Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
Ed Brock
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:45 am
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Motorcycle: 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade GD
1998 1500 SE

Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »



This is on a 1998 1500 SE. The bike has never been dropped, not even one of those "Opps, Dam, #@$!" incidents after you come to a stop. The bike has 30,000 well cared for miles on it. I am the second owner. I talked to the original owner for some time and got most of the service records.

My problem, could be what I'm use to, verses, not any problem with this bike. Maybe there is nothing wrong with the rear brake pedal lever. The perceived problem is; when you push on the rear brake pedal lever it drops just below the lower frame rail. I don't like the amount of throw in the lever, I am use to something with less throw.

Now for some information. Both brake systems have been bleed and the fluid changed. No air is found any where in the system. The rear brakes work excellent, NO DRAG. The front brakes work perfectly, again NO DRAG. Using the FSM guide lines on how to determine remaining brake pad life (looking at the chamfered edges of the brake pads) there is close to 70% pad life left on the rear and an easy 50% pad life on the fronts. I have not disassembled the calipers to get any better look see. I'm sure at 30,000 mile the pads have been replace once. The original owner does not remember if the pads have been replaced, and I don't see a repair order for the brakes.

What I have done is; Change the brake fluid ( DOT 4). Confirm no air in system. Confirm there is no stuck or dragging caliper front and rear. Loosened pinch bolt on rear brake lever and tried to move the lever up one serration mark. Found out can't do that as the lever hits the frame where the lever attaches to the pivot point. Disassembled all the item in your way (there's a lot of things in your way) so you can adjust the throw rod. WHAT a pain! Started the throw rod adjustment got the rear brake lever somewhat higher, but the brake light is now on. So, I backed off the adjuster to the point where the brake light is off. I built a 1/2" thick pad and installed on the rear brake lever pad. That works for me, but it's looks unprofessional.

Help! please! I'm new to wings, not bikes. It's okay to tell me the problem is me not a problem with this bike and I need to live with this issue. Also can you confirm all this stuff I recorded here is normal. This problem is bugging me and I'm losing sleep. That is why in Oregon it's 2:30 am now.
Thank you. Ed



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DenverWinger
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by DenverWinger »

Ed Brock wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:46 am
Started the throw rod adjustment got the rear brake lever somewhat higher, but the brake light is now on. So, I backed off the adjuster to the point where the brake light is off.
The brake light switch is adjustable on the 1500. Beware though, there's two switches on 1500 rear brake pedal, the other is cruise control cancel switch, both need to work. With this info from the FSM you should be able to get the pedal where you want it and readjust both associated switches.




♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by MikeB »

At 30,000 miles, I doubt that the brake pads were replaced before you received the bike if they are OEM. OEM pads would probably last about 45,000 miles.
MikeB
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Sidcar
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Sidcar »

I wasn’t happy with the excess brake pedal travel on my ‘95 SE, exacerbated by having a Sidecar brake on the system as well. I did everything you’ve done getting a little improvement each time ‘ till it was tolerable but not quite “right”. Elsewhere on goldwingdocs there’s a post saying pump up the brake pressure with the lever and keep it on overnight.
I tried it and it made a difference. I pumped up the pedal and held the pressure on using a scissor jack and a piece of wood to protect the edge of the valve cover.
Try it you never know.

Sid

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ct1500
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by ct1500 »

Ed Brock wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:46 am
The perceived problem is; when you push on the rear brake pedal lever it drops just below the lower frame rail. I don't like the amount of throw in the lever, I am use to something with less throw.
Using your hand pushing down on pedal how much travel can you measure? Adjusting master cylinder clevis to preload push rod would not be advisable, the master needs to be able to return to its' at rest or full off position.
What you are looking to do is lengthen the tab where clevis attaches to brake arm giving more throw to push rod and thus shorter travel of pedal.
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DenverWinger
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by DenverWinger »

ct1500 wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:33 am
Adjusting master cylinder clevis to preload push rod would not be advisable, the master needs to be able to return to its' at rest or full off position.
Per FSM the adjustment does not change the master cylinder preload, master cylinder always returns to "rest". The adjustment is for setting pedal height when at rest, OP wanted it higher but adjusting this caused the brake lights to come on.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

