Explain It Like I'm Five--Newb Advice!!

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by gasolinePony, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. gasolinePony

    gasolinePony Adventurer

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    Hi Wrenchers,

    I am a newb from Holyoke, MA. To both AdRider, and to bike repair. I rebuilt my petcocks and recently changed my oil, and beyond that, I don't know nothin about nothin.

    So, first of all, thanks for having me. I like AdV Rider. It's modern, although my bike tastes so far have not been.

    I have an r75/6 with a /5 transmission (came that way), and a /7 tank (my work). It starts and runs like a champ, but it needs some help, and I'm slowly going to try to work my way through the bike and clean it up, one step at a time. Pics to come.

    I purchased a Clymer manual, but it is lacking in clarity, at times...so I'm looking for some help.

    First job:

    My front ATE brake is dragging, and so I'm thinking of getting the rebuild kit from Hucky's. Do I get the one with the piston? Or try the o-ring fix first? (See, monkey can learn).

    So, how the hell do I do this? See the title of this thread. I'm not hopeless, but I need good directions.

    Thanks for any help.

    TAKE PITY ON MY NEWBIE SOUL. At least I'm trying. :thumb

    Also, if there are fellow airhead or other riders that are in my area (Holyoke, MA), let's hit some pavement, or get out the wrenches!

    tf
    #1
  2. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    Welcome to the asylum GP. First thing's first--- post this up in the Airheads section of Old's Cool. There are tons of people here that can help you get your bike where it needs to be. Also, search the threads in there for brake rebuilding/troubleshooting ideas. Here, I'll start:
    Here are two pages of threads that appears when I typed in 'ate brake rebuild' in the site search engine:
    http://advrider.com/forums/search.php?searchid=16311846
    When you pose a question, accompanying photos really help too.
    Good luck
    #2
  3. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    i use a clymer manual for my bike and there's a lot of information..but i always go online to find out more about any proceedure i'm about to undertake for the firs time! you'll probably not find ATE specifically ( by the way..what is an ATEbrake anyway?- this from a non BWM rider), but the information will still help. as for replacement parts to buy..i wouldn't buy , untill i had take apart the assemblies inspected the caliper first! (don't forget to look at the rotor also)
    #3
  4. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    The first question I would ask you: Have you ever bled brakes? (I'm assuming these are hydraulic)

    My second question would be: Are you sure you want to tear into your brakes at this point in your wrenching life. They are a fairly critical safety item...

    Not trying to dissuade you, just askin.:D

    If the brake is dragging, I would guess you have a build-up of gunk/smutz behind the piston o-ring. A lot of times a tear down and thorough cleaning will stop the dragging. You will also get a good look at all the components, and can make a decision on if any parts need replacing.

    Here is a really good site with a lot of info on different bikes/procedures, take a look at the section on brakes and see if it's something you feel comfortable with. DansMC (click me)
    #4
  5. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    Some BMWs with disc brakes came with ATE calipers. Some came with Brembos.
    #5
  6. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    You will do better to post Airheads tech questions in Airheads, a part of Olds Cool.

    Use DOT 4 fluid if you can. You are allowed to use the more common DOT 3 fluid if you have too. Use only DOT 4 or 3. Do not use any other brake fluid, ever, in your Airhead.

    Bleed the brakes. Bleed them till the fluid comes out clean. Then bleed them some more. Fresh fluid is required and is part of the regular maintenance of the brakes.

    A little dragging of the pads on the rotor of ATE systems is pretty normal. There is a procedure for adjusting the caliper. I can't teach it to you because I don't know how to do it. Is the dragging you have from a little bit of uneven surface of the rotor? I have a little bit of that but it doesn't bother me because I can't feel it when breaking.

    So you probably want to take the caliper apart and look at the piston. They get replaced because water gets inside and corrodes them. That is when you replace pistons. If it's not rust pitted then you can reuse it.
    #6
  7. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    It's a simple caliper rebuild question asked in the right place.

    Take the caliper off, remove the pads, hold caliper over a pan and squeeze the brake lever until the piston is forced out and drops into the pan, you might need to add more fluid to get the piston all of the way out. The seal has a taper to it, keep track of the way the old one comes out and install the new one the same direction.

    If that fails you have a seized piston in the bore and will need help, I've had to use a porta power to force one out before.
    #7
  8. gasolinePony

    gasolinePony Adventurer

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    @LarryBoy--you're the man. That's super helfpul. Sounds like maybe I can save the piston. Is there a good way to test it?

    More Info:

    I don't think it has to do with a rotor irregularity...the bike sat outside for a while in the cold of winter, and I didn't ride it so much last season. It one day became very difficult to roll and I took it for a quick spin and the rotor was burning hot.

    So, I think I'll try what Larry and MJYDrafter say about bleeding and gunk.

    On this topic, I'm told that the braking system on my R75/6 could be improved with a silver braided cable? I got some serious hand crampage goin' on. It makes me feel manly, but I'd rather it just brake faster and cleaner. :D (I'm not going to convert to dual disc, seems like a PITA, and potentially dangermouse anyhow).
    #8
  9. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Visual, when it's out in your grubby little hands inspect for pitting in the metal.
    #9
  10. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    Motorcycle brakes aren't too bad to bleed, even without a helper.

