Earlier today, I went to install a brand new Shimano Saint caliper in place of an old XTR that's leaking from the pistons, only to find that Shimano doesn't include the banjo bolt...

Do the XTR and Saints use the same banjo bolt?

Is there anything else you need to do the swap that I might be missing?

2 Answers 2


edit: The only XTR calipers that used the appropriate banjo bolt for your Saint brake were part of the m960 series, which was released in the early 2000s and had integrated brake/shift controls (push the brake lever sideways to pull shift cable). these levers used the BH96 hose, which is equivalent stiffness to BH-59 and also had a banjo fitting at the lever. Unless you shift by pushing the brake lever, you need a new banjo bolt.

The only banjo bolts compatible with the BR-M820 are the short banjo bolt (with the o-rings, this is part number Y8H098010. the bolt by itself is Y8H001500, and the o-rings are Y8SY28000) or the BR-M8100 spec bolt (Y2RT98010 and Y2RT05000, respectively). This is from the Shimano compatibility table on "Compatibility between banjo bolt," here. Your bike shop may have a Shimano hydraulic brake small parts kit kicking around, with a few of these in a plastic container with a bunch of dividers and other things like rotor fixing bolts, retaining washers, and IS caliper mounting shims. Neither of the compatible banjo bolts are compatible with any of the current XTR calipers; the bolts used on those calipers are all too long. both M-810 and M-820 Saint calipers used the same banjo bolt, and it is not used on any XTR caliper with banjo fitting for which I could find an exploded view on si.shimano.com, except for the early 2000s BR-M965 (IS mount)/BR-M966 (post mount).

The caliper is compatible with standard length banjos (not banjo bolts), but be advised that for heat dissipation and to put more distance between the hose and the hot part of the caliper, Shimano's gravity oriented brakes like Saint usually come with hoses fitted with a long banjo. You can use any banjo-equipped BH-90 hose, but it needs the short banjo bolt. your existing hose and banjo will fit, but consider a new hose kit with the long banjo depending on your riding/braking style.

If you're buying a new hose kit, here's a screencap of the 2021 Shimano genuine parts catalog with the parts numbers for all hose kits that come with the appropriate banjo bolt, because there are many options and availability may vary. Or you can try and get the banjo bolt separately, as above.

excerpt from Shimano 2021 Genuine Parts Catalog on BH90 hose kits with short banjo bolt

On the last part of your question, just to cover the bases:

-Always use genuine Shimano mineral oil, or for other manufacturers' mineral oil brakes, the brake fluid recommended by the brake manufacturer; third party mineral oil brake fluids can and will damage the seals, because mineral oil fluids are not all chemically the same, regardless of viscosity- the tolerances on seals and bladders are tight and Magura or other fluids can cause the seals to swell.

-Follow the service instructions at si.shimano.com, use a torque wrench, and a dedicated bleed kit for Shimano hydraulic brakes- don't use the same bleed kit for different hydraulic systems, like those that use DOT fluid. si.shimano.com is a great resource for Shimano products, and I encourage anybody working on their own Shimano-equipped bikes to familiarize themselves with this resource.

-When bleeding a used brake, start with a gravity bleed to avoid pushing dirty fluid up through the lever. There is also a procedure to expose and clean the pistons, one piston at a time, using a modified bleed block.

  • Terrific answer! Do I need to buy a new hose kit, or can I get away with buying just the saint banjo bolt and keeping the existing XTR hose? Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 19:25
  • You can just get the bolt and o-rings; a hose kit with the long banjo would be a good idea depending on the type of riding you plan on doing but isn't mandatory in terms of hydraulic fitment. If you chose Saint to match your riding style, or you just wanted the best possible heat management, it wouldn't hurt. also see the edit as I was mistaken about XTR M960. That was the 9 speed group where you shift gears with the brake levers.
    – Pisco
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 21:25

Of the four generations of XTR to use banjo bolts (M9120, M9000, M987, M985), none of them use the same one as current aka second generation Saint (M820).

You need the little o-rings in addition to the bolt.

  • 1
    The current generation of XTR is M9100; the four piston BR-M9120 uses a banjo bolt.
    – Pisco
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 6:24
  • A banjo fitting also appeared on the BR-M965, although an image search turns up a few loose calipers with the bleed nipple threaded into that hole. from there, I think if you just add the M9020 trail caliper, that's every model of XTR brake caliper with banjo fitting, but I could be wrong on that.
    – Pisco
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 6:57
  • Whoops, good call. The Saint one is a stubby weird thing they seem to have made up just for it anyway. Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 15:12

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