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#1: Front brake problem

Posted on 2006-07-23 01:15:34 by jeremy

My brother has a problem with his old bike. It's an early 90's model Suzuki
GS400. He told me that he never uses his front brake because it seems to
stick on sometimes and it wont release.

I took it for a ride and it appeared true....to the point where the brakes
starting smoking at higher speeds. He said that he used to solve the
problem by tapping the brakes and then they would sometimes release and then
he just wouldn't use them.

Well, of course I couldn't get them to release for me. Now of course I've
made the problem even worse...as soon as I pulled into the driveway the
brake lever just starting flopping. It has absolutely no resistance as if
there is no cable even hooked up to it anymore.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Jeremy

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#2: Re: Front brake problem

Posted on 2006-07-23 02:45:38 by Wudsracer

Doesn't the bike have a hydraulic front brake?
If not, replace the pads, and grease the pivot through the backing
plate while you are at it..

If it is hydraulic, take off the top of the reservoir and pump new
brake fluid into the system by connecting to the caliper bleeder screw
(and opening it).
This might unstick things.
If not, then you will need to remove the caliper and rebuild it.

&gt;On Sat, 22 Jul 2006 23:15:34 GMT, &quot;Jeremy&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:secret&#64;secret.com" target="_blank">secret&#64;secret.com</a>&gt; wrote:

&gt;My brother has a problem with his old bike. It's an early 90's model Suzuki
&gt;GS400. He told me that he never uses his front brake because it seems to
&gt;stick on sometimes and it wont release.
&gt;
&gt;I took it for a ride and it appeared true....to the point where the brakes
&gt;starting smoking at higher speeds. He said that he used to solve the
&gt;problem by tapping the brakes and then they would sometimes release and then
&gt;he just wouldn't use them.
&gt;
&gt;Well, of course I couldn't get them to release for me. Now of course I've
&gt;made the problem even worse...as soon as I pulled into the driveway the
&gt;brake lever just starting flopping. It has absolutely no resistance as if
&gt;there is no cable even hooked up to it anymore.
&gt;
&gt;Any suggestions?
&gt;
&gt;Thanks,
&gt;Jeremy
&gt;
&gt;

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#3: Re: Front brake problem

Posted on 2006-07-23 02:53:02 by .p.jm

Wait a minute - this guy obviously has NO BACKGROUND OF ANY
KIND when it comes to brakes. He has NO CLUE as to how they work,
therefore NO CLUE as to how to make SURE they are working RIGHT.

Given that the front brake may serve on occasion as a
safety-related item of sorts, so to speak, do you really think it's
something he should be EXPERIMENTING on ?

What would be an appropriate eulogy at his brothers funeral,
'Oops ! I didn't know this little bit had to go over here instead of
over there ! I never worked on brakes before ! But some guy on the
Internet told me it was simple and gave me a 10 second ad-hoc course
on it, so I gave it a try ! Sorry !' ??


On Sun, 23 Jul 2006 00:45:38 GMT, Wudsracer
&lt;<a href="mailto:dirtbike52RemovE&#64;sbcglobal.net" target="_blank">dirtbike52RemovE&#64;sbcglobal.net</a>&gt; wrote:

&gt;Doesn't the bike have a hydraulic front brake?
&gt;If not, replace the pads, and grease the pivot through the backing
&gt;plate while you are at it..
&gt;
&gt;If it is hydraulic, take off the top of the reservoir and pump new
&gt;brake fluid into the system by connecting to the caliper bleeder screw
&gt;(and opening it).
&gt;This might unstick things.
&gt;If not, then you will need to remove the caliper and rebuild it.
&gt;
&gt;&gt;On Sat, 22 Jul 2006 23:15:34 GMT, &quot;Jeremy&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:secret&#64;secret.com" target="_blank">secret&#64;secret.com</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt;&gt;My brother has a problem with his old bike. It's an early 90's model Suzuki
&gt;&gt;GS400. He told me that he never uses his front brake because it seems to
&gt;&gt;stick on sometimes and it wont release.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;I took it for a ride and it appeared true....to the point where the brakes
&gt;&gt;starting smoking at higher speeds. He said that he used to solve the
&gt;&gt;problem by tapping the brakes and then they would sometimes release and then
&gt;&gt;he just wouldn't use them.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;Well, of course I couldn't get them to release for me. Now of course I've
&gt;&gt;made the problem even worse...as soon as I pulled into the driveway the
&gt;&gt;brake lever just starting flopping. It has absolutely no resistance as if
&gt;&gt;there is no cable even hooked up to it anymore.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;Any suggestions?
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;Thanks,
&gt;&gt;Jeremy
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;

--
Click here every day to feed an animal that needs you today !!!
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Paul ( pjm @ pobox . com ) - remove spaces to email me
'Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.'
'With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.'
HVAC/R program for Palm PDA's
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#4: Re: Front brake problem

Posted on 2006-07-23 04:16:30 by Laurie

<a href="mailto:..p.jm&#64;see_my_sig_for_address.com" target="_blank">..p.jm&#64;see_my_sig_for_address.com</a> wrote:

: Given that the front brake may serve on occasion as a
: safety-related item of sorts, so to speak, do you really think it's
: something he should be EXPERIMENTING on ?

