Question about 2005 Harley Davidson XL 883L Sportster

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How do replace bake braks on a 2005 883 sportster

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I don't like giving "how to" information dealing with brakes as I feel that brakes are so important that if you're not sure of what you're doing, you need to take it to a qualified mechanic. Do this job at your own risk. Brakes are not difficult to repair but they must be done correctly or personal injury or death can be the result.

Usually, there are two bolts that hold the caliper into the caliper bracket. Remove these two bolts and the caliper should lift right out. Now, pay particular attention to the way the metal clips on each side of the brake pads are installed. Also, pay attention to how the spring clip is positioned. These are basically anti-rattle devices but must be installed correctly.

Replace the pads and the metal clips. Make sure put the brake pads in with the friction surface towards the brake disc. Don't laugh, I've seen people put the metal side to the brake rotor, especially on the backside. Now, you must press the piston back into the caliper. Use a C-clamp or large pair of slip joint pliers. Make sure you use something to protect the paint on your caliper. You may want to remove the top of the rear brake master cylinder if you don't open the bleeder valve. If you open the bleeder valve to press the piston back into the caliper, make sure you check your brake fluid level before riding the bike.

When reinstalling the brake caliper, be careful not to knock the brake pads out of the caliper bracket. Press the brake pedal while keeping an eye on your brake fluid level in the master cylinder. You may have to depress the pedal a number of times before you get a good firm pedal. Make sure you have done the job correctly before you ride the bike. When you do ride the bike, test the brakes within the first 100 feet you ride at a very low speed. Depressing the brake pedal and the bike doesn't slow is a BAD feeling.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009

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