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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Contaminated Brake Pads - How I fixed it, Home Cooking Cure.

    I 've recently changed my Dual XT disc brakes and shifters in my LBS.
    Unfortunately something was wrong with the bleeding procedure, the brake pads were left on the calipers, whitch resulted in contamination of the brake pads and discs. I left the shop with hardly any rear and only minor front braking power and the horrible squicking noise.
    I thought I should google things and see if I can find a solution myself.
    I read a lot of interesting and debating threads on the subject and desided to try a few tricks and see if there can be a cure, or should I just dispose the damn things and go for new brake pads and probably rotors?
    The last option is highly recommented to anyone who wants to stay on the safe side of things.
    I took my chances as follows:

    DAY1:
    First thing, I thought. ,I should deep clean everything up.
    I boiled a cup of water, added dish and cloth washing soaps and droped the pads in there for about an hour.
    I also cleaned the disks with with soap, dried them and cleaned them again with alcohol.
    I washed the water off the pads, then used alcohol here again.
    When finished cleaning I put the brake pads in a small metal dish, covered them with alcohol and fired it up .
    It all burned out, leaving the pad surface clean from marks and shine.
    Then I filed the pads a little bit with a metal tool.
    Next day I tried to bed the pads in with some water spiled on them , braking with soft and hard intervals. Things got a bit better at the rear and much better at the front, which was not so bad to start with. Still I wasn't satisfied, as I need all my braging power at the tip of my finger which took me to another try:

    DAY2
    I took the rear pads off again and dip them in a small container covered "White Spirit", a common oil paint thinner. I left them in there overnight.
    In the morning I took the pads in the metal dish with some of the thinner, added some alcohol and burned out everything.
    I cleaned them with alcohol and then came cooking time .
    I placed the pads with the dish in the oven at 200 degrees C, fun on, for half an hour.
    Again pad alcohol clean up, file rubbing, then disc cleanup treatment first with thinner then alcohol.

    That did the job!!
    Braking power is back as usual, silent and grabby!!

    WARNING!

    As most reasonable people comment on the subject, this is not a safe or recommented way to deal with brake contamination. There are leathal dangers that need to be researched and considered before anyone tries this home cooking brake cake.
    I do not suggest it, I just informe anyone that might be interested that it has worked out for me.
    The suggested way to deal with brake contamination is to go for brand new pads and perhaps disc rotors.

    Happy Trails everyone!!
    Last edited by manokaiser; 04-10-2011 at 01:59 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    Did the same thing last night, Noob here shortened my hoses and rebled. Got brake fluid all over my rotor and pads.
    I probably looked funny, but I ended up sitting the wheel on the tread mill and running it while dragging the brake and hitting with windex. Brakes work great now lol

  3. #3
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    Yup, alot of us don't have 20 min downhills to heat up and burn contaminants off. I use an old toaster oven to cook mine. All my disk brakes are contaminated over the winter due to shop chemicals in the air. I've got 5 sets on my 7 bikes to deal with. By spring, all need attention. I do worry a little about the adhesive being compromised by excessive heat from cooking. I cook at 400F for 1 hour.

  4. #4
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    Or...
    hit an auto parts store and buy brake cleaner.
    Done.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    Or...
    hit an auto parts store and buy brake cleaner.
    Done.
    I've tried that...worked on my motorcycles but never on my bikes unless I heat them up once before counting on them. It seems the porosity of the pads soak up crap, not sure if thats why brake cleaner doesn't work for me. Cooking has always worked for me.

    If course if I rode fast enough to really need my brakes more than a few times I could actually keep them clean...

  6. #6
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    I have access to a Bunsen Burner or a Dremel torch. Would it work if I heat up the pads like one does with test tubes(circulating them around the flames)?

  7. #7
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    White spirit shouldn't be used on brakes it leaves a oilly residue you want Methelated Spirits.

    I hold mine with pliers and burn the contamination out with my gas hob don't over do it and flush with cold water and re do it a few times.

