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Thread: 2001 r1150gs — sticking brake caliper & new lines advice

  1. #1

    2001 r1150gs — sticking brake caliper & new lines advice

    a couple of days before I was hoping to take off for a week camping, found out the front brakes were sticking when I could barely push her onto the sidewalk.

    It seems the standard advice is to replace the brake lines so I have ordered a set of the spieglers and am anxiously awaiting their arrival.(like refreshing the shipping status every 15 minutes)

    I have read not to bleed the lines as it may introduce more gunk… so what is the best procedure to remove the old ones? just unscrew and let er drip?

    besides the new lines I also have a new set of pads, and I have seen a post on here suggesting that changing the pads might fix the stick. (AntonLargiader)

    any other ‘quick fixes’ that might get me on the road before my vacation is over?

    if it still sticks after I change the lines and pads… I ordered the piston rebuild kit from beemershop, but I am a sidewalk mechanic without a garage, compressor or a vice … would I be crazy to try and rebuild the calipers on my own (with a little help from my friends)?



  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    Since the lines will be drained (and later flushed) anyway, "how" is not much of an issue, as long as you prevent the old stuff from touching any paint or other nice surfaces. Put the bottom end of the hose into either a glass or metal jar to catch it, and Lightly and Slowly squeeze the brake lever - but NOT all the way, only about maybe halfway, so the old seal doesn't go over the little ridge inside the master cylinder bore (due to normal wear) and get damaged.

    A likely cause of "failure to release" is a plugged return hole up in the master cylinder; this can be caused either by old crud in the fluid or the rubber inside the lines deteriorating and migrating.

    If the new lines and a thorough flush (including the ABS if you have it) don't fix it, check inside the master cylinder (or inspect it closely before refilling it)... those calipers are about $600 if you narf it up. But - another common cause of "ftr" is dried or distorted seals around the brake pistons, so you may have to get into those too.

    Definitely review the "Similar Threads" section at the bottom of this page.
    Last edited by Pauls1150; 07-16-2021 at 04:20 PM. Reason: added seals info

  3. #3
    thanks just wanted to follow up. the job went pretty smoothly except a big asterisk at the end.

    to take the lines off I started by just breaking loose all the fittings. then started at the bottom took it apart piece by piece catching any drips in rags. think I did notice some black flakes probably rotted rubber in the old fluid. we were probably a bit more messy than could have been but no paint was ate.

    doing the calipers was also pretty easy, just took them upstairs and gave them a scrub down. biggest kink is that one of the 2 rebuild kits had 4x same size piston so they are only 1/2 way rebuilt now but they probably didnt need more than a cleaning.

    not seeing and air bubbles, but the lever is just a bit squishier than I would like. but the stickiness is gone.

    we decided to put it back together and regroup... when I cranked it up.. one of the cylinders isn't firing! the agony.

  4. #4

    followup and new ? re: crush washers for SS lines

    so I just wanted to followup again on this. when we were bleeding the new brake lines, felt like we ran about a gallon of brake fluid through, was getting clear fluid and zero bubbles in the bleed, but still the lever feel was squishy - would firm up after a few pumps but barely workable. after multiple repeats and getting same result, decided to just let it be for a moment.

    anyway I found this thread and the person talks about 'strapping' the brakes overnight, never heard of this and just assumed they meant to strap the lever to the grip and leave it... so I did. and it worked! the next morning the lever feel is *perfect* and stays hard (twss) not sure the mechanism but it worked for me.

    Question: the new spiegler lines came with (aluminum?) crush washers, but the originals are copper. Unfortunately I need to take of the calipers again to finish rebuild-- what kind of crush washers do I need to find? isn't copper/aluminum a bad mix? have a set of copper washers but reluctant to use.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    No problem using or mixing copper and aluminum.
    Copper was standard washer material for decades. It was a soft crush, and reusable a few times, and could be resoftened with heat. But copper got pricey so many suppliers switched to aluminum. Also a soft crush, but not reusable.
    Use what you've got.

  6. #6
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Sechelt, British Columbia
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDiCarlo View Post
    No problem using or mixing copper and aluminum.
    Copper was standard washer material for decades. It was a soft crush, and reusable a few times, and could be resoftened with heat. But copper got pricey so many suppliers switched to aluminum. Also a soft crush, but not reusable.
    Use what you've got.
    Aluminum crush washers should be used with aluminum banjo's (Spiegler)
    Copper with aluminum will result in galvanic action especially in wet and salty environments.
    That is why the kit is shipped with aluminum washers.
    The kits usually come with 2-3 extra washers. Did you not get any?
    I've got a pile of extras from over the years of installing kits.

    The stock banjos were steel which were used with copper.
    Ufda happens..........

    Need your R11xx Hall sensor rewired? PM me.

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