EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »



I decided during the week I have off for Christmas, to finally rebuild the calipers on my 1999 GL1500 Aspy. I bought a rebuild kit for both front calipers and I was also hoping to swap out the rubber hose on the front-left with a new braided steel line. (I've already replaced the right-front hose) I was following the instructions (or so I thought) from this site but I skipped the step where I was supposed to use the existing pressure in the system to push out the pistons after removing the pads (which are oddly barely worn).

I've already tried re-attaching the brake line, putting fluid back into the reservoir and pumping it to repressurize the system and get the pistons out but something isn't working right. I bought (and installed) speed bleeders a long time ago when I first got the bike and I tried bleeding the system to pressurize it but it's not working. I've made the sure bolt attaching the line is tight and the bleeder screw is barely open (I've varied the valve more open and less with no success) but it's not working...the fluid isn't going into the system and repressurizing and therefore I can't get the pistons out.

What could I be doing wrong here???? I'm no mechanical expert for sure, but I've done my fair share of work on both this bike, previous bikes and cars over the years... I know enough to be dangerous. But at this point, I'm stuck... I can't rebuild the caliper properly nor even put it back together in a working fashion to get it like it was.

HELP???!!!

God bless & Merry Christmas,

~Mark



User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1685
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by DenverWinger »

If you have an air compressor you might get the pistons out with air pressure, might save bleeding the system just to push pistons.... Put the pads into the calipers so the pistons don't go flying.
♫ 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

User avatar
Andy Cote
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Windham, ME
Motorcycle: 2015 Goldwing, basic black

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Andy Cote »

Stuck pistons would explain why the pads are not worn!

I can't tell but since you you are not getting fluid out thru the bleeder, I assume with the bleeder closed, you are not able to build pressure and get a full/hard pedal. Have you tried opening the bleeder on the rear caliper? The pedal brakes can develop a bubble and be a bear sometimes to bleed out. As DenverWinger has suggested, you might just want to put the caliper in a vice and us the air compressor. Don't let one piston come out first or you'll never get the second one.

BE CAREFULL AROUND BRAKE FLUID. IT CAN BLIND YOU!!!
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas

User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »

I'm working on the RIGHT-FRONT. So it's by itself... not linked. And I have tire air compressors, nothing with enough PSI to push out stuck pistons.

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 3168
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
Contact:

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by MikeB »

It sounds like you may have air in the master cylidner.
I think the way to make things work is to put all the hydraulic lines in place with the appropriate facteners.
Put fluid in the master cylinder. Allow it to gravity feed through the lines to the caliper by opening the line attached to the caliper. When fluid starts to flow, close that line by installing and tightening the bolt.

Now with fluid in the master cyliner, see if you can build some pressure at the master cylinder handle. It may not build any but you can open the bolt holding the banjo bolt in place on the master cylinder and exercise the handle until you can get fluid to pass the banjo bolt. The idea is to get the air out of the master cylinder, then the hose and then the caliper in that order. Air compresses, hydraulid fluid does not.

Allowing the master cylinder to go empty is something that you do not want to do. Air gets trapped in there and you end up with issues that you are experiencing now.

You could also try a Mity-Vac type of vacuum pump down at the caliper end of the brake line. Try sucking fluid through the master cylinder and lines to the caliper. Then secure all the lines and try sucking fluid through the caliper bleed screws. Keep at it. You will get it.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA

User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »

I'm visiting my parents for Christmas before I'll get a chance to work on it by hand again.

My dad has a Craftsman compressor, but it's designed for tires. How would I hook it up to the caliper to push out the pistons, especially if they're stuck?

User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1685
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by DenverWinger »

Get a rubber valve stem, chuck that into the compressor air hose. Hold the open end of the valve stem over the brake line inlet of the caliper. With enough force holding the end of the valve stem to the caliper you should be able to get a goodly PSI into the pistons. Whether or not they move depends on how badly they are stuck. Surface area of the rear of the piston is prolly a little more than an inch and a half square, so if you can get 50psi of air to build into the caliper that's some 75 pounds of pushing force on each piston.
♫ 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

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 3168
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
Contact:

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by MikeB »

A blow gun with a rubber tip comes to mind. This one would work for you. Just about any hardware store or Harbor Freight will have a few different styles.


