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I need to replace my disc brake pads on my Shimano XT brakes. This seems like a pretty straight forward procedure, and I have all the tools needed except for the pad spacer. Do I need this to install the new pads correctly, and if I do, is there something else I can use?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The pad spacer is intended to prevent you from accidentally closing the brake without the rotor in place. It is not required, for any part of the adjustment or installation process, as long as you do not need to bleed the brakes, and as long as you refrain from squeezing the lever without a wheel in place.

If you do need to bleed the brake, it is convenient, but not required.

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If you bump the lever and close the pistons while the pads are out, you can insert a clean flat blade screwdriver between the pistons and push them back into the caliper.

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The words carefully and gently are missing. You want to be careful sticking screwdrivers in there... –  mattnz Sep 26 '12 at 4:32
    
I've heard that metal shouldn't be used on the pistons because it can scratch them. Might want to use a plastic tire lever etc. instead. –  user1049697 Oct 3 '12 at 13:13

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