    Only works with Sintered pads though, organics will just grumble.

    correct, cleaner will only work on the surface, oil or whatever soaks in so you need high temperature to burn it out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1niceride
    Yup, alot of us don't have 20 min downhills to heat up and burn contaminants off. I use an old toaster oven to cook mine. All my disk brakes are contaminated over the winter due to shop chemicals in the air. I've got 5 sets on my 7 bikes to deal with. By spring, all need attention. I do worry a little about the adhesive being compromised by excessive heat from cooking. I cook at 400F for 1 hour.
    I have 2 pairs that are contaminated. Do they smoke or smell bad when heating them up? Would my wife kill me if i do it in my oven or is it not advisable?
    I ride a bike, therefore I am!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwantalitebike
    I have 2 pairs that are contaminated. Do they smoke or smell bad when heating them up? Would my wife kill me if i do it in my oven or is it not advisable?
    Just throw in some bacon and let it spladder all over when the pads are done. Send the wife out first...

    I think that the amount of gasses released is porportional to the amount of oil absorbed by the pad. At least make a tin foil tray for this use...

  10. #10
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    I actually had success with Goof Off. Thinners were a disaster.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    Or...
    hit an auto parts store and buy brake cleaner.
    Done.

    NoNo,
    That's a BIG NoNo!
    A lot of that staff went on my pads at the instalation in the bike shop.
    I did nothing to the clean the pads, it just made things even worst.
    Brake Cleaner is NOT for the pads nor the discs, particularly the car staff. Pads should be removed before anything touches them.
    Cleaner has never worked on my bike, it's for lazy mechanics

  12. #12
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    White spirit shouldn't be used on brakes it leaves a oilly residue you want Methelated Spirits.

    I hold mine with pliers and burn the contamination out with my gas hob don't over do it and flush with cold water and re do it a few times.

    Only works with Sintered pads though, organics will just grumble.

    correct, cleaner will only work on the surface, oil or whatever soaks in so you need high temperature to burn it out.
    True!
    There was an oily residue indeed, that's why I mixed with alcohol and burned it all on it's own flame before I put the pads in the oven.
    The pads were XTR Ti Resin.

  13. #13
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    Take a propane torch to them, when they stop flaming and are red hot they're done. Worked for me and takes two minutes.
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by manokaiser
    I 've recently changed my Dual XT disc brakes and shifters in my LBS.
    Unfortunately something was wrong with the bleeding procedure, the brake pads were left on the calipers, whitch resulted in contamination of the brake pads and discs. I left the shop with hardly any rear and only minor front braking power and the horrible squicking noise.
    I thought I should google things and see if I can find a solution myself.
    I read a lot of interesting and debating threads on the subject and desided to try a few tricks and see if there can be a cure, or should I just dispose the damn things and go for new brake pads and probably rotors?
    The last option is highly recommented to anyone who wants to stay on the safe side of things.
    I took my chances as follows:

    DAY1:
    First thing, I thought. ,I should deep clean everything up.
    I boiled a cup of water, added dish and cloth washing soaps and droped the pads in there for about an hour.
    I also cleaned the disks with with soap, dried them and cleaned them again with alcohol.
    I washed the water off the pads, then used alcohol here again.
    When finished cleaning I put the brake pads in a small metal dish, covered them with alcohol and fired it up .
    It all burned out, leaving the pad surface clean from marks and shine.
    Then I filed the pads a little bit with a metal tool.
    Next day I tried to bed the pads in with some water spiled on them , braking with soft and hard intervals. Things got a bit better at the rear and much better at the front, which was not so bad to start with. Still I wasn't satisfied, as I need all my braging power at the tip of my finger which took me to another try:

    DAY2
    I took the rear pads off again and dip them in a small container covered "White Spirit", a common oil paint thinner. I left them in there overnight.
    In the morning I took the pads in the metal dish with some of the thinner, added some alcohol and burned out everything.
    I cleaned them with alcohol and then came cooking time .
    I placed the pads with the dish in the oven at 200 degrees C, fun on, for half an hour.
    Again pad alcohol clean up, file rubbing, then disc cleanup treatment first with thinner then alcohol.

    That did the job!!
    Braking power is back as usual, silent and grabby!!

    WARNING!

    As most reasonable people comment on the subject, this is not a safe or recommented way to deal with brake contamination. There are leathal dangers that need to be researched and considered before anyone tries this home cooking brake cake.
    I do not suggest it, I just informe anyone that might be interested that it has worked out for me.
    The suggested way to deal with brake contamination is to go for brand new pads and perhaps disc rotors.

    Happy Trails everyone!!

