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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Got a couple issues I need to resolve. Questions answered so far.

1. Answered. I need to disassemble, clean, and maybe rebuild the front brake. I can't get the piston to move with the brake handle, from what I see in the service manual, it should just come right out?
Either squeeze the brake handle after removing pads, or lightly blow compressed air where the brake cable fits.

2. Answered. Something funny with the new deceleration cable. I routed it exactly like old one, but it seems like it is binding or something when I turn it to the right. How do I adjust the cables properly so this doesn't happen?
Checked. The round part at end of cable was sticking I think, in addition to it not being properly adjusted.

3. Answered. Will an imperial or metric tap/die set have the right tool to clean the thread on the carb where the idle adjustment screw screws in?
Should be 4mm x 0.7. Verified, worked for me to clean up the threads.

4. Answered. What's the right torque for the exhaust nuts on the engine?
13 ft lbs
 

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Hi Venom! I'm a perpetual beginner at engine work and bikes in general, but want to contribute based on my experience. I have had some mysterious front brake trouble that is still not fully resolved but learned much from the process of repairing it. And other work like upgrading to taller handle bars that prompted me to replace the clutch cable. So here goes:

1. If the brake pads are taken out, the piston is supposed to move out with squeeze of the brake lever. When you squeeze the lever all the way the piston will come out a bit. When you let go the piston will stay where it was. The repeat until the piston falls out and the brake fluid spills all over the floor (put a catch pan underneath).
If the piston is not moving progressively out with squeezing the brake lever than it's likely stuck. A common reason is the piston gasket has fused to the walls of the caliper's borehole/cavity. if you use a large channel lock or a c-clamp around caliper and piston, then tighten it to push the piston inwards. It should unfreeze it.
To rebuild the brake line, you can follow my post from back in the day. I bought a USA made hardware - braided stainless steel brake line and banjos - and cleaned and rebuilt caliper, master cylinder and replaced the piston. Takes some time, not hard, and much fun.


2. There shouldn't be any kinks in the cable. And you must lube it by purging cable lube through the inside of the cable. There is a device you can buy that will force the lube in. I just opted out to use a lot of lube and hope that some of it got in. The clutch cable I replaced is working well for me.

Can't help with 3 and 4. Keep us posted!
-10
 

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Hello:

Regarding damaged jet threads on carb body, I suggest you look for a used carb on eBay. Short of that I would suggest finding a shop that is generous with advice and ask them about the threads for that. They are likely NOT imperial threads, but a tech would know the answer. I would personally just replace the body of the carb with another one if the threads for a jet are stripped.

Remove the caliper from the bracket and hose. Remove guide pins, pads. Place a towel between the pistons in the caliper area where the pads were located. Make sure the bleed valve is closed. Apply compressed air, LOW pressure, to the hole where the hose was attached, and one or more pistons should pop out. The trick is getting the other pistons out if it has more than one, after one piston is removed because now you don't have air pressure in the caliper to push them out. So I suggest you put enough non-compressing material such as wood between the pistons so that they only partially come out, then pull the board out and apply air again to pop them all the way out.

You can also wrap several layers of masking tape loosely around the pistons so as to allow them to partially come out, and then apply the air.

I have rebuilt quite a few calipers. You want to clean them in a water and soap solution, then rinse several times in hot water, then blow out all channels and let it air dry for several days before reassembling it with new seals. Make sure the pistons are not damaged or corroded and NEVER use metal to try to pry the pistons out or to put them back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hi Venom!
Hi 10,
Thank you. I'm a perpetual beginner too, haha. Unfortunately the handle doesn't move the piston, even after using a c clamp to compress it to remove pads.

What is this tool called for lubing? Do you know what kind of lube I use on the cables? There are no kinks.

Hello:

Regarding damaged jet threads on carb body
I'm sorry, I think I should have been more clear. Not the jet threads, but the hole for the idle adjustment screw. The black knob you turn to adjust idle speed.

Remove the caliper from the bracket and hose....
Excellent information, exactly what I needed to finish the disassembly and get it working again. I have no idea what to expect after getting it apart. There is only one piston.

Make sure the pistons are not damaged or corroded and NEVER use metal to try to pry the pistons out or to put them back in.
What if there is corrosion inside? Could I possibly soak it in carb cleaner to clean it all up, then wash with soap and water and rinse?
 

