How to replace your front brake pads


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1100
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How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:02 am



Brake pads are subject to normal wear, and should be replaced if the wear lines on the pads reaches the edge of the brake rotor. All four front brake pads must ALWAYS be replaced at once to assure even pressure on the brake rotor.

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 extended.

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7. The brake pistons must now be retracted. As the brake pads wore away, the caliper filled with more and more brake fluid, and the pistons have pushed out farther. They must be pushed back into the caliper in order for the new brake pads to fit. There are a variety of tools to do this:

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Some people just use a C-clamp. Both pistons must be pushed in at the same time, and they must be pushed in evenly - do not push on the edge of one piston. A simple method is to put a wrench flat across both pistons, then use a C-clamp to push the wrench, which will push both pistons equally into the caliper.

Important: before retracting the pistons, loosen the bleeder screw. This allows the collected brake fluid in the caliper to be ejected, instead of pushed back up to the master cylinder. The brake fluid that is in the caliper has been subjected to many heat cycles, and can be contaminated by moisture, debris and grease. The last thing you want to do is to push that contaminated brake fluid back up into the master cylinder! So loosen the bleeder screw, retract the pistons, then tighten the bleeder screw again.

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Caution: Brake fluid will destroy plastic and painted surfaces. Do not allow brake fluid to squirt onto plastic or painted surfaces!

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

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9. Clean and polish the brake pad retention pins.

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10. The pivot bolt should be cleaned of all crease using brake cleaner.

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11. Insert the retainer spring into the caliper.

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

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

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

18. Test ride the bike. You will need to "seat" the new brake pads. To do this, ride up to about 30 mph, then brake hard to nearly a stop. Repeat this five or six times. Warning: It is entirely possible that when you brake the first few times, one set of brakes will "grab" harder than the other set. If this happens, the bike will twist the handlebars and try to steer itself one way or the other! Be prepared for this, and hold onto the handlebars tightly. Keep repeating the hard stops until this steering tendency disappears. If it does not disappear after ten stops, you likely have air in one of the calipers. Go back, re-bleed the brakes, and try again.



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Dr.Ew
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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby Dr.Ew » Sun May 13, 2012 9:05 pm

Great guide, I appreciate the step by step documentation. However, on my 1982 GL1100, after removing the pin retainer bracket, I cannot get the pad retaining pins to come out. I've used penetrating oil,vice grips, even gently tapping them from the wheel-side, trying to get them to budge, but cannot budge them. Even though I know the brake system is made to handle high-heat, I hesitate to try to use any heat to free up the pins. I'm willing to give anything a shot, but I certainly don't want to screw up the whole brake unit, could you suggest anything? Has anyone else run into this problem?
Thanks!

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Mon May 14, 2012 12:22 pm

It's actually a very common problem. It's not 100% agreed upon as to the cause, but some have conjectured that bashing on the ends of the pins to push them out, over time causes them to widen, so that they don't fit into the holes as well anymore.

The first time I did mine, I had to use a bit more than gentle tapping - I ended up using an air chisel with a flat "drift" tip on it to push them through. I cleaned and polished the grime off the pins, but when I put them back in, they were still so tight that I couldn't push them through by hand (which you should be able to do). I ended up taking a drill bit and very slightly boring out the holes in the caliper - not enough to make the pins sloppy, but enough that I could push them back in easily. There was still a bit of interference fit. After I did that once, I never had to do it again.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby vppalin » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:06 pm

Awesome DIY Doc. The note on the bottom about the retainer pins was helpful. I was able to drive mine out with a punch (light taps at a time. I cleaned them up good, but did end up drilling out the holes as your item described.

I was a bit disappointed when I got to the left side of the bike. (Front). A previous owner had obviously saw the need to use thread dressing on the top swivel bolt hole. There were literally no threads. I am not sure if this is why the braking power has not been what it should.

Looks like I'm parking it until I get a new caliper - impressed with the DIY....not impressed with my situation. Oh well...off to ebay I go!!

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby mcbrayer3rd » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:12 pm

where can i get good cheap pads (front, and back)at????????????
McBrayer3rd

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:07 pm

mcbrayer3rd wrote:where can i get good cheap pads (front, and back)at????????????


You have two options: OEM Honda, and EBC. I used EBC on my bike with no concerns or problems. You can get them at Cyclemax: GL1100 Brake Pads

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby warnett » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:12 am

Couple of questions. First
"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."
I assume on the 1982 its pivot 20 and lower 17
OK have you heard of Disk quite being used on the pads. Not the contact side of course.
I have a problem with a howling like noise when I roll the bike backwards. I have clean the master and cabs I think its fixed and it comes back. Yes I cleaned the return hole. Maybe hose going bad but it happens right away and the fluid shows no trash.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:19 pm

warnett wrote:Couple of questions. First
"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."
I assume on the 1982 its pivot 20 and lower 17
OK have you heard of Disk quite being used on the pads. Not the contact side of course.
I have a problem with a howling like noise when I roll the bike backwards. I have clean the master and cabs I think its fixed and it comes back. Yes I cleaned the return hole. Maybe hose going bad but it happens right away and the fluid shows no trash.


You are correct on the torque values.

