Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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OldZX11Rider
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Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!

Postby OldZX11Rider » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:20 pm



Got a full set of new EBT organic brake pads for my '94 SE. I set down and spent some time reading my new shop manual on how to replace these brake pads.
Got the caliper and bracket off, on the left side, no problem. Figured it didn't matter which side I did first. Got the old, worn out pads off and washed everything down with spray brake cleaner.
Got the pad pins and the smooth parts of the mounting pins lubed with high temp caliper grease. Then the problems start.

One pin will go in and the other won't. I read how I'm supposed to push the pad down to get the second pin in. It won't go! I hold one of the new pads up to one of the old pads and the pin holes don't line up! :evil:
I put the pad in, hold it down then hold my drop light up so I can see through the holes. A little time with a chainsaw file and I finally get the pins in.
Before final assembly I wash everything down with brake cleaner again because they're dirty again. Then more lube.
Both pistols are pushed back in. It looks like there's enough room for the disc but I just can't get the caliper back over the disc! It starts up between the pads and then stops.
I can't wiggle or shove or push it around enough to go back into place. I read my shop manual again and read the How To Change Your Front Brake Pads on here.
I finally just quit for the day before I get to PO'ed and break something I'll regret doing. Any ideas?
Someone on here has experienced this before.


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Re: Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!

Postby Rednaxs60 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:08 pm

Had the same issue when I did my calipers - some of the pins went in quite nicely, only had a couple give me a hard time. A little more cleaning with some fine sandpaper and all was well. Had to remove them after I had put them back on because the pivot collars came in - still needed some gentle persuasion to remove a couple of the pins. Haven't figured out how to do a real good job of cleaning the in channels - that's for next time.

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Re: Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:36 pm

If the caliper won't go over the disc, then the pistons aren't fully retracted. You need just a little bit more clearance to get it to fit into place.

You said the pads would start to fit over the discs, but wouldn't go all the way on. Make sure the pads are parallel to one another, and that the bottom of the pads (where the pins go through) isn't a little bit closer than the top of the pads.

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Re: Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!

Postby Charlie1Horse » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:21 pm

I'd say that if you have to file the holes to make them fit there is definitely something wrong with these parts or you are not getting the pads lined up quite properly. I have done that before and it really gets frustrating until I back off, take a break and take time to think about what the problem could be. I usually find out that it is something really simple that I missed.
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:32 am

Thank you all for your replies. I want to do the job right so everything will work like it's supposed to.
I checked my shop manual and the "How To" on here, thinking I must have missed something. Like there was one little detail that must be done.
Didn't find any "secret trick" so I'll start at the beginning. I'll make sure the caliper pistons are all the way in.
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:55 pm

It's done. Don't know what I did, but I must have done something right. :D
I started out doing it just like it was the first time. Oh, the caliper pistons were sticking out just a little bit. I got them all the way back flush.
But it still wouldn't go on the disc. The pads wouldn't stay straight. They kept leaning towards each other. Was getting very frustrated with it. :evil:
Then decided to start all over again. I even cleaned and regreased the pins. I eased it up to the disc and it practically fell in to place. :lol:
Don't know what I did different but I wished I had done it sooner. Then I did the other side. Took about 15 minutes. :roll:
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Re: Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!

Postby FM-USA » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:28 pm

OldZX11Rider wrote:It's done. Don't know what I did different but I wished I had done it sooner. Then I did the other side. Took about 15 minutes. :roll:

"If you must do something twice, do it wrong the first time."

YA... I know I'm late.
I had this problem a couple times also.
Caliper pistons usually are the culprits when you can't fit new pads over the rotor.
Pads are mfg to their max width for longer use so fitting is tight to say the least.
Pushing the pistons in creates a little brake line pressure and that pressure pushed the pistons back out a little. That's probably where you were getting the tight fit.
I use 'long arm visegrips' to push the caliper back and hold them there until I'm ready for the caliper. That amount of time relieves the line pressure.

FM . . . [ aka: Picturtologist ]

IF pistons hang up there probably dirty and/or pitted.
To clean mine up I've used 320 Wet/Dry sandpaper on both front brakes and fluid is still holding on old piston seals.
That will give you an idea how much you have to work with in rebuilding your brakes.
After cleaning I use Ultimate Brake Grease right ON the pistons and push them in. I searched and asked A LOT before using grease in brake fluid areas, it's good to go.

HOPE THIS HELPS
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Brakes! Aaarrrrgggghhh!

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:41 pm

I use a C clamp and the old brake pad to push the pistons back in. ;)
Its funny that when I started doing the other side, I kept expecting difficulties to pop up, but all of a sudden, I'm done! :lol:


For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:


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