Honda VTX 1300 / VTX 1800 Motorcycles Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone! I have an 2007 VTX1300c with around 19k miles and an aftermarket exhaust. After taking the bike out of storage this winter (heated garage, under a cover) the rear brake pedal began to stick and didn't return properly. I took off the metal plate over the rear master cylinder and sprayed down the springs and pivot point with some PB blaster. I even cut away some of the exhaust's heat shield so that wasn't making contact with the rear brake pedal lever. Everything was moving freely so I put it back together and things were working fine until the bike warmed up and the pedal began sticking again. It looks like the exhaust itself is making contact with the brake lever after it has heated up and expanded. I even tried getting more clearance between the exhaust and brake lever by putting a wooden wedge in between the two before tightening it down, no luck. Is this problem most likely caused by the exhaust pipe heating up the rear brake pedal lever and causing it to stick? What's the best way of adjusting the exhaust so there's more clearance there? Do I have to disassemble the rear brake pedal lever and clean it up in order to fix this in the long term? Or can I just adjust the exhaust to have more clearance and then it will be fine? Appreciate all the help with my problem here!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
PB blaster isn't a lube. Apply moly wheel bearing grease. Clean all parts prior to application with a non-solvent (409, spray cleaner, soap and water), dry and then lube and install. Make sure the pivot boss and the hole in the brake lever are packed full of grease. Wipe off the excess AFTER assembly. Makes a huge difference. Same goes for the shift linkage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'll look into picking up some wheel bearing grease then for rear brake level assembly. Any tips for getting some clearance between the exhaust pipe and brake pedal "shaft"? Do you need to bleed the brake fluid in order to disassemble that rear brake pedal assembly? Thank you for the advice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
The master cylinder and the hose to it contain all the fluid, so you shouldn't need to.
Grease is your friend on these bikes. You'll want it on hand for greasing splines and such anyway.

I would grease first and then see what effect the exhaust has. I don't recommend prying against it at all, unless you like exhaust leaks and decel popping. The gaskets don't tolerate much abuse.

Worst case you may need to adjust the pedal either or up or down to avoid contact with the pipes. Grease the pivot first and it see if you even need to though.

On my 1800, my rear brakes never worked and the pedal was VERY stiff. I sprayed it constantly with silicone spray and tried to free it up. Never did. I finally pulled the pivot apart and cleaned it thoroughly and reassembled. Lo and behold, it works great now. I used to only use the front brake lever exclusively, I find myself now using the foot brake more often than anything. Your mileage may vary, but I highly recommend it. Honda built many of the 'simple parts' overly complicated and they require maintenance. Everything that moves should be greased or checked at every oil change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,396 Posts
The master cylinder and the hose to it contain all the fluid, so you shouldn't need to.
Grease is your friend on these bikes. You'll want it on hand for greasing splines and such anyway.

I would grease first and then see what effect the exhaust has. I don't recommend prying against it at all, unless you like exhaust leaks and decel popping. The gaskets don't tolerate much abuse.

Worst case you may need to adjust the pedal either or up or down to avoid contact with the pipes. Grease the pivot first and it see if you even need to though.

On my 1800, my rear brakes never worked and the pedal was VERY stiff. I sprayed it constantly with silicone spray and tried to free it up. Never did. I finally pulled the pivot apart and cleaned it thoroughly and reassembled. Lo and behold, it works great now. I used to only use the front brake lever exclusively, I find myself now using the foot brake more often than anything. Your mileage may vary, but I highly recommend it. Honda built many of the 'simple parts' overly complicated and they require maintenance. Everything that moves should be greased or checked at every oil change.
Damnit, now I gotta grease my pivot!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the advice Phreakish. I tore the rear brake assembly apart today and cleaned the brake lever and bolts with degreaser and then applied the high temp grease and reassembled. I don't think I did a thorough job with the cleaning though because I never tried to remove the dust seals on the brake pedal lever and clean/grease in that area. What's the best way of removing those dust seals? Could this rear brake pedal be sticking due to a problem with the rear master cylinder? What about dirty brake fluid? The return spring looks good and the brake fluid level are good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
Thank you for the advice Phreakish. I tore the rear brake assembly apart today and cleaned the brake lever and bolts with degreaser and then applied the high temp grease and reassembled. I don't think I did a thorough job with the cleaning though because I never tried to remove the dust seals on the brake pedal lever and clean/grease in that area. What's the best way of removing those dust seals? Could this rear brake pedal be sticking due to a problem with the rear master cylinder? What about dirty brake fluid? The return spring looks good and the brake fluid level are good.
I'm not sure how your seals are installed, mine were fairly loose and came out easily. Rubber can harden over time and that could be contributing. Simple green is a great way to clean and keep seals a little more supple over time.

