Cleaning Brake Pistons

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by PetieJ, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. PetieJ

    PetieJ Member

    Working a 2003 Softail:
    I know it is important to clean the brake caliber pistons when changing pads. I would think that it would also help if you cleaned as much of the area of the piston as possible. So my thinking is that, if you had a spacer, that you could slide between the pistons, with pads removed, this would ease cleaning. The spacer would be the thickness of the pad plates, the pad plates being the metal part of the pads and the rotor thickness added together.
    This procedure would be done with the caliber removed.
    Guess you could also do this with the caliber installed and some type of shims, the thickness of the pad plates in place of the whole complete pad.

    My question is, do you think this would be an allowable limit to prevent the pistons from removing themselves from the calibers when you pumped up the brake?
  2. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Your idea will work as long as you know that exact measurement to make the thickness just right so you don't pop the pistons out.
    What I do is to unfasten the caliper and use a piece that will bridge the two pistons on one side of the caliper and then use a c-clamp or the like to fasten those two pistons in place. Then pump the brake slowly and watch the free pistons until they pop out enough to clean them with a shoe string or tooth brush, etc. Undo c-clamp and push the clean ones in and do the other two.
    Works for me.

  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

  4. PetieJ

    PetieJ Member

    Thanks Glider. This was one of the first post I read when looking for a reference to what i was asking. Guess I may be going a tad to the extreme when worring about the "unused" portion of the piston. Going by this "self help", I guess there is realy no need to worry about the area of the piston beyond the useable range anyway. Thanks again.