83 GL1100A brake problems


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DaveDanger
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83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:21 pm



Up until I recently purchased this 1983 GL1100A, it had spent most of the last 7 to 8 years sitting in the PO’s garage. I’ve installed a new battery, drained and replaced the gasoline and removed the carb-set and thoroughly gone thru them & reinstalled. I haven’t had the carbs synchronized yet, but it does crank and run albeit with a little hesitation.
There’s still one job that needs completing before it’s road-worthy enough to ride to a shop for synchronizing… the foot brake does not stop the bike. Zero effect. Both calipers are frozen solid, no piston movement with pedal pressure or with shop air pressure after removal and beginning disassembly. The front brake (Lh caliper only) does a good job of stopping the bike, but I’m not comfortable in traffic with a single front disc only. I ordered new piston seals and dust seals several weeks ago.

I removed & disassembled both calipers using dry nitrogen and a regulator allowing me to control the pressure output. Took an excess of 400 psi to push the pistons out. I re-sealed the rear and Rh front brake calipers today (Both operated from the foot brake master cylinder). After reassembling, reinstalling and bleeding, I cranked the engine and began to back out of my hangar to ride around and test the brakes. I found I almost couldn’t roll the bike backwards, by foot, while sitting astride the seat. I literally had to get off the bike, and back it out my leaning against the seat and Lh saddlebag and using both legs to much stronger effect. I did get it out and cranked up and rode it around a short bit, finding that it very obviously coasted to a stop much more quickly than it should when the throttle was rolled off. It felt like I had slight brake pressure on the brake pedal at all times. I set the bike on the center stand, left the engine running at idle, shifted the engine into first gear and eased the clutch out… the rear wheel turns but it almost stalls the engine. I shifted back into neutral, shut off the engine and attempted to rotate the rear wheel by hand… no dice. The disc was much hotter than 2 minutes of riding should have justified. Just to verify that the front wheel had no similar drag, (while still on the center stand) I sat on the rear seat to raise the front end from the ground and had a friend spin the front wheel… rotates easily. I apparently have a rear caliper that seems to not be releasing its grip on the disk. I had no difficulties bleeding the system and fluid seemed to flow thru the hoses easily.
Anyone have any suggestions as to why the caliper seems to be not releasing?
Is there any sort of an orifice in the system that could be blocked and not allowing fluid to return to the reservoir?

DD.


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littlebeaver
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:01 pm

Yes I think so, I'm pretty sure there is a return port and that sucker is tiny man, I mean small and it lives in the MC under where the hose comes down from the res....Check out the how too's here on this site..You will get a good idea from that..

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RBGERSON
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby RBGERSON » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:32 am

Options..stuck piston or return port in the master clogged
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

sw3dl1
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby sw3dl1 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:25 am

I just rebuilt all of the master cylinders and calipers on my 83 Aspy. There is a proportioning valve on the rear linked brake system. It's located on the left side of the bike just aft of the swing arm. Follow your rear brake line you will find it. Make sure it is working properly. If the front brake is operating properly in this linked system, it could be that the proportioning valve piston is stuck in a position that hampers brake fluid from returning to the master cylinder. Also check the rear master cylinder for the return hole that was mentioed above it will keep the preseure on the caliper and not release. Hopefully it is the return hole, the proportioning valve is not available through Honda.

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littlebeaver
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby littlebeaver » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:31 pm

RBGERSON wrote:Options..stuck piston or return port in the master clogged

and there's also one more opition, aaah you forgot the line can have a clog too... :lol: well regardless you probably should inspect the port hole..to give you an idea where it is, it goes into the piston area on the MC and its really small and can clog with ease..

