Rebuilding an 1100 caliper

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plskthompson1

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I posted on a here a while ago that I was going to be rebuilding the calipers on my 1980 GL1100 Interstate. Well, I finally got around to it, and here is the write up I promised.

First thing to do is order the parts for the rebuild. I included rebuild kits, brake pads, and speed bleeders to make the process of bleeding the brakes easier for one person to do. Before you order the rebuild kits, make sure you have either single or double piston calipers. 80 and 81 models should be single piston and 82 and 83 will be double. My wing is an 80 but a PO changed the calipers to double pistons off an 82, so I had to send my original order back and wait for the correct pieces.

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Begin by removing the caliper from the mount by removing the slide pin and caliper bolts that hold them on. If you don't have a compressor, I would suggest pushing the pistons out using the brake fluid and master cylinder before removing the banjo bolt. I you do it this way, remove the pins and brake pads, and KEEP YOUR FINGERS OUT OF THE WAY, or you will have a black nail for a while.

If you are using compressed air for the piston removal, I would suggest that you put a shop rag between the pistons and the outer side of the piston to avoid possibly cracking the pistons when they shoot out like they were fired from a cannon. Again, WATCH THE FINGERS.

Once the pistons are out and you have removed the slide pin guide, inspect them for rust pitting.
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After that, I removed the seals from the caliper housing and checked for pitting inside the cylinder.
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After checking everything and making sure that it didn't need to be replaced, I used emery cloth and brake fluid to remove any rust and grime left after using the wire wheel on a bench grinder. This ensures that everything is smooth and removes any burrs that could damage the new seals.

Put the new seals in. The smaller seals will go into the top ring of the caliper, at least on the two piston style, but they appear to be to large. Believe me they're not, they do fit.

After this, you're ready to install the pistons again. Using plenty of brake fluid, make sure that the pistons go in straight. Otherwise they will bind and possibly ruin your new seals, ask me how I know.

This is where if you're going to repaint the calipers, I would recommend it. I didn't repaint mine because they are all going to be covered.

When reinstalling the slide pin, I used plenty of caliper grease, and this made everything go back together so much easier.
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After replacing the rusted bleeder screw with the speed bleeder, I attached the brake pads with the slide pins, and was ready to reinstall on the bike.

Bleeding with the speed bleeders makes the job so much easier for one person. With them you crack the valve open and start to build pressure as you would with standard bleeders. The speed bleeders have a check valve built in that doesn't allow for air to get back in the system when the pressure is released.

Here is a pic of the bleeder screw that I took out of rear caliper, man was it difficult to get out.
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I realize this write up is simple and not very detailed, but if I didn't cover something that you have a question about, just let me know. If I don't have the answer, I'll get it for you.
 

RBG

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One big question those aren't from a 80's 1100, they had a single piston much bigger..did someone change out your front wheel?? Those are from an 82 I think.
 

dan filipi

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Nice writeup, I'll copy this to Tips and Tricks.

When I did my rear a couple years ago there was A LOT of crud at the seals and in the grooves.
A dremel with a wire wheel worked pretty good to clean.
The new seals seemed to be larger than the old and would curl in, hard to get the pistons in but I got it. I think I nicked one though because some fluid would show. The leak has stopped.
Did it go together hard like that? I used lot's of brake fluid.

I'm going to do the fronts as soon as the pads need changed and want to do it right.
 

zcarron

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I rebuilt the rear caliper on my 83 also and it was a bear to seat the piston in the caliper.I was wondering if I had not cleaned the grooves enough so the new seals would seat far enough in the grooves.But they seem to be working alright.
 

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