How to rebuild your front brake calipers


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How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:06 pm



I rebuilt the front calipers of my 1982 GL110A Aspencade with a kit from Partsnmore.com. It includes new seals, boots, and a bleeder cap. As you might notice, I also changed the brake lines during the process, from the original rubber, to stainless steel braided lines.

1. Loosen and remove the lower caliper bolt. You may or may not need to remove the upper pivot bolt depending on your model, and which side you are doing.

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2. Swing the caliper up off the brake rotor and remove it. On some models, you may have to first remove the upper pivot bolt.

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3. Unbolt the brake pin retainer bracket bolt.

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4. Remove the brake pin retainer bracket.

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5. Remove the brake retainer pins.

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6. You will see the brake pistons partially retracted.

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7. For the next step, I use a simple piece of 1/8" thick steel welding stock. It seems to be the perfect thickness.

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8. Place the welding stock into the caliper in place of the brake pads.

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9. While holding the welding stock in place, have an assistant pump the front brake lever. This will push the pistons out of the caliper. Usually one piston is hung up more than the other. Without the welding stock, one piston will come all the way out, leaving the other one hopelessly seized in the caliper. Using the welding stock, the piston is not allowed to completely eject from the cylinder. Once it hits the welding stock and stops, the remaining piston is forced out. Make sure you don't run your brake fluid reservoir dry while doing this - add some brake fluid if necessary.

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10. Once both pistons have hit the welding stock, stop pumping the pedal, and remove the welding stock.

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11. Keep pumping until one of the pistons drops out - at that point the brake fluid will drain out, and you will have to remove the other piston by hand.

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12. Remove the banjo bolt fitting holding the brake line to the caliper.

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13. Rinse the caliper and pistons with plenty of brake cleaner.

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14. To clean and polish the pistons, you will need two fine grades of sandpaper - 600 and 1500.

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15. This piston has corrosion and dirt on it, as well as scoring lines left from corrosion in the caliper.

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16. Polish in a circular motion (never in a straight line) first with the 600 grit sandpaper, then with the 1500 grit sandpaper to polish it. After polishing with the 1500 paper, this is what it should look like - it will be extremely smooth to the touch.

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17. The old pivot bolt boots have failed. Push the pivot bolt out, and remove the boots from the caliper.

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18. The pivot bolt is dirty. Clean any dirt and corrosion gently, then polish with sandpaper the same way you polished the pistons. Careful, it is very soft aluminum.

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19. Remove the brake spring from the caliper, and clean it with brake cleaner.

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20. Very gently, using a small knife or screwdriver, pry out the rubber seals from the inside of the cylinders - two in each cylinder. Do not damage or mark the insides of the cylinders while doing so.

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21. There is corrosion and residue inside the channels of the cylinder that hold the seals.

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22. Gently scrape out the channels inside the cylinders. Be very careful not to mark or gouge the cylinder walls. Rinse out with brake cleaner, ensuring no residue remains inside the cylinder.

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23. Lubricate the new seals with clean brake fluid to facilitate their insertion. The thicker seal goes in the lower channel, the thinner one goes in the upper channel. Ensure the upper seal does not twist, and that the thin ridges face inward.

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24. Lubricate the outside of the pistons with clean brake fluid. Insert the pistons into the cylinder and gently push them all the way in. I find it helpful to have a large pipe, cover the end with a shop towel, and insert it into the piston. This makes it easy to make sure the piston is going in straight, and gives you a handhold to push the piston into the caliper.

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25. Lubricate one of the new pivot boots with clean brake fluid and insert it. Lubricate the other pivot boot with clean brake fluid and put it on the pivot as shown. Lubricate the pivot with high temperature brake lubricant. Insert the second pivot boot into place.

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26. Push the pivot bolt through the channel, and out through the first boot, ensuring the first boot is not pushed out of its channel. Ensure the outer lips of the boots are fastened in place properly on the pivot bolt.

