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Refurbished brake pads should last five times as long as new ones
#1
Recently, the brake pads wore out on my bike. I put a new caliper on the front. Not long after, I decided to try an experiment with the back brakes.

One day I was out cycling, and went past a place which refurbishes truck brakes and clutches. Many truck brakes and clutches are riveted to the backing plate. When they are worn out, they drill out the rivets, remove the old one, and put on a new one with new rivets. This place had a pile of used truck brakes and clutches. I asked if I could take a used clutch, and was given permission.

With an angle grinder, I cut pieces out of the clutch plate, the size and shape of the bike brake pads. I flattened the old pads with the angle grinder, cleaned the surfaces with alcohol, and used super glue to glue the pieces from the truck clutch to the bike brake pads.

In the following picture, the thin pad is the new one. The thick pad has the piece from the truck clutch glued to it.

   

New bike brake pads have a backing plate approximately 2 mm thick, and a pad approximately 2 mm thick. They recommend using them until the pad is 1 mm thick, then replacing them.

The piece of clutch plate I glued to the old 1 mm thick pad, is 5 mm thick.

So the new pad has 1 mm to wear, and the refurbished one has 5 mm to wear. It should last five times a long.

The clutch plate I used has shiny bits in it when cut, which suggests it is metallic. This should wear slower than the new organic brake pads.

Some of you might be thinking, it wont fit in the caliper. Here is a picture of it on the bike. I used washers and longer bolts to widen the caliper. I also put a washer over the axle, to move the caliper out from the rotor a little.

   

I have used this for over 500 km, and it is still working well.

A wider caliper will not fit with some bikes and wheels.

In the future, I may use the thick pads on the back. When they are half worn out, transfer them to a standard caliper on the front. Then glue new bits to the worn front pads, and use them in the wide caliper on the back.

The super glue would have a temperature at which it will fail. I don't know whether it will ever get that hot. I have had the rotor too hot to touch, and the glue did not fail. If the glue does fail, in the future I will seek out glue which can take a higher temperature.

Anyone doing this, be aware some brake and clutch pads contain asbestos. What I am using does not.

From one truck clutch, I can probably cut out enough bike brake pads to last the rest of my life.
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#2
@ichitan You should use a phenolic resin adhesive (specifically designed for your application). I have used it for automotive brake applications (specifically: old jeeps). It is designed for high heat; super glue may work for in short term, but the repeated expansion and contraction of pad and plate will cause failure. Another bit of advice is to rough-up (easiest), or lightly groove the joining surfaces of the plate and pad in order to increase surface area providing improved adhesion.
The phenolic adhesive is available from multiple manufacturers.
Another safeguard is to drill and countersink the pad/plate to install rivets, or you can tap threads into the plate and use screws inconjunction with the phenolic glue as a threadlock.
I don't know of the compatibilty between the actual pad (your truck pads) material and the bike's brake rotor. It may be that a sintered type of pad material will wear down the rotor faster than the designed bike pads. The rotor composition may be different than the auto/truck plates/shoes.
I applaud your ingenuity; just be safe since saving some money isn't worth potentially being injured.
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#3
(11-13-2022, 07:04 PM)Jake1 Wrote:  @ichitan You should use a phenolic resin adhesive (specifically designed for your application). I have used it for automotive brake applications (specifically: old jeeps). It is designed for high heat; super glue may work for in short term, but the repeated expansion and contraction of pad and plate will cause failure. Another bit of advice is to rough-up (easiest), or lightly groove the joining surfaces of the plate and pad in order to increase surface area providing improved adhesion.
The phenolic adhesive is available from multiple manufacturers.
Another safeguard is to drill and countersink the pad/plate to install rivets, or you can tap threads into the plate and use screws inconjunction with the phenolic glue as a threadlock.
I don't know of the compatibilty between the actual pad (your truck pads) material and the bike's brake rotor. It may be that a sintered type of pad material will wear down the rotor faster than the designed bike pads. The rotor composition may be different than the auto/truck plates/shoes.
I applaud your ingenuity; just be safe since saving some money isn't worth potentially being injured.

Thanks for your ideas.

This is my first experiment to see if the idea worked. If I had found the idea was a complete failure, this would be the end of it. Now that I have seen that it works, I plan to improve it in the future.

I will check out the phenolic resin adhesive.

I have a brake both front and back. I only have this on the back now. If it fails, I still have the front brake.

I am not concerned about the rotor wearing faster. Some bikes with disc brakes are getting old enough to be trashed now. I have rescued some rotors from bikes being trashed.

Where I normally ride are no long downhill runs, so these brakes should last many months. If I wait until they need replacing, it may be a long time. But then I may try something else as an experiment before they wear out.

Manufacturers could make bicycle brake pads thicker so they last longer. Here is an alternative for those who like to do this sort of thing.
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#4
Since that first experiment, I have refurbished brake pads with a larger surface area. These should last even longer. Here are pictures of both together.

   

Here are pictures in the caliper.

   

   

I put these on the bike. The old ones have not worn out yet. I still have them in the parts bin, for use another day.

This is a good idea to save money on brake pads. I have been cycling a lot of kilometers recently, and standard brake pads wear out in 3 to 6 months.

Then I bought a new bike. My new bike has hydraulic brakes. I have not made a final decision yet, but I might put a cable brake caliper on the front, with thick brake pads, and leave hydraulic brakes on the back.

At some time in the future, I will probably experiment with widening a hydraulic brake caliper, to take thick pads. There is a possibility of destroying the caliper, so I would like to wait until I have a hydraulic caliper which has failed, before pulling it apart. But in the future, I am likely to have hydraulic brakes with thick pads.

I should explain. For this idea to work, I run one caliper with thick pads, and one standard caliper. Brake calipers don't have a large enough range of movement to completely wear out the thick pads in the wide caliper. When the thick pads have worn down to the limit of range of movement of the wide caliper, they are thinner, and transferred to the standard caliper.
  Reply
#5
Hello ichitan, your ingenuity is truly inspiring. Not sure how you come up with such ideas. In South America, where I spent the past 9 months I saw a lot of folks coming up with such recycling or creative ideas. But here in the States, we rarely have to think outside the box because things are easily available and so "affordable". Truly hats off to you and thanks to you I will get some inspiration from you.
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