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Discussion Starter #1
A brief background:

Last year I bought an 2008 Wing with 18,981 miles on it that had been sitting for a while. I rode this bike till the end of last season and then decided to do some of my own maintenance .. changed all the oils, new break pads, speed bleeders and then bleed the system. The fluid that came out of the system when I bled the brakes was like something you would expect from a crankcase after several hundred thousand miles .. really nasty, thick like chocolate with sludge thrown in. So I'm guessing the previous owner didn't do any type of maintenance brake wise. At this point I'm at an impasse to a situation I can't seem to resolve. When I apply the breaks they don't release. The pads stay engaged on the disks .. consequently the disks have a tendency to get kinda hot after a few miles. I can get a little over a revolution while the breaks a "cold" and un-ridden but as soon as the bike warms up or I apply the breaks .. they are very hard to release. IF .. I push the break handle forward .. they will sometimes release.
While bleeding the breaks I did have the right center puck "almost" come out of the caliper but was able to push it back in without any difficulty. When I squeeze the brake handle .. it's very hard and has little or no give. I've bleed the brakes 3 times already till I get absolute clear fluid and no air bubbles and feel certain it's not a problem .. but the problem remains.

Problem is .. I just can't figure out what .. IS THE PROBLEM !

Any suggestions .. ideas .. even just silly thoughts ... will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Sounds like you may have a bad caliper. When the puck slides out too far, it may cause internal damage to the caliper, which is most likely why it is so hard to activate the brakes. At least that has been my experience with cars...

Good luck!

Rick
 

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Take the puck out clean inspect for any pitting clean with brake cleaner and reinstall rebleed and ride
 

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Rebuild your front master cylinder. I bet the return orifice is plugged with gunk... you might get away with a tear down and cleaning, but it might be wise to have the new seals and plunger in hand especially if there is a lot of corrosion. The only other thing I know that will cause a hard front brake handle is if the master cylinder is over filled...
 

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So, your brakes are broke. Start from beginning and tell us about all three calipers. Which ones are hard to apply and which ones are stubborn to release. The secondary master on the left side of front fork has a recall for sticking the REAR caliper. Has yours been checked? See the sticky at top of the forum. Are your reservoirs too full?

prs
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Rebuild your front master cylinder. I bet the return orifice is plugged with gunk... you might get away with a tear down and cleaning, but it might be wise to have the new seals and plunger in hand especially if there is a lot of corrosion. The only other thing I know that will cause a hard front brake handle is if the master cylinder is over filled...
BINGO ... That is what a friend said too !
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, your brakes are broke. Start from beginning and tell us about all three calipers. Which ones are hard to apply and which ones are stubborn to release. The secondary master on the left side of front fork has a recall for sticking the REAR caliper. Has yours been checked? See the sticky at top of the forum. Are your reservoirs too full?

prs
Both front calipers are hard to release ..the rear is fine. Didn't know anything about the recall, but I will check. Reservoirs are full half way.
When I push the break handle forward after I realize they are sticking .. most times they release.
 

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BINGO ... That is what a friend said too !
eh... lucky guess..... let know what you find. If you rebuild or just tear it down and clean, try to set up the master cylinder for a bench bleed first to get the internals clear of air. Then bleed right at the banjo fitting, yes it is messy but it will save a lot of headaches later. You will still have to do a brake bleed to make you got the air cleared out. With speed bleeders that is a very quick chore....
 

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If you rebuild or just tear it down and clean, try to set up the master cylinder for a bench bleed first to get the internals clear of air. Then bleed right at the banjo fitting, yes it is messy but it will save a lot of headaches later.
Bench bleed .. banjo fitting ..
believe it or not ..I have no idea what you just said or what that means.
BUT and consequently ..
I did get an appointment with a "real certified" Honda Gold Wing mechanic for this coming Tuesday and they'll figure it out for sure !
 

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That is a good decision when you are not familiar with the re-build process. After all, we do occasionally use our brakes. ;-)

prs
 

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I had a similar experience recently with my rear caliper. I thought about rebuilding the caliper (super easy to do by the way), but for $39, I got a brand new caliper and pads from a trike take off.

If you read the service manual, about all there is to rebuilding the calipers is some piston and dust seals (assuming the pistons are still good). It might not be a bad idea to pull the calipers, force some fresh fluid through the lines and then clean up the calipers real good. It truly is easy to do. Just have a quart of brake fluid, a 14mm socket (if I remember correctly), 3/8" rachet, an air compressor and some latex gloves.

Take a look at the service manual for the front brake calipers. It really is easy maintenance. The hardest thing is bleeding the brakes once you're done.
 

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That is a good decision when you are not familiar with the re-build process. After all, we do occasionally use our brakes. ;-)

prs
and of course .. you mean at Carvel .. ?
 

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and of course .. you mean at Carvel .. ?
No - Dairy Queen :lol:. Good to take it in versus no stopping when you want to - ask HiYoCheeto about that...
 

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You could walk to Carvel from your house :)
 

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What I wonder is why his fluid is so thick or dark? Sounds like moisture really got into the system! I bought my 06 in September with 12,000 miles on it. No clue the maintenance done, but with low miles, I doubt the guy did anything. I now have 26,700 miles on it. I am getting things done little by little myself. I just bled the brakes and fluid wasn't that bad. 8 year old bike and no clue if or what was done, I am doing it. I wonder why the fluid looks so bad? I bought many old cars and serviced friends brakes, but never saw fluid as being described. Many people never touch the brake fluid. Any thoughts why a system would get like this?
 

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What I wonder is why his fluid is so thick or dark? Sounds like moisture really got into the system! I bought my 06 in September with 12,000 miles on it. No clue the maintenance done, but with low miles, I doubt the guy did anything. I now have 26,700 miles on it. I am getting things done little by little myself. I just bled the brakes and fluid wasn't that bad. 8 year old bike and no clue if or what was done, I am doing it. I wonder why the fluid looks so bad? I bought many old cars and serviced friends brakes, but never saw fluid as being described. Many people never touch the brake fluid. Any thoughts why a system would get like this?
Excellent question and I wish I knew the answer to that one .. I described the fluid as perfectly as could be done.
It was fluid and dark brown or like a golden honey .. VERY THICK .. with chunks of "gunk" in it.
As I drained the master cylinder of both the break and clutch reservoirs there was about a 30 to 60 thousands round and white cloud like item in both windows that I was not able to get out .. of either. I did manage to get clear, clean, bubbleless (I think I just made up a word) fluid out of all 8 bleeders. Still .. the brakes are broke (for the moment anyway.. till Tuesday).

I will report back and describe what the Honda mechanic said was the problem(s).
 
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