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27. Remove the boot from the pivot receptacle on the fork leg, and clean the inside of the receptacle with brake cleaner.

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28. Lubricate the new pivot receptacle boot with clean brake fluid and insert it into the receptacle.

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29. Insert the retainer spring into the caliper.

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30. Push the new brake pads into the caliper, then push the brake pad retaining pins through to hold them in place.

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31. Place the brake pin retaining bracket in place, and fasten the bracket retaining bolt.

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32. Apply high-temperature brake lubricant to the pivot bolt. You may have to remove this bolt before the caliper is replaced on some models.

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33. Place the caliper over the brake rotor, and fasten it in place with the upper pivot bolt and lower bolt.

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34. Torque the bolts - the upper pivot bolt to 20 ft-lb, the lower bolt to 13 ft-lb for 1980-1981, and 17 ft-lb for 1982-1983 models.

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35. Replace the banjo bolt on the brake line fitting, using new crush washers on either side of the banjo. Torque to 22 ft-lb.

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36. Bleed the brakes. I highly recommend using a Mity-vac to bleed the brakes.



colemadad
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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby colemadad » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:13 pm

Like all the how-to articles the information here is great. Some points that this ham-fisted do it yourselfer would like to add: I found it easier to loosen the brake bleeder, banjo bolt and pin holder bracket bolt before I removed the calliper from the bracket. It was just easier than trying to hold the calliper in one hand while trying to muscle a tight fitting with the other. Also, my second piston didn't just pull out but I got around that by just covering the inlet hole in the other cylinder and giving another blast or two with the air compressor. I was using an air compressor, rather than pump the brakes to eject the pistons, because I removed the brakes lines previously to send away to the guy that is going to custom fabricate my new stainless steel brake lines. Thanks again!

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:10 pm

Excellent point about loosening the various fittings before removing the caliper.

If you have a look in step 9, I put a piece of welding stock in there (you can use one old brake pad if you like), then pump the brakes until the pistons come out. One usually comes out before the other, and when it contacts the welding stock (or the pad, if you're using that), it will stop, and then the other piston will be forced out as you continue to pump.

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby colemadad » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:28 pm

That worked on 2 of the callipers but on the third one the second piston was stuck and I couldn't pull it out with my fingers. I was reluctant to use pliers to pull it out that last 1/8 of an inch with pliers so I just plugged the hole with my fingers and a quick blast of air and the last one just popped into my hand.
Don

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby Beermo » Sat May 29, 2010 4:26 pm

Why do the front brake calipers have 4 bolts and 2 ways of taking them off.

I've had mine off both ways a couple of times and right now I'm not really clear on what's going on with this.

Also, I know and I've been told by everyone and you mention it above about not letting the brake system go dry. How do you keep it wet after you unbolt the banjo and remove the caliper for cleaning and adding new O-rings.


Thanks for putting in the time to do all of this work. I really appreciate it.

Phil

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby WingAdmin » Sun May 30, 2010 9:58 am

You can take the calipers off and leave the brackets on, or take the brackets off as well. You have to take the brackets off if you're going to take the wheel out, there isn't enough clearance to remove the wheel with the brackets still on.

When we're talking about "going dry" it means that when bleeding the system, don't let the fluid reservoir go empty - otherwise you will end up pulling air into the lines and you'll have to start bleeding all over again. It doesn't actually literally mean "keep everything wet" - there's no problem letting things dry out when you're taking them apart and cleaning them. In fact, it's probably a good idea, to make sure the fluid isn't contaminated with brake cleaner or anything else when the system is filled.

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby Beermo » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:30 am

I still don't get the 2-way brake caliper thing that Honda has on these bikes. I can't figure it out. Why, Why , Why...

Anyway,

I took the caliper rebuild challenge and successfully rebuilt my left caliper on my '82 Standard. The left one had a piston in it that wouldn't go out and it made the pad push out on one end and not the other end.