The way to use it is remove the bleed nipple. If you leave all the hydraulic lines attached that should be a good enough blockage for the caliper inlet hole. Otherwise you will need to plug that hole.
But the brake pads back in the caliper to make sure the pistons do not blow out completely. Maybe putting a rag between the pads would be a good idea too to absorb any shock from the pistons popping out. Then apply air to the bleed screw hole with the blow gun. This should force the pistons out of the caliper bores.

I've heard of using a grease gun too but have never tired it.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA

User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »

Hallelujah!

Your advice worked... my dad's compressor got the pistons out without too much difficulty. One of them was really tough to get out. I've given them a good bath in brake cleaner but there's still some stuff on the outside of the pistons.

What's the best way to clean the junk off the pistons? Obviously, I don't want to scour them at all, which is what I'm afraid of.

Ideas???

God bless & Merry Christmas!

~Mark

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 3168
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
184K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
14K Miles
Contact:

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by MikeB »

What kind of stuff is on the pistons? Rust, corrosion, sludge, dirt?
A good mild scrubbing with a scotch brite type of pad and some mineral spirits (paint thinner) and then brake cleaner sould work. The mineral spirits doesn't evaporate as fast as the brake cleaner and should help to liquify any crud on the pistons. Scrub around the circumference of the pistons, not up and down on them.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA

Solo So Long
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 pm
Location: Northern Nevada
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500
1983 GW Interstate (ready to repair)
A pack of Super Cubs
Formerly (in order):
Honda Super Cub (bought 1968, sold ?)
Kawasaki Coyote (early 1970s)
Honda 350 (mid 1970s)
Kawasaki KZ900-PS (1977)
Honda Super Cubs (various years)
Kawasaki KZ1000C (1978)
Kawasaki KZ1000P (various years, 1980 - 2005)
Honda 360 (1983)
BMW R1150RT-P (2001)
BMW R1200RT-P (various years 2007 - 2018, NEVER AGAIN)

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Solo So Long »

Let them soak in brake cleaner for a day or two. The crud may soften enough to come off with a Dobie pad.

User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »

Well, I got the caliper back together and mounted.... but now I'm back to the pressurization problem I had a week ago.

When I swapped out the braided line, I sucked on a hose attached to the speed bleeder, alternatively sucking, closing, breathing, opening, sucking, closing, etc until there was fluid in the line enough to pressurize it and I could bleed it normally. I can't do that again.. I just don't have it in me. I bought another bleed kit that came with a pump and it works... but the stupid fill cup won't seal properly so it's useless. I could use hot glue to seal it, but then I'd never get it open again, when it was full of fluid in order to empty it.

So it looks like I won't be riding to work next week. I have a 4-day weekend next weekend. I have until then to figure out how I'm going to get the system pressurized. I'm debating on buying a real pump/vacuum/etc to do it, but I'm not inclined to spend another $70+ on a piece of equipment I'll barely use. Money I don't really have either.

Any ideas???

God bless,

~Mark

User avatar
hurst615
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:48 am
Location: Wichita, Ks
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100I Goldwing

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by hurst615 »

I have a 1982 GL1100, after sitting for the winter I noticed my front brakes were froze. I tried everything to get the cylinders out. After finding a pair of replacement cylinders online I resorted to drilling a hole in the cylinders and inserting a bolt. By turning the bolt it pushed the cylinders out.download/file.php?mode=view&id=65805
Attachments



User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Swagonmaster »

You might call your local parts house and see if they loan brake bleeders, if it is a suction type it would work and just cost the time to go get it.
Also I've used fresh brake fluid and some used scotch brite (softer than new) to clean up deposits in calipers, works well and no worries about solvent damage.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

User avatar
CrystalPistol
Posts: 1419
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE/'98 Lehman Trike

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by CrystalPistol »

hurst615 wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:38 am
I have a 1982 GL1100, after sitting for the winter I noticed my front brakes were froze. I tried everything to get the cylinders out. After finding a pair of replacement cylinders online I resorted to drilling a hole in the cylinders and inserting a bolt. By turning the bolt it pushed the cylinders out.download/file.php?mode=view&id=65805
Did you try a grease gun?
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)

Nigel Bruce
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:28 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Nigel Bruce »

Although I've not tried it, I've heard that hooking up a grease gun to the caliper works very well, and no risk of blowing out the piston like you may do with compressed air. A regular grease gun will provide ample pressure to gently push the stuck piston out.
So I'm told...

