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Old 09-22-2013, 09:01 PM   #1
jdgmntDay OP
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'00 R1150GS High Mileage Brake Calipers Stuck and Misaligned

Hey guys,

I'm having troubles with my brake calipers, and I wanted to come here for advice before I hand these parts off to a dealer and say "Make these work."

I changed the pads the other day after wearing the old pads out (OEM pads bought from the dealer), and replaced them with the Carbone Lorraine pads from Beemerboneyard. I had never done it before, so I wasn't quite sure what all I was forgetting to do. I had read about lubing parts up while things were apart, cleaning pistons, etc. but I wasn't sure how to do any of it, so I looked it over and decided things were already clean enough. Nothing looked too gunky or messed up, so I ran with it.

They stopped okay and while a bit slower to stop than my old brakes, I chalked it up to the pads needing to mate to the rotors. They got a little better and I rode on.

Went on a long trip this weekend and noticed while riding around town that my front brakes would squeak constantly at low speeds with no brake pulled. If I gave them a touch of brake the squeak stopped. It had rained this weekend so as usual my rotors got a tiny bit rusty. Because of this, I could see that my pads weren't pressing on the outsides of the rotors, only the insides. After getting home today I tore them apart and noticed my pads were already wearing funny. The pistons don't move smoothly either and one of them is stuck. The rear caliper wasn't sliding along the pin like it should've been so one pad of my rears is already half gone.

I've pulled the pads back out, and with the calipers resting on their mounts, and I'm trying to decide what to do. Can I just clean and lube them from the outside or do they need rebuilding? My Clymer manual shows how to rebuild them, and I could order the kit, but is it something fairly simple to do? I don't know if the calipers have ever been rebuilt or not, and I'd much rather have a long term fix for this kind of thing. I tried hosing it down in brake cleaner and scrubbing with a toothbrush but it didn't help much.

TL;DR. I have stuck and misaligned pistons in both front and rear calipers. Is it relatively easy and worth it to rebuild them myself, can they simply be cleaned and lubed instead, or do I hand them to a dealer and tell him to make them work?

Ben
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
Beezer
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your original rubber brake lines are failing.... change them now. do not bleed the brakes... it will only put chunks of rubber into the ABS module and kill it. happened to me and many others

they fail on the inside... rubber flakes off and will not the fluid drain back out of the slave cylinder. you can apply the brakes, but they don't release
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:17 AM   #3
Jim Moore
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Brake lines would be a good idea, just because of the age of the bike. I'm not sure it will solve your problem though. If your pistons don't extend in unison (or close to it) it's time for a caliper rebuild. It's messy but pretty straightforward. Quick tip: Use brake presure to extend all the pistons before you split the caliper. there are some pretty good Youtube videos on the topic.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
jdgmntDay OP
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I found the brake rebuild kits at a nearby dealer and can get them on order nor problem. And I've been looking at the prices for the OEM rubber brake lines ... woow I thought the kits were pricey! What are your thoughts on aftermarket lines, if there are any to be found? Is OEM worth the expense?
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdgmntDay View Post
Is OEM worth the expense?
No point in re-introducing the same problem. Go with the spiegler braided brake lines.

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Old 09-24-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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These look sharp and considerably cheaper than OEM, but it doesn't tell me exactly what's in the kit. Does it contain everything to do a complete line swap? All the washers, banjo bolts, etc?

I found the rear repair kit on MAX BMW and I noticed it doesn't come with pistons. Is this an oversight in the picture or is there some other way to get pistons? Seems strange that the fronts come with them but the rears don't.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdgmntDay View Post
These look sharp and considerably cheaper than OEM, but it doesn't tell me exactly what's in the kit. Does it contain everything to do a complete line swap? All the washers, banjo bolts, etc?
No banjo bolts, you reuse the original ones.
My Spiegler set came with some crush washers to spare. I used them all up while figuring out a way to get the banjos aligned right. The rear line was too short by a mm or two (I.e. stretched super-tight) when the banjos were allowed to touch the original stops.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:51 PM   #8
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my spiegler kit came with everything... including new washers.

