How to rebuild your rear brake caliper


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How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:03 pm



I rebuilt the rear caliper 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. Remove the seat and left saddlebag. Instructions on removing the seat can be found here, and on removing the bag can be found here. Careful to disconnect the turn signal wire (on top of the rear fender before pulling the bag away.

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1. Loosen and remove the caliper pivot bolt.

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2. Loosen and remove the lower caliper bolt.

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3. Pull the caliper up off the brake rotor and remove it.

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4. Unbolt the brake pin retainer bracket bolt.

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5. Remove the brake pin retainer bracket.

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6. Remove the brake retainer pins. These are frequently seized in place, and may require some persuasion. I used a punch and a hammer to persuade them out from the back side of the caliper. The brake pads will fall out when these pins are removed.

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7. Remove the rotor cover retaining screw, then pull the rotor cover up and away.

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8. For the next step, I use a simple piece of 1/8" thick steel welding stock. It seems to be the perfect thickness. If you don't have something like this, an old brake pad would work as well.

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

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10. While holding the welding stock in place, have an assistant pump the rear brake pedal. 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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11. Once both pistons have hit the welding stock, stop pumping the pedal, and remove the welding stock. Pump the pedal once more, and one of the pistons will pop out.

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12. The other one should be easily removed by hand. Careful - there will be lots of brake fluid in behind the pistons, and it will come out quickly!

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

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

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

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16. Push the pivot pin out of the caliper. It is usually fouled and tough to get out. Here I am using a 3/8" socket extension to push it out. Remove the slider pin rubber boots from the caliper.

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

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

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19. 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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20. This slider pin is filthy and corroded. The channels need to be cleaned out, and the corrosion sanded (gently) off.

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21. Again, start with 600 grit sandpaper, then polish with 1500 grit, always in a circular motion.

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22. The seized brake pad retention pins need to be cleaned and sanded as well.

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23. The pivot bolt should be cleaned of all grease using brake cleaner.

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24. 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. The upper seal in this cylinder has obviously failed.

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25. Using a dull pick, gently scrape the corrosion and residue inside the channels of the cylinder that hold the seals. 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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26. Remove the bleeder bolt from the caliper, clean it, and clean its channel liberally with brake cleaner. Do the same with the brake line channel.

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27. Clean all surfaces of the caliper with brake cleaner. If the insides of the cylinders are corroded or have residue, sand very gently with 600 grit, then 1500 grit sandpaper, ensuring you do so in a circular motion. Always ensure any debris is flushed out of the cylinders with brake cleaner.

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28. 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.

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29. Ensure the upper seal does not twist, and that the thin ridges face inward.

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30. 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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31. Note that the rear caliper pistons do not insert all the way like the pistons of the front calipers.

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32. Lubricate the inside of the slider pin channel with high temperature brake lubricant.

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33. Lubricate one of the new slider boots with clean brake fluid and put it on the slider pin backwards as shown. Push the inner ridge of the boot slightly past the channel on the slider pin. Lubricate the inside of the boot and the outside of the slider pin with high temperature brake lubricant.

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34. Lubricate the other slider boot with clean brake fluid and insert it into the caliper. Insert the boot with the slider pin into the other side of the caliper.

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35. Push the slider pin through the caliper and out through the first boot, ensuring the first boot is not pushed out of its channel.

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36. Ensure the outer lips of the boots are fastened in place properly on the slider pin. Once installed, the slider pin should slide back and forth easily, while the boots seal it.

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37. Insert the retainer spring into the caliper.

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38. Push the brake pad retaining pins partially into the caliper.

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39. Push the brake pads down into the caliper, compressing the spring, and slide them onto the retaining pins. Be careful not to get grease, brake fluid or lubricant on the face of the brake pads. Push the retaining pins all the way through.

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

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41. Place the new cap over the bleeder threads, then screw the bleeder finger-tight into the caliper.

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42. Replace the rotor cover. Ensure the far side is lined up correctly.

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43. Pull the old slider pin boot off the caliper frame on the bike.

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44. Fill the new one with high temperature brake lubricant.

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45. Insert the new boot onto the frame.

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46. Lubricate the slider pin with copious amounts of high temperature brake lubricant.

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47. Place the caliper over the rotor, line up the bolt holes, insert the pivot bolt, and torque it to 13 ft-lb for 1980-1981, and 17 ft-lb for 1982-1983 models.. You may need to push the slider pin (underneath the "HONDA" on the caliper) out a bit with your fingers in order to get the caliper to line up correctly with the holes.

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48. Insert the caliper bolt and torque it to 22 ft-lb.

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49. Attach the brake line banjo fitting with two new crush washers. Start the bolt by hand to ensure it is not cross-threaded.

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50. Tighten the brake line fitting to 22 ft-lb.

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

52. Replace the saddle bag.



rickvo
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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby rickvo » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:28 pm

OK. An excellent how to rebuild your rear caliper. I did my 1985 Interstate today, I followed the steps one by one. Outstanding photos by the way. I had never done this work before. I went from a seized caliper to one that works like new.

