New Front Brakes are Tight

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by LeeOtis, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. LeeOtis

    LeeOtis Member

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    Replaced both twin caliper brake pads on my 2000 fxdl. The pads were installed correctly; removed and reinstalled calipers, correct pad placement, cleaned calipers; front wheel is installed with spacers where they should be, all bolts correct torqued. I also bled both calipers and topped-off the master cylinder with DOT 5. The front brake lever is tight; no spongy feel at all.

    Here's what has me scratching my noggin: The new pads are tight on the rotors.

    I noticed yesterday after the pad install when I lifted the front end to check the resistance and it was a bit tight, but it was expected.

    So I rode about 50 miles stopping about every 5 minutes to check the heat on the rotors. The were a bit warm but this was expected also.

    Today I didn't ride but lifted the front end to turn the front tire and check the brake drag and it was more obvious than yesterday. Don't want to warp a rotor but this one has me perplexed. A LOT of brake drag.

    Anyone have any experience with this dilemma?
     
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    One or 2 quick thoughts were the new pads oem or aftermarket
    did the calliper pistons push in ok
    are both callipers gripping or only one - lift front wheel remove one calliper and spin wheel then swap callipers and try again

    Brian
     
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Being your bike is a 2000 model, you may want to so a service (cleaning) on the the pistons. It sounds like they may not be free enough to retract properly.

    Harley Davidson Community
     
  4. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

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    LeeOtis please keep us updated on this one. I for one will be following this.
     
  5. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member Contributor

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    , NEWHD&$FAN
    LeeOtis,

    On my 2000 FXDS I needed to go with a flat bladed screw driver After pads new were installed and on one hanging up, Push it back IN and then squeeze back OUT with brake handle ,,, a few times to allow Problem LIKE glider said above and then they worked fine (un-stuck/cleaned themselves).... I did clean mine off good before the new pads but just a little film or muck on the piston outer wall will cause this problem..

    I think fin??? or another good tipster, NEWHD74FAN said , While out on the Old pads, he takes a shoe lace to clean and shine them off before the were pushed in for the new pads... this will help when you don't apart the piston and Just replace the pads..

    I used brake clean and did the screwdriver trick on mine.:D

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member Contributor

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    Welcome to The Forum, What pads did you use? Not all pads are created equally. Cleaning the pistons before pushing them in is a very good idea not just for bikes but for any brake job. I like to open the bleeders and push out the old fluid and re bleed when done:s Pump the brakes up let sit for a minute crack the bleeders you should not have a stream of fluid out of the bleeders if the calipers are working properly and this is a good way of testing the master cylinder for free travel and collapsed hoses. If the hoses are collapsing the fluid will not return properly holding the brakes on also. Hope this helps:s
     
  8. LeeOtis

    LeeOtis Member

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    I cleaned the calipers pretty well with brake cleaner spray when I removed the old pads. I may have to take them back off and use a shoestring and polish the pistons as per the above post. Then after installing the pads, work them open using screwdriver a few times and close with brake lever to make sure none are sticking. And check resistance when each caliper is removed.

    What sort of perplexes me is the brakes are extremely tight against the rotors. Lifted the bike this evening and tried to pry the shoes away from the rotors a couple of times with no success. The brake lever is very tight and the slightest touch will lock the brakes [on the lift]. The front wheel will not spin freely [when lifted] due to the resistance. I'm wondering if maybe the master cylinder is sticking. I just don't believe all pistons would suddenly get stuck and not retract properly.

    The pads are aftermarket bought from my mechanic at his shop. He says they ought to be good.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  9. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member Contributor

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    ******************************************

    I think re-read fins post.... IF ALL the pistons are tight, it must be the pads IF you can't retract pistons enough to allow Freer slack on the rotors..

    sound like the problem to me UNLESS the master cylinder is Not releasing.. BUT it worked good before the New Pads???? didn't it? Loosen a bleed valve and then WILL pistons Open up a little???

    This IS Why I Like using the HD replacement parts Yes I like HD Brake pads...they fit and work..

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  10. LeeOtis

    LeeOtis Member

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    IF ALL the pistons are tight, it must be the pads IF you can't retract pistons enough to allow Freer slack on the rotors..

    sound like the problem to me UNLESS the master cylinder is Not releasing.. BUT it worked good before the New Pads???? didn't it? Loosen a bleed valve and then WILL pistons Open up a little???


    Bubbie,

    Yes, they worked good before the new pads.

    I was told to loosen the bleed valves [at separate times] and bled just a little brake fluid out and re-tightened the bleed valves, but nothing changed. So you are saying to open bleed valve, leave it open, and then try to retract pistons enough to free a little slack on the rotors? If the problem is not solved, change to Harley OEM pads?

    I'll do whatever it takes because right now the pads are so tight it makes the bike hard to push out of my garage to get the lift under it. I'm gonna presume all pads are not created equal and some non-OEM might be just a bit too thick or don't exactly meet the specs. Besides, if it's something other than the pads, I'll have the extra pads for next time.

    Bear with me because we gonna solve this problem.