Friday, May 30, 2008

More Wrenching - Replacing Front Brake Discs and Brake Pads

All the parts I needed to replace the scored and worn down front brake discs and new brake pads by EBC arrived at the dealer today. I picked them up on the way home, the EBC pads were similar but somewhat different from the BMW pads I had on the motorcycle but the parts guy and his manager assured me they were correct. More on that later.

I happily rode home, got my tools out and my Clymer manual and got to work.

I ignored the first step about removing the wheel cover, ended up having to do it anyways, should have followed instructions!

Following the instructions step by step and methodically, I was able to remove the front tire with very little hassle. Hardest part was figuring out how to hold the wheel level while pulling out the axle rod!

Above and below pics show the ABS Sensor and Speedometer Cable connectors

A view of things before I removed the wheel, for record

Voila, no wheel, note how I secured the brake calipers to avoid straining the hydraulic lines

I cleaned parts as I went since I had things apart and could easily get to things. Things were going smoothly so far. I used an old motorcycle tire I had from my first flat incident to set the front tire on so that the brake discs did not touch the ground. This is important!

Old Brake Disc, Right Side

New brake disc, right side

After I had the brake discs replaced and threadlocked, I put the wheel back onto the front forks. The front axle rod went in pretty easily I must admit, much easier than when I pulled it out! The manual said to make sure to correctly position the speedometer housing, when I went to check, I had placed it just right purely by chance! : )

As I followed the installation sequence in the manual, I came to the point where one is to mount the brake calipers onto the forks. I paused here to grab the EBC brake pads I had bought from the dealer and dammit, they were the wrong size! They simply would not fit! I was a bit mad at this, I called up the parts manager and told him the situation. To their continuing credit, he apologized profusely and said to bring them back even though I'd opened their packaging and he'd get me the right ones.

So, I got in the cage, an hour plus an additional $69 dollars for the added cost of BMW brake pads since they did not have EBC pads for my motorocycle later, I was back home and continued working on putting Maria back together. Proper prior planning and checking on my part would have had me ordering EBC pads online for a better price so I was mostly annoyed with myself.

The new pads went in just fine, duh. I torqued all fasteners to the proper torque, checked that the pads engaged the discs fine, made sure the wheel spun freely, replaced the wheel cover and put away my tools before heading out for a 15 mile test ride.

The ride went fine, the brakes worked when I wanted them to and I felt no chatter, heard no brake squealing and tried a few hard brakings to see how things felt. Smooth braking as usual. As a bonus, the front wheel did not come off at any time! ; )

Here's pictures of Maria's new front brake discs:

Yet another successful wrench job done with no major issues. The only glitch was that I had stripped slightly the brake pad retention spring on the right brake caliper last night apparently. But, now I was "experienced" at extracting stripped screws and 10 minutes later, I got it out. I had bought a new pin set from the dealer so I am now good to go on both front calipers.

Taking the front wheel off was so easy, I am seriously considering whether I should learn how to change my own tires and save the labor costs of having the dealer do it. I'd always had qualms about removing the front tire as it looked "complicated", it could not be easier.

Must investigate this further. The front tire is due for replacement soon and I am not ready for it equipment-wise so the dealer will be doing it.

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