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Need to work on bike, not sure I should do it myself...

2949 Views 29 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  grokca
Hey guys --

Really hoping I can get some help here. I can't ride my bike and the season is almost over... I don't have much experience (anything but an oil change) with maintaining/working on my Honda VTX1300S. I really want to get to know my bike and learn how to work on it on my own. All in all, what I need to do is

change the brake fluid
change my brake pads
and.. most intimidating of all -- change my rear brake rotor (disc?). It's rusted pretty bad and ate up my brake pads.

First, should I attempt to do this job on my own, or should I take it to a mechanic? I'm willing to put time and effort into doing it on my own. Gotta start somehow. (been using bareasschoppers for tutorials, but haven't anything for help with replacing the rotor)

Do I need to remove the wheel to replace the rotor? Can you recommend anything I should be aware of?

Thank you for your help!!

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You can get at harbor freight or other auto parts stores.
Handheld vacuum pump it is perfect for bleeding brakes efficiently.

Cover your painted surfaces in plastic. The front wheel and tank are right under the brake reservoir for front brake. You don't want to mess up the paint. Not something to freak out over but plastic is super cheap for a roll.
Biggest thing to remember is take your time.
Get a bike stand in addition to a jack and plan to have the bike up for a while.
Read read read.
Don't rush into the work without having an understanding of what you are getting into doing.

Many of us here have gone from little experience like you to doing everything on the bike. You can do it, just take the time to do it right.
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When removing the rotor, be aware that the bolts were installed with red loctite and can be very hard to break loose. An impact driver can be used but what I found very helpful when changing rotors was to use a small propane torch like those used to solder/sweat copper water pipe fittings. Adjust this torch to a small hot flame and put the hottest part of this flame on the head of each rotor bolt for about 45 seconds. This softens the loctite rendering it inactive at least temporarily. Immediately (with the bolt still very hot), start unscrewing the bolt. All you have to do is break each bolt loose by a rotation or two and then when they cool, you can take them all out easily. Good luck.
Red loctite requires heat to remove it. Says so right on the tube. You might be able to get them off without it but it will be difficult. :)

Low grade stainless a magnet will stick to it.
Rotors might be stainless but not a high grade, would be too hard and pads wouldn't dig in properly.
You guys rock. Thanks :glee:

Checking the caliper... would that mean it may require lubrication?
The pins the pads slide on get lubricated.
The caliper should compress and extend.
There is probably a procedure to check for proper operation in the manual I'm not sure what's involved mine work fine.
That's a big 10 4
10 4
That's bigger.
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