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1973, brake, caliper, ironhead, stuck

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  #1  
Old 20th November 2018
jtnelson89 jtnelson89 is offline
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Unhappy 1973 XLH1000 stuck front brake caliper

Hi guys,

This is one of the first things I'm doing to my new project.

I pulled the front brake caliper and used compressed air to try and force the piston out of the caliper. Even at well over 100 PSI, all I got was a whole bunch of brake fluid in my face.

So then I turned it away and tried again, and still no dice. That caliper is stuck.

Any advice, tips or tricks?

Jeff
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  #2  
Old 20th November 2018
jtnelson89 jtnelson89 is offline
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Smile the old "hit it with a hammer" ploy

Well, I was able to solve the problem using the old "hit it with a hammer until it moves" ploy. Just some tapping on the caliper piston loosened it up, and then the air at 100PSI moved it back. I had to hit it back in again, and then it came out with more air.

It was the same with the piston inside the master cylinder. First I had to remove a snap ring. Then I was able to force the piston backwards using a punch and a hammer. The air moved it. A little back and forth with hammer and then air finally removed the piston.

Here's a link to the photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/6CjaUbie1qKJczmw6

What do you think: Do any of these parts look to bad to reuse? I am pretty sure I need to replace the caliper piston, as it has some scoring and little ridges, and certainly the master cylinder piston as well. I'm most concerned about the master cylinder, as I haven't cleaned it up well enough to tell the story yet.

What do you think: What's the best stuff to use to clean this out? Brake cleaner? Gas? A bit of light scuffing with emery cloth wrapped around a dowel? Something else?
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  #3  
Old 20th November 2018
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ChinCactus ChinCactus is offline
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Looks pretty crusty. I think it it were mine I'd look for replacements. Don't want to chance brakes.
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Old 20th November 2018
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All you can do is clean it and replace what you think is bad and try it. Nothing to lose.
But as ChinCactus say's, look out for better replacements, they do look bad.
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Old 20th November 2018
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Sadsack Sadsack is offline
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Block off the the brake line and screw a grease fitting into the bleeder hole...grease gun has a lot more pressure than an air compressor. Never fails!
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Old 20th November 2018
jtnelson89 jtnelson89 is offline
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Thanks Sadsack for the advice to use a grease gun! I'll try that next time.
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Old 20th November 2018
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ryder rick ryder rick is offline
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You can get a new piston for the caliper, but the master cylinder is probably a write off.
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Old 21st November 2018
jtnelson89 jtnelson89 is offline
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Default new parts coming

Guys, based on your advice and after looking at the cost of the parts, I have decided it will be safer and more cost-effective just to get a new caliper and new master cylinder housing. I found what I needed from Ebay, Dennis Kirk, and JPcycles, and should have everything within a couple of weeks.
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