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Front brakes failed

The front brake on my 2000 harley heritage classic locked. Worked the lever a couple of times and it came unlocked but now there is no brake at all. Plenty of brake pad and have tried bleeding them. Had the lever hanging down a couple of days to install new grips. Doug W.

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Is this using stock brake lines?  You could have kinked the metal tubing and possibly broke it when you straigthened it out.  I would suggest getting someone to help who knows what they're doing on brakes... pretty dangerous if you make a mistake.  With that said, the system *is* pretty darn simple.  The master cylinder is a pump and the caliper is the actuator.  If you have the reservoir filled with the correct fluid and the system has been bled properly, meaning no air in the lines, then unless it is leaking there is no reason you won't have brakes, unless the seals in the master are blown out.  
If you need to start over... get a master cylinder seal kit, a caliper seal kit, and a bottle of the correct fluid from the dealer.  Both kits are around $20 and since your bike is 10 years old it wouldnt hurt to replace the seals.  Rebuild the master and the caliper according to the service manual instructions.  Also make sure you fully inspect the brake line to make sure you didnt kink it.

Posted on May 26, 2009


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2006 harley davidson heritage softtail classic front brakes dragging,whats wrong?

Probably partially seized brake pistons. Take off your caliper and pump the brake lever. See if the pistons move freely and check for corrosion. If they are pitted or rusted you will need to change them. If it is just perished rubbers then a rebuild kit is quite cheap.

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There are two.

The front switch is inside the right handlebar switch housing (START, RUN/OFF kill switch, RIGHT TURN SIGNAL) and operates off the front brake lever.
The usual problem with this is it either sticks, or the "tit" that works off the brake lever gets broken off, usually because the front master cylinder wasn\'t installed by the correct procedure.
Usual results is the brake light will not turn off with the ignition on.

The other switch is located along the rear brake hydraulic line.
Start at the master cylinder and follow the line back to the rear caliper, and you\'ll find it eventually.

It appears Harley has a problem with the rear brake light switch on this year, as it tends to spring a leak, brake pedal goes all the way down without stopping, sometimes smoking from the brake fluid being sprayed on hot engine parts, etc.

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Front brake does not completely disengage. lever is lax, brake light stays on. fluid level ok.

Are you sure the brake is not releasing? Disc brake pads do not pull back from the disc like drum brake shoes pull back from the drum. They hold a slight contact with the disc to keep dirt and water off the disc and the pads. That's why disc brakes work so much better than drum brakes in wet conditions. I suspect that your brake lever and the pivot pin are worn and need replacing. How much up and down movement does the lever have? The plunger in the brake master cylinder pushes the lever back but the lever operates the front brake light switch. If the lever and it's pivot pin are worn, the lever will not come back far enough to depress the switch.

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I have a 200 heritage softail classic the brake light stays on and i dissconnected the pressure switgh for the foot brake and the light stays on. So I guess it's the hand brake switch that is shot. If...

If you disconnected the pressure switch for the rear brake and the light is still on, your deduction of a bad front brake light switch is right on. There is nothing else on the bike that would make the rear brake light come on. If you've moved handlebar switch housing or the master cylinder, make sure that they are positioned snugl against each other. Additonally, I've been reading where wear in the lever and pivot pin combine to make the switch not work. Replacing the lever and pivot pin may resolve the problem. To test, move the front master cylinder away from the switch housing and manually operate the switch to see if the switch is or is not working correctly.

Good Luck

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Check circuit breakers/fuses for proper operation. If circuit breakers/fuses ok, then could be a wire problem that would be common with both brake light switches, most liklely in rear fender area. You do have the switch on when checking brake light?

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If you know that the bulb inside the brake light is new/good and the light always works with the front brake, then you have a bad hydraulic brake light switch in/on the rear brake line/hose.

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