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Example of a tool for lubricating a cable.
https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08-0182-Cable-Luber/dp/B0012TYX9W
Cable lube can be the same thing as chain lube. Like "Liquid Wrench" from Pep Boys, Autozone etc, or for instance this:
https://www.grainger.com/product/48GG06&AL!2966!3!166591268592!!!g!311735031263!?gclid=CjwKCAjw47bLBRBkEiwABh-PkWnyZYdhtGOhJRUv95nH-YYmjFAWZoGQAxUJ69eMk8-rfgcimKJqghoCSG8QAvD_BwE&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA?campaignid=719343286&s_kwcid=AL!2966!3!166591268592!!!!311735031263!&ef_id=WRssvgAAAgxNZbla:20170718211352:s

I think if you have rust inside your caliper or anywhere on working surface of the brake parts, just replace them. Don't want a leak to form over time and find that out when you are at highway speeds. My piston had a bit of rust on the outside. I still bought a new one. Worth it I think.

-10
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Example of a tool for lubricating a cable.
https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08-0182-Cable-Luber/dp/B0012TYX9W
Cable lube can be the same thing as chain lube. Like "Liquid Wrench" from Pep Boys, Autozone etc, or for instance this:
https://www.grainger.com/product/48GG06&AL!2966!3!166591268592!!!g!311735031263!?gclid=CjwKCAjw47bLBRBkEiwABh-PkWnyZYdhtGOhJRUv95nH-YYmjFAWZoGQAxUJ69eMk8-rfgcimKJqghoCSG8QAvD_BwE&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA?campaignid=719343286&s_kwcid=AL!2966!3!166591268592!!!!311735031263!&ef_id=WRssvgAAAgxNZbla:20170718211352:s

I think if you have rust inside your caliper or anywhere on working surface of the brake parts, just replace them. Don't want a leak to form over time and find that out when you are at highway speeds. My piston had a bit of rust on the outside. I still bought a new one. Worth it I think.

-10
Thank you. I don't have rust on it that I can see, there was all kinds of grease and crap all over everything which likely kept the outside from rusting. Don't know about inside until I have a chance to pull it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks to the tips, I was able to get the piston out. Looks pretty good to me. The tip about applying slow air pressure was right on. Once it got to a certain point it wanted to fly out of the assembly with a pop! First seal has to be replaced, it has expanded far beyond any ability to use it. 2nd seal looks great, and fit back in without problems.

However, looks like I will have to disassemble the master cylinder again, because I can't get enough pressure to squirt any brake fluid out using the handle. Some is getting through the hose, but not enough to matter. I took the hose out of the master cylinder and the flow of brake fluid is negligible.
 

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The fluid is pumped by the master cylinder in portions, but it should be definitely coming out well. It's usually recommended to rebuild your master and caliper. When you buy the rebuild kit (relatively cheap), it will come with all the gaskets. That's better than replacing one at a time.
As far as the master cylinder, the moving part (like a thin piston) has a very special gasket that performs the pushing of the brake fluid. This gasket needs to be inserted correctly onto the master cylinder's piston, otherwise it wouldn't work.
If you send me a pm with your email, i can send you back a pdf version of the Haynes manual for Vulcan 500. It has nice illustrations to show you how to do things right + step by step procedures.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The fluid is pumped by the master cylinder in portions, but it should be definitely coming out well. It's usually recommended to rebuild your master and caliper. When you buy the rebuild kit (relatively cheap), it will come with all the gaskets. That's better than replacing one at a time.
As far as the master cylinder, the moving part (like a thin piston) has a very special gasket that performs the pushing of the brake fluid. This gasket needs to be inserted correctly onto the master cylinder's piston, otherwise it wouldn't work.
If you send me a pm with your email, i can send you back a pdf version of the Haynes manual for Vulcan 500. It has nice illustrations to show you how to do things right + step by step procedures.
That would be amazing, pm sent! I guess I need to pick up one of those in addition to my service manual. I didn't know there was a rebuild kit for the caliper, and the dealer didn't offer me one, though we talked about the piston, he suggested replacing the diaphragm first and see if that helps, if it's not letting air in, or keeping the piston from working. I have a feeling I'm going to need to replace the piston, just trying to avoid it for now lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Look for K&L rebuild kits. Good reviews all around.
Master cyl:
https://www.amazon.com/Supply-Master-Cylinder-Rebuild-32-0853/dp/B001KOHUDU
Caliper:
https://www.amazon.com/Supply-Brake-Caliper-Rebuild-32-1319/dp/B001KODX4A
K&L Supply Co. Brake Caliper Rebuild Kit | ZZ34577 | J&P Cycles

Try them and if the brake doesn't work still, you can replace the hardware parts too, and reuse the seals/gaskets.
Keep us posted.
Thanks for this info. I'm ordering the master cylinder kit today. Ill see how that and the parts I already ordered work.
 
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