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Swagonmaster »

CrystalPistol wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:44 pm
hurst615 wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:38 am
I have a 1982 GL1100, after sitting for the winter I noticed my front brakes were froze. I tried everything to get the cylinders out. After finding a pair of replacement cylinders online I resorted to drilling a hole in the cylinders and inserting a bolt. By turning the bolt it pushed the cylinders out.download/file.php?mode=view&id=65805
Did you try a grease gun?
I have used a grease gun as a last resort before and it does work but just realize that ALL of the grease MUST be cleaned out afterward or o ring damage/brake fluid contamination will result. Rubber (that is not designed for it) and brake fluid really don't do well with any petroleum product.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Swagonmaster »

Nigel Bruce wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:02 pm
Although I've not tried it, I've heard that hooking up a grease gun to the caliper works very well, and no risk of blowing out the piston like you may do with compressed air. A regular grease gun will provide ample pressure to gently push the stuck piston out.
So I'm told...
Air is compressable, grease is not, that is why it works well but see the above post for cautions.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

Nigel Bruce
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:28 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Nigel Bruce »

Cleaning out the grease afterwards (along with everything else) should go without saying!

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Swagonmaster »

It's amazing what actually needs to be said, a young friend of mine was replacing brake pads and got some grease on the face of the pads and said "don't worry about it, it will burn off when we drive!" :o
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

rorke
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:29 am
Location: Brooks, Alberta
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800
1980 GL1100

2007 GL1800
1980 GL1100

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by rorke »

I have a blind hole puller set for removing bearings. They work excellent on the brake caliper pistons. No mess. No air pressure danger.
Great tool. Have done many caliper overhauls this way. Can see pictures on Amazon for the set. Just another way.

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Swagonmaster »

rorke wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:50 pm
I have a blind hole puller set for removing bearings. They work excellent on the brake caliper pistons. No mess. No air pressure danger.
Great tool. Have done many caliper overhauls this way. Can see pictures on Amazon for the set. Just another way.
I can see where that would do a good job with pistons that aren't stuck but I would be worried it would break a piston if you really had to crank down on it with a hard to move one but if it works it's a great idea. As you said It's one more tool in the bag of tricks.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

Nigel Bruce
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:28 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Nigel Bruce »

Swagonmaster wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:24 pm
It's amazing what actually needs to be said, a young friend of mine was replacing brake pads and got some grease on the face of the pads and said "don't worry about it, it will burn off when we drive!" :o
agreed! there is sometimes an amazing lack of common sense!

User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »

Happy New Year!

I bought an air compressor bleeding kit and that worked to get the system depressurized. That's the good news.

The bad news is that after pressurizing it, I discovered that one of the new seals I just put into my rebuilt caliper is leaking.

My only options (that I can see) right now are: 1. Tear it down and attempt another rebuild. 2. Tear it down and pay someone else to rebuild it. 3. Buy a new caliper.

I'm not fond of any of those options.

God bless,

~Mark

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: EMERGENCY BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Swagonmaster »

As distasteful as it might be I would want to look at what is behind door #1 Alex. The parts are all new and unless something is actually damaged it can be fixed.
First of all check that nothing is really scratched or cracked since it was hard to come apart then make sure that the square seal ring inside the bore is undamaged and lying flat (that is likely where the leak is) and make sure to use either silicone lube or at least fresh brake fluid as lube to assemble the piston in the caliper. It should go in smooth and easy, if it doesn't then something is wrong and start again.
They can be a royal pain sometimes but it is possible


Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

Post Reply