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ATV Brakes & Suspension Have a question about your brakes? Need some suspension advice? Try this section for answers

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Old 11-07-2011, 05:56 AM
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rear brake?

I have a 96 sportsman 500 that is going through rear brake pads like crazy. This system looks very odd and I wanted to see if there is something wrong. The rotor just seems to flop around on the spline shaft. Nothing holds it in place, not sure if this is how it works. Almost looks like there is supposed to be a set screw that holds the rotor in place. I am going through pads about every 80 miles. Is there a special trick to setting up these rear brakes? How about some sort of modification to a newer style set up?
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:45 AM
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It's a single piston, fixed caliper so the rotor has to float. On a car the rotor is fixed and the caliper floats. On the newer ATV's they have 2 opposing pistons, fixed caliper and fixed rotor.
Check to make sure the piston doesn't have corrosion on the outside that would prevent it from retracting. Also make sure the mechanical foot brake system is adjusted properly. There's a hex screw that pushes on the piston when the foot brake is applied. If it's too tight your pads will wear.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:53 AM
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I just took mine off as I never used it any way and I was tired of listening to the rattle of the disc itself plus the bleeder screwed was sheared off even with the caliper which would make it hard to put in a new bleeder my wheeler stops just fine with the front brakes.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:40 AM
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Just hope your hand brake doesn't fail when you're in a steep descent! Mine did, 40 miles from home, in the middle of nowhere. Foot brake got me home. The foot brake's there for a reason!!! Good luck, some day you might need some.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:49 AM
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Makes sense about the fixed caliper. So when I put the new pads on what it eh propery way to adjust? The hex screw on the end of the caliper or the threaded rod going to the foot brake. How do I know if the hex screw is to tight and wearing out the pads?

Can I buy a used caliper from newer ATV and end up with a better rear brake system?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:01 PM
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Friend of mine has the same rear brake system, 97 Explorer 500, and he has no trouble with it. I get the feeling it might be the piston that needs cleaning and it's not retracting when you let go of the brake lever. I'd start with that. To adjust the mechanical part use the screw and adjust it so that the foot brake is 1 inch above the floor boards at full application. Use the threaded rod if you run out of adjustment with the screw. To change to a hydraulic foot brake you need a complete caliper, foot operated master cylinder and a fluid reservoir. The mounting holes probably don't match up on the caliper, there are no mounting holes for the master cylinder and fluid reservoir. Hold onto your hat when it comes to cost. Caliper without pistons etc $200, pistons $90 each, piston seals $35, bleeders $ $35 each, etc. Find a way to fix what you have!!! Most people never touch the foot brake. It's just there for emergencies.
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Last edited by pjmartin; 11-08-2011 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:25 AM
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Thanks for the advice, I'll look in to giving mine a good tune. I'm the kind of guy that if I'm putting money into something maybe it's time to modify/upgrade at the same time. I wheel jeeps and for those it's the same price to go with corvette brakes in the rear over new drums etc. I was hoping the ATV world was the same.
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