    PUt them in an old fry pan at medium heat on the stove...takes about 15 mins to burn off the crap...lightly sand and re-install.....takes about an 40 mins with cool down time.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by manokaiser
    I 've recently changed my Dual XT disc brakes and shifters in my LBS.
    Unfortunately something was wrong with the bleeding procedure, the brake pads were left on the calipers, whitch resulted in contamination of the brake pads and discs. I left the shop with hardly any rear and only minor front braking power and the horrible squicking noise.
    I thought I should google things and see if I can find a solution myself.
    I read a lot of interesting and debating threads on the subject and desided to try a few tricks and see if there can be a cure, or should I just dispose the damn things and go for new brake pads and probably rotors?
    The last option is highly recommented to anyone who wants to stay on the safe side of things.
    I took my chances as follows:

    DAY1:
    First thing, I thought. ,I should deep clean everything up.
    I boiled a cup of water, added dish and cloth washing soaps and droped the pads in there for about an hour.
    I also cleaned the disks with with soap, dried them and cleaned them again with alcohol.
    I washed the water off the pads, then used alcohol here again.
    When finished cleaning I put the brake pads in a small metal dish, covered them with alcohol and fired it up .
    It all burned out, leaving the pad surface clean from marks and shine.
    Then I filed the pads a little bit with a metal tool.
    Next day I tried to bed the pads in with some water spiled on them , braking with soft and hard intervals. Things got a bit better at the rear and much better at the front, which was not so bad to start with. Still I wasn't satisfied, as I need all my braging power at the tip of my finger which took me to another try:

    DAY2
    I took the rear pads off again and dip them in a small container covered "White Spirit", a common oil paint thinner. I left them in there overnight.
    In the morning I took the pads in the metal dish with some of the thinner, added some alcohol and burned out everything.
    I cleaned them with alcohol and then came cooking time .
    I placed the pads with the dish in the oven at 200 degrees C, fun on, for half an hour.
    Again pad alcohol clean up, file rubbing, then disc cleanup treatment first with thinner then alcohol.

    That did the job!!
    Braking power is back as usual, silent and grabby!!

    WARNING!

    As most reasonable people comment on the subject, this is not a safe or recommented way to deal with brake contamination. There are leathal dangers that need to be researched and considered before anyone tries this home cooking brake cake.
    I do not suggest it, I just informe anyone that might be interested that it has worked out for me.
    The suggested way to deal with brake contamination is to go for brand new pads and perhaps disc rotors.

    Happy Trails everyone!!

    Wow, thats a lot of work. Whenever, I have squeaking pads. I just take them out, and lightly sand them with some 100 to 200 grit sandpaper. It hasn't failed me yet.

  16. #16
    ballbuster
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    Works for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by manokaiser
    NoNo,
    That's a BIG NoNo!
    A lot of that staff went on my pads at the instalation in the bike shop.
    I did nothing to the clean the pads, it just made things even worst.
    Brake Cleaner is NOT for the pads nor the discs, particularly the car staff. Pads should be removed before anything touches them.
    Cleaner has never worked on my bike, it's for lazy mechanics
    I just had a leaky hose puke shimano brake fluid all over my new XTR pads. Brake Kleen, cut as much of the brake fluid (mineral oil) as possible.

    Then, clamped the corner of the backplate in a vise in the garage, get a fire extinguisher queued up, eye protection, hit it with a propane torch until they stopped smoking. Let them cool, sand them down a tad, put them on and good as new.

    Saved me $30 and took me like 15 minutes to do the whole thing.

    The toaster oven method probably works just as well, and is safer to do. But I wouldn't ever use that toaster oven for cooking food ever again.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 04-12-2011 at 11:56 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by manokaiser
    NoNo,
    That's a BIG NoNo!
    A lot of that staff went on my pads at the instalation in the bike shop.
    I did nothing to the clean the pads, it just made things even worst.
    Brake Cleaner is NOT for the pads nor the discs, particularly the car staff. Pads should be removed before anything touches them.
    Cleaner has never worked on my bike, it's for lazy mechanics
    Dumbest post on the web today!
    So brake cleaner isn't for brakes??
    Are you going to tell me that brake fluid isn't for brakes?
    Brake pads aren't for brakes?
    If it didn't work for you....you did it wrong.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    Dumbest post on the web today!
    So brake cleaner isn't for brakes??
    Are you going to tell me that brake fluid isn't for brakes?
    Brake pads aren't for brakes?
    If it didn't work for you....you did it wrong.