    But if I may offer a suggestion, get yourself a Mity-vac and no brake-work will ever give you a hard time or require a helper. you can even pick up a knock-off if you have a Harbor Freight nearby.

    Yours shouldn't be too bad as it's probably only a 1 or 2 piston caliper.

    I would guess that if they were working ok before the bike sat, they will probably be ok with a good tear-down/cleaning. It's obviously hard to see them from here...:lol3

    I think that brake pistons are sometimes plated, so if they are flaking or discolored you may consider replacement.

    Hydraulic brakes are really pretty simple, so just use some common sense when inspecting the parts. Get the bigger can of brake fluid, just in case. Get and use plenty of brake cleaner.

    This would be a great time to tear-down/clean the master cylinder up too, since you'll have all the fluid out.

    Older brake fluid tends to crystallize, so you'll find lots of junk to scrape at both ends of the brake line.

    Braided stainless steel lines would be a nice upgrade on an older bike as well and should give you a bit firmer feel at the lever and piece of mind that all is in good working order.

    I'm sure you know, but keep the brake fluid away from any paint you care about. And safety glasses when working with the brake cleaner.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out.:D
    #10
  11. gasolinePony

    gasolinePony Adventurer

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    Thanks. More when my hands are dirty.

    Snowbum says this:

    There is a product called by various names, but it is a special grease for use in assembling the calipers. Some brake kits come with a tiny tube of the stuff. USE IT, otherwise you may have a lot of fun trying to get the pistons into the calipers.

    What is he referring to? GUNK?
    #11
  12. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    DO NOT USE ANYTHING OTHER THAN BRAKE FLUID OR BRAKE CLEANER ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR BRAKE SYSTEM!

    He is referring to caliper grease, which you would use on the back of the pads and the pins that the pads slide on. It's a sticky silicone grease that keeps the brakes from squealing or rattling.

    Once your ready to put it all back together lube everything up with brake fluid and you'll be able to push the pistons back in in with your fingers.
    #12
  13. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    when you get brake fluid. ressist with all the will power you can muster up and DO NOT SKAKE the container!!! in fact allow it to sit on a shelf for at least a day before using.
    #13
  14. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    There is a specific brake assembly lubricant to be used, which is very different from that anti-squeal grease. Using brake fluid to lubricate while assembling will work, but on the "dry side" of the brake system brake fluid will absorb moisture from the air and become corrosive.

    One quick hit on a search:

    http://www.wilwood.com/BrakeFluid/BrakeFluid.aspx

    [​IMG]

    otherwise, Google "hydraulic brake assembly lube" for more info.
    #14
  15. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    :wink: http://www.summitracing.com/search/Department/Oils-Fluids-Sealer/Part-Type/Assembly-Lubricant/Assembly-Lubricant-Usage/Brake-assembly/
    #15
  16. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    See ya round!
    #16
  17. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    I had no idea, funny I've rebuilt many brake calipers, and my fair share of drums and I've never used anything other than what I suggested.

    Is there a "real" reason to use this stuff. I'm not trying to start an argument, just curious.:D

    I'm still pretty sure you're not going to the corner auto parts store to pick that up, unless you have a race shop nearby.

    From a bit of poking around the web, this is an oil/chain lube subject...:rofl

    About the only reason I can find to really use it, is if you are assembling the calipers and then setting them on a shelf for storage.

    Also beware that the "anti-squeal" caliper greases are usually labeled as "assembly lube", but they do not go inside the brake system.
    #17
  18. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    If you decide to keep the stock lines, don't bleed the system, instead go to a vet or a feed and seed a get a big syringe. Then remove the m/c cap and drain the old brake fluid with the syringe, less to bleed through the system. (I would recommend swapping the lines to SS ones. It does make a difference.) the syringe also works to bleed brakes by forcing the fluid through the system from the bottom. like backwards bleeding, less air enters the system.. Ate brakes are kind of funny.....I will say a big problem with them is the pads coming apart, so watch out for that. You may be able to reuse all the parts by just cleaning them, so when you're removing the seals, be careful not to tear them. Here's a a good thread.
    #18
  19. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Similar stuff called "Rubber Grease" used to be easy to find, not anymore for some reason had to go overseas to find a big tub. Google "Miller Red Grease", has other uses as in protecting rubber from cracking etc...

    I agree the brake fluid works fine but can be a problem if any of it is left externally, may attract moisture and cause corrosion.
    #19
  20. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    Before you get into a full caliper rebuild, on ATE brakes it is most likely that the brakes are dragging because the caliper has not been adjusted properly. It is covered in Clymers.

    Replacing the brake fluid is not a bad idea on a new to you bike. Just keeping taking fluid out, as to top up the MC, so you don't introduce any air bubbles, just keep going until the fluid runs clear at the bottom end.

    Charles
    #20