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Reverse Brake Noise FAQ

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Answer provided by Andrew Evans (

When moving in reverse, my brakes make a clunking sound when first applied. What's going on?

What causes the noise is play between the yoke of the sliding caliper and the groove in the cast caliper body that the yoke slides in. The spring between these two pre-loads the yoke so that it doesn't make this noise when going forward. New calipers don't make the noise in reverse either, but in time the yoke and/or the groove get worn and play develops between the two.

I was able to make it go away (briefly) by bending the spring so that the ends that fit into the groove fit more snugly. This didn't last long, though. It might have been because I didn't do as good a job as I might have. Others have proposed welding new metal onto the yoke and/or groove and grinding it back down, replacing the metal that has been worn away. Or you could just get a new or rebuilt caliper, though I would inspect the rebuilt for wear before buying it.

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