Are you sure it's coming from the brakes? The final drive can sometimes make a howling kind of noise when rolling backward.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby warnett » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:45 pm

Pretty sure its the brakes. Because sometimes it sounds like the front. You know how brakes sound on a big truck stopping. Thats the sound. I think i've heard it going forward too. What about the disk quite stuff. You didn't comment on that.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:10 pm

The shims on the backs of the pads should eliminate squealing, but you can try some of the disk quiet type of product as well if you think that's the source of the probl;em.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby Nickel1 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:53 pm

I am finishing my 1978 GL1000 front brakes and am missing a shim on one of them. Will this create any problems other than a possible squeal?

1978 GL1000
"Bulldog Café"
1978
Bulldog Café

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:57 pm

Nickel1 wrote:I am finishing my 1978 GL1000 front brakes and am missing a shim on one of them. Will this create any problems other than a possible squeal?

1978 GL1000
"Bulldog Café"


It won't change the functionality of it - it will still work fine, wear normally, all of that.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby roadwanderer2 » Thu May 14, 2015 10:29 am

i need to replace the front pads on my '83 aspencade which i can get from my local parts store, only thing is they need to know the thickness of the pads. are they supposed to be 9mm or 10mm thick.

stuart.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 14, 2015 10:56 am

roadwanderer2 wrote:i need to replace the front pads on my '83 aspencade which i can get from my local parts store, only thing is they need to know the thickness of the pads. are they supposed to be 9mm or 10mm thick.

stuart.


The service manual specifies a thickness for front pads of between 6.9mm and 7.1mm, for all years and models of GL1100.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby roadwanderer2 » Thu May 14, 2015 11:35 am

hey wingadmin, i understand that if your talking about the service limit minimum thickness, but what are they supposed to be when they are new. my manual shows they are supposed to be replaced when they are worn down to the red line/mark/arrow, but there's no red line/mark or arrow on my calipers or on the pads to judge them by and it doesn't say what thickness they are when they are new.

the pads on my left front caliper are almost down to the metal, and i don't want to put my new rotors on until i get new pads.

stuart.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 14, 2015 1:04 pm

roadwanderer2 wrote:hey wingadmin, i understand that if your talking about the service limit minimum thickness, but what are they supposed to be when they are new. my manual shows they are supposed to be replaced when they are worn down to the red line/mark/arrow, but there's no red line/mark or arrow on my calipers or on the pads to judge them by and it doesn't say what thickness they are when they are new.

the pads on my left front caliper are almost down to the metal, and i don't want to put my new rotors on until i get new pads.

stuart.


That isn't the service limit, that is the nominal size new.

Brake Pad Thickness
Brake Pad Thickness

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby roadwanderer2 » Thu May 14, 2015 1:38 pm

hey wingadmin, thanks for this info. this is exactly what i needed to know. im surprised that my manual doesn't show what the pad's new thicknesses are.

thanks again,

stuart.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby roadwanderer2 » Thu May 14, 2015 6:15 pm

ok, new front pads and rotors are on, everything is buttoned up and torqued down to specs, took it for the 6 hard stopping @30mph like wingadmin suggests, and everything is working perfectly. front pads should be good for another 2 years or so.

thanks wingadmin for the great "how-to" article with all its photos and paragraphs on replacing the front pads and wheel.

stuart.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby Allan10 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:08 pm

Great explanation I am going to be doing both front and rear where would be a good place to get rotors and is there a how to on the rotor replacement. Thanks allan10

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:33 pm

go to this link, and scroll almost all the way down to the bottom of the page. it will show you how to remove and replace your front rotors. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=68

the rotors for these older wings are VERY expensive. new they are well over $260.00 EACH. i got lucky when i found mine. i got off of craigslist from someone that tried to put them on his 82 interstate not knowing they are wider than the std's or interstate's rotors. i got the pair of them, brand new, never used for $100.00 plus shipping. his loss was my gain. the rear rotor is around $279.00 and i think that's for a vented EBC rotor. IF your lucky, you might be able to find a decent pair of fronts on eBay, but make sure they are well above "minimum service limit" so you have enough "meat" on them. try to find a pair from a low mileage bike.

stuart.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby Allan10 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:35 pm

Thanks for the info. Allan10

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby roadwanderer2 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:20 am

your very welcome.

stuart.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby tubamanz » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:23 pm

Having done this a couple of times now I would suggest that before step 1 you loosen (but not remove) the brake pin retainer bracket bolt. It's easier to do when the caliper is still bolted to the bike.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby chevy_man5 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:59 am

I've done plenty of brakes in my life so far, but this was handy to reference this last weekend. Replaced the fork seals, and replaced the front brakes on my girlfriends Goldwing yesterday.

This site is a great reference source!

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby Nealschoen » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:43 pm

Poop! I bought front brake pads for my 1980 GL1100 and followed the wonderfully precise method for removing the front wheel in anticipation of taking off the greasy pads and cleaning up the leaked fork oil. Then before putting on the new pads I planned to replace the fork seals using another DIY from your Site. Really helpful for this newbie until I notice that my front brakes only have one piston each! The pads are a completely different shape than what I bought.

I am sure the shop will take them back but what gives? The ownership papers say 1980 so could these be the wrong brakes? Help! I am sitting in my garage staring at a lovely bike that really wants to start rolling but can't.




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