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DaveDanger
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:22 pm

I determined that the rear brake will release and allow the wheel to turn freely if I crack the bleeder valve open and relieve the pressure in the caliper, then close the bleeder. Once the bleeder has been cracked open, I can move the caliper by hand pretty easily, indicating the pistons are not seized or binding. I can repeat the problem by pressing the brake pedal again.. stops the wheel rotation, then will not release pressure when the pedal is released.
I've decided my problem is either the old OEM hoses have gotten soft internally and closed up to some extent, and/or the master cylinder return orifice has become at least partially, if not completely, clogged.
I already had a rebuild kit on hand for the master cylinder, so I went ahead and ordered the complete stainless hose kit from lopeha here on the forum, hope to have those in hand late this week.
While awaiting the stainless hose kit, I decided to go ahead and have the carb sync performed by the local Wing Guru, and trailered the bike over to him on Monday.
We'll see how the brake system performs, after the hose kit installation and MC rebuild. I'll repost the results at that point.

DD
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littlebeaver
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:29 pm

Shoot, I don't even have those steel lines, I hear they are great..Wingman said :geek: ..Todd did and others too...and I believe them.. Your braking issues will be gone..

pulitjer
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby pulitjer » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:23 pm

I had the same problem once. Return port was blocked as others have said too.

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DaveDanger
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:51 am

pulitjer wrote:I had the same problem once. Return port was blocked as others have said too.


Pulitjer, The local Wing Guru I took the bike to for the carb sync agrees with ya'll about the return port orifice. He says that thing is so tiny, ya almost can't see it. He showed me his tool for cleaning those out... a tip cleaner for a cutting torch head. It's the smallest tip-cleaner in the tool set. It looked to me to be less than .020" dia. Hopefully the cleanout I do on that MC will open that port and solve the problem.

I'm want'n to Ride! ;)
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DaveDanger
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:46 pm

Got the bike back from the carb-sync and it seems to run pretty smoothly. Haven't taken it on the road yet due to the brake problem still present.

Removed the rear brake master cylinder this evening and disassembled and cleaned. I was impressed by the amount of corrosion that could build up under the dust seal (See the attached pic).

I cleaned everything in the parts cleaner, wire-wheeled a few of the steel parts that were rusted badly and glass-bead blasted the aluminum housing. I've misplaced my brake cylinder hone so I quit for the night, and will pick up a new hone in the morning. Will reassemble with a new rebuild kit and reinstall tomorrow.

The pics below are as I first began to disassemble the master cylinder. Hadn't cleaned anything yet.

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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby sw3dl1 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:53 am

Nasty looking. My Aspy had sat for 25 years, the brakes were just like this. I cleaned them the best i could them put everything into an Ultra Sonic cleaner. They came out squeaky clean. Put everything back together, then I learned about the proportioning valve. I took off the valve and discovered I had a blocked rear brake line. There's a shop here in Phoenix that builds custom brake line so I had them make new steel braded lines for me. Everything works excellently now, it should, everything is new. Good luck.

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DaveDanger
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:30 pm

I think I hit every auto parts shop in town today, and Sears... no luck on a brake cylinder hone that will fit into the Wing Master Cylinder (5/8" ID). I finally stopped by an automotive machine shop I deal with for my bigger engine work and he found some kind of hone to polish the M/C bore for me. It was late in the day so I dropped the whole thing into a carb cleaner vat and left it overnight. I'll tackle back into it on Saturday. I have not touched the proportioning valve yet, but will get into that on Saturday as well. I'm curious about that... the GL1100 Service Manual says that valve is non-repairable, and is a replacement item only. We'll see :twisted:

My stainless hose kit hasn't shown up yet, so (assuming I do get the brakes reassembled, even if with the old hoses) I may do a few laps around the airport ramp area over the weekend just to get the feel of asphalt wrinkling beneath me:) I'm not too keen on taking it on the highway till I have done everything I can to make this brake system as solid as possible.
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:02 am

My stainless hose kit showed up saturday morning so I headed to my shop at the airport to work on the bike. I'd been there about 20 minutes when a customer showed up to discuss some work on his plane. We had been standing outside the hangar for just a few minutes when another friend/aircraft owner flew overhead in his little kit-built plane... oddly, very low and slow, maybe 250'-300' of altitude. We watched him go to the end of the airport and begin a 180 degree banking turn to align himself with the runway for a landing. As we watched him start the turn, the plane simply turned up even more sharply and simply nosed over and dove into the ground about 200 feet from the end of the runway... maybe 500 yards from where we were standing. Took us maybe 60 seconds to get to the impact site where we found he had very mericfully died on impact. Was an awful sight. :(

The plane had almost disintegrated and left a debris pile that would have fit in the back of my pickup.