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ct1500
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by ct1500 »

Reread what OP wants and that is less throw in pedal before brakes start to apply. :)
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DenverWinger
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1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by DenverWinger »

This would point to still air in the system. Wonder if he tried wedging the brake pedal full-on overnight as previously suggested? He hasn't been back since original post... :)
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by newday777 »

Ed Brock
When you bled the rear brakes, did you bleed the left front caliper first, then the rear caliper?

Ed Brock
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

Okay. Yes I'm trying to raise the rear brake pedal height. Yes there is and never has been ANY air in this system. I check for air when I changed the brake fluid in both master cylinders, again no air. No sponginess. Bike stops very well. Bike needs very little rear pedal or Front lever pressure to stop bike. Yes, I bleed the left front caliper first then the rear caliper using the front brake lever. Then I bleed the right caliper again using the front brake lever. I finished the job by then bleeding the Left front caliper first, then the rear caliper next using the rear brake pedal. and then I rechecked all the calipers. No air in any of them. No symptoms of air in system before changing the fluid. Reason for brake fluid was winter maintenance. Engine oil and filter, air filter, rear-end, anti-freeze, tire condition inspect, steering head bearing, swing arm bearing, battery condition, gas preserver added all changed or checked, And a wash/windshield treatment/wax job done.
Again, I'm just use to the rear brake pedal not TRAVELING this much. What I'm trying to confirm is how far is the pedal suppose to travel. My rear brake pedal travels a total of 2 inches. It travel 1 inch before you apply ANY pressure to the front or rear pads.
Hope this helps yall. Thanks for the information.
Ed

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newday777
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1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by newday777 »

Ed

You are comparing to what? Another gl1500?

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ct1500
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by ct1500 »

Ed Brock wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:31 pm
Okay. Yes I'm trying to raise the rear brake pedal height. Again, I'm just use to the rear brake pedal not TRAVELING this much. What I'm trying to confirm is how far is the pedal suppose to travel. My rear brake pedal travels a total of 2 inches. It travel 1 inch before you apply ANY pressure to the front or rear pads.
Hope this helps yall. Thanks for the information.Ed
Do you want the (at rest) pedal higher, because it will only go so far until it hits the foot peg or less throw? :? I think you equate pedal height with amount of travel.
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please click contact
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Ed Brock
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1998 1500 SE

Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

I forgot to include, yes I tried the overnight holding down the rear brake pedal. In truth it ws held down for 2 days as I had a work thing to do before I could get back to the brakes. I have heard of and have done that trick before. It works well on Fords with ABS.
Thanks Ed

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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by MikeB »

Maybe this will help, it is my '98 that I am showing the normal pedal travel:


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As you can see it is with hand pressure alone. Foot pressure would yield more deflection.

This is normal operation.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
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ct1500
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by ct1500 »

MikeB wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:23 pm
Maybe this will help, it is my '98 that I am showing the normal pedal travel:
As you can see it is with hand pressure alone. Foot pressure would yield more deflection.
This is normal operation.
1 1/2" is what I get also. :) To the OP, When brakes apply late in travel or near the floor it is commonly referred to as a "low pedal" and is usually caused by a faulty master cylinder, air in the lines or loose drum brakes. The mechanic does not "raise" pedal height, pedal height is where it sits at rest. The mechanic restores normal pedal feel (travel) and is where you lost me. :? Same goes for truck clutch pedals, I can raise the pedal all the way up to the dashboard though not desired. :)
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please click contact
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Ed Brock
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Motorcycle: 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade GD
1998 1500 SE

Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

MikeB wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:23 pm
Maybe this will help, it is my '98 that I am showing the normal pedal travel:


   Never miss a video: Subscribe to the GoldwingDocs YouTube channel today!

As you can see it is with hand pressure alone. Foot pressure would yield more deflection.

