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  1. #1
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    New question here. Elixir 5 and "spongy" pistons

    Hello,

    I'm trying to replace my front Avid Elixir 5 2010 brake pads for the first time. I saw the videos on how to do it and I thought I was pretty well prepared... But after retiring the old pads I realized the pistons were going back to the old position, not really getting back to the more wide opened position. I used a wide screwdriver and I can see the pistons moving back, but after I pull the screwdriver off and wait for a few seconds, the pistons are back where they were.

    This causes the new pads to end too close each other and don't even allow the rotor to fit. I tried A LOT and they are the same place where they were at the beginning! After removing the pads, not even the red plastic spreader fits there.

    Any ideas on what is happening? I was thinking if a bleed was needed and the air could be causing the "spongy" behavior of the pistons, but I've never done it before (I have the bleed kit, though) I don't want to mess the things more... It was supposed to be a quick pad replacement!

    One quick note is the bike is turned so the caliper is higher than the lever. No idea if that affects anything here.

  2. #2
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    You *might* be able to get away without doing a full bleed by just connecting one of your bleed syringes to the lever (with DOT 5.1 in it of course) and then pushing the pads in. That would force a little bit of fluid out of the master cylinder into the syringe, making more room for the thicker pads. However, there's an excellent chance you'll push too much out, and your lever will end up coming back too close to the bar when you brake. Then you'll need a full bleed.

  3. #3
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    You should probably go ahead and bleed both brakes. It's not too hard.

  4. #4
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    In that situation I'd put new pads back in the calipers, force them apart and quickly put them back on the rotor, then put everything back how it should be for a ride, and also put the bike the right way up. After that I'd do a full very careful bleed, making. sure that I didn't get any fluid on the pads. I also make sure that I was in a very relaxed mood, with plenty of time and wouldn't easily get frustrated, maybe beer, music or TV. Follow the Pinkbikehow to bleed Avid Elixir brakes

    I know you should use bleed blocks, but I've had disasters doing that way.
    Last edited by lew242; 03-22-2012 at 11:08 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew242 View Post
    In that situation I'd put new pads back in the calipers, force them apart and quickly put them back on the rotor, then put everything back how it should be for a ride, and also put the bike the right way up. After that I'd do a full very careful bleed, making. sure that I didn't get any fluid on the pads. I also make sure that I was in a very relaxed mood, with plenty of time and wouldn't easily get frustrated, maybe beer, music or TV. Follow the Pinkbikehow to bleed Avid Elixir brakes

    I know you should use bleed blocks, but I've had disasters doing that way.
    You're proposing using a screwdriver or some other tool to push the pistons apart *with the pads in?*

  6. #6
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    If you have a bleed kit, there isn't much need for a screwdriver. Use the wedge shaped pad spacer to get the pads apart. Take out the pads and use the correct bleed block.

  7. #7
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    I would spread the pads apart and place the wheels in. Then place the bike on it's side and give the upper lever about 10 squeezes. Place it on it's other side and give the other lever (now the upper lever) 10 squeezes. Prop the bike upright, pull the front wheel off, but make sure the bike is upright, and spread the pads again. Put the front wheel back on, and do the same for the rear, it 's a little more complicated to keep upright without a stand, but it's important to do this. Now put the rear wheel back in. Hopefully now everything is ok.

    If that doesn't work, do a full bleed.

  8. #8
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    You're proposing using a screwdriver or some other tool to push the pistons apart *with the pads in?*
    Yep, use the wedge shaped pad spacer to temporarily move the pads apart, then very quickly put the calipers back on the rotors and bolt everything back together. The reason why the pads are moving back in without pressing the lever is because there is air in the system, the brakes absolutely need to be bled or they'll rub when you ride.

    I said before that I bleed without the blocks, because when you set-up the bike post-bleed it enables me to set a perfect bite point and prevent overfilling the system, also if you are careful getting fluid on the pads is pretty unlikely with Elixir brakes caliper bleed port positions. Not asying you should do it my way, it's not recommended!

  9. #9
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    As the pistons were too closed, the plastic wedge won't fit there.

    But I ended mixing several of your comments and worked! I placed the bike in it's normal position and bumped the bike on the back tire to force some bubbles to go up then I used my trunk rack to keep the bike in position and then performed a full bleed. Then the pistons were back at the normal position.

    I also profited and bled the back brake too. Too bad I let a small amount of brake liquid to touch my car trunk, a matte spot was created. I expect a fine polish can take care of that :-P

    Thank you all for your tips!

  10. #10
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    The eye of SRAM sees all...

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