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Adjusting Front brakes on a motorcycle.

Discussion in 'Motorcycles' started by raskal311, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Apr 12, 2010 at 1:12 PM
    #1
    raskal311

    raskal311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Adjusting Front brakes on a motorcycle.

    I’m sure it’s a bit different on every motorcycle but I just picked up a 1988 Honda Shadow VT600C. The front breaks were replaced by the previous owner who only owned the bike for six months. I believe he didn’t adjust the breaks properly or at all after replacing the pads because even when it’s not engaged it’s pinching the rotors.

    Can someone tell me what I need to do to adjust the breaks so it isn’t pinching the rotor?

    Thanks
     
  2. Apr 12, 2010 at 4:13 PM
    #2
    Wolfman

    Wolfman Well-Known Member

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    Is the front brake cable or hydraulic?
     
  3. Apr 12, 2010 at 5:31 PM
    #3
    Black Taco

    Black Taco Well-Known Member

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    If it's a cable, it's like a bicycle. If it's hydraulic, I believe all you can do is bleed them. If they're sticking, it may need the calipers rebuilt.
     
  4. Apr 12, 2010 at 7:28 PM
    #4
    Kuneff

    Kuneff Carpe Diem

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    Oh yeah... I got this one... :D I am a bike nut...

    Whats going on is your calipers are jammed up. You need to unbolt the calipers and pull them off the rotors. NO need to unhook the lines. Just pull the calipers loose, and then pull the pads out.. What is going on is there was no doubt carbon brake dust build up on the caliper pistons. now that the new pads are in the calipers the pistons are pushed back in the caliper past the seals and its holding pressure on your rotors. You CAN and WILL warp your rotors my riding the bike like this.

    You need to get a tooth brush and some simple green and scrub the heck out of the pistons. Get that grim cleaned off. Do NOT use and harsh chemicals. you do not want to harden up the seals and dust boots. Clean the build up all off and work the pistons in and out until they move freely. Once they are all clean and the moving freely, throw the pads back in them and bolt them back up on the bike.

    I usually clean my calipers out every fall after the riding season is over. Good Luck and let me know how it all works out.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2010 at 9:18 PM
    #5
    raskal311

    raskal311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Great so I couldn't wait for your replays and removed the calipers from the rotor. The bad part :S I pulled on the breaks a few time to see if it worked. Well the pads are how clamped tight. I'm guessing i'll have to bleed the breaks to get them to let go of each other?

    Ohh and how do I go about removing the pads once pistons release?
     
  6. Apr 12, 2010 at 9:22 PM
    #6
    raskal311

    raskal311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Its hydraulic.
     
  7. Apr 12, 2010 at 9:26 PM
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    SC4333

    SC4333 Well-Known Member

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    You don't need to bleed the breaks. Wedge something between the pads in order to separate the two, then use an appropriately size c clamp to squeeze the pads back to their outermost position. Take a look at the pads while your at it, it might be a good idea to just replace them while your cleaning your calipers.
     
  8. Apr 12, 2010 at 9:28 PM
    #8
    Black Taco

    Black Taco Well-Known Member

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    Removing pads: They should clip into the piston like a car, or they may have adhesive to hold them to the pistons. This eliminates brake squeal.
     
  9. Apr 12, 2010 at 9:43 PM
    #9
    raskal311

    raskal311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No go, I don't think I can anything between it without damaging the pads.


    Also, any socal guys know a good place for new pads and other motorcycle parts?
     
  10. Apr 12, 2010 at 10:26 PM
    #10
    Black Taco

    Black Taco Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that the pads are too close together to slide them over the rotor? If that 's the case and you can't get them to go in with prying. That's your problem. They need to be rebuilt. They should go in with light pressure. If not, try taking the cap off the master cylinder and try it again. Gently... brake fluid will go all over and you don't want to get air in the lines. Trying my hardest to give you good info w/o seeing it and get you going.
     
  11. Apr 13, 2010 at 6:10 AM
    #11
    Kuneff

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    EASY man.... be very careful... If you had done that without the brake pads in the calipers... you could had possibly pushed the pistons right out of the calipers, then your fvcked...

    DO NOT take a flat blade screw driver to the pads, you can and will chip, crack and fvck them up... you need to spread the pads back apart. You should try to use a wood wedge.

    you gotta be careful with the calipers and pistons. work the pistons out with the brake lever, then push them back in with your fingers. BUT you only need to be doing this AFTER you scrub and clean the pistons up.
     
  12. Apr 13, 2010 at 6:13 AM
    #12
    Kuneff

    Kuneff Carpe Diem

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    Keep this in mind also.. You need to clean the pistons and get them moving in and out smoothly again with no catches...

    you DO NOT need to crack open the bleeders, or anything at this point... That will only lead to more issues with air in the lines. Seems you are a virgin at motorcycle maintance, so DON'T make it any harder on yourself than you have to. PM me, ask me, post up and ask anyone.. before you start doing stuff....

    ONCE you get your Brake Calipers working good, I will explain how to flush the brake fluid with fresh....
     
  13. Apr 13, 2010 at 6:58 AM
    #13
    Danosabre

    Danosabre Well-Known Member

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    Get your self a Clymer's shop book it will help a ton.
     
  14. Apr 13, 2010 at 6:59 AM
    #14
    raskal311

    raskal311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so try to pry the breaks appart with a piece of wood? I'll try when I get home but I dont think it will push appart. When I got them off of the rotors I literally had to tap them out with a hammer.

    I will try but what if I can't wedge it open? and Yes, major bike noob.
     
  15. Apr 13, 2010 at 7:11 AM
    #15
    Kuneff

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    You CAN get them apart... but its not easy.

    See if you can find a wood shim. Maybe even a plastic wedge, like a squeegee of some kind. Absolute worst case, you can use a flat head screw driver, and try to spread the pads by getting the driver in between the metal backing plates of the pads. Just keep it out from between the pads themselves because it will mess them up.
     
  16. Apr 13, 2010 at 7:12 AM
    #16
    Kuneff

    Kuneff Carpe Diem

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    you should not have to take the master cylinder cap off, since the amount of fluid has remained unchanged, I have never seen it make this process any easier.
     
  17. Apr 13, 2010 at 7:15 AM
    #17
    raskal311

    raskal311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can cut a wooden shim, if that doesn't work I should have some plastic shim for installing laminet flooring. I'm at work right now but I'll try as soon as I get home in about 8 hrs. Thanks for the help.
     
  18. Apr 13, 2010 at 7:16 AM
    #18
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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    :D
     
  19. Apr 13, 2010 at 7:25 AM
    #19
    raskal311

    raskal311 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Once I get the piston cleaned should I spray some WD40 or something on it?
     
  20. Apr 13, 2010 at 7:29 AM
    #20
    Kuneff

    Kuneff Carpe Diem

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    NO, clean it good and if you want put a VERY thin coat of grease on the pistons... VERY thin, just enough to keep corrosion off. WD40 can become a nightmare under high heat conditions.
     
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