Front Brake problems.. bleeding, verifying operation...


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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rickgust
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:47 am
Location: Bottineau, ND
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100A Aspencade

Front Brake problems.. bleeding, verifying operation...

Postby rickgust » Tue May 03, 2011 1:01 pm



I'm probably asking something that's been re-hashed 1oo times, but maybe other riders are starting to read the forum more, much like myself.
I have a front brake problem. I can get it too work for just a little while, then it wants to not release like it should. or I can't get it to compress or engage at all... I've taken the mechanism apart several times, trying to figure out the theory of operation and cleaned it out and found ideas on this site about making sure the little hole is clean for return fluid and everything. I even brought it too a local bike shop and all they want to do is sell me the whole assembly for around $300. I've seen the rebuild kits for around $45 or so, but don't know what the best route is. And right now I can't get it too bleed correctly so it will work at all. Anyone have any expereience with this..



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eklimek
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Location: St Catharines Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 81 GL1100 (Widowmaker not in service), 83GL1100, CB350f x 6, CB400f x2, CB550f sold, CL350 (seized engine), plus enough donors to take me through retirement.

Re: Front Brake problems.. bleeding, verifying operation...

Postby eklimek » Wed May 04, 2011 7:23 pm

For what it's worth I just rebuilt the brakes on a new-to-me 81

If the master cylinder is misbehaving as you describe, it is likely the piston seal(s). Unless the cylinder barrel is scored a rebuild is all you need. Follow the instructions on the website. They are great but underestimate the difficulty of removing a circlip buried in corrosion.

The hard part is the bleeding. The piston must be immersed in fluid to be effective. Vacuum helps to prime the lines but is no substitute in my hands at least for flushing with brake fluid, lots of it, to remove air. The design seems obstructive with a vertical run and inaccessible horizontal division between the front forks. Am I the only one tempted to drain the gas, spin the master cylinder on the handle bar and suspend the whole thing upside down? Bleeding the left front caliper with a 8 mm wrench in your left hand and pumping the brake lever with your right hand gets tiresome.

Any tips from more experience would be appreciated.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Front Brake problems.. bleeding, verifying operation...

Postby WingAdmin » Fri May 06, 2011 2:20 pm

You could always use the method used by aircraft mechanics - after flushing, use your pump in reverse, to pump the brake fluid into the system at the brake caliper, up into the reservoir.

rirons0625
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:39 pm
Location: Traverse City, MI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I Interstate

Re: Front Brake problems.. bleeding, verifying operation...

Postby rirons0625 » Wed May 11, 2011 9:30 am

I've not done the master cylinder for the front, but I just took the rear mc on my 81 apart to clean that small return port out as recommended on this site. I had a real difficult time bleeding my rear brakes after getting it back together. Eventually, I gave up and tore the mc apart again to make double sure that I had put it together correctly (which I had). What I found though was that the walls of the mc seemed sticky like it may not have been allowing the seals to move as they needed to to pump properly. I took a little 1500 grit wet sand paper wrapped around a pencil and worked it around the cylinder walls a bit, then cleaned it out with brake cleaner real well. Once reassembled, it was a huge difference in the smoothness of operation! Took only about 3 minutes to get the brakes bled the old fashioned way after that. Again, not certain about the front mc but perhaps this could be helpful...

rickgust
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:47 am
Location: Bottineau, ND
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: Front Brake problems.. bleeding, verifying operation...

Postby rickgust » Wed May 11, 2011 11:11 am

Thank you so much for your advice everyone. I've been messing with it for a while this spring and I took it apart again a couple times. Not hard to do, just messy.. especially trying not to get it on the fairing. I think I may have it operating ok... I'm not sure because I have a 1/2mile gravel driveway and right now it's so muddy I can't drive the bike through it. On the stand it seems to work correctly.. pads not releasing perfect ( a big of drag still) but at least it isn't totally seizing like it was before. Does it do any good to pull the calipers and work those a bit, look for rust or something, to help them release better? Otherwise I imagine the disk is going to get pretty darn warm... but like I said, I won't know until I can get it out of the garage and on the road..

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
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Location: Strongsville, OH
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Front Brake problems.. bleeding, verifying operation...

Postby WingAdmin » Wed May 11, 2011 11:29 am

The pads will always ride against the rotor very slightly when testing - on the road the very minute movements will move the caliper enough to prevent dragging. If you're still having dragging, check the caliper slide pins to make sure they're lubricated and not seized.




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