Thank you. Very much.

Rick

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby MJSantos » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:35 am

Just did my 83 brakes all around. Had one of the Harbor Freight bleeders kits but the pump went bad. Saved the can and tubes but used a compressor out of an old fridge, makes for one hell of a pump. Saves on sitting there pumping by hand just hook it up and off you go, keep the fluid levels up in the reservoirs.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:20 am

That's an important point - if while pumping and bleeding you manage to empty the reservoir, you will draw air into the system and have to start all over again.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby KurtH » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:13 am

Great document. My caliper doesn't look like this though. I have an 80 GL1100. I only have one piston and no retaining pins. The breakpads don't even go into the caliper. They sit ont he piece that the caliper bolts onto. I am guessing I can still follow these instructions, but not sure where to get the seals. Is this something I can pull out and have matched at a parts store? Thanks!

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:57 am

Every model year of the GL1100 had different brake calipers, unfortunately. You can find replacement seals for your calipers at this site: https://www.partsnmore.com/cat_index.ph ... ry=chassis

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby KurtH » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:43 pm

My caliper is frozen. I managed to pry it off the rotar. I inspected it and it actually looks pretty good. I pumped the breaks a little to get the piston to come out just enough that I could see what it looked like and it is nice and shiny. The dust seal looks to be in good shape also. Is it possible that I just need to lube the piston and slide it back in? I was really hoping to get on this bike and have it move under its OWN power instead of my back :lol: But everytime I get close there is always one more thing that goes wrong.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:24 am

If you can pump it out with the pedal, then the caliper isn't frozen. One of two things is possible:

- The caliper slide pins are seized and need to be cleaned and lubricated
- (more likely) the return port in the master cylinder is blocked, causing the pistons to not be allowed to retract.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby KurtH » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:30 pm

I bled the brakes and filled with clean fluid. That appears to be helping some. It now retracts a tiny bit. I filled it and kept pumping the piston out then forcing it back in with a c clamp to try to free whatever was in teh master cylinder. I think if i do this a little more or ride it so it heats up it might loosen whatever is in there up. Then I will bleed the lines again and put fresh fluid in again. The fluid that came out was dirty looking. It was dark like honey sorta.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby OldSchool_IsCool » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:55 am

WA,

The detail and photography of these How-To's never ceases to amaze me! Thank you SO much for offering these up!

Now that the flattery is done :D I have a possible problem with my rear caliper. Specifically, upon assembly with brand new pads, the inboard pad (non-piston side) appears to be leaning inward a few millimeters (smaller gap at the tips than the gap at the pins). I tried turning the spring around and swapping pads between sides. I can't find a combination that will get the inboard pad to stand up straight. I'm concerned that this lean will cause unwanted contact when the brake is at rest.

Is this normal? If not, what am I doing wrong?

Thanks in advance for your reply!

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:56 pm

Is this before you've reinstalled the caliper on the bike? If so, no worries - just put the thing on, pump the brakes until the piston moves the pads into contact with the rotor, let off the brakes, and rotate the wheel by hand. The pads should then be perfectly parallel with the rotor - pushed away only a few thousandths of an inch by the rotor, enough to keep it from dragging.

If you're seeing this when the caliper installed on the wheel AFTER you've pumped them up, then there is a different problem. Let me know which it is.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby OldSchool_IsCool » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:26 am

Thanks WA,

I noticed it while the caliper was on the bench. I'll get 'er mounted and also install the new SS brake lines. When I have it all bleed out, I'll reevaluate. Will prolly be a few weeks away, unfortunatly. I WANA RIDE!!

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby ROCKANDFINISH » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:15 pm

ive red on other sites not to use any petroleum on rebuilding breaks. u said to use atf fluid . is this correct?

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:09 am

ATF fluid is a hydraulic fluid just like brake fluid - just not as hydroscopic (doesn't attract and absorb water as strongly). So it's a good alternative to lubricate seals and so on prior to assembly.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby Oldbear » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:55 pm

Great work again WingAdmin. I've rebuilt the rear master (from your guide) and the rear caliper too. Just did a 20km test flight - all is well. The rear rotors never got above 50c - they had been over 180c when the rear brakes hung up. I then tried to clean out the return port, but the next test run had the same results... cooking the rear master seals... master cylinder felt "loose" inside too. So I rebuilt them both - for the price of the kits, its worth it to know its all good inside.
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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby MedicMike » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:54 pm

I finally got my bike back from the dealer and I am working on rebuilding the rear caliper. I have one piston the will not come out. I pumped them out evenly and then one popped out but the other one will not budge. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Mike

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby Oldbear » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:28 pm

MedicMike wrote:I finally got my bike back from the dealer and I am working on rebuilding the rear caliper. I have one piston the will not come out. I pumped them out evenly and then one popped out but the other one will not budge. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Mike


I had to put one back in... then held a thicker piece of metal under the one that came out... and pump again (after bleeding the brakes again)... this helped us get the stuck piston out; then the one that was free before just pulled out easy. It is messy - put it worked.

