Question about 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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Changed rear brake pads. Now, pedal never delivers enough fluid pressure to caliper to brake. What's going on? Could I have damaged master cylinder or caliper when I "C" clamped the piston back in?

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You need to bleed the brake, attach a hose into a small can of brake fluid, the other end to caliper bleed valve (5/16), its covered with a little rubber boot on the caliper. pump brake pedal, hold it down, open the valve ( turn left) flluid and air comes out, then close valve.repeat untill no more air comes out and brake pedal becomes stiff, about 10 times

Posted on Jul 12, 2009

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2 Answers

Brake system failure


I think brake proportional Valve (or Brake pressure regulator) which usually a part of Master cylinder is suspicious.
It regulates pressure to Front and Rear brake line.

If I were you, I try to draw air from Master-cylinder side (not Caliper side).
(Bleed from connector between Master-cylinder and pipe, same way as caliper. someone keep pushing brake then you lose connector then tight. Don't forget to put towel under master cylinder to catch brake fluid)
If air trapped in Proportional valve (pressure regulator), pressure won't relay to rear brake line but only front side.
Front has two separate line from master cylinder (right and left) but rear goes in one line from master cylinder then separate at rear.

Did you noticed both rear brake dragged when it's hot day ?
Because when air get hot, air expand and pushes to caliper and drag but not respond to your pedal.
(calipers don't respond when you push pedal, but it's pushes calipers by itself even you are not pushing pedal, when it's hot because air expand)
Sometimes, seal get old and lose pressure for only one side (front or rear).

if this happened after you did brake job, or you notice your brake was vapor locked (too much brake on hot day then brake fluid boiled), maybe air bleed and whole fluid change may solve.
if you didn't have any unusual activity but it gradually losing pressure to rear, I suspect master cylinder (proportional valve seal).

Sorry I don't have exact e46 master cylinder diagram but basic diagram, hope you can understand what I am talking about.
Picture shows "leak" but this case "Air" in somewhere in pink.
or lose seal on rear piston.

25989474-goldldc3aki35lcvobofcxjr-2-0.gif

Dec 02, 2015 | Halonet 99-05 BMW E46 3-SERIES 2/4/5DR,...

2 Answers

Replaced some brake line, rear pads and one rear wheel cylinder. Now no pressure and nothing happening when trying to bleed.


Does the car have ABS ? And does it have an equalizer block for the 4 wheels ?
It sounds like the ABS has been affected, or there is an equalizer block that is stuck on the front wheels only.
Can you open the bleeder or the rear line on the master cyl and get fluid to come out by depressing the pedal ?

Jul 07, 2013 | 1997 Mercury Tracer

1 Answer

2001 Silverado 2500 HD Why Rear brakes don't work after I installed new hydro-boost power booster, master cylinder, calipers, and pads. I bled master cylinder before installing, and brakes beginn


Hello Patricia,

Have you checked the master brake cylinder reservoir for brake fluid loss?

I don't suspect the master cylinder as you have replaced it... but am more suspect of a leaking brake line or fitting which should have
been discovered when you had the system bled.

The only time I ever had a rear brake problem with a 2500 series Chevrolet was due to seized rear brake caliper guide pins...as your calipers are also new that is not your problem.

If your brake pedal feels spongy and travels to the floor board you have air in the system, a brake fluid leak or a failure in the power steering system, such as a broken hose, broken power steering pump drive belt, or failed pump, would result in a loss of pressure to both the hydro-boost and steering.

Find more information here:

. Hydro Boost Power Assist Systems Operation Diagnosis and Repair

Jul 23, 2017 | 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

1 Answer

2005 Buell blast replaced rear master cylinder. it will not build pressure. When pumping for pressure the cylinder is bottoming out with the plunger . Is this another bad master cylinder?


The brake master cylinder needs to be BLED when you install it. It requires you pump the pedal and push brake fluid with the air that is in the line to the rear caliper where there is a bleeder. You pump the pedal a number of times say 10, then holding the pedal down you open the bleeder enough to let any trapped air and fluid to leak out. close the bleeder then let off the pedal and pump it up again. You will not have a hard pedal like original until you have nothing but fluid in the line/caliper. You will have to do alot of pumping and bleeding. This is not somthing that a first timer should attempt alone. you should have a manual there or someone who has done brakework before due to the reliance you need to have on the brake system working properly. You could always do a search on google for how to bleed brakes. should be some youtube vids out there.

Jun 09, 2012 | 2005 Buell Blast

1 Answer

My brake lite came on..i changed rear pads and cylinders...bled lines ten times.. still have barely any pedal...no leaks tho..why cant i get a fulll pedal...


What about the front pads/calipers...also check the master cylinder..the master cylinder is the unit that the brake pedal connects to and it can have bad seals inside where the fluid is blowing by the seals and not building pressure

Jul 10, 2011 | Geo Prizm Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

I changed about everything,cylinders calipers,shoes,pads,and new rotors. then after following correct bleeding proceedures still no pedal.oh, and no e- brake either .what the heck am i doing wrong?(1991...


If you have no e brake that tells me your problem is something to do w/rear brakes. Pull your re brakes back apart and make sure everything is seated properly. Sounds like you didn't adjust rear shoes out far enough. Double check rear adjustment THEN bleed again - rt rear -> lft rear ->rt frt -> lft frt.

