Brakes binding after I cleaned 'em

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jesse v, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. jesse v

    jesse v Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Just cleaned my front calipers as per this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNz00OTRLzM


    I did this last week on my wife's 650 and everything went OK. Brakes feel better, engage more linearly, etc. Tried it with my 1k tonight, and now my brakes bind BAD. Prior to cleaning, there was a little bit of rubbing.

    Any ideas? At one point in the cleaning, I accidentally pushed out one of the pistons so far it was crooked (almost fell out). Could this have caused something?

    I'm planning on riding through the Loess Hills tomorrow so this is really bumming me. Hopefully I can fix it tonight. Your help is much appreciated
    #1
  2. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,748
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    I can't see the video from here, but if any residual brake cleaner stayed on the seals don't look too much farther. No more brake cleaners for me to do that, I use Methyl Hydrate, safer to some extent and won't swell rubber, something that some brake cleaners can do very well after a little while.
    #2
  3. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,441
    Location:
    Kensington, NH USA
    Maybe the Road Warrior has a matching caliper repair video. :norton :rofl

    A proper inspection, possible disassembly by a mechanic should quickly reveal where the problem lies.
    #3
  4. jesse v

    jesse v Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    No brake cleaner product was used. Could have messed up a piston seal or 2 or 8; I'll check those out next.
    #4
  5. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,806
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Best guess, the back of a pad has hooked one of the tangs on the anti-squeal springs at the back of the calliper, or one of them just plain shifted, and that's what's jamming a pad.

    First two times I cleaned the brakes on my DL's 3 hours + and much swearing, third time, 5 minutes and I was left wondering what all the fuss was about - hint don't leave it until it REALLY needs doing.


    Pete
    #5
  6. jesse v

    jesse v Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Thanks PeterW. I triple checked the springs and they're good. I brought it into a local mechanic this morning so we shall see.
    #6
  7. jesse v

    jesse v Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    So, I took the bike to a local mechanic. He said he took the brakes apart completely, and nothing was damaged. So he cleaned them up and put them back together. He explained to me that the wheel was rolling more freely now, but because my pads are nearly worn to the wear bars (which I already knew and was planning to replace them next spring), the brakes are still binding a little because the farther the pistons comes out, the hard it is for them to retract perfectly straight, causing the little bit of binding. But it's nothing to worry about, he said, it just needs new pads.

    That information cost me $91 (2 hours of labor plus brake fluid).

    When I got home, I put the bike on its stands, and binding is exactly the same as it was. I'm hoping he's right and that new pads are all I need.
    #7
  8. syntec4

    syntec4 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,441
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    If the mechanic went to the trouble of stripping the calliper to check it, surely dropping in some new pads during re-assembly would have been sensible? Or have I read it wrong :lol3 (It wouldn't be the first or last time ).
    #8
  9. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,441
    Location:
    Kensington, NH USA
    +1 This is the TOO thrifty modus operendi :deal

    For $35 bucks, why wouldn't new pads have been installed? Were the caliper seals replaced? They can get old and harden, causing dragging.
    #9
  10. jesse v

    jesse v Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    I don't know why he didn't throw new pads in. He didn't call me until he was done re-assembling. He said no seals were bad or anything. I'll just put new pads in myself and see if that makes the binding go away. Ugh, this mechanic ticked me off.
    #10
  11. jesse v

    jesse v Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Update (if anybody cares):

    Finally got around to putting new pads in yesterday, and no difference in the rubbing issue. I'll try rebuilding the master cylinder next and see what happens.
    #11
  12. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,748
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    Ah....maybe just the pressure relief hole inside the reservoir is plugged.That hole sure is tiny on some systems. You may be able to see it when you remove the cover. Then carefully pull/release the brake, you should see pressure coming out of the hole as you release the lever. Watch out, may splash up and shoot brake fluid where you don't want it, like your eyes or painted surfaces.:eek1
    #12
  13. wsmc831

    wsmc831 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    826
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    Too much fluid in the reservoir an also limit pads retraction.
    #13
  14. wmako

    wmako bored in NJ

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    664
    Location:
    Andover, New Jersey
    If you open the bleeder screw and some fluid squirts out and/or the pads are no longer dragging, the the relief hole is the problem.
    #14
  15. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,748
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    Yes but a plugged line will also do the same. As in falling apart internally and creating a one way valve.Been seeing a lot of that over this past year.

    There are recommendations there and there as to replace them lines at about 6 yrs. New DOT regulations now reguire that all such pressure lines on vehicles be dated, little date band over the line. My new Spiegler's have such but not the OEMs on my bike, 2003...predates the new regulations.
    #15
  16. wmako

    wmako bored in NJ

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    664
    Location:
    Andover, New Jersey
    Boy that sux for me and my 1979 cx500.
    #16
  17. jesse v

    jesse v Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    I rebuilt the master cylinder, and... success! :clap No more dragging.

    Feels really good.
    #17
  18. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,800
    Location:
    SoSoCal
    The master cylinder has two port, fill and relief.
    The relief is very small in diameter and can become plugged or partially plugged.

    Google images.
    #18
  19. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,748
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    Good.:clap Funny how sometimes seemingly unrelated work affects the other parts. May not be your case but anytime I find corrosion or such binding or creating seeps in one part of the system, I'll go look at the other parts.:eek1

    Could be just me being anal about brakes, but complete dissassembly of MCs and calipers for cleaning/inspections every few years sure has saved me much $$$ over the years. Rebuild kits are much cheaper than new MCs/calipers.:eek1
    #19