How to replace your front brake pads


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Tue May 01, 2012 3:58 pm



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. Pull the rear of the front fender cover to release the post from its grommet. Carefully release the two tabs from the front of the cover (next to the fork) - these tabs are easily broken, so be careful! Remove the cover. Repeat on the other side of the wheel.

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2. Remove the allen bolt holding the top of the wheel cover. You may have aftermarket accessories such as the wiring and light bracket shown in this picture. If that is the case, keep in mind how they fasten, so that you can refasten them when reassembling.

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3. Remove the two allen bolts from the bottom of the wheel cover.

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4. Note that the two allen bolts on the bottom of the wheel cover have a collar - don't lose the collar!

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5. Remove the wheel cover. Repeat the process on the other side of the wheel.

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6. Note the brake line stabilization bracket that goes on top of the wheel cover. The top allen bolt goes through both of these brackets, then through the wheel cover, then screws into the fork. There are two brackets on each side, and both of them are stamped "L" or "R" to identify which side of the wheel they are from. The two brackets on each side link together at the back, go around the brake line, and then go together at the front, where they are fastened, along with the wheel cover, into the fork. The inside bracket has a small flange that fits into the hole in the plastic rotor cover.

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7. The following procedures show only the left caliper, but the right caliper is done the exact same way. Remove the pad pin caps using a flat-bladed screwdriver.

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8. Once the caps are removed, loosen the pad pins with a hex driver.

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9. Remove the lower caliper mounting bolt.

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10. Remove the upper caliper mounting bolt.

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11. Using a bungee, rope or wire, hang the caliper so that it is not suspended using the brake line.

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12. You can now rotate the caliper and look at the brake pad lining. These pads have about 1mm of lining left before reaching the wear markers.

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13. Back out each pad pin until the threads are free of the caliper.

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14. Pull out and set aside the pad pins.

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15. Once the pad pins are removed, the brake pads can be removed from the caliper.

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16. As the pads have worn, the pistons move outward to compensate. Because we will be putting new pads on with full-thickness linings, we must first retract the pistons in order to make room.

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17. Retracting the pistons will squeeze brake fluid from the calipers back up to the master cylinder. This brake fluid has spent some time in the caliper (it doesn't circulate back and forth), where it has been subjected to many heat cycles, dirt from pistons, and other contaminants. We don't want this contaminated, worn-out fluid being pushed back up to the master cylinder, where it can clog the tiny return port. Therefore, we need to open the bleed valve before we retract the pistons. This means the old fluid will be ejected out the bleed valve instead of being pushed up to the master cylinder. Pull the rubber cap off the bleed nipple, place a tube over the bleed nipple, and using a 10mm wrench, open the bleed valve.

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18. The bleed tube I use is connected to my vacuum bleeder. This prevents air from entering the brake system during this process.

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19. In some cases, you can retract the pistons simply by pressing on them.

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20. You can also buy specialized tools used for retracting pistons. Make sure both pistons are retracted equally, then close the bleed valve.

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21. Brake parts need lubrication, and they get very hot, so special high-temperature brake grease is required.

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22. Coat the pad pins with brake grease.

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23. Insert the pins partially into the caliper.

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24. Push the new brake pad down into the caliper well. There is no "inner" or "outer" brake pad - they are both the same. Do your best not to get any grease on the face of the brake lining. Note the retracted pistons.

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25. Push the brake pad up against the pistons, and make sure both brake pad pins are through the holes in the pad. You will have to push the pad down against the spring in the bottom of the caliper in order to do this.

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26. Put the second brake pad in, with its lining facing the first. Push it down against the spring, and then push both pad pins in all the way.

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27. Put a flat wrench or other flat object between the pads in order to keep them evenly separated.

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28. Screw both pad pins in fully. Torque to 13 ft-lb. Replace and tighten the pad pin plugs.

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29. Using brake cleaner, fully clean the caliper, new pads and brake rotor. This will remove all dirt and grease from the caliper and pads before reinstalling.

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30. Remove the sleeve of the anti-dive bearing and clean it.

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31. Apply grease to the anti-dive needle bearings. This is regular grease, not brake lubricant.

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32. Reinsert the anti-dive bearing sleeve.