Kinda removed my desire to do any type of work the remainder of the day. Spent it visiting with other friends and customers around the airport discussing what in the world could have happened. He was a very high-time pilot, experienced in a huge variety of planes, and a certified instructor in most anything that could fly.

I'll get back to the bike later.

DD
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sw3dl1
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby sw3dl1 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:23 am

Sorry to hear about your friend. There are no words that will make it better. Remember him in the best light. Good friends are difficult to find, even more difficult to lose.....

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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby gof » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:32 am

DaveDanger wrote: Both calipers are frozen solid, no piston movement with pedal pressure or with shop air pressure after removal and beginning disassembly. The front brake (Lh caliper only) does a good job of stopping the bike, but I’m not comfortable in traffic with a single front disc only. I ordered new piston seals and dust seals several weeks ago.

Anyone have any suggestions as to why the caliper seems to be not releasing?
Is there any sort of an orifice in the system that could be blocked and not allowing fluid to return to the reservoir?

DD.


As stated, pin sized return port is clogged. Get a rebuild kit, scrape gently the seal slots, polish pistons, make sure system is clean. May also consider a master cylinder rebuild. Nuts on the lines are hard to get to. Search this forum, many good posts on both. I just went through this same issue.

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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:08 am

I clipped a single wire from a wire brush and held it in a set of needle nose pliers, it was the perfect size to clean out that port.

An awful thing to hear about your friend. Were there engine problems, perhaps causing his slow speed? If he was as experienced as you say, he would have known that starting a turn on the edge of a stall would induce the stall - so I can only imagine that there was something going very wrong with the engine, and that he made the (obviously wrong) decision to try a turn to the airport rather than an off-airport landing straight ahead.

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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:24 pm

WingAdmin, there seems to have been some question as to his fuel qty & flow. He had radio'd the tower that he was experiencing a "power failure" and that he was trying to reach a particular runway. He had several chances to make a straight-ahead landing ON the airport... (The reverse of the runway he tried to reach, a huge tie-down ramp right beside the runway, several large grassy areas around the runway) but apparently felt he had more power/fuel/time than he did. Seems an accumulation of things going wrong all at once combined to bite him. Appreciate the condolences.. He'll be missed.

Back to my brakes;)
I have ordered rebuild kits for every caliper and master cylinder on the bike. So far, I've received the correct kits for all 3 calipers, and have received incorrect kits for both master cylinders. There apparently is NO kit available for the proportioning valve for the rear/Rh front brake system. (The Honda GL Service Manual says "No parts or service available, replace with new")

I have rebuilt the rear & Rh front calipers and they work great. I have disassembled, cleaned and reassembled the rear master cylinder and the proportioning valves with their original parts as I can't seem to get the correct size seals. It is temporary, but I need to know if anything else in the system is blocked or inop. So I began swapping out my OEM rubber hoses with the new stainless kit I got last Saturday, and seems I have a few incorrect hoses in that kit. The end fittings on 2 of the 3 hoses don't match up, so I'm working on swapping those out.

I already had my OEM rubber hoses removed so I began checking to see f they're open... The Rh front hose flows air easily, the short hose from the proportioning valve to the rear caliper seems about 98% blocked when I try to blow thru it with shop air. I may have found my blockage that keeps my rear caliper pressure locked in.

Seems like everything I open in this system requires me to go 3 steps further than I anticipated, so now I have most of the brake system scattered all over my hangar floor. I may be several days getting it all reassembled where I can functionally test anything at all.

Photos below are the proportioning valve, as removed from the bike frame, and disassembled into its component parts.




More later.
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sw3dl1
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby sw3dl1 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:37 pm

I know exactly what you mean. When I started messing with the brake system I was just going to rebuild the rear master Cylinder. I ended up rebuilding the entire system with the exception of the rear proportioning valve. I was lucky enough to find a used replacement from a guy in Virginia. My rear brake line was 100% obstructed.
One important thing I did learn about the brake system on our bikes is that the two front calipers are diffrent. One has bigger pisti-ons then the other. All of the after-market kits list them as using the same kits, they do not. I had to call K & N the company that made the kits I was using to get right right kit. I believe the left caliper is bigger then the right.