    Actually you might just have made the dumbest post :-


    Car Brake cleaner contains traces of oil that is all fine at the temperature car brakes work at but doesn't work at all well on a MTB brake.

    So DOH!!!!

    Carb Cleaner is oil free and works better, or Meth's, but NOT White Spirit, Isoproponyl is the good stuff though.

  19. #19
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    What I was saying is that Brake Cleaner is OK for the Calipers and all the crap around them but not for Pads and Rotors.
    Pads and Disks are better off when you use it.

  20. #20
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    If it didn't work for you....you did it wrong.[/QUOTE]


    My wife tells me that all the time...

  21. #21
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    I beg to differ

    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    Actually you might just have made the dumbest post :-


    Car Brake cleaner contains traces of oil that is all fine at the temperature car brakes work at but doesn't work at all well on a MTB brake.

    So DOH!!!!

    Carb Cleaner is oil free and works better, or Meth's, but NOT White Spirit, Isoproponyl is the good stuff though.
    Been using Brake Kleen for years. Works great. The slight film it leaves burns off pretty much instantly.

  22. #22
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    Re: Home Cooking Method

    I think you should consider Julia Child's advice when doing this;
    "There's never too much oregano or garlic!"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrsbike
    Re: Home Cooking Method

    I think you should consider Julia Child's advice when doing this;
    "There's never too much oregano or garlic!"
    The best way I've cooked pads is with a nice rub of black pepper, rosemary, and a sweet barbeque sauce. Cook at 400f, one hour for each pad, and when you're done deglaze the pads with a red wine, pour some flower and corn starch in and you have a nice sintered demiglace.

  24. #24
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    What wine do you recommend with that?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by manokaiser
    I 've recently changed my Dual XT disc brakes and shifters in my LBS.
    Unfortunately something was wrong with the bleeding procedure, the brake pads were left on the calipers, whitch resulted in contamination of the brake pads and discs. I left the shop with hardly any rear and only minor front braking power and the horrible squicking noise.
    I thought I should google things and see if I can find a solution myself.
    I read a lot of interesting and debating threads on the subject and desided to try a few tricks and see if there can be a cure, or should I just dispose the damn things and go for new brake pads and probably rotors?
    The last option is highly recommented to anyone who wants to stay on the safe side of things.
    I took my chances as follows:

    DAY1:
    First thing, I thought. ,I should deep clean everything up.
    I boiled a cup of water, added dish and cloth washing soaps and droped the pads in there for about an hour.
    I also cleaned the disks with with soap, dried them and cleaned them again with alcohol.
    I washed the water off the pads, then used alcohol here again.
    When finished cleaning I put the brake pads in a small metal dish, covered them with alcohol and fired it up .
    It all burned out, leaving the pad surface clean from marks and shine.
    Then I filed the pads a little bit with a metal tool.
    Next day I tried to bed the pads in with some water spiled on them , braking with soft and hard intervals. Things got a bit better at the rear and much better at the front, which was not so bad to start with. Still I wasn't satisfied, as I need all my braging power at the tip of my finger which took me to another try:

    DAY2
    I took the rear pads off again and dip them in a small container covered "White Spirit", a common oil paint thinner. I left them in there overnight.
    In the morning I took the pads in the metal dish with some of the thinner, added some alcohol and burned out everything.
    I cleaned them with alcohol and then came cooking time .
    I placed the pads with the dish in the oven at 200 degrees C, fun on, for half an hour.
    Again pad alcohol clean up, file rubbing, then disc cleanup treatment first with thinner then alcohol.

    That did the job!!
    Braking power is back as usual, silent and grabby!!

    WARNING!

    As most reasonable people comment on the subject, this is not a safe or recommented way to deal with brake contamination. There are leathal dangers that need to be researched and considered before anyone tries this home cooking brake cake.
    I do not suggest it, I just informe anyone that might be interested that it has worked out for me.
    The suggested way to deal with brake contamination is to go for brand new pads and perhaps disc rotors.

    Happy Trails everyone!!