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33. Remove the spacer from between the brake pads, and position the caliper so that the brake rotor fits between the pads. Line up the bracket so that the holes line up, and replace the upper caliper mounting bolt. Torque to 17 ft-lbs.

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34. Apply grease to the bushing and pivot collar of the anti-dive piston (this is where the lower caliper mounting bolt screws into), then replace the lower caliper mounting bolt. Torque to 9 ft-lb.

At this point, repeat steps 7-34 on the other caliper. Once the pads have been replaced on both calipers, proceed with bleeding.

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35. Next, we must bleed the brake lines in order to remove any air that may have entered the system. The easiest method is to use a vacuum bleeding tool, such as a Mity-Vac:

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36. Remove the rubber cover from the bleed nipple, put a 10mm wrench over the valve, and slip your vacuum bleeder over the nipple.

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37. Pump up your vacuum bleeder until it has developed a good vacuum, then open the bleed valve with the wrench. Allow brake fluid to exit the bleed nipple until you don't see air bubbles. Close the valve (not too tightly!). Remove the bleeder and wrench, and replace the rubber cap. Repeat the process on the other caliper.

No vacuum bleeder? Bleeding can be done without a vacuum bleeder, with the help of an assistant. Put a tube over the nipple as is done with the vacuum bleeder. Make sure the tube exits into a container - brake fluid will destroy paint and ABS plastic, so you don't want it splashing around. Have an assistant pump the appropriate brake (for the right front caliper, pump the brake lever, for the left front caliper, pump the brake pedal) until it feels firm. Once it feels firm, have them push and hold the brake lever/pedal, and while they do so, briefly open the bleed valve. They will feel the pressure go away. Immediately close the bleed valve. Do NOT allow them to release the lever/pedal while the valve is open, or it will suck air INTO the system! Repeat this process until all air has been bled from the system.

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38. It's quite possible that you can pump enough brake fluid out of the system while bleeding that it needs to be replenished. While bleeding, NEVER allow the brake fluid to get too low, or you can end up sucking/pumping air into the system! If brake fluid needs replenishing, first lay a towel down to protect paint and plastic from splashes or spills.

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39. Remove the screws from the top of the brake reservoir, and remove the reservoir lid.

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40. Remove the inner form of the reservoir.

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41. Remove the reservoir diaphragm. As quickly as possible, add DOT-4 brake fluid from a sealed container to the reservoir. Do not allow dirt or contaminants to enter the reservoir. Brake fluid is hydroscopic, it absorbs water from the air, so the amount of time it is exposed to the air should be minimized.

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42. Once replenished, fit the inner liner to the diaphragm, and replace them both.

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43. Replace the reservoir lid, and screw it into place.

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44. The reservoir for the brake pedal is located right behind the battery. Remove the left side cover. Start by pulling the bottom front post free from its grommet.

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45. Next pull the bottom rear post free. Pull the bottom slightly toward you - but not too far, or you risk snapping off the remaining post! Pull the cover free from the metal post at the top front, then gently work the top rear post free of its grommet, and pull the side cover away.

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46. Turn the cap counterclockwise to remove it.

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47. Remove the inner form.

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48. Remove the diaphragm, and replenish the reservoir.

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49. Replace the diaphragm and form, then replace the lid.

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50. Replace the side cover, starting at the top, then pushing the lower posts into their grommets.

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51. If repeated bleeding does not get rid of "soft" brakes, pump the brakes several times until firm, then pull and hold the brake lever back and secure with a bungee as shown. Leave to sit overnight. This will allow air bubbles to migrate up to the reservoir. The same method can be used for the brake pedal.

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52. Place the two brake line stabilization brackets around the brake line and link them together. Make sure you get the correct brackets on the correct sides.

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53. Fit the wheel cover into place, making sure it fits under the brackets, and that the flange of the back bracket fits into the hole of the wheel cover. The back of the wheel cover also needs to fit into the back of the wheel fender. Screw the top bolt into place, but do not tighten.

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54. Replace the two bottom bolts - don't forget to use their collars. Tighten these bolts, then tighten the top bolt.

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55. Fit the two tabs at the front of the front fender cover into the back of the front fender, then push the rear of the front fender cover into place, inserting its post into its grommet.

