Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    21

    Avid Juicy 5 Lever Piston Sticking

    I have an Avid Juicy Five system on my bike and the front lever has been sticking when I apply it and release it. It eventually returns to the unapplied position, but it takes about 15 seconds. When it is sticking, the brake still applies, but only when the lever is crammed up against the handlebar.

    I took the lever apart to clean it, etc. I noticed that, according to the Avid tech manual, the piston should freely come out when I go to remove it. It didn't. I had to put a small hex key into the hose coupling hole and push it out. Thinking that it might have gunk on it, I cleaned all of the parts with soapy water and let them air dry.

    I went to put it all back together and, again, according to the manual it said the piston should slide in. However, when I try to put it in, it is going in very hard, even with a light oil applied to the seals.

    The aluminum housing does not appear to be scored inside.

    Could anyone give me advice on what may be making the piston so snug and how I might fix it?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,472
    I have had this problem on two sets of Juicy 5s. Most interesting was that it ocurred when both sets were new, so I thought they just needed to break in, but they just got worse instead of better. I have taken them apart and found (at least with mine) that it is the seals (o-rings) on the piston. If you get a new set of seals it should fix the problem.
    2012 On One Whippet 650b
    2012 Santa Cruz TRc 650b
    2014 On One Dirty Disco
    2010 Soma Groove
    1987 Haro RS1

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    21
    I was wondering if it might be a seal problem. As with yours, these brakes have barely been used. However, the bike did sit for a long time without usage.

    Do you know where I can order the seals from for the piston? Or do I need to order a whole rebuild kit? Or what?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    189
    Quote Originally Posted by ndmuscutt
    I have an Avid Juicy Five system on my bike and the front lever has been sticking when I apply it and release it. It eventually returns to the unapplied position, but it takes about 15 seconds. When it is sticking, the brake still applies, but only when the lever is crammed up against the handlebar.
    My wife's bike had the same issue. When I called the LBS about what parts I needed he said Avid would cover it under warranty. They did and the brake was 2 years old. They replaced both brakes with Elixer 5s, which have their issues too, unfortunately.

    I wish Avid's quality control was as great as their warranty.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    83
    I'm running into a similar problem, my rear brake lever is slow to return. Did you find the o-ring seals anywhere to order?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ferdball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    175
    Quote Originally Posted by mbrick
    I'm running into a similar problem, my rear brake lever is slow to return. Did you find the o-ring seals anywhere to order?


    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CK0D18

    Found a caliper rebuild kit on amazon for $38.
    Don't forget to unswerve!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    83
    Good set of parts. Do you know how to tell the year of Juicy 5s?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ferdball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    175
    Quote Originally Posted by mbrick
    Good set of parts. Do you know how to tell the year of Juicy 5s?
    Sorry, I don't. I go by the year of my bike. Have you tried the tech docs on the SRAM site?
    Don't forget to unswerve!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    83
    I have, the manual for 5/7's didn't differentiate. I see a lot of the seal sets showing specific years though. I think I'll just order one and try it.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ferdball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    175
    Quote Originally Posted by mbrick
    I have, the manual for 5/7's didn't differentiate. I see a lot of the seal sets showing specific years though. I think I'll just order one and try it.
    Niagara is taking their sweet time to ship. I ordered on Friday, and they still haven't shipped. I hope I get them by this weekend.
    Don't forget to unswerve!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ferdball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    175
    This thing took all of the 135 PSI of my little air compressor to pop the pistons out. Those things were really in there. Wear eye protection.
    Don't forget to unswerve!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by mbrick
    I'm running into a similar problem, my rear brake lever is slow to return. Did you find the o-ring seals anywhere to order?
    I did. I went to my local bike shop and ordered a seal kit for the Juicy 5s. It was $12.50. It solved the problem. However, you need to have internal snap ring pliers and not be technically deficient.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    21
    The problem is resolved. I took it into the LBS to have them look at it. They said that the internal parts had an issue and they recommended putting a new brake lever on the bike. They had one for $100 installed. I went home to think about it.

    I took the brake lever apart, using the online technical manual from the Avid website. I went to the LBS and ordered a seal kit for the Juicy 5. Then I took the old seals off of the master cylinder piston. When I compared the new with the old, the old seals were very swollen.

    I put the new seals on and put the lever back together. Then I ordered an Avid bleed kit from someone on Ebay. This was $20.00 with shipping. I bled the system and it's as good as new.

    So, the whole problem got resolved for about $35.00 and, having never rebuilt a hydraulic brake system before, I got some know-how along the way.

    Stuff like this always feels really satisfying.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    83
    ndmuscutt, thanks for sharing your results. I think it may be the calipers on my bike so I am going to start there first before changing the lever seals.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MattyBoyR6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,056
    Same problem here so I figured I'd pop the piston out but it was stuck. 60psi from teh air compressor didn't make it budge. Took it to LBS and he said poke somthing realy small through the hose inlet or take the part inside to let it cool off. It wsa about 90deg today in the garage. Threw the brake assebly in the freezer and the piston eventualy came out.

    Dude at LBS said that he has had 4 like this in the last year all with systems that had not been bleed since day one. But he said on 4 yr old rides. My brakes are two yrs old. He said that the brake fuid corrodes the aluminum assembly and with the heat the soft aluminum swells up. He said that the latest 2 brakes he has rebuilt haven't worked right.

    I'll be calling SRAM Monday morning for some seals or replacement brakes.
    Got Daytons on the Motha Ship - Cube

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •