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Discussion Starter #1
I decided during the week I have off for Christmas, to finally rebuild the calipers on my 1999 GL1500 Aspy. I bought a rebuild kit for both front calipers and I was also hoping to swap out the rubber hose on the front-left with a new braided steel line. (I've already replaced the right-front hose) I was following the instructions (or so I thought) from this site but I skipped the step where I was supposed to use the existing pressure in the system to push out the pistons after removing the pads (which are oddly barely worn).

I've already tried re-attaching the brake line, putting fluid back into the reservoir and pumping it to repressurize the system and get the pistons out but something isn't working right. I bought (and installed) speed bleeders a long time ago when I first got the bike and I tried bleeding the system to pressurize it but it's not working. I've made the sure bolt attaching the line is tight and the bleeder screw is barely open (I've varied the valve more open and less with no success) but it's not working...the fluid isn't going into the system and repressurizing and therefore I can't get the pistons out.

What could I be doing wrong here???? I'm no mechanical expert for sure, but I've done my fair share of work on both this bike, previous bikes and cars over the years... I know enough to be dangerous. But at this point, I'm stuck... I can't rebuild the caliper properly nor even put it back together in a working fashion to get it like it was.

HELP???!!!

God bless & Merry Christmas,

~Mark
 

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1993 GL1500 Aspy 1980 GL1100 STD
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If you have an air compressor you might get the pistons out with air pressure, might save bleeding the system just to push pistons.... Put the pads into the calipers so the pistons don't go flying.
 
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You know the left front and rear brake are linked (tee) together and both have to be bled to get pressure again???
As Denver said air would be best at this point. Push one nearly out then the second all the way. Then you can remove the first the last little bit by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm working on the RIGHT-FRONT. So it's by itself... not linked. And I have tire air compressors, nothing with enough PSI to push out stuck pistons.
 

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I'm working on the RIGHT-FRONT. So it's by itself... not linked. And I have tire air compressors, nothing with enough PSI to push out stuck pistons.
Friend have a compressor?
 

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1993 GL1500 Aspy 1980 GL1100 STD
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I'm working on the RIGHT-FRONT. So it's by itself... not linked. And I have tire air compressors, nothing with enough PSI to push out stuck pistons.
Okay, Some people have resorted to hooking up a grease gun to the calipers to force out a stuck piston. (two pistons in the caliper, right?)

Question is, are they stuck in there, or just recessed to where you can't grab them? If just a matter of moving them out far enough to grab them your little air compressor should do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My dad has a Craftsman compressor, but it's designed for tires. How would I hook it up to the caliper to push out the pistons, especially if they're stuck?
 

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Get a rubber valve stem, chuck that into the compressor air hose. Hold the open end of the valve stem over the brake line inlet of the caliper. With enough force holding the end of the valve stem to the caliper you should be able to get a goodly PSI into the pistons. Whether or not they move depends on how badly they are stuck. Surface area of the rear of the piston is prolly a little more than an inch and a half square, so if you can get 50psi of air to build into the caliper that's some 75 pounds of pushing force on each piston.
 

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You probably need to clean out the tiny port in the master cylinder (under the little metal tab). Depending on how gunked up it is, you might need to rebuild the master, too. The fact that you can't get fluid back into the system is something you are going to have to fix anyway. Once you get the master working properly, you can use it to press out the caliper pistons. It usually doesn't take much air to get the pistons out if the brake was working before you started. But even if you installed a new caliper, if you can't get the master to pump fluid, you are SOL anyway.
 

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What ever way you go remember not to remove the first piston until the other is loose. Otherwise you will have no way to get the second one out... Get the first one 3/4 way out then block it and free up and remove the second one then go back.

Most cities have 50 PSI or higher water pressure if you want to try that. We have 100 PSI.
 

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when he said "block it", he meant put a big C-Clamp over the piston to keep it from falling out.
 

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when he said "block it", he meant put a big C-Clamp over the piston to keep it from falling out.
The clamp will work but I usually use blocks of wood. I pressurize it until the pistons come up against the wood then I take a little thickness out and pressurize again. Then a little less etc.
You are right about a clamp will work just fine as well. 🎅
 

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when he said "block it", he meant put a big C-Clamp over the piston to keep it from falling out.
I just use a brake pad or a strip of wood about 1/4" thick. The piston won't come out until it's almost all the way to the outside of the caliper.
 

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I decided during the week I have off for Christmas, to finally rebuild the calipers on my 1999 GL1500 Aspy. I bought a rebuild kit for both front calipers and I was also hoping to swap out the rubber hose on the front-left with a new braided steel line. (I've already replaced the right-front hose) I was following the instructions (or so I thought) from this site but I skipped the step where I was supposed to use the existing pressure in the system to push out the pistons after removing the pads (which are oddly barely worn).

I've already tried re-attaching the brake line, putting fluid back into the reservoir and pumping it to repressurize the system and get the pistons out but something isn't working right. I bought (and installed) speed bleeders a long time ago when I first got the bike and I tried bleeding the system to pressurize it but it's not working. I've made the sure bolt attaching the line is tight and the bleeder screw is barely open (I've varied the valve more open and less with no success) but it's not working...the fluid isn't going into the system and repressurizing and therefore I can't get the pistons out.

What could I be doing wrong here???? I'm no mechanical expert for sure, but I've done my fair share of work on both this bike, previous bikes and cars over the years... I know enough to be dangerous. But at this point, I'm stuck... I can't rebuild the caliper properly nor even put it back together in a working fashion to get it like it was.

HELP???!!!

God bless & Merry Christmas,

~Mark
Hi Mark, if you do use air (works great) put a towel over pistons or they can go flying and get damaged (I learned the hard way..lol) Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hallelujah!

Your advice worked... my dad's compressor got the pistons out without too much difficulty. One of them was really tough to get out. I've given them a good bath in brake cleaner but there's still some stuff on the outside of the pistons.

What's the best way to clean the junk off the pistons? Obviously, I don't want to scour them at all, which is what I'm afraid of.

Ideas???

God bless & Merry Christmas!

~Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I got the caliper back together and mounted.... but now I'm back to the pressurization problem I had a week ago.

When I swapped out the braided line, I sucked on a hose attached to the speed bleeder, alternatively sucking, closing, breathing, opening, sucking, closing, etc until there was fluid in the line enough to pressurize it and I could bleed it normally. I can't do that again.. I just don't have it in me. I bought another bleed kit that came with a pump and it works... but the stupid fill cup won't seal properly so it's useless. I could use hot glue to seal it, but then I'd never get it open again, when it was full of fluid in order to empty it.

So it looks like I won't be riding to work next week. I have a 4-day weekend next weekend. I have until then to figure out how I'm going to get the system pressurized. I'm debating on buying a real pump/vacuum/etc to do it, but I'm not inclined to spend another $70+ on a piece of equipment I'll barely use. Money I don't really have either.

Any ideas???

God bless,

~Mark
 

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Well, I got the caliper back together and mounted.... but now I'm back to the pressurization problem I had a week ago.

When I swapped out the braided line, I sucked on a hose attached to the speed bleeder, alternatively sucking, closing, breathing, opening, sucking, closing, etc until there was fluid in the line enough to pressurize it and I could bleed it normally. I can't do that again.. I just don't have it in me. I bought another bleed kit that came with a pump and it works... but the stupid fill cup won't seal properly so it's useless. I could use hot glue to seal it, but then I'd never get it open again, when it was full of fluid in order to empty it.

So it looks like I won't be riding to work next week. I have a 4-day weekend next weekend. I have until then to figure out how I'm going to get the system pressurized. I'm debating on buying a real pump/vacuum/etc to do it, but I'm not inclined to spend another $70+ on a piece of equipment I'll barely use. Money I don't really have either.

Any ideas???

God bless,

~Mark
First take the cover off the mater cylinder and the plastic cover off the bottom of the reservoir. Make sure the little hole is not corroded shut.

Turn the handle bars all the way to the left so the reservoir is as high as possible.

Fill the reservoir being careful not to spill fluid on paint.

Temporarily put the cover on so no fluid splashes out.

Find a partner. Remove the bleeder completely.

1) Have your partner squeeze and hold the brake lever.

2) While he holds the lever put your finger over the bleeder hole to block it.

3) With your finger keeping air out, release the lever.

4) Take your finger off.

Repeat 1 through 4 until you get fluid then bleed as normal.

I am wondering if the speed bleeders are working against you with no fluid in the system.
That is when you squeeze the brake handle the air in the system is not compressed sufficiently to compress the spring on the speed bleeder??????

When you release the lever the air just returns back and forth. That is why I suggest the method I describe above.
 

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Those cheap brake bleed kits need an o-ring that apparently the manufacturer doesn't supply.
 

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Speed bleeders don't really work when all you have is air in the system. Plus one on the finger method and checking/cleaning the master. In addition, you can do the finger method a section at a time to get fluid pumped through the system. Take the hose off the master and bleed it first with your finger over the place where the hose was. (There are even bench bleeding kits that have a short hose you run up to the reservoir to pre bleed a master before installing it.) Then you can add the hose and do the finger at the end of the hose until you have fluid there. Continue all the way to the caliper. Another method is to just fill the master, remove the bleeder and let it sit a few hours until it starts running out. Once the system has fluid end to end, you can bleed as normal with or without speed bleeders.
 
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