Question about 2003 Harley Davidson XLH 883 Sportster

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2003 rear brake caliper lock up on a harley sportster

Drivig down the road and rear caliper started locking up rear wheel

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  • redfishhx Mar 11, 2009

    no none of that I was able to talk to the dealer after they opened up they said the only way that could have happen was to get air in the line.. That seems kinda funny since there are no loose lines or cracked line I was kida thinking that maybe the brake line itself might be comming appart from the inside any help?? I did blled them down and put new fluild in... It has not it since the first time wild

  • Anonymous Mar 14, 2014

    rear Caliper diagram For 1998 Harley Fatboy softtail

  • Anonymous Mar 28, 2014

    How to replace the rear brake light sensor on a 2006 Harley 1200 sportster.

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Check your pads to make sure they are in the right position and haven't started to wear too thin and move.
Check the operation of the pads is real smooth when you apply pressure on the lever (might need someone else to operate it while you look ).
Witth the rear wheel raised off the ground and the bike not running turn the wheel slowly and check to see if it warped. (I used to do this on my sportster by using a couple of car axle stands under the footpeg brackets and raising the bike up on an old hydraulic car jack - might not be the best way but it worked enough for me to get the rear wheel off to change tyres without spending a fortune-an extra pair of hands is really handy(!) here).
Look down the rear caliper and check that no **** from the road has got stuck in there anywhere.
check your wheel alignment - have you adjusted the belt lately or latered the set-up?
Hope something here helps!

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Stuck rear brake caliper on 2003 road king after replacing brakes


Hi Anonymous, jack up bike so rear wheel is off the ground and can spin, bang the caliper on the outer half with a deadblow or rubber mallet 2 or 3 good wacks. Try and spin the wheel, if it spins check the rotor for warpage then check the brake pedal to make it works and is not locking up the rear wheel to where it won't spin freely. If it does lock up then your caliper pistons are cocked and need to be pushed all the way back into the bores and re-bleed the system. Good luck

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Did u try bleeding the brake lines and flushing them? It just might me some dirt in there if that doesn't work you might have to replace it?

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Jan 22, 2012 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportster...

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I just had new tires installed on my 99 sportster 883. Went riding for 2 and half hours , came home was going to leave again and the rear brakes were locked up i took the caliper apart and knocked off...


Normally, just having a tire put on should not effect your brakes in any manner. However, I do not know what the people that changed the tire did. Usually when a brake caliper locks up, it's caused by air in the system. They may have taken the brake line loose from the caliper but it was not necessary and there's no way to prove it. Also, there is a small hole in the bottom of the master cylinder that allows the pressure to bleed off the caliper. If this hole is blocked, it will not allow all the pressure to bleed off properly. Another thing that could cause it is the rear rubber brake hose. If the people that changed the rear tire allowed the this rubber line to bend too sharply, it could have damaged the inner lining of the brake line. This will allow the brakes to be applied due to the high pressure but restrict the bleeding off of the pressure. I've seen this many times and this is my best guess as to the problem, damaged rubber brake line.

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1 Answer

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If you'll look at the caliper, you'll see two bolts that hold the caliper into the caliper bracket. Usually they take Torx wrenches to remove them. Take these two bolts out and lift the caliper.

Notice the way the pads and any anti-rattle hardware is positioned in the caliper bracket. Replace the pads and the hardware.

Now you must press the piston back into the caliper. I use either a large C-clamp or a large pair of slip joint pliers to squeeze the piston back down into the bore completely. Use a rag or some thing pieces of wood to prevent damage to the caliper.

Now, replace the caliper over the pads without disturbing them and replace the screws. Torque them to 30-45 foot pounds.

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Remove the two bolts that hold the rear brake caliper into the rear brake caliper support bracket. Lift off caliper. Notice how the pads and anti-vibration clips are positioned in the rear brake caliper support bracket. Install new pads and anti-rattle clips or springs.

Now, using a large C-clamp or a large pair of slip joint pliers, depress piston all the way back into the caliper. Carefully reposition the caliper back on the rear brake caliper support bracket without disturbing the pads or clips. Install the two bolts and torque to 25 foot pounds of torque. Slowly depress and release the rear brake pedal until a good firm pedal is obtained. Check the brakes for proper operation prior to riding the bike. Failure to properly service the brakes can cause sever injury or death.

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there is 2 bolts on the caliper take them off and there are pad pins that need to be taken out.. inside the caliper there is a metal clip where the pad sits in.. put them in the same way they came out once you start its pretty self explainatory.. you should not have to blead them

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You do not have to remove the wheel according to the manual, but if you wish to remove the caliper you will need to remove the wheel....There are no caliper mounting bolts on the Deuce, the caliper is mounted through the rear axle. TO change the brake pages loosing the pad retaining bolts (2) then push the caliper gently towards the rotor and then pull it gently away from the rotor. This will free up enough space to get the new pads in. Remove the pad retention bolts and replace pads and tighten everything down.

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