Except that the advice given was technical enough that one would hope that
the OP gets scared that he's out of his depth and runs to the nearest
certified mechanic.

Justin
'02 Shadow VT750DC

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#5: Re: Front brake problem

Posted on 2006-07-23 04:20:40 by .p.jm

On Sun, 23 Jul 2006 02:16:30 +0000 (UTC), &quot;Justin&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:no&#64;spam.com" target="_blank">no&#64;spam.com</a>&gt;
wrote:

&gt;<a href="mailto:.p.jm&#64;see_my_sig_for_address.com" target="_blank">.p.jm&#64;see_my_sig_for_address.com</a> wrote:
&gt;
&gt;: Given that the front brake may serve on occasion as a
&gt;: safety-related item of sorts, so to speak, do you really think it's
&gt;: something he should be EXPERIMENTING on ?
&gt;
&gt;Except that the advice given was technical enough that one would hope that
&gt;the OP gets scared that he's out of his depth and runs to the nearest
&gt;certified mechanic.

That would be a good hope. Let's hope he takes it that way,
instead of 'something to try'.

&gt;
&gt;Justin
&gt;'02 Shadow VT750DC

--
Click here every day to feed an animal that needs you today !!!
<a href="http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/" target="_blank">http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/</a>

Paul ( pjm @ pobox . com ) - remove spaces to email me
'Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.'
'With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.'
HVAC/R program for Palm PDA's
Free demo now available online <a href="http://pmilligan.net/palm/" target="_blank">http://pmilligan.net/palm/</a>

Report this message

#6: Re: Front brake problem

Posted on 2006-07-23 04:32:21 by Binder Dundat

Jeremy wrote:
&gt; My brother has a problem with his old bike. It's an early 90's model Suzuki
&gt; GS400. He told me that he never uses his front brake because it seems to
&gt; stick on sometimes and it wont release.
&gt;
&gt; I took it for a ride and it appeared true....to the point where the brakes
&gt; starting smoking at higher speeds. He said that he used to solve the
&gt; problem by tapping the brakes and then they would sometimes release and then
&gt; he just wouldn't use them.
&gt;
&gt; Well, of course I couldn't get them to release for me. Now of course I've
&gt; made the problem even worse...as soon as I pulled into the driveway the
&gt; brake lever just starting flopping. It has absolutely no resistance as if
&gt; there is no cable even hooked up to it anymore.

Your brother's Suzuki probably has a hydraulic brake system on the
front wheel. No cable involved.

He should have been changing the front brake fluid at least once every
three or four years. The brake fluid is probably filthy now, it is
probably red with rust particles in it.

The brake fluid has probably crystallized in the air bleed hole inside
the master cylinder reservoir. The air bleed hole is tiny, about 1/32nd
of an inch in diameter and it may be hidden under a metal plate that is
held down by a screw, or the hole might be there in plain sight.

If you can see the hole you can poke a needle through it and clean it
out and that will help a lot.

But the brake caliper itself may be full of rust and brake pad dust. In
that case, your
bother will have to remove the caliper and remove the brake pads and
pump the brake piston out of the cylinder so he can clean the crud out
of the cylinder bore.

Some fine emery cloth can be used to remove rust and corrosion, then
clean the
cylinder bore out with alcohol.

Reinstalling the brake piston is tricky, because the clearance between
the piston and the cylinder bore is so small. Lubricate the piston with
fresh brake fluid and push it carefully into the hole and reinstall the
brake pads.

I won't go deep into brake bleeding, but the main thing is that I only
use the brake bleeder screws until brake fluid flows out of them, then
I am done with the stupid bleeder screws.

I let the brake caliper hang down so the brake lines are vertical and I
put a piece of 1/4 inch flat steel plate between the pads to keep the
piston from blowing back out.

ThenI pump the brake lever and the trapped air rises to the master
cylinder reservoir. I add fluid as needed and keep pumping gently until
all the air in the system rises to the top.

Then I take the steel plate out from between the brake pads and I bolt
the caliper back onto the fork leg.

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