bleeding brakes on GL1000

Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:33 am
Location: Standish, Maine
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Goldwing

bleeding brakes on GL1000

Post by steveclk »

First thing, I purchased this Honda GL1000 that had been sitting in a garage for 8 years. I have been working on it for a year and have redone the carbs so that they are working fine. I then had front brake calipers sticking so if the handle was used the calipers locked up but were able to release when thumped lightly with a rubber mallet. I took the calipers apart, cleaned and re assembled them one at a time. When i bled (using a vacuum bleeder) the first one it worked fine, when I went to bleed the second one (the same way) i got some fluid at first but not much after that. I of course, kept and eye on the fluid level in the master cylinder while doing the bleeding process. After failing to get more brake fluid (Dot 3) by vacuum bleeding I decided to try to the age old way of pumping the handle lever with hopes of bleeding it at the caliper. Now I had no resistance at the handle and it went to the handle bar quickly and then probably caused over travel on the piston and now I can't get the mc to pump any fluid. I dis-assembled the master cylinder and cleaned all the old fluid and crap out of there but still no pump. Any suggestions?


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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:58 pm
Location: Placerville, CA
Motorcycle: 1976 Naked Yellow

Re: bleeding brakes on GL1000

Post by Placerville »

You may have a large pocket of air trapped in the T under the headlight. It gets stuck in there and won't come out when the bike is completely vertical. Put the bike on the side-stand to encourage the air to move and bleed again. Also, your bikes owners manual and the shop manual (14-8) warns of pumping the front lever until it stops at the bar, causing over-travel of the M/C piston. You may have damaged it.

Placerville- 1976 Yellow
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Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1986 BMW K100RS
1998 BMW K1200RS

Re: bleeding brakes on GL1000

Post by ned »

I feel your pain. After several attempts I finally got the front brakes to work.

Let's assume that the caliper end is ok since you serviced them. That leaves 2 things to look at:
a. the "H" manifold where the pressure switch is, and
b. The master cylinder.

The H manifold can trap air in one of the "legs/ends" so maybe tilting the bike one way and the other may dislodge it. Secondly the master cylinder piston needs two holes to operate. check to see if the second one (tiny) is free of anything. You can gain access to it through the fluid reservoir.

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