I took my sweet time and it took me about 3 hours. I did take a few breaks to answer the phone and eat. I believe I could knock out the other one in less than an hour.

I ordered the rubber bits from PartsNMore and although there was nothing in the package telling me what was what, I figured it out easily and was very happy with the bits as they looked to be very well done with a very good fit on all the pieces I used.

I only had 3 minor problems with the rebuild.

Someone had obviously mistaken the bleeder valve for a grease zerk and filled it with grease. I found that out when I was cleaning it off. I was able to poke the straw from the brake cleaner into the valve hole at the end and blow the grease out. Maybe the grease was why one of the pistons locked up. The pointed end of the valve was pretty dirty with some light rust so I took some 600 and then 1500 sandpaper to it and it cleaned right up.

The pistons looked to be in pretty good shape, but after sanding them both I had a real hard time getting one of them to go in it's hole. A really hard time. I did like the instructions said on here and got a short piece of pipe wrapped with a shop towel and I was finally able to get it to go in. On the other one I just applied some steady pressure and it popped right in. It even made a little popping sound when it went in.

The 2 screws for the master cylinder cover would not tighten up together. I could get one side or the other to tighten up, but not both of them. Don't know why. I've had the cover off before and they had been a little tricky, but I spent maybe 45 minutes dicking with them and finally realized that something would have to be done. Either go try to find some new ones or modify the ones I had. I ended up grinding a very small taper on the bottom of the heads and got them to go on and tighten up. They were the round allen head fine screws. Looking at the lid, it looks like they take countersunk screws, not the ones I have. I'm not really sure what the correct screws are on that. It was like that when I bought the bike.

I did happen to notice that there seemed to be some brown debris (rust maybe?) under the big hole in the center of the master cylinder. I might be looking at a rebuild on that later on I suspect. The debris kinda looked like the super fine rust I had in a Quadrajet that came from a rusty gas tank on my '82 K5 Blazer.

The instructions I got from this site were put together very well and the pics were a great help. I appreciate the time you put in to help me and other Goldwing owners tackle these rebuilds without any fear of messing it up.

All in all it was a very simple rebuild. I figured if I followed the instructions on here step-by-step that I could do it and I'm not much of a mechanic.

Thanks.

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brake retainer?

Postby pulitjer » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:07 pm

In step 32 in the how to rebuild the front brake caliper, what is the little clip on the bottom left of the pic? I found one on the floor after I was done putting it back together. Thanks

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:31 pm

Those annoying little retaining brackets always fall off when you're trying to put the caliper back on - you're going to have to pull the caliper off to put it back into place. It fits over the caliper bracket (the part that bolts to the fork tube, and to which the caliper bolts) and gives a tiny bit of springiness between the caliper and the caliper bracket, to help prevent squealing brakes, and to avoid binding the caliper to the bracket as the caliper slides back and forth to account for rotor runout and brake pad wear. It needs to be there.

There are two on each side, on the top and bottom of the caliper bracket, facing in towards the caliper. They cling to the bracket with a tiny bit of spring pressure exerted by the little tab, and straddle the rotor. They fall off easily, so you have to make sure they are there when you fit the caliper back into the bracket.
Attachments
Caliper retaining bracket
Caliper retaining bracket

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby pulitjer » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:25 pm

Thanks alot,again these forums are great!!

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby robertdawber » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:55 pm

pulitjer wrote:Thanks alot,again these forums are great!!

Anyone know of a cross referenced bleeder valve for a gl100?
In other words-one I can pick up at Napa or Autozone?
Thanks
Bob

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby colemadad » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:53 pm

Are you talking about part number 12 here? This diagram only shows 1. Geez - if so, I don't remember them at all when I did my calliper rebuild. Either I just didn't notice them or they weren't there. And my brakes do squeal a bit...
Attachments

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby robertdawber » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:22 pm

colemadad wrote:Are you talking about part number 12 here? This diagram only shows 1. Geez - if so, I don't remember them at all when I did my calliper rebuild. Either I just didn't notice them or they weren't there. And my brakes do squeal a bit...