    Where they organic brake pads?, Sinterd, synthetic or semi-metallic ?, how do you determine what kind of material you have on your brake pad ? thx

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1niceride
    Yup, alot of us don't have 20 min downhills to heat up and burn contaminants off. I use an old toaster oven to cook mine. All my disk brakes are contaminated over the winter due to shop chemicals in the air. I've got 5 sets on my 7 bikes to deal with. By spring, all need attention. I do worry a little about the adhesive being compromised by excessive heat from cooking. I cook at 400F for 1 hour.
    It doesn't take 20 minutes of downhill. I decontaminated my pads by soaking them with alcohol a few times, drying them out, sanding them, and bedding them in. I tried that twice and they got only marginally better. So I took the bike to the top of a kind of steep (maybe 12% grade) hill that's only about a half mile long and rode down at about 25mph pedaling as hard as I could while holding the brakes. I did that twice and definitely smelled something burning off when I reached the bottom. The rotors turned blue-ish, but the stopping power returned.
    Matt

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by themag221
    Where they organic brake pads?, Sinterd, synthetic or semi-metallic ?, how do you determine what kind of material you have on your brake pad ? thx

    Resin Ti XTR Pads. It's written on the backplate.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrsbike
    What wine do you recommend with that?
    I think a nice Merlot would complement the oakey aftertaste of the copper backings.

  29. #29
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    Quick blasts in the flames from a gas hub, is still my prefered method, it's quick and works well, 10seconds under the flames, cold water, repeat a few times until the pads surface is fairly uniformed job done.

    Yes this used to be a mistake I made weekly doh!! not so much these days thankfully.

  30. #30
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    I just held my pads and rotors over an open flame on the stove with some plyers. Burned the pads for about a minute each. Held the rotors over the flame until they were red hot. That took about 5 mins. Then I clean them with alcohol and reinserted. The worked fine after the first couple of pulls. I got judy butter on them.

  31. #31
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    If you use CRC Brakleen then there will be absolutely no residue. Its 100% volatile and mostly tetrachloroethelyne, dichloromethane and LPG (with a CO2 propellant). If you are seeing an oily residue then you need to spray some more on. It will wash away oil by dissolving it, but if you see an oily residue all you have done is dissolve the oil and then had your solvent evaporate away leaving the oil behind. You need to use lots to "wash away" the contaminants.

  32. #32
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    I was able to save my pads after a small incident with chain oil by cooking them under a butane torch until they stopped smoking, scrubbing with sand paper, and then re-bedding them on the cleaned rotor. I dunno about all this paint thinner/mineral oil stuff, but cooking them definitely works

    If they were brakes on my car I'd just run up to 60 and then brake to 5 a few times; with bikes it's hard to generate enough heat to cook them off the "natural" way though...

  33. #33
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    I also used my windproof lighter. That worked well. I was surprised it actually got the pad hot enough, but it worked great. Used up half the butane in it. I have a filler.

  34. #34
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Squeaky squeal MTB disc brake solution (contaminated pad and disc)

    wow look all you happy baking the brake pad LOL

    I got new solution to clean brake from oil plague on disc and pads. When you got your brake freakin' squeeeaaaakkkyyyy and LOSE POWER thats because dirt buildup. Notice scar pattern on your disc, if oil plague present, the disc must got dark colored scar (normal disc scars because pad friction, but the scar is glossy and white-clean).

    The solution is just simple,
    FIRST: use the RUBBING COMPOUND (white colored cream-like, and smell stink) (usually for rubbing car paint to remove minor scratch) pretty cheapo u can buy in car shop or maybe motorcycle shop.
    spread thin amount of rubbing compound on your disc (must cover all, both surface) and then just go ride ur bike and do jerk braking in low speed 10 to 15 times and then press lightly ur brake lever and just keep pedaling for about 20 meter. After that notice your disc, the rubbing compound WILL collects all of the oil plague, clean remaining dirt on ur disc with clean rag (rub the disc gently).

    SECOND: remove your brake pads, notice the oil plague now moved from your disc to the pads because of the rubbing compound, pretty simple then, sand your brake pads until the dirt layer removed, and then wash the pads with dish cleaning soap, then let em air dried.

    THIRD: put ur pads back in the caliper, align them by slightly lose the bolt so the caliper can move freely, grab the brake lever, and tighten the bolt.

    alas...the angry moose squeak now GONE!!

    work for me with XT brake, my friends with tektro draco, tektro auriga and avid elixir CR and 5, and magura (forget the type), both organic and sintered metal, oh i forget, the semi metallic pad too!

