Very spongy brakes after caliper rebuild - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Very spongy brakes after caliper rebuild

Just got this 84 Interstate running after a 1 year nap. All my calipers had stuck pistons. So I tore them all apart and cleaned them. Reused the old seals. They looked good after cleaning.

I bled according to the manual. I thought I was going to be cool. Turns out I got crap. Front barely exists, and the back is not much better. But it will stop the bike.

I've got the front lever tied down to the bars right now for the over night trick. Then break loose the banjo bolt. Right??

What can I do to the back.

Please advise. Thanks.


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 10:08 PM
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The rear brake also works the right front, did you bleed it with the rear? The vertical lines on the front can be a bear to get the air out of.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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The rear brake also works the right front, did you bleed it with the rear? The vertical lines on the front can be a bear to get the air out of.
I did right front, rear. Right front, rear. Several times. Then I would throw the left front in there. Kept repeating.

But still got crap,,,,lol.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 11:04 PM
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How old are the master cylinder seals?

When I did mine I had to bleed the masters then hook them to the brake lines.

On the front you can bleed at the banjo bolt.

No matter how you do it getting all the air out is a PITA.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 02:17 AM
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Are you using a vacuum bleeder?

Why ain't we ridin'?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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How old are the master cylinder seals?

When I did mine I had to bleed the masters then hook them to the brake lines.

On the front you can bleed at the banjo bolt.

No matter how you do it getting all the air out is a PITA.
I don't know how old the seals are.

How did you bleed the rear master?


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bike...and Dennis View Post
Are you using a vacuum bleeder?

I was at first. But was having a hard time because the hose wouldn't stay on the bleeder. Then I switched to the old fashion way with a wrench and a helper.

I guess I can try to get a new hose. I lost my help now anyway.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quick little history to maybe help you guys pick up on something I'm missing.

When I purchased it, I did not ride it because it would not stay running. The PO had to use a big screwdriver to release the rear brake to get it to roll so we could load it.

When I got it home and on the center stand the rear brake was dragging bad. So I used a big screwdriver on it to push the pads back in. Seemed better. Good enough to ride and see what happens.

Went through it and got it running. Took it for a ride. The rear brake seemed to be working good. Still dragging a little while on the center stand.

The front brake worked ok, but felt spongy. I remember thinking they need bled or something. They were there. Just not great. But nothing like it is now.

After the test ride I could not back it into the garage. I thought it was just my week legs. Had to have help. Then I found the front was dam near locked up. Very hard to turn the wheel.

So I pulled all the calipers and rebuilt them. The return port in the master was open. I know this because it squirted me in the face. Good thing I had glasses on. I did poke a wire in there. But it wouldn't go very deep. I didn't force it in fear of a seal being under there. But like I said, it was blowing fluid out of that hole. So I did nothing else to the master. Just sucked the fluid out.

In other words, I had brakes until I fixed it,,,,lol.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 09:06 PM
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The master cylinder seals are still available from western honda.

I use a clear hose run into a jug to bleed. I refill the rear linked brake 4 - 6 times and the single front 2 - 3 times.

I found the side pins did not slide well due to heavy pitting. I replaced all 3.

Part #13

I also replaced all the rubber boots and used disc brake grease on all the slides.

After several practice attempts I finally got it right and have been rewarded with excellent brakes even if my discs are thinner than the specs call the max wear.


After I drained the front before I put in a new master seal I could not get the front reprimed. Once I pulled the seal I could tell why.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 07:14 AM
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I tore my master cylinder apart cleaned it up and put it back together and it was crap as well. I ended up buying rebuild kits off ebay. The front master cylinder is only like 30 bucks new. Or the same price for a good used oem one. My calipers were so stuck I just ebayed good used calipers and rebuilt my rear master cylinder. I guess even if the internals of the master cylinder look good it can still be bad? Mine wasn't leaking but it sure wouldn't pump the fluid to the caliper.
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