A little brake maintenance - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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A little brake maintenance

When I had my rear wheel off for a new tire last September I noticed that one of the caliper seals was visible and would need to be replaced whenever it was pad time. There was a little bit of meat left of the pads so I put it back together and went ahead and ordered seals so I could do it all when the time came. Last night my new pads were waiting for me when I got home. I knew the rear seals were bad and I had limited time since Wednesday is a church night so I decided to start on the rear, being only one caliper.

The caliper came off quite easily. The seal still looked terrible but the pads were absolutely shot! I try to use my rear brakes along with the front all the time, so I use it more than a lot of people, but not enough to do this kind of damage. I believe the pistons were sticking and thus causing the rear to drag a little, thus causing more damage. This was validated by the fact that I could neither easily remove or push in the pistons by hand. To move them at all I had to use a socket and a hammer and give them a tap! I was able to get the pistons out, old seals removed, everything cleaned up, new seals installed, pistons re-installed, new pads installed, and caliper remounted before church.When I got back I bled the brakes and you can see the old fluid was fairly ugly. I suppose I could have stayed up late and done the front but I just wasn't feeling it, that will be tonight's project.

Anybody interested in the project I've used the following:
Inner Piston Seals - 43049-1092 x6
Outer Piston Seals - 43049-1068 x6
EBC EPFA231HH Pads x2
EBC EPFA229HH Pads x1
2 Bottles of Amsoil DOT 4 brake fluid

I don't think the seals on the front are necessarily bad, but they were cheap enough and they are easy enough to replace. I figure I might as well do it while I'm into it. I chose these pads because I have had wonderful results with the EBC HH pads in the past. These are the new and improved version that is supposed to have even better fade resistance, heat cycling, and noise characteristics. I selected Amsoil fluid because I am an Amsoil dealer and really believe in their products. Both the dry and wet boiling points are sufficiently high to ensure I should never have a problem.

I hope to be able to do the front brakes tonight and it is looking like the weather might actually clear up enough for a ride.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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The seals on the front calipers all looked to be in good shape so I decided that if it ain't broke I shouldn't fix it. I did remove the calipers so bleeding was a must, also good since I wanted to get rid of the old fluid. I got it all buttoned up and took it for a ride. WOW these pads work. My old pads could not lock up the front or rear on dry pavement, these can easily lock both if you get too aggressive with it.

Some people will claim that is a bad thing, and I agree that it COULD make a bad situation worse, but if you can learn to handle it and tame the beast you can truly maximize braking and minimize stopping distances.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 08:02 AM
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It is poor practice to dis-assemble a caliper and not replace all rubber components, no matter how good they look to the eyeball.

What did you use to clean the components?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I agree, but fortunately I'm not an idiot. Had I disassembled the fronts I would have replaced the seals no matter how good they looked. My point was thag I didn't need to disassemble the front. The seals were in good shape and the pistons were not stuck so I just cleaned themp up with some brake parts cleaner, compressed the pistons, and installed new pads. I then re-installed them and bled all the old fluid out. I had purchased enough seals to do it all should I need to, but I didn't need to.

On the rear the caliper was very nasty so brake parts cleaner wasn't getting it all. After removing all of the rubber components I dipped the whole thing in gunk parts cleaner. After that I loosened stuff with a toothbrush and rinsed it with water and compressed air. It still had some spots I thought could be better so I did it all again. Once it was all clean and thoroughly dry, free of parts cleaner and water I put it all together with new seals.

I would have done thr same on the fronts but everything was just fine there so I didn't waste time fixing something that wasn't broke.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry about the typos, posting from mobile which doesn't really play nice on my phone.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahemsa View Post
I dipped the whole thing in gunk parts cleaner. .
Did this cleaner specifically say that it is safe on brake components?
If not, parts MUST be washed in hot soapy water to remove ALL traces of cleaner to remove any residual film. If this film is not removed, it can cause rubber components to swell with ugly results!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 01:07 PM
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As an add, some brake cleaner sprays are not safe for rubber components.
Check label on can.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously man, what is your major malfunction? I assume that in your own mind you are just trying to help but assuming that other people don't have a clue about what they are doing and attempting to nitpick every single thing they do apart just ruins the forum experience for everybody. This is not my first rodeo, I'm well aware of what I am doing, and I posted my results here because I thought they might help somebody else. Your attitude about it, however, is just downright rude. I'm sorry I bothered to even make a post without getting express approval from our lord and savior sfair first. Get a life.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 02:57 PM
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I am a stickler for safety and brakes.
If I spot a potential safety hazard, I will call it out every time.
Sorry if it offended you, but not everyone has the expertise and obvious skills that you do that are reading your post.
Not trying to ruin the forum experience for everyone, but enhance it and will take the insults from you if anyone learns just one nugget.
Trying to maybe save a life while getting one!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahemsa View Post
Seriously man, what is your major malfunction? I assume that in your own mind you are just trying to help but assuming that other people don't have a clue about what they are doing and attempting to nitpick every single thing they do apart just ruins the forum experience for everybody. This is not my first rodeo, I'm well aware of what I am doing, and I posted my results here because I thought they might help somebody else. Your attitude about it, however, is just downright rude. I'm sorry I bothered to even make a post without getting express approval from our lord and savior sfair first. Get a life.
Thanks. I had bad rear pad wear when I replaced a tire, so I replaced with the ebc hh. Thought I'd made a mistake leaving too much fluid & discovered the harmonic I was hearing was the rear brake dragging. Thanks to your post, I plan on rebuilding it soon.

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