Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

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Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby crrimson » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:41 am

I went to adjust my brakes today and the rear one's completely hosed now. The pistons were not retracting, so the brakes were rubbing on both sides. I forced both pistons back in twice, and it didn't help. I had tried putting some lube on the piston because I read this can help, but managed to lose some brake fluid in the process so now I definitely need to bleed them and maybe need to rebuild the caliper. damnit all. I shoulda left it rubbing cause now I can't ride my 29er. Was going to st. louis to ride tomorrow.

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with the pistons not retracting, or rebuilding brakes.

I've got Avid juicy ultimates. They are ultimately sucking right now. I'm gonna price the rebuild kit, the bleed kit, and new pads which I need too... and decide whether I should just buy a new brake. I might take it into a shop.
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby KSnyder » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:26 am

Hey Adam I have an Avid bleed kit if you can get the pads you need I can help you out. Might just need to pick up some DOT 4 fluid and a build kit if needed....but not sure on that one without seeing it. Also if you need to borrow a mechanical disc for a ride or two I have a set sitting around.
let me know..
Later
Kyle
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby Farmboy » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:20 am

I have the bleed kit as well. Or if you want, you can snag my rear set up for your trip to St Louis and we can fix yours when you get back. Lemme know.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough.
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby crrimson » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:37 am

Thanks both of you guys, I just used my rockhopper, but wished I was riding my stumpjumper more than a few times.

The good news is I read this bike might use Avid Juicy ultimate levers and Elixir calipers even though they say "Juicy Ultimate SL" on both.

The Ultimate rebuild kit $64.99 http://www.treefortbikes.com/product/33 ... liper.html
The Elixir rebuild kit is only $10! http://www.amazon.com/Avid-Caliper-pist ... B002K9BAPI
This might not break the bank too bad after all.

I'm down to work on this any time this week, and will provide some good beers if anyone has free time I have this week off :). I'm also wanting to get down to Iowa City, so might swing by Geoffs today and see if they have the brake pads, have them take a look at it while I'm out there.
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby crrimson » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:43 pm

Ordered new brake pads from Northtowne. I'm kinda regretting it now I could have saved a lot of money if I ordered online but I guess I'm supporting a local shop... Anyway, do either of you guys have fluid or know where I can pick some up around here?
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby Farmboy » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:50 pm

Auto zone. I think you can use DOT4 brake fluid.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough.
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby crrimson » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:27 pm

OK sweet, should be easy to get ahold of, you got any free time comin up you'd be able to help or lend the bleed kit?
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby Farmboy » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:04 pm

next week sucks donkey balls. after that I'm good. until mid december.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough.
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby crrimson » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:59 pm

I bled the brakes last night and the pistons still seem to be sticking. I bought the piston/seal kit too so will give that a go tonight.. I was reading some forums, and like this british guy's fix:
i use the following technique to get my avid brakes working like a charm:

1) don't touch them until they're knackered (about 2 rides).

2) dump them in the bin.

3) replace with shimano deore/ lx/ slx.

my 'avid' brakes now work very well thanks...

(i arrived at this process after spending thousands of hours trying to force the pistons back in, so i could fit some new brake pads to a set of juicy 5's).

anything that requires as much tlc as avid brakes is incompatible with having a life.


For anyone who is interested, here's an Avid service manual that details rebuilding hydraulic brakes (pg 25 - 28 for the Elixir caliper)

http://www.sram.com/_media/pdf/avid/dea ... MY09_E.pdf
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Re: Hydraulic brake problem - pistons not retracting

Postby crrimson » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:55 pm

Woohoo! The new pistons/seals seemed to do the trick. Rear brake is working again!
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