This is normal operation.
This site is so good. You people think of all sorts of things that can help. Impressive. Now, what you showed (excellent video by the way) is exactly what my bike is doing. You have approximately 2 inch's of rear brake pedal travel, that is the same as mine. Okay, so my rear brake pedal travel is normal. I guess I need to build a "better pedal raiser".
I like my Suzie's rear brake pedal travel much better. I will over come and adapt.
THANK YOU
Ed

Ed Brock
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Motorcycle: 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade GD
1998 1500 SE

Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

ct1500 wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:00 pm
MikeB wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:23 pm
Maybe this will help, it is my '98 that I am showing the normal pedal travel:
As you can see it is with hand pressure alone. Foot pressure would yield more deflection.
This is normal operation.
1 1/2" is what I get also. :) To the OP, When brakes apply late in travel or near the floor it is commonly referred to as a "low pedal" and is usually caused by a faulty master cylinder, air in the lines or loose drum brakes. The mechanic does not "raise" pedal height, pedal height is where it sits at rest. The mechanic restores normal pedal feel (travel) and is where you lost me. :? Same goes for truck clutch pedals, I can raise the pedal all the way up to the dashboard though not desired. :)
As you state, who would want a clutch pedal that touches the dashboard? I was concerned about the distance the rear brake pedal moved. I saw MikeB's post. His video shows exactly what my complaint is about. But it's "normal" for a wing, as you also mention. Like I mentioned, I'm use to something different. I know all thing even though they do the same thing, they all do it somewhat different. Also if you can't change the travel distance you can, if your pedal height is not to high, so it is a problem. You can change the pedal height, that way you apply the brakes with out the (to me) extreme) pedal drop. Yes it is "cheating" but sometime one needs to think outside the box.
Thanks for your help.
Ed

Ed Brock
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1998 1500 SE

Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

I wish to thank everybody who looked into issue. Also thanks to all who responded. Your help and thoughts are appreciated.
Keep safe and ride on.
Ed

Ed Brock
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1998 1500 SE

Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

ct1500 wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:53 pm
Ed Brock wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:31 pm
Okay. Yes I'm trying to raise the rear brake pedal height. Again, I'm just use to the rear brake pedal not TRAVELING this much. What I'm trying to confirm is how far is the pedal suppose to travel. My rear brake pedal travels a total of 2 inches. It travel 1 inch before you apply ANY pressure to the front or rear pads.
Hope this helps yall. Thanks for the information.Ed
Do you want the (at rest) pedal higher, because it will only go so far until it hits the foot peg or less throw? :? I think you equate pedal height with amount of travel.
A higher pedal at rest would be nice. I realize you would still have the same rear brake pedal travel. However, since the pedal at rest would be higher, with the same travel the pedal would end up being higher when fully applied then it is now. What I would love is to have less rear brake travel. Thanks to all of those who have given me information, I realize what I have is how this bike is. It cannot be changed into what I would like. I will find a way to add some foot pad height that looks correct. problem solved.
Thanks for your input.
Ed

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CrystalPistol
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by CrystalPistol »

They used to sell a brake pedal pad that was rubber with chrome trim, used a single bolt to mount via hole you drilled in OEM pedal pad. I guess it raised everything a good 1/2", but did not affect travel.

I do have this pic or drawing?




I would measure mine, but mine is not OEM? First inch travel with no braking felt seems about right. Is it indexed right?


Note that while my floorboards are lower, it's a trike and has heel rests at OEM peg height for using with pedal … or shifter on the other side.
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

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Ed Brock
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1998 1500 SE

Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

Yes it is indexed correctly. That is where I started this lets fix it project. It is next to imposable to index it wrong, I tried, ran into several you can't do that issues because the bike framing etc. will not let you change the indexing upwards. I thought when I first attempted the "fix" that would be the best way to get what I wanted, WRONG !!
Now I'm building a metal spacer to weld on to the rear brake pedal. I did think about removing the pedal and heating it up and bending it, bad idea, re-chroming needed, wrong angle, to many bends to get correct angle, I could go on. I cut some 1x2's to see just how much height I would need and what the end results would be. Wood is cheep, zipties work to hold wood to pedal for testing purposes and I have some.
Ed

