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Old 05-30-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
JasonF OP
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How To: Rear Brake Caliper maintenance

A friend of a friend mentioned the other day that his GS was in for service because of the rear brake. This got me to thinking I should probably spend some quality time with the rear stopper on my 2007 R1200GSA to see how everything was looking after 19,000 miles.

This past weekend I took a look at things and was shocked to find out that my rear caliper was barely able to float on its guide pins as designed. If you aren't familiar with this design, it's a simple 2 piston caliper that only pushes on the right hand brake pad. As this pad is pushed to the left (inward), the entire caliper moves to the right, applying force to the left hand brake pad. This is enabled because the caliper floats on a pair of guide pins that are supposed to be lubricated and sealed by some rubber seals. What I found was that the front guide pin was dry and rusting, and essentially seized in place. The rear slide on the other hand was still well lubricated. After some head scratching I figured out how to disassemble the caliper slides, clean and lube everything, and reassemble. The whole process probably takes 20 minutes once you see how its done. I would recommend this be done every 12,000 miles.

Remove rear mud guard (possum scraper). Pull out the cotter pin at the rear of the caliper that secures the brake pad slide pin. Now you can tap the brake pad slide pin out from right to left. A punch would work best, but I made do with a nail in my toolbox.



Remove the two torx bolts that attach the caliper mounting bracket to the swingarm and lift up the caliper. Carefully remove the brake pads as they'll be free to fall out at this point. Once the caliper is clear of the swingarm, try to slide the black caliper side to side relative to the silver mounting bracket. It should slide back and forth about 1/2" and you should observe the little accordion rubber seals at the caliper slide points stretching to permit the back and forth movement. If it does not slide easily, time to proceed to the next step.



Using a 11mm open end wrench, loosen the lower slide pin from the caliper mounting bracket as shown in the photo above. Unthread it completely. If you're lucky, once unthreaded, the caliper mounting bracket will slide right off of the guide pins and separate from the caliper. If the front slide is seized, you'll have to work it a bit to free it up and get it off. I had to spend a few minutes working the front slide on mine back and forth to get it to come free.

Once the rear slide is unthreaded from the mounting bracket, it comes out of the caliper like so:



My front slide pin was dry and rusted and had a rough surface on it instead of the smooth surface it's supposed to have to slide properly. Using some WD40 and a strip of 320 grit sandpaper I cleaned off the rust to restore the smooth finish. I also cleaned out the hole in the mounting bracket as it had some dry rust debris inside.



This is the collection of parts you should now have:



Clean both of the slide pins and lube them liberally with silicone brake grease. I like Sil-Glyde from NAPA. Apply some extra silicone grease inside of the slide pin holes as well.



Put the rear slide pin back into the caliper and then reattach the caliper mounting bracket and tighten the rear slide pin into the bracket. Test that the caliper now floats easily on the bracket..you will be amazed how easily it moves.
Apply some copper anti-seize to the brake pad slide points at the front, at their pin holes at the back, and on the back side where the caliper's pistons will push. Use extra care not to get anything on the pad material or your brake disk. Slip the pads back into the caliper, and then coat the brake pad pin with anti seize and slip it back into the caliper to secure the brake pads. Before seating this pin, align the cotter pin hole vertically so that the cotter pin will be able to fit back in. Once aligned, seat the brake pad pin all the way into the caliper with a tap from a hammer. Reinstall the cotter pin.



Fit the brake caliper back over the disk. It will take a little maneuvering to hold the brake pads apart so that they will fit back over the disk. Once it's on the disk, reattach the caliper mount to the swingarm, reinstall the mud guard, and you should be good to go. Press your rear brake pedal a few times to move the pads into position and test your rear brake carefully before charging into that first turn. If it's weak, you may have inadvertently gotten something on the disk or the pads, and their effectiveness may be compromised until it's cleaned off.

I'm interested to hear if anyone else finds their front slide pin as dry and rusted as I did.

Ride safe

Jason
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
portablejohn
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Excellent post! I hadn't really thought about it, but it would be very easy to overlook the condition of the rear brake. Once it gets stuck, the problems just seem to multiply...
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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Good one, Jason.

There's a similar, though long winded, detailed w/many pictures version in the Hall of Wisdom.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
tallguy-09
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Originally Posted by malloy View Post
Good one, Jason.

There's a similar, though long winded, detailed w/many pictures version in the Hall of Wisdom.
I've looked but can't find it in the Hall of Wisdon, anybody?
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:48 PM   #5
pcwirepro
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What a coincidence.

I just looked for the article in the hall of wisdom this weekend and couldn't find it so I just got after it. Front was completely seized, and the rear pin wasn't in much better shape. They're both pitted now so I expect this will be an ongoing problem. I used anti seize on them (wasn't aware of your special brake silicone) but was curious about other high temp options. Wish I had caught it before I tore up my new pads in one week. Argh! Are the pins and rubber boots available as replacement parts or is a whole new caliper?
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:26 AM   #6
Chubb1
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Same

I found the same problem on my 07GS. Mine was seized well and good. Took about 30 min to separate. I now check mine every time I do the FD oil change. Good write up.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:53 AM   #7
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallguy-09 View Post
I've looked but can't find it in the Hall of Wisdon, anybody?
It is a link at the bottom of this page.

Jim
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:27 AM   #8
FatChance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallguy-09 View Post
I've looked but can't find it in the Hall of Wisdon, anybody?
Look at "BFD-rear" in the Hall of Wisdom...
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:39 AM   #9
pcwirepro
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Yep. There it is

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatChance View Post
Look at "BFD-rear" in the Hall of Wisdom...
http://advwisdom.hogranch.com/Wisdom/BFDRear2.1.1.pdf
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
tallguy-09
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Thanks a lot, is it that complicated? I got very confused when reading throught the PDF.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:15 AM   #11
JimVonBaden
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Originally Posted by tallguy-09 View Post
Thanks a lot, is it that complicated? I got very confused when reading throught the PDF.
The write-up is technically accurate, but makes me anxious just reading it. Lots of excess joking and discussion that makes it a bit hard to follow.

No, not that complicated at all. The write up may make it seem hard, but it is an hour of basic tear down and rebuild that shouldn't be too difficult for even a more basic wrench turner.

Jim
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:01 AM   #12
scooteraug02
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My rear pin on an 08 GSA has groove/rings on it. What are they for?
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:09 AM   #13
pcwirepro
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My rear pin on an 08 GSA has groove/rings on it. What are they for?
To hold the rubber boot in place?
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
tallguy-09
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
The write-up is technically accurate, but makes me anxious just reading it. Lots of excess joking and discussion that makes it a bit hard to follow.

No, not that complicated at all. The write up may make it seem hard, but it is an hour of basic tear down and rebuild that shouldn't be too difficult for even a more basic wrench turner.

Jim
Used the above pictures/text and had no trouble removing everything. Only 10.000Km here and everything slides like new.
Torque for the 2x M8 x 25 brake calliper to final drive screws is 24Nm (BMW RepRom)
Use Loctite 243 to secure Splasguard screws (BMW RepRom).
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallguy-09 View Post
Used the above pictures/text and had no trouble removing everything. Only 10.000Km here and everything slides like new.
Torque for the 2x M8 x 25 brake calliper to final drive screws is 24Nm (BMW RepRom)
Use Loctite 243 to secure Splasguard screws (BMW RepRom).
Can you clarify, did the pins slide like new when you tore it down or are you saying after you cleaned/greased? My bike has about 10,000 miles, so I'm wondering if I need to look at this yet.

thanks.
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