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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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.:thumbsup
 
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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ok,thanks,the local H-D shop couldn't even give me a "try this" (you sure your not a perfeshunel mekanic?)
My guess is, because the problem only existed on models 2000-2005-ish, so anything having it now, would likely be sold/traded already, or being taken to an Indy shop.

One guy told me the dealer recommended new calipers to him. Yes, that surely would have fixed the problem for about $450, but so will a $3 can of brake clean.

Reminder: Use CHLORINATED, Trichlorethyline based Brake-Clean, not the NON-Chlorinated stuff, that's Acetone based.
 
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Dave,
Thank you for a great tip. Just bought an 03 Road King and it had the same problem, owner was telling me it needed brakes but I kept looking at the pads saying to myself no way, plenty of meat left. Then I came across this site and saw this post, took me 20 mins tops and wow, brakes again and great. Awesome tip and thanks again.

If anyone has this problem I suggest giving this a shot, works wonders and easy to do.
 

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Got an 05 Road King and will give this a try.
Dumb Question - In order to install new brake fluid do you just keep bleeding and adding new fluid? Repair manual does'nt seem to cover changing out the fluid.
 

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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got an 05 Road King and will give this a try.
Dumb Question - In order to install new brake fluid do you just keep bleeding and adding new fluid? Repair manual does'nt seem to cover changing out the fluid.
Yes. You flush the system from the reservoir to the caliper in this method, however, make sure you never allow the master to run too low, or you'll be rebleeding the system all over again.
 
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Got an 05 Road King and will give this a try.
Dumb Question - In order to install new brake fluid do you just keep bleeding and adding new fluid? Repair manual does'nt seem to cover changing out the fluid.
AND just a reminder . Remember DOT 4 eats paint so try to not spill any on painted surfaces . If spilled flush with plenty of water .
While you're at it check the rear brake line behind the right floorboard mount . They tend to rub there and can rub through .
 
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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just replaced the front pads on my 05 roadking they were spongy before I replaced them.now not spongy but they sound like their rubing.could it be the the same problem you were talking about?
Yes. If you never opened the bleeder to allow air to go in, then you pushed dirt back in when you pushed the pistons back, to make room for the new pads. This is a perfect example of what happens. Take the pads out and clean the calipers like I discribed.
 
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Thanks for the great thread Dave.
I cleaned mine up and their much more solid now.
It did'nt get rid of the pulsating/grabing at low speed.
I'll have to take a closer look at the rotors I guess.

Don
 

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Great thread, Dave. Going to give it a try on my '02 Road King. I bought the bike 2mos ago and noticed the same with the front brakes. By the way, took your advice and got a Power comander. Took me 20mins to put it on. What a dif. Runs like new but still pops a little with only 30 mi since install.
 
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