Tech Tip Tuesday: Making Brake Pads Fit

Have you ever been doing a disc brake job and you just couldn’t get the new pads to fit in the bracket right? Perhaps you even read through my front disc brake walkthrough or my rear disc brake caliper service posts looking for a clue and didn’t find anything. Sometimes when new brake pads are manufactured a little extra metal or thick paint is left on the ears of the pads, making them difficult or impossible to install in the bracket. Ideally, brake pads should fit in the bracket with a little friction to keep them from rattling around, but you should be able to install and remove them without having to pry or beat them. If a pad goes in a little tight, don’t be afraid to remove a small amount of material from the ear like I’ve done in the pictures below. I usually use a regular flat file, but you could use a 2″ die grinder and sanding disc or sandpaper. Happy wrenching!

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