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  1. #1
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    OIL on Pads, are they shot now?

    Like an idiot I left the pads in my Shimano REAR brakes while bleeding. While bleeding the hose popped of the bleed nip and flung mineral oil all over. it got on the rotor and the pads.

    I cleaned everything with disc brake cleaner from auto parts store. Now the brakes do not seem to be "biting" , power and leverage seem fine but the pads just aren't biting like they were.

    The front pads feel "abrasive" for lack of a better term and the rear pads feel smooth in comparison.

    Question: did I likely ruin the pads, or will it just take time for everything to bed in again?

  2. #2
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    Ruined. I have tried all the "tricks" and you never can get them back to the performance of non contaminated pads. Save the hassle time and just give up the $20.

  3. #3
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    ^^This, they're not worth messing with, just consider it an educational experience.
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  4. #4
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    I had the same thing happen several years ago... I actually read a thread on MTBR that I tried and if I remember correctly it worked but was sorta a mess.
    All you do is take an old frying pan, put it on the stove on high heat for a while. Once it gets hot throw the pads in, back sides down. When they get hot enough they'll smoke like crazy for awhile, once they stop the oil has burnt out. Reinstall pads.
    Oh yeah, open your windows! It set the fire alarm off in my house!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Short Bus View Post
    All you do is take an old frying pan, put it on the stove on high heat for a while. Once it gets hot throw the pads in, back sides down. When they get hot enough they'll smoke like crazy for awhile, once they stop the oil has burnt out. Reinstall pads.
    Oh yeah, open your windows! It set the fire alarm off in my house!
    If you go this route be careful how much heat you use. If your pan or heating element or whatever you have your pad on top of is too hot, it will ruin the adhesion between the pad compound and the backing. In my experience it works quite well though (the smoke is a reality and not a good way to make friends in my experience...).
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  6. #6
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    can you use an automotive brake cleaner? its fast drying im not sure its reactions with the pad material tho?

  7. #7
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    Also try removing the pads and hitting them with a blowtorch until they stop smoking.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbravo44 View Post
    can you use an automotive brake cleaner? its fast drying im not sure its reactions with the pad material tho?
    No, pads are very porous and actually absorb the oil. That's why you literally have to cook the oil out.

  9. #9
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    thnx guys. I'll just pick up a new pair of pads $15 - 20 is worth the peace of mind.

    I might try "cooking" them for sh*ts and grins, but most likely try the blowtorch method. Wife won't appreciate me stinking up the kitchen.
    Last edited by dragbike; 09-21-2012 at 04:48 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Short Bus View Post
    All you do is take an old frying pan, put it on the stove on high heat for a while. Once it gets hot throw the pads in, back sides down. When they get hot enough they'll smoke like crazy for awhile, once they stop the oil has burnt out. Reinstall pads.
    Oh yeah, open your windows! It set the fire alarm off in my house!
    I don't know why you would ever do this, especially when you can just get a small butane torch and do it in your driveway. I would never want all that smoke in my house, or on my frying pan, or in my oven...

    When I accidentally got oil on my pads I cooked them with a butane torch until they were basically red hot and not smoking anymore. Seemed to do the job although I'm about to replace them because I can't seem to get rid of a squeak when they heat up a bit... for the money I would honestly just replace them and cut your losses.

  11. #11
    I did it all for the kudo
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    Hey, Mastercock I was just trying to give the OP a solution other than having to go out and buy new pads. When I did it I didn't have a blow torch and tried to do it on the cheap. Fortunately the mineral oil didn't really smell when I did it... Otherwise, the wife surely would've been pissed when she got home. lol

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragbike View Post
    I'll just pick up a new pair of pads $15 - 20 is worth the piece of mind.
    Not to be make fun or anything but wasn't that an album by Iron Maiden? I think you're looking for peace of mind...

    I cooked my pads in my apartment when I had roommates and they were none too pleased about it as the smell was pretty rough. New pads aren't that expensive as mentioned by so many but make sure you break them in. Good luck!
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  13. #13
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    FYI- popped in new pads. Problem GONE! Lesson learned- remove pads when bleeding.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragbike View Post
    FYI- popped in new pads. Problem GONE! Lesson learned- remove pads when bleeding.
    And, there you go! This thread reminds me of when I worked as a mechanic at a motorcycle shop. Guys would bring their bikes in to get their fork seals replaced. Naturally they would put it off as long as they could and the leaking oil would contaminate the brake calipers, rotors and brake pads. Then the dudes would be p1$$ed because we told them the pads had to be replaced because we couldn't let the bikes leave the shop in that condition if we were going to do the seals. We'd give them their old pads back afterward and tell them they could go ahead and put them back in themselves if they wanted to.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragbike View Post
    FYI- popped in new pads. Problem GONE! Lesson learned- remove pads when bleeding.
    Use the torch on the old ones, then keep them as backups.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragbike View Post
    Like an idiot I left the pads in my Shimano REAR brakes while bleeding. While bleeding the hose popped of the bleed nip and flung mineral oil all over. it got on the rotor and the pads.

    I cleaned everything with disc brake cleaner from auto parts store. Now the brakes do not seem to be "biting" , power and leverage seem fine but the pads just aren't biting like they were.

    The front pads feel "abrasive" for lack of a better term and the rear pads feel smooth in comparison.

    Question: did I likely ruin the pads, or will it just take time for everything to bed in again?
    I have sucessfully used the old fry pan method...medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes till they stop smoking....

    Of course wash off as much oil as possible....toss them in the pan...

    Then lightly sand off the residue carbon.....pop them back in and re-ed....

    works fine.


    If it doesn't you can still ride down to the LBS and get the new pads...

    Anyway works fine for me.

    doesn;t stink up the kitchen just turn on the overhead blower.

  17. #17
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    I know people have successfully boiled pads to clean them. I've done this, it sometimes works.

  18. #18
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    Last night I boiled and pan-fried mine. They smoked for a bit but then stopped.

    I put them back on and they immediately felt better. After this mornings commute they are re-bedded and grab like a mofo.

  19. #19
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    Brown them in the pan briefly, then into the oven. The key is with the marinade: leave them to tenderize overnight. Medium rare is key. Side of beans... delicious.

  20. #20
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    I preferred the slow cooker, put them on before going to work and they will be nice and tender when you get home.

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