View Full Version : Replacing Brake Pads ???

19th March 2006, 01:40
I need help replacing both front and rear brake pads. I've read all of the posts, heard all of the horror stories of not seating the pads properly, so I want to do it right the first time. However, I cannot find anywhere in the forum...and I've searched, for a how-to for replacing brake pads. I have read all of the posts concerning the pads yet still don't feel comfortable doing the job. Yes I have the manual, yes I have read it, and yes I still have questions!

Q1: Do I have to remove the wheel, either front or rear, to replace the brake pads?

The manual goes into great detail instructing you on how to remove the brake fluid reservoir lid, but says nothing about the wheels. Most of the photos in the manual used for the figures show the wheels, the calipers and their mounting brackets all firmly attached

Q2: If I don't have to remove either wheel, how can I make sure the pad "front mounting tabs" have seated correctly into the caliper pad slots?

Removing the front wheel is not a big deal. If I have to, I will. The rear wheel is much different. It has to be aligned and the belt tensioned. I've done both before, but for me it was a couple hour job checking and rechecking to make sure it was done right. If I have to remove the wheels, of course I will...but I will plan to do it when I have more time. If I don't have to remove the wheels, then I can probably do the job tomorrow afternoon...assuming a Sportster Sister or Brother can lend some helping advice.

I've read the manual's procedures for both front and rear several times. I think I can do everything it says with the wheels in place except for ensuring the front mounting tabs are properly seated in the pad's "slot." Not being properly seated seems to be the cause of great woe!

I was going to do the replacement this morning. My rear pads are paper thin, the fronts aren't much better. I would like to get this job done this weekend as I ride the bike daily. Yeah, I can take my truck...but I don't want to. I'm a rider.


19th March 2006, 01:52
be confident, changing the brakes is not that complicated. you do not have to remove the wheels. you can pull the front caliper off to replace the pads. rear: the caliper would not line up if the pads are not in the tabs...

19th March 2006, 04:51

Wish I could help ya, but since my bike is an '01, I have different calipers. I'm not sure if the procedures are the same, they probably aren't...

19th March 2006, 05:11
I just replaced my front pads since I installed both new rotors on my 04. You don't need to remove the front wheel and you don't need to remove the brake fluid reservoir lid either.

Once you remove the caliper, get a big fat common screwdriver and twist it sideways between the 2 pads. This will widen them. Then remove the old pads and replace with the new ... make sure the little spring tabs (or whatever there called) are correcty installed in there when you install the new front pads.

I can't help you with the rear pads .... never replaced them



26th March 2006, 05:30
I need help replacing both front and rear brake pads. ...

The deed is done. The front was a piece o'cake. The rear was a bitch. I ended up taking the caliper completely off, both mounting pins out to see how it worked. I decided I could put the pads back in while the caliper was mounted to the frame. My biggest fear was making sure the pad tab was properly inserted in the tab slot. Interestingly, I was able to see the inside pad much easier with a mirror than I was able to see the outside pad directly. Anyway, now that I know how the rear brakes work, changing them next time shouldn't be quite so traumatic.

One note of caution: even though the rear pads appear to be set against the rotor, pump the rear brake pedal virorously before riding. I pumped until the pads appeared to touch the rotor. I took off and found to my surprise I had no back brakes. It took another minute of pumping until the pads set close enough to work. :wonderlan