Well, first I apologize
I may have not asked correctly-I have an 83 Interstate-the part I need is number 2 in your photo
Bob

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:32 pm

robertdawber wrote:Well, first I apologize
I may have not asked correctly-I have an 83 Interstate-the part I need is number 2 in your photo
Bob


Oh, that's the bleeder. You can use any automotive bleeder for that.

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby robertdawber » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:02 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
robertdawber wrote:Well, first I apologize
I may have not asked correctly-I have an 83 Interstate-the part I need is number 2 in your photo
Bob


Oh, that's the bleeder. You can use any automotive bleeder for that.

Hi Scott-
I thought so but they look much bigger at Autozone. I didn't have one with me.
Bob

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:16 am

OK, let me clarify: You can use any automotive bleeder of the same size and thread pitch. :) And yes, I'd recommend taking one with you just to be sure.

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby thomascomcast » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:51 pm

I found out a good way to pop out pistons that are really stuck in their caliper holes in old bikes, even when high pressure air or the brake handle won't do it. I bought a $13 grease gun from O'Reillys auto parts and a tube of grease. The end of the extension on the gun exactly fit the hold in the caliper and pumping the gun easily pushed out the pistons. And I made a couple of picks to pick out the grooves the caliper o-rings sit in. I bought a $2 ice pick from Walmart, heated the end with a torch, and bent the tip to a 90 degree angle. For finer detail work I heated the end of a pointy blade on an exacto knife and bent it to 90 degrees. Both tools work great for some serious cleaning of grooved parts.

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby robertdawber » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:49 pm

thomascomcast wrote:I found out a good way to pop out pistons that are really stuck in their caliper holes in old bikes, even when high pressure air or the brake handle won't do it. I bought a $13 grease gun from O'Reillys auto parts and a tube of grease. The end of the extension on the gun exactly fit the hold in the caliper and pumping the gun easily pushed out the pistons. And I made a couple of picks to pick out the grooves the caliper o-rings sit in. I bought a $2 ice pick from Walmart, heated the end with a torch, and bent the tip to a 90 degree angle. For finer detail work I heated the end of a pointy blade on an exacto knife and bent it to 90 degrees. Both tools work great for some serious cleaning of grooved parts.

You can also buy a hook pick (lock pick) from home depot-a set is about 6 bucks.
In my case I bought the rear caliper (used) off of ebay-works great-the old one was never going to work again.

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby ricknhouston » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:14 pm

Is this item relative to 86 models as well and is there any significant difference to rebuilding the rear calipers as opposed to the front, other than the obvious?

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:33 pm

They are really basically the same - the same principles apply, and you should be able to rebuild your 1200's using the same procedures.

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby KYWinger » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:54 am

:?: Where did you get the braided stainless brake lines? BTW- A REALLY detailed how to....nice job :)

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:23 pm

KYWinger wrote::?: Where did you get the braided stainless brake lines? BTW- A REALLY detailed how to....nice job :)


My braided stainless lines came from Vencowings - certainly not the cheapest available, but among the best.

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby hogwild43 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:43 am

The piston on the right front caliper on my 83 Gold wing Interstate are smaller then the ones on the left side are thay all this way or did someone switch the one on the right?

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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby KYWinger » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:44 am

hogwild-
IIRC, it is because the right caliper is linked to the rear on 83's - mine is the same way. the front brake activates the left caliper and the brake pedal activates the rear AND the left front.....

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jswag5
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Re: How to rebuild your front brake calipers

Postby jswag5 » Mon May 02, 2011 3:56 pm

i have single piston calipers up front on my 81 and am having trouble locating rebuild kits for them and they are leaking like crazy anyone know where these kits can be found?


others ive owned

78 honda cx500(in pieces)
82 kaw kz1000p(still own)
83 yam maxim midnight(my dads now)
85 yam maxim x
79 kaw kz900


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