Ed Brock
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Motorcycle: 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade GD
1998 1500 SE

Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

CrystalPistol,
Now there's a snappy name, it rolls off your tongue. Who made your rear brake pedal? Is it on a 1500 model? I am liking the at rest pedal height.
Stay healthy, ride.
Ed

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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Sidcar »

Picture of my brake pedal with a bolt on brake pedal pad.
The extra bit of height does help but the chrome does not last and the rubber pads come off (easy to replace though).

Sid
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CrystalPistol
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Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by CrystalPistol »

Ed Brock wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:11 am
CrystalPistol,
Now there's a snappy name, it rolls off your tongue. Who made your rear brake pedal? Is it on a 1500 model? I am liking the at rest pedal height.
Stay healthy, ride.
Ed
It's a CB handle I started using in the '60s, used more in the '70s, then used for all my LEO career with truckers, etc, it stuck. Thanks.

I like the Markland (Add-On 15393-545A1 @ Cyclemax) "lowboy" floorboards but dislik the shifter. Mine came with a heel and toe shifter set up with "pads" but that was like 15 years ago (they've changed to round rubber coated looking pegs). I had gone to them because the stock foot pegs were causing a pain in one knee, and being a trike not likely to scrape. Well, after a spell, several things became evident. I didn't like shifting by applying heel pressure and … I found I liked setting my heel up on the heel rest on the right side just for "change. I couldn't do that on the left as that was the H&T shifter heel deal. I wanted a heel rest on the left like on the right, and I didn't want to use my boot heel to up shift. So, with several trial runs in between, I ended up with this setup.

I totally removed the H&T shifter, used the shift adapter hub part as a base for a new purpose built custom shift lever with a "toe pad" made by welding two 5/16" bolts side by side, did some grinding to allow a stock Honda shift rubber to fit securely. I can raise and lower the new tow pad as I bolted it to the arm, for winter vs summer boots.

I have short shifts and the pattern is stock, and I can't damage mechanism like I could with the heel because I am shifting like stock now and cannot rest my heel on the shift mechanism. I also have a shifter brace on it.

Then I looked to make a matching heel rest for my left heel. The right side had a heel rest for use with brake, I liked it but I didn't have anything to match the right except the toe pad of the new Markland brake pedal so I cut it off and added some steel to the mount plate to position the left heel pad to match as near as exact, that of the right, and welded it up. For a toe pad on the Markland brake pedal, I used the toe pad off the stock Honda brake lever. I cut and welded. It had a hole where a aftermarket pad once was bolted. I cleaned all my welds good, wire brushed, even polished some ... and then I just clear coated the steel and it's remained shiny ever since (I use brush on CC enamel like used with touch up paint). I had two extended foot peg mounts whose ends I cut off and polished bare steel and clear-coated 15 years earlier on my 1200 that had never rusted yet either, so the method works well.

I just posted all this as maybe it gives others an idea. I absolutely love the setup, I can shift flat footed or with heel up on heel rest, and it gives me additional alternative positions for fatigue relief. The heel rests are near about same location as OEM pegs, just shorter.






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Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)

Ed Brock
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1998 1500 SE

Re: Rear Brake Pedal Lever Height Issue

Post by Ed Brock »

Crystal Pistol,
I did not see the heal pad you added to the rear brake pedal. After reading your last reply I saw it right away. Nice!! I like the idea. I have thought of welding on a homemade rear brake pedal arm, but did not want to do any re-chroming. Black paint will work just fine as I have black striped the valve covers and a painted pedal arm will blend in well. I have learned of a process that is paint but looks like chrome. They actually dull it down some to match your chrome as needed. It does not do well in high contact areas however. I guess I can have pretty and keep it pretty by not using the rear brake, (hehe).
If I find the bolt on pad does not work for me I will most likely build a new arm.
I like your paint tips. Thanks.
Ed



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