Are your pads sticking? How is the pedal feel? Stiff pedal, or does it move more freely now? If the pads are dragging, then it's likely that the piston has a ring of 'gunk' around it and it can't move freely in the caliper body. It's a bit more involved to deal with that than the pedal. I highly recommend getting a caliper rebuild kit ahead of time as the seal will mostly likely not work after you remove the piston. They're cheap, typically less than $20 (without piston).
There's plenty of instructions out there on how to deal with brake components. It boils down to removing the caliper, removing the piston and it's seal. Cleaning the piston and the bore in the caliper very carefully. Use #0000 steel wool to clean the piston and don't put any dings on it. Don't use pliers on it, and don't hit it with anything. Reassembly of a caliper should only use brake fluid, no grease or anything. Then fill and bleed until there's no air and you should be good to go.

Rebuilding the caliper is only needed if you can verify that the rear caliper is indeed sticking and it's not just a heavy pedal feel. A heavy pedal can be the pivot, low fluid, a master that's on it's way out or a small amount of air in the system. Brakes are one of those things that need to be perfect to work right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I called a local shop today to try and schedule an appointment and they are scheduling a week out and that's only to get the bike in the stop, not necessarily to get it fixed that day. They said that they commonly see this problem caused by gunk in the rear brake caliper piston. Since I'm going to be waiting a week regardless should I take the brake pedal apart again and properly clean/lube behind those oil seals and rebuild the rear brake caliper? I'm assuming "rebuilding" means to take the caliper apart, clean it, and reassemble using new seals and brake fluid. Is it unlikely that this is related to the rear master cylinder? I keep questioning that part because it seems to be "tight" when I try to move the brake pedal back and forth with the exhaust removed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,391 Posts
does the rear wheel turn freely? press back brake petal and return to rear wheel . does the rear wheel still turn freely?

if YES. its the petal and Not the caliper... if rear wheel is hard to turn.. and the brake petal is all the way UP.. the caliper is at fault.

1 week ... must be a slow shop... around here 2 to 3 weeks is common. but a slow shop is NOT a bad shop.. just slow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
When I remove the exhaust and press the rear brake pedal and release it the rear wheel moves easily but sometimes has a slight dragging noise. With the exhaust back on I can hear metal on metal rubbing (but can't see any contact from my angle), the pedal doesn't want to fully return without being pulled back manually, and the rear brake stays engaged until I pull back on the pedal. When the exhaust is off the pedal doesn't really "spring" back either it kinda just slowly goes back into place. Would a video of any of this help? My description sucks. It sounds like this could be 1 or more issues causing this problem but I love learning about this stuff and working on the bike. Appreciate all the help you guys are giving!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
When I remove the exhaust and press the rear brake pedal and release it the rear wheel moves easily but sometimes has a slight dragging noise. With the exhaust back on I can hear metal on metal rubbing (but can't see any contact from my angle), the pedal doesn't want to fully return without being pulled back manually, and the rear brake stays engaged until I pull back on the pedal. When the exhaust is off the pedal doesn't really "spring" back either it kinda just slowly goes back into place. Would a video of any of this help? My description sucks. It sounds like this could be 1 or more issues causing this problem but I love learning about this stuff and working on the bike. Appreciate all the help you guys are giving!
A video could definitely help.

I don't know if this link will work, but it should be a parts diagram of the brake lever. Looks like a very short return spring in a 'sheath' of some sort. I might try to remove and clean that out, or replace it. If the spring is bound, worn, rusted, or just tired then the pedal won't want to return on it's own very well.

If the dragging goes away when you lift the pedal back into position, then it's not a hydraulics issue, it's definitely in the pedal. The pivot being clean and greased will only help, but if it's not 100% right then it could still be to blame.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,308 Posts
It sounds like two problems. One is slowly releasing brakes - likely cause is "gunk" in the pistons or fluid system. Solution is to rebuild the calipers including removal and cleaning of the pistons, seals, etc. and possibly/likely replacing the seals. While caliper is apart, flush the brake fluid well so that any gunk does not get into the rebuilt caliper pistons. Then when caliper rebuild is done, you will have to bleed the brakes.
The second problem sounds like something on the exhaust system is rubbing on the brake pedal mechanism.

G'day,

Vinish
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Do I need to get those spacers that look like metal collars (like from that Lowes link) or should I go with washers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
Do I need to get those spacers that look like metal collars (like from that Lowes link) or should I go with washers?
The link didn't work for me.
The right spacer depends on how far you want to space it. If it's more than ~1/8"th of an inch, I'd use a collar and file/cut to height. Otherwise, washer(s) if they fit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Turns out that by loosening the bolts that hold the rear brake assembly to the frame I was able to move the brake forward and out of the way of the exhaust. Took it around town and everything looks good (with no more rubbing). Thank you all for the help!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top