Hope that helps. And have someone help you - it will make the difference.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby MedicMike » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:07 am

Oldbear wrote:
MedicMike wrote:I finally got my bike back from the dealer and I am working on rebuilding the rear caliper. I have one piston the will not come out. I pumped them out evenly and then one popped out but the other one will not budge. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Mike


I had to put one back in... then held a thicker piece of metal under the one that came out... and pump again (after bleeding the brakes again)... this helped us get the stuck piston out; then the one that was free before just pulled out easy. It is messy - put it worked.

Hope that helps. And have someone help you - it will make the difference.

Thanks. That it what I finally did. All rebuilt and back on the bike. I need to bleed it one more time, because the pedal is not as stiff as I would like it. I also ran some Seafoam in the crank case and then changed the oil and oil filter last night. It stunk like gasoline which I expected from the stuck floats in the carbs. I figured I'll run it for a few hundred miles and change it again. Next project is the timing belts, but I might put it off until winter or when I can replenish the bank account.

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Different rear caliiper...only one piston.

Postby dawgout81 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Thanks for the ariticle.
Now for my situation. My 1100 only has 1 piston on the rear caliper and I am not sure how the brake pads go back in (they fell out during disassembly). There don't appear to be any retention brackets.

Anyone else run into this or have advice for me?

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Re: Different rear caliiper...only one piston.

Postby Oldbear » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:53 pm

dawgout81 wrote:Thanks for the ariticle.
Now for my situation. My 1100 only has 1 piston on the rear caliper and I am not sure how the brake pads go back in (they fell out during disassembly). There don't appear to be any retention brackets.

Anyone else run into this or have advice for me?


Use Bike Bandit's website to see what parts should be there. Their website is a partsman's dream. They've scanned the old Goldwing parts books and once you get used to it, you'll wonder how you got by without. I've even loaded their iPhone app for when I'm wrenching at a freinds place on something that isn't a wing.

Plus this website and the great pictures in the How-to's make it way too easy...

You should have two pins holding the brake pads in the caliper and there should be a retention plate that holds the pins in.

Hope this helps.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby dawgout81 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:42 pm

Thanks Oldbear!
Never heard of Bike Bandit before. Those schematics say a ton. Great information and should get me headed in the right direction.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby SilverDave » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:15 pm

.... after re-building one ( Front ) caliper and starting on the second, and rear Calipers.. I ( again ) noticed that the brake retainer pins were jammed in ( again ) ... and actually had to be drifted out. I used a phillips screwdriver shaft with a flat ground head to drift....Diameter 5.75 mm. but it was a lot of slamming and banging... Hmmmm

I had recently purchased a Digital caliper, and quickly found the problem ... The top of the shaft, first inch or so had " Mushroomed " to a diameter slightly larger than the hole ! Really !!
The hole is 6.00, and the unmushroomed part of the shaft is around 5.98 or 5.99. The top of mine was 6.01 or 6.02... LOL.. Its called a UBER friction fit !!
No wonder it needed to be drifted!

I chucked the shaft in a drill press, and sanded it down, very carefully with strips of Wet-or-dry sanding cloth, until the entire shaft was the same diameter ... about 5.98 mm.. Then a light sanding with 1000 and 1500 to make them shine.

Then with just a touch of grease, or light oil, from fingertips... It slides right in, and out with just a light pull between two fingers.

so... why did this happen ??

I think ... If you or any other PO have ever drifted these pins in , or out, even with the exact correct drift, and careful , precise tapping, these pins are soft metal, and can easily mushroom.... They can even mushroom a bit, even while in the hole .
The way they were made, 25 years ago.. they are supposed to exactly fit the hole when covered with a thin film of oil ... and they are supposed to smoothly slide in... and out ..

... and now mine do !

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:39 pm

Interesting...that's something I never even thought of. The pins on my 1100 were very stiff and tough to get out, my 1500 I could push out with my fingers. I can't think of any other forces that would cause that other than some whacking to push them out, so I suspect you're right.

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby wcurlew » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:43 pm

I just got done trying to rebuild a rear caliper on the 1981 GL1100I that has the single cylinder piston. I had a very difficut time getting the piston back into the cylinder, in spite of lubing with brake fluid. After assembly and while bleeding, I noticed the cylinder was leaking, and upon dis-assembly I saw the the piston had 'nicked' a piece of the new replacement seal out.

There were no instructions with the rebuild kit I got. Is there something special about the seal that I should have noticed to avoid this issue the next time? I've ordered a replacement seal from Cheapcycleparts.com and figured I'd ask while waiting for it to show up.

Both cylinder and piston were polished up and no stuff was in the cylinder when re-assembling.

Thanks.
Bill

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Re: How to rebuild your rear brake caliper

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:42 am

Are you sure the replacement seals you installed were the correct ones? Were they Honda OEM or an aftermarket kit? Not that all aftermarket kits are bad, but there are some out there that simply don't fit (cough Sabercycle).

Did you thoroughly clean out the channel in which the seal fits? If there is any crud left in there, it will push the seal out too far, making tolerances too tight against the piston, and binding things up.




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