I reuse crush washers all the time.. oil and FD,
wouldn't reuse brake line washers.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
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Galfer line kits come with everything, lines, washers, and bolts. All for less than $200.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
Stegerman
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Originally Posted by k1w1t1m View Post
galfer line kits come with everything, lines, washers, and bolts. All for less than $200.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:11 AM   #11
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Thanks for the advice guys! I did a bit of research on the Galfers and looks like they don't use the metal crossover line on the front wheel and opt for just a longer hose to get to the far side caliper. Is this ever a problem or does it just look awkward? I will admit I am a bit vain when it comes to mein Motorrad haha.

I've found some pictures of the kits for the Spieglers (surprisingly few on their website, had to use Google image search), and it looks like they come with new everything: bolts, washers, etc. There is one part though I don't know what it's for - it's two halves of a square with hole in the middle of it. Here's the image I found.

http://img.f.ridersdiscount.com/foru...ke_lines-1.jpg

I'm not positive this is the BMW kit for my bike, so maybe this is some random part for some other random bike, but I thought I'd ask what you guys thought it was.

Gonna call up the bike shop today and compare prices then get a set on order. I've got rebuild kits coming in the mail soon too, so in a week or so I'll have all new brakes. Woohoo!
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:52 AM   #12
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That tool you found is for clamping the crimped end of a line so you can adjust the rotation angle of the banjo.

The Spiegler kit I ordered from Spiegler directly did NOT come with banjo bolts. It DOES come with plenty of washers. It does come with a T-adapter that connects two new lines, one from the ABS unit and the other to the right caliper, to the existing metal crossover line. Another new line connects from that to the left caliper.

From my reading, there was an early batch of those T-adapters that had cracks. Spiegler recalled and exchanged them. I had minor issues with the length of two of the new lines in front, and lots of issues (already described) with the new rear line.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:39 AM   #13
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I have found these folks to be very helpful regarding brake parts for BMWs. They know, brake line lengths and other details. They ship fast and their prices are competitive. I would never use OEM brake parts. The aftermarket brake stuff is better and half the price and this vendor can provide help over the phone if needed.

http://cyclebrakes.com/html/custom_lines.html
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdgmntDay View Post
I have stuck and misaligned pistons in both front and rear calipers. Is it relatively easy and worth it to rebuild them myself, can they simply be cleaned and lubed instead, or do I hand them to a dealer and tell him to make them work?

Ben
If you have a cocked piston in a caliper, that is a serious problem and I don't know if it is repairable. Brake calipers should not be split unless absolutely necessary.

I would remove all the calipers and remove the pads, anti-squeal plates, anti-rattle clips being careful to keep calipers and pads as sets and clean and lubricate everything according to good brake service practices.

Also make sure the clips are not broken, rusty or out of place.

Also, I would thoroughly drain and clean the fluid from each caliper and reestablish smooth piston operation by alternately applying vacuum and pressure to the bleed port. A vacuum source is your shop vac. Get those calipers clean inside.

Then inspect the caliper pins for adequate lubrication and apply grease if needed.

Then, I would completely vacuum all the DOT4 from the system, install new flexible SS lines, install the pads into the now functioning calipers and remount to the bike.

Fill the clean, empty reservoirs with fresh DOT4 and vacuum DOT4 into each brake circuit with your shop vac starting at the ABS hydro unit.

Once filled with fluid, check for firm operation on the center stand and go for a cautious ride.

Report back.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:49 AM   #15
k1w1t1m
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdgmntDay View Post
I did a bit of research on the Galfers and looks like they don't use the metal crossover line on the front wheel and opt for just a longer hose to get to the far side caliper. Is this ever a problem or does it just look awkward?
You are correct. It hasn't been a problem for me. I routed the hose through the retainer on the left side. The ABS wire gets zip tied to the line and it all looks good.
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