How do I tell if I need new brake pads? I see pads, just don't know how thick they are supposed to be. Also my rear brake pedal seems more spongy than normal, but that could just be me and my anal ways.
The front pads are only about 1/2 the thickness of the rear ( new ). That said, they are so easy to pull out, I would just remove them to check as one side wears faster than the other ( left and right ) and there will be some difference in how the inside and outside pads wear also. I know you just had the rear caliper off a short time ago to change out your rear drive, so I'm guessing you are talking about the front pads. The pads for the front come off the same as the back by removing the rubber plug, then the pin which allows the pads to pretty much fall out. I prefer to clean the caliper pucks and slide pins anytime I'm messing with the pads so everything gets done at once. If I can help with more answers, give me a call. Gary
Believe it or not I have 48k on my current pads. I went to change them this last weekend and I think I still have 5-10k left on them. So I did not change them. If you have OEM pads there is a wear slot in the bottom of each pad. Get a blanket and lay down looking at the back under the caliper you can view if the slot is still there and see how much pad you have left. Once you hit the slot you suppose to change them out. The back is harder to check. I removed the wheel and saw I had plenty left. The OEM pads last along time for me. I am not an aggressive rider and I use the engine to do the hard braking.
If they are OEM pads you should be able to see the slot at the bottom of the pad per the picture in a prior post. Maybe they are not OEM. I bought a set of after market pads for $37. Probably will regret it but I have not put them on yet. Time will tell. Actually for the price and how long they last, OEM seems to be the best choice.
OK, at the risk of being told that I am being foolish and wasting money, I'll throw out what I do.
I change mine when I change tires. With the wheels off it is too easy to do and I never have to worry about hearing that dreaded metal to metal sound the occurs just before you order new rotors.
And I do use OEM pads.
OEM pads... rear are 6mm thick, front are 3mm. As for soft pedal try a full bleed. Mine was spongy after replacing pads and bleeding; I had to do it all again and all good again. Didn't see any air come out but it must have been in there somewhere.