Front brake issues...Help!!

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by Dswartz, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    366
    0
    4
    I'm having an ongoing issue with my front brake and need some advice. Whin I fist purchased my '02 Superglide it felt like the front rotor was warped. I felt a slight pulse in the lever under hard braking. I replaced the rotor with an HD floating rotor and the pulsing went away. After some riding I noticed a chirping noise coming from the brake. It never made any noises when the brake was applied. Only when the brake was off and riding at low speeds or when pushing the bike with the motor off. The problem was more noticable when the brakes were hot. I then decided to change the pads and see if that would help. When I removed the pads I noticed some slighly uneven wear on them. I replaced the pads and for a while the problem went away but it has returned again. I took the pads out again a looked at the rotor really well. I observed that there is additonal wear on the outside half of the outside pad. Only half the pad appears to have the additional wear and the inside pad is fine. any ideas? Do I need to rebuild the caliper?
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    I would say your caliper pistons need a cleaning from what you posted.

    This will give you an idea of what to do.

    Harley Davidson Community
     
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    18,544
    153
    399
    After cleaning have a look here Harley Davidson Community too much run out is a bad thing
     
  4. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    366
    0
    4
    I took Glider's advice and cleaned the caliper. This seemed to solve the problem for a little while but it has definately returned. There is still something wrong with the brake. If I have the bike on a lift and spin the front wheel I can feel it catching slightly on one end of the disc. It's only a slight amount of drag but it doesn't feel normal to me. I almost feel like the rotor is warped again. It only has about six thousand miles on it and it's a floating rotor. Can it possibly be warped already? I saw the tool that Jack posted for checking runout but I might just take it to a dealer and have them check runout. If that doesn't work should I try to rebuild the caliper? There isn't much else that I can think of. Surely the brakes will last more than 6k.
     
  5. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    7,198
    0
    34
    Don't forget the compensation port in the master cylinder. If the master cylinder piston does not retract all the way, your going to have problems. I caught my master cylinder piston not retracting all the way and that's on a 2 year old bike.
     
  6. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    366
    0
    4
    Compensator port? You lost me there Hoople. Should I rebuild the master as well? How do I check the compensator port?

    I'm almost thinking I should replace everything! Rebuild the master cylinder, caliper, and new pads and rotor! Maybe that will help...lol
     
  7. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    7,198
    0
    34
    I don't know the history of maintenance your brake system has had, but your brake system is coming up on 10 years old. It certainly would not be a bad idea to disassemble/clean and re-kit the master cylinder and caliper.

    On my 2009, the Moco kills you for a caliper rebuild kit. It is better just to buy a new caliper because they don't sell the quad seals by themselves. It's like $250 for the pistons and quad seals. I believe on your year, you can get just the seals for under $25. My master cylinder rebuild kit is reasonable. I am sure yours is also. (~$40)

    All of the above only applies if you are doing the work yourself. If your taking it to a dealership, it would cost (at least with my bike) $500 to rebuild one caliper and 1 master cylinder so I don't know what to tell you in that case. Like I said, they don't sell just the quad seals for my year bike. They hang you out to dry.
     
  8. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    366
    0
    4
    Alright I've done some more reading now and am convinced that the rebuild is the way to go. It certainly cant hurt anything. Besides I would rather spend a little extra money and do it right instead of skimping on a critical component like the brakes. The question I have now is the manual calls for a Brake Caliper Piston remover HD-43293. I saw a tool similar to this online for about $60. Is this a critical tool that is recommended or something that I can get by without? Reason I ask is it doesn't look like anything special and I have purchased special tools in the past only to find out I didn't need it.

    Hoople, I don't believe the caliper kit for my bike will be quite as expensive as yours was. It looks like they went to a different design in 2007 so I'm hoping mine will be different. I guess I will find out tomorrow when I visit the dealer. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the help.
     
  9. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    7,198
    0
    34
    It not so much the design, as the servicing parts "policy" that makes mine so expensive to rebuild. There are 4 quad seals (1 on each piston). The MSRP for each one $71.40 because the rubber seal is only available with the piston. So it's $280 for 4 seals & pistons. Nice guys.
    But it could be worse. I could have dual calipers which would mean $560.

    When I was on the hunt for quad seals a few months ago, I noticed that pre ~2006 bikes had part numbers for just the seals. So you should have it made.
     
  10. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    366
    0
    4
    Well I went to the dealership today and for the first time I feel like I walked out of there with a good deal. After hearing what Hoople had to say I was prepared to shell out some bucks. However, to my surprise the kit for both the master cylinder, and caliper with tax and everything out the door was only $111. Thank goodness! The kit's come in next week and I will keep you guys posted on how it goes when I put it all together. Hopefully this will solve the problem.