  35. #35
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    I don't care to introduce even more chemicals to my brake pads, especially petroleum products. Baking is the tried and true method and does not apply even more alien compounds to an already contaminated surface. Kudos to you for trying alternative methods but I'll pass on this one.

  36. #36
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    I don't care to introduce even more chemicals to my brake pads, especially petroleum products. Baking is the tried and true method and does not apply even more alien compounds to an already contaminated surface. Kudos to you for trying alternative methods but I'll pass on this one.
    Those method is for cleaning the contaminated disc, if oil present on disc and make squeak and power loss (look ur disc for dark pattern of grease (and you can't clean them with alcohol and rag, they stick, I mean, REALLY STICK)). U don't bake the disc right?
    My solution for contaminated pads was the "sand'em & wash'em solution"
    By the way, I don't have microwave
    and FYI Those alien compound had the property of 'absorbing' because of it chemical structure, so it can absorb the grease on DISC by the help of pads pressure, but the consequence is that grease which the alien compound catch from disc stick to the pads, so you really need to sand them with fine sandpaper. Thanks wikipedia, now I do good both in mountain-biking and chemistry
    THANKS BTW keep riding bro!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eville140 View Post
    Did the same thing last night, Noob here shortened my hoses and rebled. Got brake fluid all over my rotor and pads.
    I probably looked funny, but I ended up sitting the wheel on the tread mill and running it while dragging the brake and hitting with windex. Brakes work great now lol
    i did the same thing except i rode my bike to work with both brakes fully engaged for 2 days(yeah they were that bad) and then used a lighter to burn off whatever was left. They seem to work almost good as new so im happier then if i would have had to spend money on new pads

  38. #38
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    Front brakes squeals terribly, not initially after application of brakes but definitely as the bike slows down and never stops until i release the lever. Was a good 'horn' to warn walkers but got irritating thereafter and thought it is something I have to address ...

    So today, I removed the brake pads and swapped with my rear ones. Could see that the culprit pads were definitely dirty and darker, with darker edges. Then the rear started to squeal so it is definitely the pads. Removed the front caliper and could see a trail leading into the caliper gap.

    1) Used automotive brake and clutch cleaner to cleaned the sides and THE pads itself.
    2) Used a lighter and pliers to heat up the pads (Shimano Resin) till it would hold a flame unto itself and then does it no more. Let it cool down and then heat them up again just to make sure ... but as the cigarette lighter burned the fingers after holding it for so long, I just used a candle this time ... (not recommended as it blackens the pads and surrounding area ... but no fuss ... as you see in no.3) Recommended to use the open stove the next time ... Why not the oven? Well ... the missus will definitely not approve and I do not wish to leave any odours behind ... No go area!!!
    3) Cleaned the pads again using the automotive brake and clutch cleaner to remove the blacken areas.

    Reinstalled the pads and no more squealing. 1 to 3 is ALL I did ...

    Where did the contaminants come from is another story ... ... but definitely a mixture of grease and oil.

  39. #39
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    Amazing the amount of voodoo some of you have. That's not to say some of you haven't had positive results, but I'm unsure as to what extent some of the extra steps are necessary.

    Every contaminated pad I've dealt with has been taken care of as follows:

    1. Remove pads.
    2. Give a quick wipe with alcohol to remove any obvious gunk on the surface. No need to go overboard on this step.
    2. Apply sufficient heat to pads to get them smoking (this is the grease, oil, and other contaminates being burned off; It won't hurt the pad or backing material). This can be done on a stove or in the oven the easiest.*
    3. Allow to cool.

    Doing anything to the pads after the heating/cooling will probably have you re-introducing more contaminates to surface than you would be removing. The pads are done, put them on your bike.

    *Look, ovens aren't some dainty silk sheets that have to be handled with soft, cotton gloves. They are miniature furnaces we keep in our homes, the interiors of which have paint, steel, glass, and all of the junk from food products that gets left behind after cooking and manufacturing. Don't go slinging a bunch of chemicals in them and you're not going to stink up your entire home. The amount of odors emitting from a couple of tiny pads hasn't left any noticeable smell in my home after doing it. Now, opening up a brake pad cooking business and have 50 pads cooking away may be another story, but these individual projects are of no concern.

