Stubborn Brake Caliper - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Stubborn Brake Caliper

Okay Guys (and Ladies, if it applies),

I was going to post the whole story later about what I've been doing with my bike, but right now I need some advice.

Had the front wheel off and was putting it back together. The left side brake caliper went back on no problem. The right side has a cylinder (not sure of correct part name) that expanded while off the bike and will not compress.

I've read the old threads about bleeding the line on that side and using a C-clamp to compress the cylinder. I've tried that and can't get it to budge.

I'm new at this and don't want to cause any damage. I've tightened the clamp as much as I can by hand. No movement. How much pressure must be exerted? Or is there something else that may be wrong?

A little info: 1989 vn750 with approx. 21k on the clock. As far as I know the brakes could be original. This is the first time I've really touched them other than changing the fluid last year.

What do I need to do here?

John

1989 VN750
VROC#31798





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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 05:56 PM
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If I'm reading what you're saying right..then according to the Clymer manual you have to take the top off the master cylinder to decompress the system. Then you should be able to slowly push the caliper piston back in. Just keep an eye on your master cylinder so it doesn't overflow.

If I'm wrong..then someone else will tell us and we'll both learn something...LOL!

New rider/mechanic of '85 VN700 Vulcan. (25k miles)

Link to bike restoration blog:
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Yep. Sounds simple doesn't it?

Master cylinder is open. right side bleeder valve is open. C-clamp is compressing. Thing doesn't budge. Grrrrrrr.

John

1989 VN750
VROC#31798





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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 06:13 PM
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ok..if you did all that..and piston doesn't move..book says it has to be rebuilt with new seals.

New rider/mechanic of '85 VN700 Vulcan. (25k miles)

Link to bike restoration blog:
http://trailofthewolf.blogspot.com/s...%20Restoration
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolflrv View Post
ok..if you did all that..and piston doesn't move..book says it has to be rebuilt with new seals.
If that's the case, would you think it wise to rebuild both calipers? How much of a PITA is it to do?

Anyone know what parts are needed for a rebuild?

BTW, thanks for the quick replies, Wolf.

John

1989 VN750
VROC#31798





I'm bad with names. May I just call you dumb?

Last edited by johnm; 06-02-2011 at 06:29 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 06:29 PM
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Due to age and the unknown maintenance...I'd definitely do them both. I have both the Kawa manual(same as online) and the Clymer. The Clymer gives specific instructions and pictures on how to rebuild the calipers and replace the seals..but Kawa doesn't.

You basically remove caliper from bike, remove pads and then use compressed air to push the piston out, then use a piece of wood to push the seals in towards the caliper cylinder and out of their grooves. Then remove them. Replace with new seals coated with DOT 3 or 4 and then reassemble again. Make sure you reinstall the anti-rattle spring when you put it all back together. Doesn't seem hard..just parts and time.

Oh..and you apply the air hose through the brake fluid line inlet.

New rider/mechanic of '85 VN700 Vulcan. (25k miles)

Link to bike restoration blog:
http://trailofthewolf.blogspot.com/s...%20Restoration
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again, Wolf. I guess I have more work to do. LOL.

Keep the shiny side up.

John

1989 VN750
VROC#31798





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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 08:09 AM
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I just rebuilt my calipers for basically the same problems you describe. It is very easy to do. Just make sure that when you apply air to the cylinder you put a piece of wood or something in front of the piston. It will shoot out of the caliper at very high speeds. I know this from experience.

1997 Vulcan 750
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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^^^Yeah, I took them apart last night. Fortunately, I was warned ahead of time. It's surprising how fast they shoot out when they finally pop loose. LOL

The right side was already most of the way out, but was so stuck air alone wouldn't loosen it. Had to use other methods of gentle "persuasion."

Now just waiting for parts.

Should I replace anything other than the 2 seals in each piston for the rebuild? I think the pads are original, but still have a lot of wear left on them.

John

1989 VN750
VROC#31798





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