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  1. #1
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    WD40 on discs... How to clean?

    Accidentally got a tiny bit of wd40 on my disc rotor without me knowing and went for a ride and obviously were rubbish.

    I put nail polish remover on after on the rotors and pads but no improvement. I burnt the pads today (Kitchen Hub) for about 5 mins each pad. Cleaned the rotor with soap and water using sponge. Sanded pads after also.

    Still sqeak like crazy. They stopped alright at first, then stopped working again. I did see some dry black stuff (oil) on the rotor after trying to lock the brake for first time. Rinsed with water and then went to the same old crappy performance.

    Can I use nail-polish remover instead of rubbing alcohol or do they work differently? Whats the best way to clean rotor and pads?

    Thanks.

    ps. The brakes are BB5's.

  2. #2
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    Blast them with Brake Cleaner from the auto shop. Theyll need to be washed down good. If you need to, get a small tub and soak 'em for a few minutes. The discs needs to be wiped down too.

    Dont get the brake cleaner on the hubs, plastic parts or the frame paint.

  3. #3
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    I use denatured alcohol, works great.

  4. #4
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    Will try meths, is that for pads also? If that doesn't work, ill try brake cleaner.

  5. #5
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    Use brake cleaner on the rotors.
    Burn the pads again with something like a butane torch.

  6. #6
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    A Different Approach...

    Well Bikeman1, maybe chemicals of any sort are not your thing. Using WD40, nail polish remover, brake cleaner, rubbing alcohol, etc. may all lead you to new problems or other component damage. Maybe mild abrasives would be a better choice for you. You can clean dirty rotors with a piece of industrial Scotch-Brite (gray works well), and your brake pads can be sanded on a smooth surface (workbench, kitchen counter, etc.) with very fine (400 or above) sand paper, both of which you will find at your local auto refinishing supplier. You may even be able to buy just one (9" x 11") sheet of each if they have a dispenser. The nice thing about Scotch-Brite is you can keep a small piece with your riding kit for quick touch-ups at the trail head or even during a ride for when your rotors get a little film on them and the noise is driving you bonkers. Just lightly grip the rotor with a piece of folded Scotch-Brite and turn the wheel a couple of times.
    Oh, and if you decide to go the abrasives route, you don't need to get carried away sanding the brake pads. Just a light touch, making small circles on the sandpaper will expose fresh brake pad material and "true" them up at the same time. They will act like new pads when you put them back on the bike, so you will need to carefully bed them in just as you would new pads the first time you ride them.
    'Bones

  7. #7
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    Take a propane torch, pad side down. Start torching the backside of the pad till it smokes. Keep going till it stops, also move the pad. Sand rotors and your good.
    The worst is feeling the highest of highs, but always feeling the lowest of the lows.

    It's all a dream...

  8. #8
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    how did WD-40 get there in the 1st place?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    how did WD-40 get there in the 1st place?
    I kinda did that once, I was working on something else and it was a little windy and didn't realized my bike was down wind untill it was to late. OOOOPS!!
    And I love beer!!

  10. #10
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    another argument against wd40 and bikes!

  11. #11
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    Spraying / oiling my forks... Tiny drops got onto the rotor.

  12. #12
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    Step away from the WD 40. Seriously, WD 40 is appropriate for your door hinges, not so much with things bicycle related.

  13. #13
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    I'll just use chain lube next time

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Step away from the WD 40. Seriously, WD 40 is appropriate for your door hinges, not so much with things bicycle related.
    Agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman1 View Post
    Spraying / oiling my forks... Tiny drops got onto the rotor.
    Note to yourself, next time turn bike upside down, lay something over bars to protect everything and spray little bursts.
    2010 Gary Fisher Marlin
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  15. #15
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    I cleaned the rotors and pads with meths. Cleaned the rotor fine. Even improved back brake. But the oil was still on the pads... and got back onto the rotor leaving black marks. I only had very little sand paper so will have to buy some more to hopefully get the brakes working again. The brake has improved, but still not properly.

  16. #16
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    You have to touch the pads or go down a huge hill fast holding the brake.
    The worst is feeling the highest of highs, but always feeling the lowest of the lows.

    It's all a dream...

  17. #17
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    Can I just burn them on the kitchen hub? I did that.. Should I do it again? Hardly any smoke came out when I did it. I'll chuck some degreaser on it, then sand it.

  18. #18
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    Don't do it on the stove you eat there. No point in Degreaser n sanding. Torch or big hill. I know its not what you wanna hear.
    The worst is feeling the highest of highs, but always feeling the lowest of the lows.

    It's all a dream...

  19. #19
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    Sanding wont do anything? Then what will? The oil is still on the surface, not much oil left though. I'll try a downhill sometime. Is torching a lot more powerful than the stove?


    So basically, meths on pads, meths on rotor, go really fast downhill / torch and they should work?

    Thanks.

  20. #20
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    honestly just about everything you've tried is wrong, starting with the wd40 on the chain and especally on the forks!

    get new brake pads, and probably new rotors if rubbing alch and scotch bright wont work. then consult a knowledgeable before doing any more maintenance.

    and dont touch anything with bare skin.

  21. #21
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    Automotive brake cleaners often to have an oil content which would ordinarily be burned off under braking - bearing in mind that car/moto brakes typically operate at much higher temps than bicycle brakes. This make them unsuitable for bike maintenance (much like WD40!!)

    Try this guide for cleaning your disc brakes.
    .
    .


    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  22. #22
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    Please just buy a $3 can of propane. Get the propane torch adaptor. Torch back side of pads. Or buy new pads. Your choice.
    The worst is feeling the highest of highs, but always feeling the lowest of the lows.

    It's all a dream...

  23. #23
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    Nice Site, Steve. It looks like you've put quite a bit of effort into that.
    'Bones

  24. #24
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    My friend went into this problem, but a lot more oil. His were very greasy and slippery and wouldn't brake at all really. He soaked the pads with Kerosene and then went for a long downhill. They squeaked so loud and after, he got brilliant stopping power and no more squeaking. His brakes are Tektro Auriga Comp hydros. Should I try it?


    So before I fit the new pads/torched pads should I just use rubbing alcohol / meths to clean the rotor ? I don't want the new pads to be contaminated also.

    And for torching the pads, I have semi-metallic pads which some say can't be torched/oil burnt off. Can I boil these instead in a pot for about 20mins?
    Last edited by bikeman1; 09-06-2011 at 12:12 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Step away from the WD 40. Seriously, WD 40 is appropriate for your door hinges, not so much with things bicycle related.
    WD40 isn't even appropriate for that if you want to truly lubricate the hinge/pin.

    It does have some 'penetrant' qulaities which is why it will get in and stop the squeak, but it's not really a lubricant per se (not a very good one anyway).

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