2000-2007 Roadking/Ultra/Big Twin 4 piston caliper brake service - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2000-2007 Roadking/Ultra/Big Twin 4 piston caliper brake service

Did some research and some repairs, and discovered an issue with Roadking, but only in the 2000-2005 range, and ONLY with dual caliper/rotor brakes. These are the 4 piston calipers.

The issue is after awhile, the brake lever for the front starts to feel muchy and grabs lower then it should, regardless of fluid conditon and how much you bleed.

Here's the solution:

Remove one caliper. You'll need to undo the brake line junction/union block to allow the caliper enough room to drop down and off, without removing the fender or tire.

Leave the pads in, on their pins.

Pump the brake lever.

Theres 4 pistons per caliper. You'll see one come out, and 3 of the 4 will stick.... nice huh?

Pump the lever until the 2 ouboard ones come out. They won't/can't come all the way out with the pads in. They'll also come out first, inherantly.

Spray clean them with brake clean. Tooth brush can be used but isn't needed most times. You'll see them become clean and silver.

Push them back in with a screwdriver.

Now...hold that pad back, and pump the lever again, forcing the INBOARD PADS/PISTONS out.

Clean them.

Push them back.

Remount caliper onto the rotor, and back onto the fork leg.

Do other side the same way.

After you did the other side, pump up the lever. Be amazed.....

I'm told this should be done as a service interval at about 5K. Pad material (aftermarket) may vary over OEM.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Dave,
Thank you for your posting which describes exactly the condition I have with my '03 RK. I had to replace the front brake line assembly because the aftermarket braided SST POS was leaking. I installed an OEM assy and I have never been able to get rid of the mushy feeling. I did my very best to get all the air out. To keep this short could you possibly explain why this procedure helps and will the brakes have to be bled again after?
Again - Thank you,
Dan
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No bleeding is necessary afterwards, because the system isn't being opened. The brake caliper has 4 pistons each. As they get dirty, they begin to stick until eventually, only one piston per caliper is doing the work....

The one I did last night was terrible. Simply cleaned the pistons (after getting them to move out, as I discribes) and afterwardws, the lever felt the way it should and the brakes were 100% regarding stopping power as well.

A difference was felt after doing one caliper....
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dave,
You the man. Just finished. Took longer to get the tools out and put them back than it did to do the actual work. Brakes feel better than they have since I have owned the bike - coming up on a year.
Thanks again,
Dan
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Excellent....!!

**EDIT: I forgot to mention that the caliper won't clear most fenders, until you remove the cover/shielf under the lower tree that has 2 3/*" bolts and a torx bit, which holds the brake hose junction block, under the lower triple tree.

Once you undo the cover/junction block, the hoses can droop down low enough that the caliper can drop off the rotor, with no need to remove the wheel or the fender, also reducing the chance of paint damage.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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make sure you cover the fender and anything else before you go sprayin the brake cleaner. Thanks again Dave for the help, the scoot is stoppin on a dime now, well maybe a quarter, it is a RK not a sporty..lol
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Dave,
Just like Dan said, it took longer to locate my 11mm socket that it did to clean and replace.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Dave,I have the same problem(mushy front brake)w/my 04 ultra.Has been that way since I bought it w/32000 miles on her 3 yrs ago.Could it be same fix?
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tar28usa View Post
Dave,I have the same problem(mushy front brake)w/my 04 ultra.Has been that way since I bought it w/32000 miles on her 3 yrs ago.Could it be same fix?
I recommend 2 things on a 2004 bike for mushy brake:

1.) Change fluid and rebleed to clean old fluid out and new fluid in.

2.) Do this piston cleaning service, regardless.

I gaurantee it'll improve your brakes.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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ok,thanks,the local H-D shop couldn't even give me a "try this" (you sure your not a perfeshunel mekanic?)
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