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 Front brake "crunchy"

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kabulpostie




PostSubject: Front brake "crunchy"   Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:35 pm

I'm having issues with my front brake, when I apply pressure to the lever I don't get a smooth feeling. It's crunchy for lack of a better vocabulary, it's almost a step type feeling. I apply pressure, add some more and then I get a little jerk, makes it very hard to brake smoothly especially at slower speeds. I definitely don't feel like I'm getting everything out of the brakes I should be. I just bled them and that didn't do anything.

Bike is a 2008 with 7k? miles on it
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CRFan1




PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:49 pm

kabulpostie wrote:
I'm having issues with my front brake, when I apply pressure to the lever I don't get a smooth feeling. It's crunchy for lack of a better vocabulary, it's almost a step type feeling. I apply pressure, add some more and then I get a little jerk, makes it very hard to brake smoothly especially at slower speeds. I definitely don't feel like I'm getting everything out of the brakes I should be. I just bled them and that didn't do anything.

Bike is a 2008 with 7k? miles on it

Well first order of business is to make sure your pads are still good. It sounds like you wore through the pads and it might be metal on metal in which case you may now also need a new rotor....
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kabulpostie




PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:08 pm

I'll check, but I don't think that's it. There isn't any sound associated with it. Could it just be old brake lines or maybe I didn't do a great job bleeding them
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YZEtc

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PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:37 pm

I would:

Remove the brake lever from the master cylinder.

Clean the lever where it pivots, clean the hole in the lever where the pivot bolt goes through, clean the pivot bolt, clean the tip of the bolt that touches the master cylinder piston, clean the flat surface on the master cylinder piston, and clean the part of the master cylinder where the lever usually sits.
Brake cleaner is great.

Lightly grease the areas mentioned above.
Don't glob the grease on, but just a light film.

Put it back together.
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kabulpostie




PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:11 pm

Ahh..basic maintenance. duh. I should have thought of that since I don't think it was touched before I bought it and I haven't done anything to it. I'll give it a shot, thanks for the mental kick.
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CRFan1




PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:44 pm

kabulpostie wrote:
I'll check, but I don't think that's it. There isn't any sound associated with it. Could it just be old brake lines or maybe I didn't do a great job bleeding them

Old lines or poorly bleed brakes will not cause a "crunchy" feeling...although poorly bleed brakes will decreases your braking performance. Good advice on the maintenance above as well. thumb
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kabulpostie




PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:20 pm

It's tough describing the feeling..I don't feel grinding or anything like that, its more like I apply pressure and then some threshold is met and the lever will sort of jerk into the next phase of pressure until it sort of snaps again..
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bigg

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PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:21 am

Try removing and cleaning the pin that holds the pads in position. I didn't have the "crunchy" feeling you describe, but I had to apply a lot more pressure than normal to get usual breaking performance a while back. Mine was at the rear though. properly cleaning the pin, removing the pads and cleaning the caliper of dried soil solved the issue for me.
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YZEtc

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PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:44 am

Other moving parts I didn't mention are the slide pins the brake caliper moves sideways on.
This is so the caliper will remain centered over the brake disc as the pads wear, and they (there are two of them) are sealed by black rubber boots.

You get to these by removing the brake pads, removing the caliper from the fork leg, and pulling the caliper body away from the caliper mount.
Clean the slide pins, the insides of the rubber boots (you can leave the boots in place), and the bores where the slide pins go into the caliper body and caliper mount.
Brake cleaner works well.
There are special silicone greases sold for this application (Suzuki's accessory catalogue calls it Caliper Axle Grease or Suzuki Silicone Grease, but thin lithium grease will be much better than nothing if yours are currently dry and sticky.

I know exactly what you are describing and have felt this through the front brake lever on bikes that were brought into a motorcycle dealer's service dept. for service work, or were traded-in on a new bike, and they all had enough miles and/or days sitting out in the rain on them for this to occur.
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kabulpostie




PostSubject: Re: Front brake "crunchy"   Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:29 pm

Cleaning of the caliper and pins did the trick. Thanks a bunch. I haven't ridden yet, but I can tell a huge difference just sitting there. Took the opportunity to take some steel wool to pads and disk too.
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