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05-16-2017, 01:38 PM,
#1
Stripped threads on caliper, have new caliper, need advice on replacing
New rider here. Got my VStar 1100, got some riding time, then started turning my attention to learning how to work on the bike. After reading and watching videos, I got up my confidence and took one of my front brake calipers apart to get a good look at the pads and the assembly and then managed to strip the threads for the retainer bolt with a torque wrench that apparently wasn't going to give me the click I was looking for (I'm not used to wrenching, I learned a lesson here about taking it easy) when I put it back on. I started off chatting with other riders and sorting out whether it was best to re-thread the hole with something like helicoil or replace the assembly. It seemed that folks generally agreed that re-threading was possible but was not the optimal solution. So I purchased a used (but guaranteed good working order) caliper from eBay. And I am now getting ready to perform the following steps:

1) Clean the new caliper with soapy water and/or brake cleaner
2) Remove the old caliper from the bike
3) Take the existing brake pads and place them into the new caliper
4) Attach the new caliper to the bike
5) Bleed the brakes

I have never done anything like this before (not a mechanic by trade and never really spent time working on any cars or bikes). I've just gathered up and watched several youtube videos and have read the Clymers manual. So I have a few questions...

1) I've read some people saying that a caliper rebuild should be done before putting a used caliper onto a bike. It seems not everyone does this, though. I'm particularly wondering about the old brake fluid used on that caliper might not be the exact same as the one I'm using (I have no way of knowing). Is it typical and recommended that people rebuild used calipers that they purchased before using them on their bike? Or is it sufficient to simply clean it without taking out the pistons?

2) I have two front brake calipers but am replacing only one of them. I'm intending to keep using the same brake pads. But the new (front right) caliper will be cleaned and newly installed whereas the other (front left) caliper on the same wheel will be exactly as before, untouched. Can I handle only this one new caliper on the front wheel or do I need to perform any action with the second caliper as well? Do I need, for example, to push the pistons back on both calipers once I've done it on one of them? Do I need to get them both to the same level of cleanliness? So far, I haven't found a lot of guidance on this.

I appreciate any help. Doing something as critical as brakes by oneself for the first time is slightly nervewracking.
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