    Now, for those of you soaking your pads in your favorite witches' brew for 72 hours may want to stay clear of any major heat sources if any easily offended noses are nearby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post

    Then, clamped the corner of the backplate in a vise in the garage, get a fire extinguisher queued up, eye protection, hit it with a propane torch until they stopped smoking. Let them cool, sand them down a tad, put them on and good as new.

    Saved me $30 and took me like 15 minutes to do the whole thing.
    I know this thread is old, but I just wanted to say this advice worked perfectly. I torched my contaminated XT pads until they started (and then stopped) smoking, and then a few seconds longer. Let them cool, clean your rotors with a clean cloth and iso alcohol and BAM, full stopping power after a few bed-in runs.

    Thanks for this advice!

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    Tried the same thing - Rear brakes must have gotten lube on them - useless. Rubbed them down with alcohol and baked them with a lighter until they stopped smoking. Bedded in great. Thanks for the pointers.

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    Trying to Restore Contaminated Pads May Not be Worth Your Time

    ****** UPDATE 10/13/14 ******

    A few weeks after going through the procedure below the pads started howling again and braking power went downhill. No fluid leaks were detected after the initial trial and I cleaned everything thoroughly with brake parts cleaner before reinstalling. I replaced the rotors thinking this may have been a factor but it also did nothing. I even tried putting a layer of polypropylene tape between the pad and caliper piston to act as a vibration isolator but it just melted and made the pads difficult to remove. Even after heating the pads with a torch to a glowing cherry color to drive out any remaining contaminants they never recovered performance or quieted down. In the end, braking power was only ~50% that of new pads and I decided new pads were inevitable. After installing the new pads the howling ceased and stopping power returned to normal. Lesson learned: buy new pads if the old ones get contaminated.

    **************************


    This method saved me two sets of relatively new brake pads (one metallic and one organic).

    Background:
    Over the winter the set of XT caliper seals on my bike leaked allowing the mineral oil to find its way onto the pads and rotors at both ends of the bike. It probably sat there for a couple months like this and may have had a chance to soak into the pads. I noticed the problem on my first ride of the season which resulted in almost no braking power and that horrible squeal.

    The Fix:
    First, I let both sets of pads soak in ~150mL of lacquer thinner (acetone, MEK, methanol, & toluene) for ~12 hours which ended up turning the thinner from clear to a very faint gray color. I then used an electric heat gun to heat the pads until the braking surface appeared dry. I didn't notice any smoke production but there was a characteristic "hot brakes" smell. Lastly I sanded the face of the pads with 100 grit sandpaper until the whole surface was free of ridges/channels and looked like a new set of pads. After wiping down the rotors with the thinner and reinstalling the pads the squealing was gone and braking power was restored to normal.
    Last edited by aero901; 10-13-2014 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Cleaning Procedure Is Ineffective

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    PUt them in an old fry pan at medium heat on the stove...takes about 15 mins to burn off the crap...lightly sand and re-install.....takes about an 40 mins with cool down time.
    Do you put them on a fry pan face down (meaning the contaminated part facing the pan) or facing up??

  44. #44
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    " Brake Cake" - Perfect!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Latent View Post
    I know this thread is old, but I just wanted to say this advice worked perfectly. I torched my contaminated XT pads until they started (and then stopped) smoking, and then a few seconds longer. Let them cool, clean your rotors with a clean cloth and iso alcohol and BAM, full stopping power after a few bed-in runs.

    Thanks for this advice!
    Torches are cooler than ovens!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by zegeli View Post
    Do you put them on a fry pan face down (meaning the contaminated part facing the pan) or facing up??
    I have done it both ways..I think pad up lets the air get at the contaimination better so it burns off a bit quicker...

    The torch never seemed to work as good....remember no O2 in the flame to burn off stuff

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post

    The torch never seemed to work as good....remember no O2 in the flame to burn off stuff
    Couldn't you heat the back until it gets hot enough?

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    I second the use of a heat gun... They are like a ten dollar tool that comes in handy for so many things throughout your life....

    Here is what worked for me...

    1) Message break pads with GOJO Orange Cleaner, Rinse with a little dish soap.
    2) heat with heat gun for a minute or so.
    3) Install. (make sure your calipers are clean)
    4) Ride for 20 minutes or so.
    5) Now with a wet rag wipe any residue off the discs.

    At this point you should slowly but steadily see braking improvement.

    Its a 1 hour process, if you dont have 1 hour buy new pads.

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