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Discussion Starter #1
Please learn from my mistake

Well, yesterday I returned from a 1,700 mile round trip from Houston to Ruidoso, NM and back. As I pulled into my driveway, I heard a "clunk" sound from the front wheel area. I immediately thought, that was strange. A little while later, I got on the bike to pull it into the garage and pulled in the clutch and pulled the front brake lever (driveway slopes and I didn't want to roll backward). As I did this, the brake lever pulled all the way to the throttle grip and the bike (and cargo trailer) started rolling backward. I had the pump the brake lever to get the brakes to apply. I rechecked the brakes in the garage several times and found that the front brake lever felt normal but the rear pedal dropped further than normal on the first application. After that, it felt normal also.

Today, I went out to wash off the road grime. Imagine my surprise (horror) when I found the left front brake caliper hanging by the hoses and the top pivot bolt where it connects to the secondary master cylinder. The noise I heard was the caliper coming off the rotor. What I initially felt when the lever bottomed out was the LF brake pads compressing against each other since they were no longer on the rotor. The rear brake pedal felt soft when the piston linked to the rear brakes pushed out to take up the slack of the missing rotor.

I have no idea when the bolt fell out. I'm also not sure how this chain of events started but have only myself to blame as I did my own brakes last time. I'm very conscientious about torquing all fasteners to the specified tightness but someone I must have missed this one. Tomorrow, I go to my local dealer and order new bolts (top and bottom) to reinstall the caliper.

Before anyone asks, I did a full inspection of the right side and checked the torque on those bolts. They were still tight.

I hate to think what could've happened if the caliper had dislodged at 70mph on the freeway. God is good and was looking out for me!
 

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There's really no response to this except that your last sentence is on target completely.

On my last fork rebuild, I discovered about a week later that my right side pinch bolts were loose. :shock:

Measure twice cut once.
 

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P.M.

I do all my own work and am getting old, so I check all critical nuts and bolts monthly with wrench. Before a ride along with checking T-clock I eyeball bolts.
 

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By Gods grace..

For all of you who do your own work, a little trick we use in the prototype car biz..When you torque your fastner, immediately make a small mark on the fastner and part of bike it attaches to with a paint pen or scribe. You can use a crayon or pencil if you dont want little dots all over your bike..It can be real helpful if you find yourself on your check out ride wondering, "Did I torque those dang nug lutz?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:

I checked the right side caliper bolts and they were tight. I decided to loctite them (blue) and they appeared to be a little corroded. I'm assuming the heat cycles is why Honda recommends replacing them every time they're removed. I decided to go ahead and buy new ones for the right side as well as the left.
 

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Update:

I checked the right side caliper bolts and they were tight. I decided to loctite them (blue) and they appeared to be a little corroded. I'm assuming the heat cycles is why Honda recommends replacing them every time they're removed. I decided to go ahead and buy new ones for the right side as well as the left.
I believe the reason Honda wants them replaced with new, is that the new ones are precoated with thread locker, I believe encapsulated in microballoons. Something like this:

http://bradleygroupcoatings.com/product.php?prod_id=51

Look familiar? Note that if you apply threadlocker to any bolt, both male and female threads must be very clean. Dumping blue loctite on a used brake bolt without careful cleaning is false security.
 

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Glad it happened where it happened.

This is why I use Torque Stripes. I put it on all critical areas I could see when I bought the bike, and then as I do work I apply to every bolt.

It lets you know at a glance if everything is still tight, and also if you apply after you torque a bolt you will know in the end if you have torqued every bolt.

For those that don't know, using this type of paint is different than using finger nail polish or a marker. This paint is thick and very brittle. The smallest movement of the bolt will crack the paint letting you know it is no longer to specs.

http://www.chiefaircraft.com/aircraft/chemicals/torque-seal.html
 

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Glad it happened where it happened.

This is why I use Torque Stripes. I put it on all critical areas I could see when I bought the bike, and then as I do work I apply to every bolt.

It lets you know at a glance if everything is still tight, and also if you apply after you torque a bolt you will know in the end if you have torqued every bolt.

For those that don't know, using this type of paint is different than using finger nail polish or a marker. This paint is thick and very brittle. The smallest movement of the bolt will crack the paint letting you know it is no longer to specs.

http://www.chiefaircraft.com/aircraft/chemicals/torque-seal.html
Now that's a great idea.......thanks for the link! :bow:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, all new caliper bolts (both sides) are ordered. No one in the Houston area stocks caliper bolts, even though Honda says to replace them any time they're removed. I know that's probably not common practice, but you'd think that someone would keep at least one set of bolts in stock. Oh well, I guess this is the price I pay for sloppy maintenance. Bike will be down for at least a week waiting for parts.
 

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Well, all new caliper bolts (both sides) are ordered. No one in the Houston area stocks caliper bolts, even though Honda says to replace them any time they're removed. I know that's probably not common practice, but you'd think that someone would keep at least one set of bolts in stock. Oh well, I guess this is the price I pay for sloppy maintenance. Bike will be down for at least a week waiting for parts.
Better that the bike is down for a week than you being down for months if it had let go at 65 mph. Could be a lot worse. Thanks for the post - great warning for many of us. :bow:
 
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