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  1. #1
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    Got tri-flow on a disc and caliper, best way to remove?

    Cleaning and lubing my MTB this morning, I was lubing the hub and some tri flow dripped onto the disc and got into the caliper. Tried wiping it both parts down, no luck, tried carb cleaner, no luck.

    Any ideas? Id like to ride the MTB tomorrow (wanted to ride today, but took the roadie out instead).

  2. #2
    Every ride is a race
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    try rubbing alcohol. that's what we use in the shop to clean off discs and calipers; don't know how the tri flow will work with it though.

  3. #3
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    thanks, ill give that a shot. I was thinking of using car brake cleaner, but that stuff takes off paint.

  4. #4
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    if you got tri flow on the rotor, then the pads, the pads are ruined. no ifs ands or buts...they are done. you can easily clean the rotor w/ alcohol, brake cleaner, lacquer thinner...anything like that.
    but...
    your pads are dead. nothing you can do to them will get them in the same condition they were in before. replace them.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  5. #5
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    Brake cleaner would be good on the pads, if you remove them from the caliper first. You can wipe the oil off the caliper itself with the pads removed. Oil residue on the caliper is ok as long as it's not so much that it will flow onto the rotor or pads.

    For the rotor, alcohol or acetone. Carb cleaner is not good for brakes because it leaves a residue.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I took a torch to the pads, got them nice and smokey, let them cool then cleaned the disc with isopropyl alcohol.

    It stops again, not amazing, but it works. They are very low end mechanical discs from years ago, I really should upgrade.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Brake cleaner would be good on the pads, if you remove them from the caliper first. You can wipe the oil off the caliper itself with the pads removed. Oil residue on the caliper is ok as long as it's not so much that it will flow onto the rotor or pads.

    For the rotor, alcohol or acetone. Carb cleaner is not good for brakes because it leaves a residue.
    no...once pads are contaminated they are done. ruined. they will NEVER stop the way they did before. brake pads are very porous and any oil or other contaminant that gets into them will work it's way all the way through the pad material as they are heated. there is no saving pads w/ tri-flow in them. don't be a cheap ass about this...go buy new pads and make sure everything is spotless before installing them.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    no...once pads are contaminated they are done. ruined. they will NEVER stop the way they did before. brake pads are very porous and any oil or other contaminant that gets into them will work it's way all the way through the pad material as they are heated. there is no saving pads w/ tri-flow in them. don't be a cheap ass about this...go buy new pads and make sure everything is spotless before installing them.
    I think youre right, I went out and checked them again, they grip about 40% as hard as the other brake. Ill grab some pads in the morning. The pads were really worn down anyhow.

  9. #9
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    the best you could do is bake em in an oven if you are in a tight spot but they won't be nearly as good as before. whats the point though when new pads aren't even that expensive anyway? (and just noticed that they were worn down anyway)

  10. #10
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    Um, is no one going to ask why the OP was lubing the hub w/TriFlow?
    formerly "backinthesaddle"

    Strava is Latin for 'bench-racing"

  11. #11
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    if you got tri flow on the rotor, then the pads, the pads are ruined. no ifs ands or buts...they are done.
    What about a torch?

  12. #12
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirchyGirchy View Post
    What about a torch?
    read the whole thread...
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMinSC View Post
    Um, is no one going to ask why the OP was lubing the hub w/TriFlow?
    In this forum, all lubricant hate is reserved solely for WD-40.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMinSC View Post
    Um, is no one going to ask why the OP was lubing the hub w/TriFlow?
    The rubber dust covers that like to squeak maybe?

  15. #15
    FTR
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    Burn baby, burn.
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    Disc brake cleaner from an auto store on the rotor.
    Toss the pads and replace.

  16. #16
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    read the whole thread...
    I did. I would guess that using a torch would simply burn the Tri-flow out....it's not solder.

  17. #17
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirchyGirchy View Post
    I did. I would guess that using a torch would simply burn the Tri-flow out....it's not solder.
    it doesn't work like that. talk to any mechanic that works on mountain bikes, motorcycles or cars. once pads are contaminated, they are ruined. there is NOTHING you can do to get the contaminant out of the friction material.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    it doesn't work like that. talk to any mechanic that works on mountain bikes, motorcycles or cars. once pads are contaminated, they are ruined. there is NOTHING you can do to get the contaminant out of the friction material.
    Agreed!
    If you go to any mtb, motorcycle or car forum....there is always a rolling thread about oiled pads and what to do. Forum gurus all have solutions like torches, oven baking, acid, witch's spells and nuclear fusion......
    Or....you can do what you'll end up doing after all that: dropping a few bucks on new pads.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    it doesn't work like that. talk to any mechanic that works on mountain bikes, motorcycles or cars. once pads are contaminated, they are ruined. there is NOTHING you can do to get the contaminant out of the friction material.
    I have NEVER experienced this problem with car brake pads. Gotten them dirty, dribbled brake fluid on them, oversprayed PB Blaster and other stuff. It's just not an issue with cars. Doesn't seem to matter if i'm using the soft quiet stock pads or a harder racier hi temp pad.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    I have NEVER experienced this problem with car brake pads. Gotten them dirty, dribbled brake fluid on them, oversprayed PB Blaster and other stuff. It's just not an issue with cars. Doesn't seem to matter if i'm using the soft quiet stock pads or a harder racier hi temp pad.
    Apples and oranges.
    Look at how big car brakes are...they are almost over kill for regular use.

    If you were using them for racing on a fast car.....you WOULD notice.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Apples and oranges.
    Look at how big car brakes are...they are almost over kill for regular use.

    If you were using them for racing on a fast car.....you WOULD notice.
    I guess Subaru STI and Mazdaspeed 3 don't count as fast.

    But yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. If you read the post I quoted, he was saying all pads suffer this problem including cars.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    I guess Subaru STI and Mazdaspeed 3 don't count as fast.

    But yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. If you read the post I quoted, he was saying all pads suffer this problem including cars.
    D'oh! I reread...and you're agreeing. So much for my reading comprehension....
    And fast is relative.
    Compared to my Honda Element...the the Subie and the Mazda are fast ( almost anything is compared to the E)
    But compared to some of my race cars....no, they aren't even on the scope.You notice the least little problems with brakes at 200 mph......

  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    I have NEVER experienced this problem with car brake pads. Gotten them dirty, dribbled brake fluid on them, oversprayed PB Blaster and other stuff. It's just not an issue with cars. Doesn't seem to matter if i'm using the soft quiet stock pads or a harder racier hi temp pad.
    wow, sounds like quality mechanical work to me. sorry, but someone who has an attitude like this would never work on my car, truck, moto or kart. don't take this as a personal attack, but someone who treats working on brake systems like they should would never say this.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    wow, sounds like quality mechanical work to me. sorry, but someone who has an attitude like this would never work on my car, truck, moto or kart. don't take this as a personal attack, but someone who treats working on brake systems like they should would never say this.
    I'm just saying... for road going cars, it doesn't matter what you get on them. It's only the *****-tits little bicycle brakes that are prone to this sort of thing.

  25. #25
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    FWIW, I burned the pads, they came back a LITTLE. Went to the store and replaced the pads with a 10 dollar pair, brakes work great again.

    For such a small amount of money its a no-brainer. Esp on a MTB where brakes are going to save you from serious injury. Or any bike for that matter.

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