Tool Hack: Make Your Park Tool PP1 Elixir Compatible
Ok, so go ahead and file this one under common sense, but perhaps you have run into this issue and just weren’t sure about taking a grinder to your tools. The Park PP1 is a very handy tool, whose wedge shaped spatula type blade allows you to get between closed disc brake pads in order to set them back to their fully open position. There’s only one problem: while working on my Elixer brakes, I noticed it didn’t fit into the caliper.
You’re probably thinking, “my PP1 works just fine on my Elixirs to reset the pads?” Well, you are right, it works just fine when the brake pads are installed in the brake. While the PP1 was designed with disc brake pads in mind, it also works incredibly well at resetting pistons when the pad is not installed in the brake. Maybe you were changing your pads and your clueless buddy squeezed the brake lever to “see” what disc brakes felt like, or perhaps you are hoping to exercise the pistons to get the most out of your brakes. Whatever the reason, if you try to use your PP1 on Elixirs without the pads in place, you will realize that the PP1 is just slightly too wide to fit into the caliper.
Obviously, grinding the blade of the PP1 seems to be the answer, but just how much? Find out after the break!
One of the only reasons I even considered taking a grinder to my PP1 in the first place, was that there was so little material to be removed in the long run. My stock PP1 had a 30.5mm width along the entire length of the blade, which after measuring the Elixir caliper, it was clear that I would only have to take the blade down to 28mm at the very tip. So really, it came down to just 1.25mm per side which ensured that the modified width would still be plenty long enough to use on just about any brake.
If you chose to go about modifying your PP1, do the obvious thing and wear eye protection while using the grinder, and make sure you know what you’re doing before you stick metal objects into a wheel spinning at high speeds. I used a standard bench grinder equipped with a rest so I could get a really clean edge that gradually tapered from 30.5mm center line of the tool, in towards the new 28mm tip . In order to make it look as stock as possible, I used a rough grinding wheel to start, followed by a fine wheel, and ultimately a fine mill file, which is important so that you don’t leave any rough edges that will tear up your brake pads in the future!
Once you are done, you will have a tool just slightly different than the original, that is still capable of all the original functions, but not limited in use by it’s size. Keep in mind that this will probably void Park’s warranty on the PP1, although I don’t see it breaking any time soon!