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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a 2013 XC this weekend that has a 26" front rim conversion done to it. I didn't feel any issues when test riding the bike, but after a little while on the highway I could feel some pulsing of the front brakes in both the lever and vibration in the front of the bike. I tried doing some research and saw several comments pointing at the ABS ring. I'm assuming this is not the issue as I do have the paperwork from the PO and a new ABS ring was part of the package he bought, plus there is no illuminated light on the dash.

Looking closer at the rotors I can see some uneven markings on them that lead me to believe this could be a malfunctioning caliper not applying even pad pressure. I included a couple photos here to help show what I'm referring to.

Hoping that someone could take a look and give me some recommendations. Rebuild the calipers? Replace the pads? Replace the rotors? You can see the rotors were custom to match the front rim so I'd like to avoid replacing them if possible, but will obviously do whatever is necessary for proper braking.

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Do you have the tools and skill needed to measure the runout of the rotor? That would tell you if it was within spec or not.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I've never actually don't that before. I'm not opposed to getting the tools needed and following some instruction on how to do it.
 

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They dont look any worse than my XCT rotors. I have a little pulse but nothing I would classify as "bad". You will need a dial indicator and some way to affix it so the stem will contact the rotor. Will have to find a spec. At home I have the service manual on my PC. Also it could be that big diameter tire, when it get warmed up it my have a radial run out. If this vibration is not shaking you then look to brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the response. I’ll see if I can get my hands on a dial to check them out. I don’t feel any vibration when riding the bike at all. Not at all speed that I’ve experienced so far and that was up to about 75 mph.
It’s supposed to be nice here for the next few days so I’ll dig into the brakes tomorrow to have a look. My gut says something with the calipers is not right and the pads aren’t contacting the rotor uniformly.
 

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Thanks for the response. I’ll see if I can get my hands on a dial to check them out. I don’t feel any vibration when riding the bike at all. Not at all speed that I’ve experienced so far and that was up to about 75 mph.
It’s supposed to be nice here for the next few days so I’ll dig into the brakes tomorrow to have a look. My gut says something with the calipers is not right and the pads aren’t contacting the rotor uniformly.
Might be good to clean the pads and rotors before you get into anything complicated.
 

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Some 120 grit sand paper and flat surface. Remove pads and just lightly run pads across until the surface looks the same kind of a flat gray usually. Do you feel the pulse without the brakes on? If so we move to a tire/wheel area to look at. Are there any balance weights on the wheel?. I personaly use balance beads in mine, so it doesn't have any weights. You can get a dial indicator for about 20 bucks if you have a harbor freight close
 

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Check and make sure your tire is not out of round, warped brake rotor, neck bearings are tight. Did they put everything back right after the 26 inch wheel mortification?
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all for the responses. There is no pulse or vibration at all while riding the bike. Not slow or fast speeds. Everything is smooth while moving, it's when the front brakes are applied that I get the pulsing. Its actually really bad. It feels like it starts to slow and then there's a gap in the pad or rotor where the slowing of the bike stops happening. Without the use of the rear brake I don't think the bike would safely come to a stop.

I'm going to pull the pads and take a look at them when I get home tonight. Clean everything and make sure the rotor buttons are free. Also make sure the caliper pistons are operating evenly and smoothly. It could be a case of one side worn to nothing and the other side still has meat on the pad.

I'll report back this evening.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok so I dug into the brakes. Pads looks pretty even from one side of the rotor to the other. What I did notice is that on the throttle side the rotor is riding right on the caliper. I tried to get some pics but it may be hard to see. The clutch side is not like that. Seems like a spacing issue but not sure how it’s corrected.

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If the caliper is rubbing on rotor that would definitely be noticable feeling.

Add washers under caliper to move it out would be my thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I thought about that but putting any kind of washer on the caliper would put it closer to the rotor. It’s almost like I need to remove the caliper and sand down that edge until it doesnt touch the rotor anymore. Does that make sense?
 

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Could the wheel be installed incorrectly? Are there spacer(s) on the axle that are in wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That I don’t know because I did not have anything to do with that change to the bike. I’ll need to look a little deeper. But if the wheel was installed incorrectly wouldn’t the caliper and the rotor spacing on the other side also be off? That side appears to have good spacing on both sides of the rotor.
 

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Axle spacers or possibly the mounting for that caliper is off. Looks like it needs to be positioned out a bit more.
 

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Could also be that the wheel isn't correctly made.
Perhaps on the offending side of the wheel the pad the rotor mounts to is not in spec. If you took the rotors off the distance from the end surface of each hub might be greater than stock.
Too much material on the hub on the offending side.
Could be poor quality control.
 

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Yeah, something's not right with the spacers. I don't remember if they are the same size on both sides of the wheel on the axle. Been a few years since I had mine off. Gonna need a new tire next year so I'll be doing it soonish.

One other thing came to mind as I was reading this thread. Sometimes the caliper piston can get hung up from getting dirty. The way to clean it is to pump the piston out (but not too much) with the caliper off the rotor then clean it with brake cleaner and maybe a nylon brush. You don't want to scratch it with a metal wire brush.

Be aware of the fluid level in the reservoir so it doesn't run low enough to get air in the line. Probably a good time to flush the old fluid out with new fluid as well.

If you haven't downloaded a service manual for the X bikes then check out my sig line for the link. You may not be able to see it if on a phone.
 

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You might also want to check the alignment of the right fork on the axle. The axle screws tightly into the left fork so the spacers position the wheel and rotor into the left caliper. If the left caliper is OK, then I would assume the spacers are correct. But the right fork has pinch bolts to allow that fork to fall into it's natural position before it is clamped tight on the axle. That fork position then determines where the right caliper sits. Most important is that the forks are parallel. If the forks aren't parallel you will shorten the life of the seals and bushings in the forks.

Loosen the pinch bolts and then bounce the front suspension a few times to let the right fork shift on the axle - then tighten again.

Before making the above adjustment be sure your right caliper is free to slide - or better, remove the caliper to let the fork move freely.

* The longer spacer is on the left side *

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Discussion Starter #20
MH1: Thank you. This is great information. I'll definitely look into this ASAP. I'll report back my findings as soon as I get a chance to work on it.
 
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