front breaks


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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glasshead
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front breaks

Postby glasshead » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:59 pm



I determined that my front right caiper was stuck: all of a sudden my front break lever was very stiff on the pull and when I pulled over to check, the left rotor was very very hot and the right one was as cool as a cucumber.
o.k. So I pulled the right rotor and sure enough, the pistons are completely frozen. I did manage to pound them down (using a pvc pipe and not too heavy handed with the hammer.) I thought that would loosen them up some. No dice. BUT...that is a problem for another day.
With the right caliper OFF, I could not get any flow of fluid through the right line. I took the left one off and squezzed my fingers closing off the banjo fitting and I got a squirt of fluid. I could not get any fluid out of the right one pressing the back break or the lever. And when the left caliper was still on and the right one off completely, squeezing the front break felt exactly the same as before I took the right one off.. stiff as could be.

I need to address the stuck pistons, but it seems that unless these simptoms with the right break line are normal, even a new caliper will not solve the problem

rich

Sorry, forgot to mention. It is a 1983 interstate.



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Re: front breaks

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:48 pm

OK, I'm a little confused. On an 83, the front brake lever operates the left front caliper, and the rear brake pedal operates the right front caliper and the rear caliper.

You said the left rotor was very hot and the front brake lever was stiff - this would indicate a problem with the front brake system (likely a frozen caliper or blocked master cylinder return port).

Then you say you pulled the right rotor (??) and caliper, and pounded its frozen pistons down. So if the problem was with the left front caliper, why did you remove the right caliper?
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1983 Brake System
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glasshead
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Re: front breaks

Postby glasshead » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:00 pm

I was told by a mechanic who happened to be at the parts store as I was ordering new seals, that if the right rotor was cold, it was that caliper piston that was stuck. (It wasn;t pressing on the rotor). The reason the break lever was stiff was because the left caliper was getting all the brake fluid and not distributing it evenly. BUT, I pulled the left caliper after my post and traced the break line from the lever and it only leads to the left caliper, as you mentioned. The left pistons seemed as stiff as the right ones, which would explain the stiff brake lever. So that shoots his theory out of the water. My main question is, why isn't there any brake fluid coming out of the right front brake line even with nothing attached to it. I got brake fluid to come out of the left one when the caliper was off.

rich

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Re: front breaks

Postby RoadRogue » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:27 pm

Front Right brake is operated with rear Brake peddle (linked brakes).Front Left is operated with right hand lever only.You can disconnect the Right brake line from the caliper and squeeze the hand lever all you want ,NOTHING will happen at the Right front line.

As Wingadmin says you probly have a blocked return port in you REAR master cylinder,its a very small hole and can be plugged up easily.Also check that all you caliper float on their mounting bolts, if not then they will drag the pads on the rotors and generate heat. Disassemble,clean and lube all slide areas. How does the rear rotor feel/look?
Ride safe, Todd
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Re: front breaks

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:49 pm

I would remove the hoses and blow them out with air and clean those return port holes just like they said but on both front and rear... Good luck to you...

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glasshead
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Re: front breaks

Postby glasshead » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:21 pm

Thanx guys.
I figured out about the right brake line not being activated by the lever. I get nothing out of it when pushing down on the brake pedal. Its on the center stand at the moment. I can spin the back wheel and push on the brake pedal and it stops the back wheel. That is with BOTH front calipers off the bike and the lines hanging loose. Where would you access the lines going to the rear master to blow them out. Part of them are metal and go behind the frame, etc. Can't get to it from the banjo fitting. Where are the return port holes?

rich

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Re: front breaks

Postby MJSantos » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:36 pm

The brake lines for the rear start as one from the rear master cylinder then it ties into a proportioning valve that is located towards the left side in the rear. From there there will be two steel lines, one will route from the valve to the rear wheel and has a junction to rubber for the rear caliper. The second steel line from the valve will route back to the right side the up through the frame to the front. It also will junction into rubber up aound the triple tree. What I found with my 83I was the banjo fittings had corrsion in them. When you opened them up on the front calipers you can see the small port looking through the bolt hole. I pulled the line loose from the steel/rubber junction and blew the rubber out first. Then cracked the fittings from the propotioning valve a blew the steel out. IF the rear is working correctly your problem will likely be the forwward running lines being obstructed along with the right caliper.
Hope this helps
Last edited by MJSantos on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: front breaks

Postby littlebeaver » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:27 pm

Let us know when you get this resolved, I'd like to know what it is...

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glasshead
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Re: front breaks

Postby glasshead » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:07 pm

I got the front calipers off, pistons out. They are not that bad at all. I used the left front brake line to squeeze the pistons out of both calipers, since it is working. I bled the line each time. It is only a short run, so it wasn't bad at all. I have not yet tackled the rear line. While I have your attention, I just got an air filter box from ebay. Mine did not have one. I tried , with no success, to get it in without taking the false tank off. Can it be done or am I doomed to take it off? :x I will go over the post on how to get it off, if I have to.

Will keep you posted on the other line as I tackle it.

rich

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Re: front breaks

Postby MJSantos » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:53 am

You will have to pull the false tank, check out this how too only takes a few minutes.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=101

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glasshead
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Re: front breaks

Postby glasshead » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:44 pm

I only have an hour or so of daylight that is just mine to work on the Wing, so I still have not gotten to the blocked brake line yet. I DO have the caliper pistons all shinned up and in. The question I have now, now that they have been off the bike for a few days...does the one with the larger pistons go on the left? :?

rich

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Re: front breaks

Postby MJSantos » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:53 am

Memory serves me right the larger is on the left. Since the right is part of the linked the caliper would have to exert less force on the front with both wheels braking.

