Front Calipers are Sticking


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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lear45jim
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:57 pm
Location: Kannapolis, NC
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Front Calipers are Sticking

Postby lear45jim » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:28 pm



I have a 1975 GL1000 that sat in a shed for over 20 years. 2 years ago I got it road worthy and have enjoyed numerous rides. It does sit in a conditioned garage between rides, but only gets ridden every few months or so. I took it out last week and discovered both front calipers are binding against the rotors. When I got the bike road worthy 2 years ago I installed kits in the calipers and the front brake master cylinder.

Since both calipers are binding, my first thought is that the master cylinder is at fault. Before I start disassembly, I would like to know if anyone has any thoughts on what may be causing the problem.

Thanks for your help.



SnoBrdr
Posts: 328
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:01 am
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000

129K Original Owner

Re: Front Calipers are Sticking

Postby SnoBrdr » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:45 pm

lear45jim wrote:I have a 1975 GL1000 that sat in a shed for over 20 years. 2 years ago I got it road worthy and have enjoyed numerous rides. It does sit in a conditioned garage between rides, but only gets ridden every few months or so. I took it out last week and discovered both front calipers are binding against the rotors. When I got the bike road worthy 2 years ago I installed kits in the calipers and the front brake master cylinder.

Since both calipers are binding, my first thought is that the master cylinder is at fault. Before I start disassembly, I would like to know if anyone has any thoughts on what may be causing the problem.

Thanks for your help.


Did you remove and check the pistons when you serviced the bike?

If so did you clean those up as well, they are prone to rusting.

Did it operate properly after you rebuilt things?

lear45jim
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:57 pm
Location: Kannapolis, NC
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Re: Front Calipers are Sticking

Postby lear45jim » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:27 pm

A couple of years ago I cleaned and rebuilt the front calipers and the front master cylinder. Some rust was evident on the pistons and in the cylinders, but I removed it with an emery cloth. I have ridden the bike approximately 500 miles since with no problems. It's a recent problem. I have removed the calipers from the forks and pushed them out further by pressing the front lever. I tried using a vise clamp to push them back in but they both appear stuck.

User avatar
Fred Camper
Posts: 1155
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000, 1976 LTD GL1000

Re: Front Calipers are Sticking

Postby Fred Camper » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:06 pm

I think you need more force than a vice grip can muster. I suggest a Large C-clamp.

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wingman12
Posts: 610
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:01 pm
Location: Land of Lincoln
Motorcycle: 1999 gl1500 se

Re: Front Calipers are Sticking

Postby wingman12 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:14 pm

if you have the calipers off the bike and the brake lines disconnected then you should be able to push the pistons back in with your fingers, if brake line is still attached, back out the bleeder fitting and try pushing in the pistons, if that does not work, I would rebuild the calipers before rebuilding the master cylinder, but then maybe the master needs rebuilding anyway. good luck. :D :D

sfruechte
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:53 pm
Location: La Crosse, WI
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: Front Calipers are Sticking

Postby sfruechte » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:02 pm

You said the 'calipers' are binding against the rotors? Did you mean the 'pads' are binding? If it is the caliper, the Goldwing toolkit comes with a feeler guage that is to be used as the minimum clearance between the caliper and the rotor and you can spread the forks to achieve the clearance. Otherwise if you meant 'pads', in addition to what others have already said, there is a little return hole in the master cylinder that can plug and cause the pads to not release.
Last edited by sfruechte on Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lear45jim
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:57 pm
Location: Kannapolis, NC
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Re: Front Calipers are Sticking

Postby lear45jim » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:45 pm

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Based on the comments, I decided to start with rebuilding the calipers (again). It was obvious the problem was rust between the pistons and the calipers. The rust was inside the area protected by the boot, but outside of the o-ring. This time I applied a light coat of caliper grease on the inside of the booted area hoping to prevent rust. Being a do it yourselfer, I'm not sure if the addition of caliper grease is standard practice, but I decided it was worth a try.

After re-assembly, everything is working fine.




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