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NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 7:49 am
by GW3
Went on the first spring ride-FINALLY ! To my surprise NO rear brakes . NO fluid leak from where in was sitting. no hang up from the wheel turning freely - BUT the rear brake pedal had no resistance , at all , when engaged - you can push it down with your finger . Fluid level is up and the front brakes are fine . What's up with that ? Can it be some sort of mechanical problem ? Something is unhooked? Can anyone steer me in a right direction for checking this problem out ? Many Thanks , GW3

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 7:56 am
by pablol
I just had the same thing happen to me a few weeks ago. Took off from the house and first stop sign no rear brakes, good thing I was only doing about 10mph or I could have flipped it. Fluid level was right on. I figured it may have the original brake fluid so I drained refilled and bleed the brakes both front and rear as they are hooked together. And I had brakes again. While I was at it I drained and bleed both the front and clutch.

Can be done with one person as long as you have long arms, piece of tubing and a little ingenuity. Dot 4 fluid.

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 8:54 am
by WingAdmin
Yes, more than likely bleeding the brakes will fix this. However, then the question is, how did that air get in there? Brakes are a sealed system.

So you either have a seal gone somewhere, a leak, or some corrosion in the system. Depending on the condition of the fluid that I remove, I might consider rebuilding some of the brake components (calipers, master cylinder).

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 9:19 am
by bubba9710
Ok...I'm jumping in to pick your brilliant minds as well. Fired up my '81 GL1100 this spring and took it out for a spin around the lake only to discover that, when I apply the rear brake the lever does not return it jus sits at the bottom and I need to tuck the toe of my boot under it to pull it up.

So, is that a shot rear master cylinder, air in the lines, or what? Any ideas folks? I'm ready to tackle anything...maybe not the most qualified to tackle it but, I love my ride. It's getting harder to find anyone to work on these older bikes so, I need to become my own mechanic.

Thanks in advance.

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 9:32 am
by GW3
Thanks for your input. Will try the bleeding routine and see what happens . It's just funny from experiencing no pedal pressure from the foot brake I thought it might be a linkage problem. GW3

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 10:08 am
by pablol
My bike had been sitting all winter in the garage. Brake fluid looked real bad as it was not the usual color plus there was not sign of leakage tho it is possible a seal allowed air in with no fluid out.

As the bike was used I had no history. It has been sitting once again as weather has not been real conducive to riding but I am going out today and checking the brakes.

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 12:45 pm
by GW3
what size bleeder tubing is used for the rear bleeder fitting ? It's a tough get from the cut out hole and it does not seems to be the same type as the front ones. Any tricks for bleeding the rear? GW

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 7:12 pm
by ct1500
I have seen a couple of 1500's when after an extended lay up they have no rear brake pedal and it was air in the front lines. Bleed the brakes adding fresh fluid and you should be OK.

Long term fix would be to rebuild the front caliper if indeed that is where the air is.

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 9:40 pm
by Happytrails
GW3 wrote:what size bleeder tubing is used for the rear bleeder fitting ? It's a tough get from the cut out hole and it does not seems to be the same type as the front ones. Any tricks for bleeding the rear? GW
I always have to remove the left saddlebag to bleed the rear. Its a pain but not too bad.

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:02 am
by redial
Brake fluid attracts moisture, turning your brake fluid into water, eventually. So when it gets hot, as when you apply the brakes a couple or three times, the water boils off and you are left with very little stopping power. This is why you should be changing your brake fluid at least every two years, and more often if you live in a swamp, or are subjected to floods from time to time. High humidity will also want to play in your brake fluid, just to make it more difficult to stop.

Also, as our GW gets older, the rubber in the brake lines becomes 'sad'. You should consider replacing with braided lines, then bleed the air out, and you should have excellent stopping. (There is a member on this board that has an angle into HEL stainless braided lines.)

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 11:36 am
by WingAdmin
This problem is almost always caused by corrosion on the brake pedal pivot. Remove the brake pedal, sand the corrosion away, lubricate with a good marine grease, and reassemble.

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 12:25 pm
by bubba9710
Hey,

You were right about it being the rear brake pedal pivot point. A little preventative maintenance could've gone a long way. It will be added to my annual maintenance list to give a thorough cleaning. The pedal springs back like new again. Thanks for the info!!

Re: NO REAR BRAKE - for no reason????

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 4:36 pm
by GW3
Thanks for the suggestion on the break pedal pivot point . I will try it tomorrow.