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DaveDanger
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:00 pm

You are correct on the different sizes. The FIRST incorrect kit I received for my rear caliper actually turned out to be the correct seals for the Rh front caliper. The seals looked good in my proportioning valve, so I reused them. Per Mother Honda, they're not available anyway.
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Tombrewster421
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby Tombrewster421 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:58 pm

Is there a similar orifice in the front MC? I think I need to service both on my wing.

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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby littlebeaver » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:40 am

Tombrewster421 wrote:Is there a similar orifice in the front MC? I think I need to service both on my wing.

Yes there is a port hole in the front master and if it ever gets clogged you will have problems with the caliper releasing.. :D

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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:15 am

Tombrewster421 wrote:Is there a similar orifice in the front MC? I think I need to service both on my wing.


Honestly, I found NO tiny orifice in anything I have (yet) disassembled on my bike. I have been prepared to have to clean out a tiny orifice with a tiny wire of some sort, and after removing all rubber parts, and boiling out in carburetor cleaner, and blowing out with compressed air... I find NO tiny orifices anywhere. And trust me, I have looked with a 10 power magnifying glass at every surface, under bright lights.
I'm an aircraft mechanic, and rebuild aircraft systems (including hydraulic cylinders of all shapes and sizes) on a near-daily basis. I know how to inspect/clean/reseal an aluminum casting.
The only thing I haven't opened and inspected yet on my entire brake system is the Front master cylinder and the Left front caliper. It is working at this point, and as my rear/Rh front system is in the shape its in... I'm going to leave the front alone till the rest is back in action :)
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:23 am

DaveDanger wrote:
Tombrewster421 wrote:Is there a similar orifice in the front MC? I think I need to service both on my wing.


Honestly, I found NO tiny orifice in anything I have (yet) disassembled on my bike. I have been prepared to have to clean out a tiny orifice with a tiny wire of some sort, and after removing all rubber parts, and boiling out in carburetor cleaner, and blowing out with compressed air... I find NO tiny orifices anywhere. And trust me, I have looked with a 10 power magnifying glass at every surface, under bright lights.
I'm an aircraft mechanic, and rebuild aircraft systems (including hydraulic cylinders of all shapes and sizes) on a near-daily basis. I know how to inspect/clean/reseal an aluminum casting.
The only thing I haven't opened and inspected yet on my entire brake system is the Front master cylinder and the Left front caliper. It is working at this point, and as my rear/Rh front system is in the shape its in... I'm going to leave the front alone till the rest is back in action :)


Looking down into the GL1100 front reservoir:

Image

Some reservoirs have a plastic cap with two holes in it covering this up, so that the plastic reservoir has to be removed (it's press-fitted, with an O-ring) from the master cylinder to access the return port shown.

Looking down into the rear master cylinder, cleaning out the orifice with a thin wire:

Image

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DaveDanger
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby DaveDanger » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:44 pm

That's it WingAdmin... Make me doubt my own eyeballs *sigh*.

That stink'n master cylinder, although completely reassembled, is still laying atop my toolbox. I"ve had to return ship my stainless hose kit back to have two end fittings changed, so I've not reinstalled the M/C yet.

Just to convince myself that there's no tiny orifice in there, I'm going to disassemble again and probe around in that second bored hole at the base of the reservoir port with a wire clipped from a wire brush. I can see both those holes, one visibly goes all the way down into the cylinder itself, and as best I could see... the second one goes nowhere. I cleaned it out by carefully spinning a drill bit in it by fingertip, and soaked the entire cylinder in carb cleaner for 2 days, before air-drying it with compressed air. I'm about 98% willing to swear that there's no orifice in there. BUT... far be it from me to be stubborn and hard-headed. Never have been accused of that before <s>.

I will report back :)
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Re: 83 GL1100A brake problems

Postby Tombrewster421 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:05 pm

Man that tiny hole in the front master cylinder was hard to clean out after sitting for ten years.




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