GL1200LTD restoration - rear brakes question


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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EmelioLizardo
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Location: Scituate, RI
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200L Limited
1987 Kawasaki custom bobbed EN454LTD "Scooty Puff"

GL1200LTD restoration - rear brakes question

Post by EmelioLizardo »



Last year I acquired my deceased friend's 1985 GL1200LTD, and I will be getting it on the road after several (8?) years in climate controlled-"ish" storage. Thanks to the fine advice and information found here (special thanks to Rednaxs60!), I have a plan, and the parts, mostly. I put the project off, mainly because the fuel tank needs to be replaced. I'll try to post more about that under a different topic in the future (possibly under the heading, "It came from the fuel tank").

Yes, I know what I'm in for with the fuel tank. I have read the warnings, and that it's probably not worth it. Since they built the thing around the fuel tank, I figured I'll refurb or at least clean everything from the tank back, since it has to be removed anyway. It definitely needs a rear brake rotor, and since the fellow that worked on it passed away before my friend (the prior owner), all I have is a vague memory of "something wrong with the rear brakes."

When I actuate the rear brakes by hand, I can't feel the brake caliper moving. So that make me think "master cylinder needs rebuild or replacement," which I would do as part of the project anyway. The battery is disconnected. I know this model has a fancy brake distribution system, but I don't know much about it. My questions to the forum are:

1) is there any typical problem I should be looking for with the rear brakes, other than the master cylinder? Part of that distribution system perhaps?
2) is there a current aftermarket replacement known for the rear master cylinder, hoses, or other parts?
3) any recommendation for sourcing a rebuild kit for the master cylinder and the rear caliper/slave cylinder?

I have experience rebuilding brakes, engines, etc., and have a small machine shop.

Thanks!


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Rednaxs60
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Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: GL1200LTD restoration - rear brakes question

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Fuel tank removal/replacement isn't that bad. Be patient and take your time. May find a good interior cleaning is all that is required.

The brakes on this bike are linked, meaning that the front left brake caliper is actuated by the front handlebar brake lever, and the right front brake and rear brake are controlled by the rear brake pedal. The front left brake caliper and rear brake caliper use the same size parts. The front right brake caliper has smaller parts because it aids in rear braking.

I would rebuild all the brake calipers then try the brakes. I have yet to rebuild the rear brake MC. A good brake fluid flush would be a good idea.

When you have the fuel tank out, do the clutch slave cylinder, probably a lot of crud build up.

Take the centre stand off when you do the fuel tank. A good clean and lube will have it working well. A lot of crud builds up.

Good luck
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest
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EmelioLizardo
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:15 pm
Location: Scituate, RI
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200L Limited
1987 Kawasaki custom bobbed EN454LTD "Scooty Puff"

Re: GL1200LTD restoration - rear brakes question

Post by EmelioLizardo »

Thanks! So it sounds like there's no magical devices in the brakes to watch for, which is a relief. I had intended to rebuild the hydraulics anyway. I do have the shop manuals and the LTD supplement, but it still feels like an alien autopsy sometimes. A lot of "What the...?" and "Where's the...?" moments.

Thanks also for the encouragement on the tank. When I opened the fuel tank the first time, the smell made my heart sink, you probably know what I mean. It also knocked a friend of mine on his backside for a scary 15 minutes. After picking, pulling, probing, and a lot more "What the...?" I figured out someone had poured a liner into it, but I think there was already rust in the tank before the liner. it looked like fake vomit was peeling off the inside of the tank. The tank can probably be made usable again once it's off, but the fuel gauge sender was mostly disintegrated. I was pretty chuffed to find a reasonably priced replacement tank with an intact sender. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Rednaxs60
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
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2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom (sold)
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: GL1200LTD restoration - rear brakes question

Post by Rednaxs60 »

The fuel tank on my '85 Limited Edition was a bit rusty on the inside as well when I bought it. Used good steel back then. Think I used vapo-rust to clean the tank, and was able to get at a lot of the sides and bottom with a stiff bristle brush as well through the sending unit hole. If you can't get the liner off completely, and have a new-to-you tank to put in that does not have a liner, I'd opt for the latter. Nothing worse than a fuel blockage when you are out and about. It would also be the last thing you might think is wrong.

Nothing magical about the brake system. When you bleed the rear brake system, the front is bled first then the rear. The left front, believe this is the single front caliper, is straight forward.

You can also consider replacing the old brake and clutch lines with new SS braided lines - teflon tube. The teflon tube is on the inside, the SS braid protects this tube.

The older brake lines may look good on the outside but be deteriorating on the inside causing the hose to swell when pressure is applied. Reduces the pressure going to the caliper. If you have a hydraulic shop nearby, take the old line(s) in and have a set made. Would recommend doing this work with the front fairing off, gives more work space.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest
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julimike54
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Re: GL1200LTD restoration - rear brakes question

Post by julimike54 »

I just finished rebuilding all the brake cylinders on my '86. Check for the service limits on the bores, if ok no need for new unless somethings broke.

All the brake rebuild parts I got from the following....
https://newmotorcycleparts.net/

They provided factory type parts from K&L, which I think was the factory vendor. I had good luck with them. The only hitch I found was the left front caliper part that was listed, wound up on 'factory back order'. Contacted K&L and they advised that the 1177 number was replaced with a 1159. That fixed the back order.

Good luck with your project!
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EmelioLizardo
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Location: Scituate, RI
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200L Limited
1987 Kawasaki custom bobbed EN454LTD "Scooty Puff"

Re: GL1200LTD restoration - rear brakes question

Post by EmelioLizardo »

I had not found them yet - I'll take a look later. Thanks!
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EmelioLizardo
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:15 pm
Location: Scituate, RI
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200L Limited
1987 Kawasaki custom bobbed EN454LTD "Scooty Puff"

Re: GL1200LTD restoration - rear brakes question

Post by EmelioLizardo »

New Teflon/SS braid sounds like the way to go, thanks. I can just see the brake lines turning to balloon animals on the first test ride.

Know of any good online sources? A quick search brought up a set of 4 brake lines from a place called Randakks for $200 US, which could be worth it, but I've never heard of them. Having them made might be less expensive if I can find anyone near here - Maybe NAPA? Heck, I could swage 'em meself if I had the parts and the right dies.


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