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Re: front breaks

Postby Kiwi_Roy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:29 pm

Re Blocked Brake Lines.
When I came to overhaul the brakes on my 83 (it had been sitting un-used for 27 years) I found that the brake hoses, right front and rear were plugged solid at the banjo fitting, not a drop getting through. I managed to unplug the rear by connecting the banjo to the front master cylinder and squeezing as hard as I could. It let go with a rush and you should have seen the crud come out. The front was a bit easier, I got that unblocked with a piece of wire.
I'm not saying that is your problem but if it's been sitting for a while just might be.
Roy

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glasshead
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Re: front breaks

Postby glasshead » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:08 am

I tried just a short piece of wire from a twist tie. It didn't work, but it didn't go up very far into the banjo fitting. I got both calipers back on today. I decided that I was tired of working on it and not riding it. My joke has been, 'the definition of a vintage motorcycle, one you work on more than you ride.' Not really funny. :( The left front brake is working great and the back brake works good (this is judging it on the center stand). I thought that maybe the last owner somehow plugged the right front on purpose.. But I don't see any obvious evidence. I think that the right front wasn't woking all along. The front lever feels almost as stiff as it did when I thought it was sticking, so it probably wasn't and didn't really need new seals. But it DID need new pads, and the old fluid was a bit nasty, and it sure is self assuring to know FOR A FACT that something is done. I will try a longer wire through the banjo fitting tommorrow, but if that does not work, I'm riding it as is. When i get time in a row, like next week when my wife is out of town and I don't have a witness and have to feel guilty... :P I will do more exploring.
Thanx for keeping up with this tread.

rich

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Re: front breaks

Postby littlebeaver » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:24 pm

Hey Glasshead, have you removed the front line off the bike yet? If not you might want to.. once removed try blowing some air through it with a air hose, this is to see if the line is clogged or not. If it blows through then it's not clogged, its somewhere else. I had a old hose in the garage and I went out to try to push a wire through it, it has cloggs on both ends right where the rubber begins, I couldn't unclog it with the wire I had and it was a good firm wire, [yours isn't this bad] so I just cut the rubber hose off to see the clog up close, the wire pushed through finally coming from the other direction, lots of junk in there..My advise to you is this, put a sharp point on a firm but strong little wire and start poking through it, try this from both directions put some brake fluid in there too..Once you get through get some weedeater line and go through with that, that's just to get what the wire didn't and then blow it out good, I think they make compressed air in a can with a long tip like Wd-40 makes that would be perfect if you don't have a air compressor..Brakes are important you should fix them right at any cost..

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glasshead
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Re: front breaks

Postby glasshead » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:45 pm

Will do littlebeaver. I've done this much, no sense in stopping now. It's just tempting when time is not on my side. Thanks.

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Re: front breaks

Postby glasshead » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:10 pm

O.K. I got the right front brake line off today. I get a nice squirt of fluid out of the metal line that it is connected to, so I know the line to the caliper is clogged. I decided to just go and buy a new one from the dealer, but it is a discontinued item. e-bay only has a couple and they are on a bid status. I don't want to dicker with that, plus my front master cylinder kit is due in Wed. (when I rebuilt the calipers, I guess the extra preassure blew out the rubber boot by the brake lever right at the crease where it fits over the groove of the plunger.)
So far the bike has been on the center stand for weeks.

So I tried (not REAL hard yet), to unclog the one I have. When I tried to put a wire into the hole that connects to the metal line, it feels like it is hitting a metal piece or something. :?: :?: It is hard getting anything through the banjo fitting with having to bend it to get it into the hole.

I tried spraying brake cleaner through it, but it didn't seem to go anywhere. My neighbor has an air compressor, but if spraying the brake cleaner right into the hole didn't work (the srtaw that comes with the can makes a nice tight fit), I can't visualize what an air gun could do? :? :?
Any ideas??
rich

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glasshead
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Re: front breaks

Postby glasshead » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:10 pm

Last post on this subject. Thanks to littlebeaver who insisted on safety and sacrificed an old brake line, I am set to put my old line back on. Knowing that there was a lot of 'junk' just past the rubber, I felt comfortable using a dental pick (from harbor freight) that I had, to work into the end a bit asertively. I didn't pound on it or anything like that, I just worked the point around in a circle. I took the pick out every few seconds and cleaned a lot of rusty looking stuff off the tip. Then I use a thin copper wire, the size of telephone line. From there I moved up to heavier wire. Once I got past the first inch, the wire went through all the way until about an inch from the other side. Just like littlebeaver said, it was clogged at that end too. With some jaming the wire down for about 15 min or so, that end broke loose also. I then blew break cleaner through it until it sprayed out the other end. The last thing I did was to suck some clean brake fluid up through it using the vaccum from.. you guessed it, Harbor Freight. The first batch was dark grey. I emptied that from the catch bottle and sucked another batch up. It was as clear as fresh fluid. Tommorrow it goes back on the bike. I may be ridding before next weekend.

Thanx guys. You rock

rich




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