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  1. #1
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    Avid Elixir Brake Issues

    I was just replacing the pads on my 09 Specialized Enduro & having issues getting the rear wheel back on.I can get the Brake rotor in the caliper but the pads are not opening up enough to let the wheel turn freely.Any ideas on how to open up the pads enough to let the wheel turn freely.
    Thanks for any help you can give me!!
    Reddawg

  2. #2
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    The pistons have just self-adjusted to accommodate the thinner pads as they wore out. Take the wheel out and push the pistons back into their original position (pry them apart so there's more room between them, in other words). I'd suggest taking the pads out before doing this, and using a tire lever or anything soft enough that it won't damage your pistons.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightjunction View Post
    The pistons have just self-adjusted to accommodate the thinner pads as they wore out. Take the wheel out and push the pistons back into their original position (pry them apart so there's more room between them, in other words). I'd suggest taking the pads out before doing this, and using a tire lever or anything soft enough that it won't damage your pistons.
    I have already done that numerious times before i posted this, I cant seem to get the pistons to go in any farther that sitting flush with the inside of the caliper,do they ned to be recessed into the caliper?Thanks for taking time out to help me with this lightjunction!!
    reddawg

  4. #4
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    If you still have the red pad spreader, it is used to set the pads to the correct distance. Just stick it in from the top and you should be good to go.
    RideSAMBA.com Mountain Biking in South Alabama.

  5. #5
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    Nah, they don't need to be recessed. They usually just sit flush within the caliper.

    Are the pads installed all the way? There's a slot that each pad falls into, and sometimes one pad can get stuck on the lip of the caliper without seating all the way. Not trying to insinuate you don't know how to put brake pads in...just something I'd verify.
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  6. #6
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    Another thing, when you push the pistons back, install the pads and install the wheel, BEFORE you squeeze the brake lever, does the wheel spin freely? If the pads only prevent the wheel from spinning AFTER you squeeze the lever, the pistons aren't returning to their original position, indicating you might have a bad seal somewhere. If this is the case, you should see some brake fluid on your caliper or lever somewhere.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulrb02 View Post
    If you still have the red pad spreader, it is used to set the pads to the correct distance. Just stick it in from the top and you should be good to go.
    Hey Paul,i cant find the pad spreader,I am getting so frustrated right now with this whole thing

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightjunction View Post
    Nah, they don't need to be recessed. They usually just sit flush within the caliper.

    Are the pads installed all the way? There's a slot that each pad falls into, and sometimes one pad can get stuck on the lip of the caliper without seating all the way. Not trying to insinuate you don't know how to put brake pads in...just something I'd verify.
    Thanks for the quick reply lightjunction.The pads are in all the way.I put the old ones back in just to make sure they were fitted properly.everything is right on the money,I am gonna take a break before i break somethingjust getting frustrated at such a simple thing turning into an all day affair!!i'll check back in later today or on thursday & give you an update!!Thanks again for your help!!
    Reddawg

  9. #9
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    Also are you re-aligning the brake caliper? I know my wheels sometime "shift" a bit and I have to center the caliper again.
    RideSAMBA.com Mountain Biking in South Alabama.

  10. #10
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    No worries. Hydraulic brakes, while simple in operation and relatively maintenance-free, can turn into quite the headache when something goes wrong with the internals. Best of luck.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightjunction View Post
    No worries. Hydraulic brakes, while simple in operation and relatively maintenance-free, can turn into quite the headache when something goes wrong with the internals. Best of luck.
    Well,I got the pads in with no more rubbin.I ended up opening up the bleeder Screw just a tad on the rear brake lever & pushed in the Pucks ,problem solved!!Thank You For All The Advice!!
    Reddawg

  12. #12
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    Interesting. That's odd. I'd keep an eye on that brake. If the master cylinder (lever) pressurizes the slave cylinder (caliper) and doesn't allow fluid to pass back into the master cylinder when you release the lever, it can be an indication of a seal issue. Doesn't always mean there's a problem with one of your seals, but it's something to investigate if you have this problem in the future. Glad you got it working.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightjunction View Post
    Interesting. That's odd. I'd keep an eye on that brake. If the master cylinder (lever) pressurizes the slave cylinder (caliper) and doesn't allow fluid to pass back into the master cylinder when you release the lever, it can be an indication of a seal issue. Doesn't always mean there's a problem with one of your seals, but it's something to investigate if you have this problem in the future. Glad you got it working.
    Will Do Lightjunction,I will keep an eye on it!!Thanks again for the help!!

  14. #14
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    Did you bleed the brake while the pads were low?

    If so, there may have been too much fluid in the system to allow the pistons to fully retract.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  15. #15
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    This
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    "Your not going to shove you're proper grammer down are throats!!"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    Did you bleed the brake while the pads were low?

    If so, there may have been too much fluid in the system to allow the pistons to fully retract.
    What i diid was open the bleed screw on the handle bar and let just a drop of fluid out and the pistons retracted enough to let the Disc slide right in!!

  17. #17
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    Is it posible exspecialy the Dot brake fluids can expend ? when time to change new pad the piston cannot retract. so i release abit of fluid during pushing in the piston. is it the rightway to doing this?

  18. #18
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    I had to do the same as far as opening the bleed screw. What an evening I was freaking hot by the time I got them to work.

    One idea that comes to mind is that air enters the system making it difficult for pistons to retract. It's a sealed system but it sounds like elixirs are known for air contamination.
    Last edited by wfo922; 02-27-2012 at 06:30 AM.

  19. #19
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    A lot of Elixirs (including mine) came with a combination of too much fluid and/or air in the system. I used the past tense because they seem to have finally fixed that on the '12 models. Anyway Dawg, while your solution worked at getting the pads to retract, I think you'd be better off doing a full bleed to get the air out as well.

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