Mar 14, 2011 | 1991 Toyota Pickup

2 Answers

I changed the front brake pads and now have no pressure when i press the brake peddal. the master cylinder is full but still no pressure. what did i do wrong?


You may not have done anything wrong. You won't have any pressure the first couple of times that you press the brake pedal. Try pumping the brakes a few times. When you change the pads you have to open the caliper all the way up to get the caliper back on. When you press the brake the pads won't go all the way to the caliper on the first couple of times you press the brake. But once you pump the pedal, it should build up pressure. If not you will have to bleed the brakes.

Nov 29, 2010 | 1995 Toyota 4Runner

2 Answers

How to compress front brske caliper


YOU NEED TO REMOVE 2/3 BRAKE FLUID FROM MASTER CYLINDER.THEN YOU WILL NEED A LARGE C -CLAMP.OPEN C - CLAMP PLACE C - CLAMP OVER TOP BRAKE CALIPER AND AGAINST THE BACK OF THE OUTBOARD BRAKE PAD. THEN TIGHTEN THE C -CLAMP UNTIL THE CALIPER PISTON IS PUSHED INTO THE CALIPER BORE JUST ENOUGH TO SLIDE CALIPER OFF THE ROTOR.WARNING WHEN FINISHING BRAKE JOB.PLACE COVER BACK ON MASTER CYLINDER.TAKE FOOT PUMP BRAKE PEDAL UNTIL YOU GET SOLID BRAKES.THIS SEATS BRAKE SHOES AGAINST THE ROTOR.THEN RECHECK BRAKE FLUID LEVEL IN MASTER CYLINDER.

Jun 16, 2010 | 2005 Chevrolet Uplander

3 Answers

2001 kia sportage soft brake pedel still doing a complete brake job same as before changing the calipers/pads/ shoes /master cylinder /brake cylinders rear/ bleeding comp. system ? ANY HELP .yet the low...


hi from the uk have had this problem on a customers car b4 who had replaced frot calipers and pads and pedal went to floor on inspection of caliper i found that the steel spring clip that fits into two holes in the front face of caliper and must also locate behind the caliper carrierbehind two lugs was fitted incorrectly it had been fitted behind the outer pad resulting in when brake pedal off ?the caliper being floating type as it is known because it is fixed by two screw pins/bolts and moves on these pins/bolts as pads wear ? what happens is the spring fitted wrongly ? actually pushes against the outer pad and as a result the caliper piston is pushed back into its cylinder slightly as it moves on the locating pins/bolts resulting in pedal going to floor on 1st application but if pumped ? some brake pedal force is felt but is lost again when pedal released ? so try this ? remove the steel clips from both front calipers that retain caliper to carriers then press brake/pump pedal ? if as suggested above works? your pedal should pump up and remain ok when you release and still be firm when re applied ? all above is what i found on ford ford but many other models use similar calipers and spring locating recheck how this spring should locate hope this helps ? good luck

Mar 19, 2010 | 2001 Kia Sportage

1 Answer

I am replacing the rear pads and cannot get the caliper to compress using a c-clamp. Is there something special I need to do or know on my montego 05 car to get the caliper to compress? Sincerely Desperate...


One, take your brake fluid reservoir cap off.
Two, use a thin piece of wood to help you compress the piston on the caliper....do it slow. This way, you don't create a lot of pressure to the reservoir and it won't overflow.
Three, these are the steps to removing and replacing the pads for the rear. It does mention a special tool....but you can use a c-clamp for the same purpose:

Rear To Remove:
  1. Check the brake fluid level in the brake master cylinder reservoir.
  2. If required, remove the fluid until the brake master cylinder reservoir is half full. CAUTION
    Care must be taken when servicing rear brake components without disconnecting the parking brake cable from the brake caliper lever.
  3. Remove the disc brake caliper. Support the caliper with mechanic's wire. CAUTION
    When the brake pads are separated from the brake caliper, new brake pads must be installed. The brake pads are one-time use only.
  4. Remove and discard the brake pads and spring clips from the brake caliper anchor plate. NOTE: Do not remove the anchor plate guide pins. The guide pins are press fit to the brake caliper anchor plate. If the guide pins are damaged a new anchor plate must be installed.
  5. Inspect the brake caliper anchor plate assembly.
  6. Check the guide pins and boots for binding or damage.
  7. Install a new brake caliper anchor plate if it is worn or damaged.
To Install:
NOTE: The left caliper piston turns clockwise and the right caliper piston turns counterclockwise.
  1. Using the special tool, turn and compress the brake caliper piston into the cylinder.
  2. Clean the residual adhesive from the brake caliper fingers and pistons using the specified brake parts cleaner. CAUTION
    Do not allow grease, oil, brake fluid or other contaminants to contact the brake pad or caliper mating surface. Do not install contaminated pads.
    NOTE: Install all the new hardware supplied with brake pad kit.
  3. Install the new spring clips and brake pads.
  4. Position the brake caliper and install the 2 bolts. Tighten caliper bolts to 23 ft-lbs (31 Nm).
  5. If necessary, fill the brake master cylinder reservoir with clean brake fluid.
  6. With the engine running, apply pressure on the brake pedal to seat the brake pads.
  7. Test the brakes for normal operation.

May 17, 2009 | 2005 Mercury Montego

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