 minutes or so, but it's pretty obvious when you've gotten out all of the air. Just be careful not to get oil on the pads or rotors. As far as bolting up the calipers goes, I got lucky in the front, and didn't have to play around with any shims. On the rear, I had to have a small amount of material faced off of the tab in order to get the caliper to not rub on the outside of the rotor. During the first couple of months of riding, I had some problems with squealing, particularly when the brakes got hot, but it hasn't been a problem since (3 months or so). I got caught in the rain once, and it seemed like riding in the wet may have helped. Otherwise, I really like the brakes. They feel good, and have plenty of power. If I were you, I'd set them up yourself. That way, if something goes wrong somewhere down the line, you'll be able to fix the problem yourself.
    Thank you for your input! Yeah that 8mm open end wrench preventing me from attempting a set up last night. I agree, setting them up yourself is the way to go - for the reasons you stated! I am going to give it a shot tonight after obtaining that needed wrench! Thanks

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