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As with any safety-critical system such as brakes, it is beholden upon you to TEST RIDE thoroughly at slow speed in a controlled area, to ensure that the brakes are working correctly.

After changing brake pads, they should be bedded-in. In a safe area, apply brakes moderately from 60 mph to 30 mph, and then drive approximately 1/2 mile to allow the brakes to cool. Repeat this procedure several times.



bk1941
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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby bk1941 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:18 am

How do I remove the cover that goes over the rotor and the caliper, and the wheel,etc?
This is on the 1994 Honda 1500 Aspencade Goldwing.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:00 am

bk1941 wrote:How do I remove the cover that goes over the rotor and the caliper, and the wheel,etc?
This is on the 1994 Honda 1500 Aspencade Goldwing.


Look at the first five steps of this thread. It describes how to do it, along with pictures.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby SmartBiker » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:02 pm

what lube did you use on the caliper slider pins on the caliper bracket?

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:03 am

SmartBiker wrote:what lube did you use on the caliper slider pins on the caliper bracket?


Some high-temperature brake lubricant, I think it came from NAPA:

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby SgtCharlie » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:11 pm

CRAP! HELP!

And that was the nice version... Ok, so i'm all set to do my front brakes and the top brake caliper bolt doesn't come loose and the hex head strips in the process. It's not deep enough for the easy out that fits the hole to reach the sides and the next size easy out I have is way too big...

How do I get this *@^% bolt out without ruining my caliper?

Were do I get a new bolt, once I get this one out?

Any suggestions would be very appreciated as my bike is pretty much down until i get this fixed... AAARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!
:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby SgtCharlie » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:33 pm

Another question.

I have a large container of DOT 3 brake fluid that I use in my van and trucks. What's the difference between DOT 3 and DOT 4? Can I use DOT 3 in my GW and if so, can I mix them?

Thanks,
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby SgtCharlie » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:54 pm

SgtCharlie wrote:Were do I get a new bolt, once I get this one out?


Well I found the replacement at Honda Direct Line for $15 including S&H. I still have to get the old one out though. I wish I had a reverse thread tape and die kit, I'd thread it and then tighten a bolt into it until it broke the stupid thing loose...

Hmmmm....
Well, it's 2300 hrs. I'm going to go to bed and start fresh tomorrow. Thanks God I'm on leave and don't have to go to work for the next 10 days!
Sgt Charlie
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Fort Bliss, TX

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:16 pm

How about drilling it very slightly, so that the smaller EZ-Out will fit it?

Be careful not to break off an EZ-Out in there!

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby SgtCharlie » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:18 am

WingAdmin wrote:How about drilling it very slightly, so that the smaller EZ-Out will fit it?

Be careful not to break off an EZ-Out in there!


Yeah, that's my highest concern. I was putting crap loads of force on it to try to break it loose in the first place. I don't think am easy out can take that much stress
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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby bjatwood » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:06 pm

Did you ever get that caliper bolt out Charlie?

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby SgtCharlie » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:56 pm

BJ,

No I have not yet because after I spent the $6.00 on the Fork Seal repair tool, I cleaned the brake pads and they have been fine ever since. I know (and it nags me in the back of my mind) that I'm going to have to deal with that bolt sooner or later, when I need brakes.

I'm considering just Mig welding another bold into the now round hole where the allen wrench used to go and taking it out that way... I'm just not sure of the heat effecting other parts nearby.

I've found the bolt to purchase, so once I get it out, it won't be a problem...

Thanks for asking.
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby Uncle Fester » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:54 pm

Very nice how to, any chance you did one for the rear brakes and I missed it ?
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:35 pm

Uncle Fester wrote:Very nice how to, any chance you did one for the rear brakes and I missed it ?


Hm. I looked, and I have pictures taken for rebuilding the rear caliper, but I don't have any taken for just doing the pads. I'll have to take some more and then write it up. I thought I had a rear brake pad one done already.

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Re: How to replace your front brake pads

Postby saverchoices » Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:28 pm

WOW!!! Great pictures and step by step explanations. Thank you for all the info. Hoping I can get this all in my mind...BEFORE...I tackle this project! Thank you for the reply and time spent making this project a 1, 2, 3...process.

Blessings,

Bob




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