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Discussion Starter #1
This seemed to start after I re-mounted my rim (replaced the front tire) last season. I followed the steps from Bare's VTX page as far as keeping the pinch bolts loose and slamming the front brake a few times (and even bumping tire into a curb) to supposedly set things into their proper position. His page says that LEFT side dragging is common when not aligned properly, but that the right side is not adjustable. Any idea why the RIGHT side would be dragging and what I could do to fix it? I can't ride the bike now because the pads are toast, and I don't want to put new ones on until I figure out how to get the problem corrected. I may also need a new rotor because the right one is pretty well glazed and I'm not sure these can be resurfaced?

Guessing I should inspect and clean the pistons to make sure they move as they should, but since this seemed to start right after I re-mounted my rim I'm thinking it's more related to that.

If I can't get this figured out soon I will have to have the stealer get things straightened out before a big trip that I have coming up, but the problem there is that I will not know how to prevent this problem the next time I re-mount my rim... So I would really prefer to do this myself (with help from you great folks)!

Thank you!
 

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Yep, start with the pistons on that caliper. Clean and likely rebuild them both now to make them the same. Then yes, new rotors will be needed, no cutting them not enough materiel for that any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep, start with the pistons on that caliper. Clean and likely rebuild them both now to make them the same. Then yes, new rotors will be needed, no cutting them not enough materiel for that any more.
Thanks, Spike! When you say to rebuild the calipers, what all is involved in that? Taking everything apart, cleaning only with brake fluid, and then re-assembling (like this post from this site)?

Do I also need to order some replacement parts ahead of time (from the fiche I see piston seal sets 06451-GE2-405
, 06431-MA3-405
, and 06451-MZ2-405 [left and right], as well as stopper ring 45111-MAJ-G41 [left and right] and Boot B 45133-MA3-006 [left and right] -- would this be everything?) and replace everything that is rubber? Guessing I should probably do that, since the bike is a 2005 and getting up there in age?

... Or should it be fine to not really disassemble the whole caliper/piston portion and do more of a cleaning/lubricating job on the parts that the pads slide on? Like the North Star Riders videos (part1 and part2) describe?

Sorry to be so wordy, just need to be sure that I get any parts ahead of time and that I do the right things.

Thanks!​
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Obviously, hanging caliper pistons would certainly cause premature damage.

If it turns out the calipers are good:
Fork alignment still? You've attempted to address this situation, but could it still be off?

I'm thinking something has to be off... But what throws me is that supposedly the right side is not adjustable and it ends up where it ends up. The (Bare's VTX) site made it seem like you can only screw up the left side.

Thanks for the response!
 

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Did you put the collars on the correct side???
Collars/spacers between wheel bearing and fork.
Did you tighten the axle bolt before tightening the right side pinch bolts?
 

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I'm thinking something has to be off... But what throws me is that supposedly the right side is not adjustable and it ends up where it ends up. The (Bare's VTX) site made it seem like you can only screw up the left side.
The wheel will accommodate and center itself from whatever adjustment you make to the one side. I believe it's more of an adjustment of squaring up front fork width with the rest of the suspension travel.. but the brake may have some influence too. If not centered, it would seem likely to me that it "might" wear unevenly on the braking system. But I would also think the brake caliper "floats" to center itself, so I'm not sure.

I typically hold the front brake closed while bouncing the front end up and down.. and set pinch bolts from there.
Ideally, I think you want the rotor centered in-between the pads.

I could be off on my method.. but I haven't had any issues that I am aware of. There is a lot of "speculation" on this specific topic... mixed with manufacturer specs and procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The procedure I followed from Bare's page had me:
  1. Put the axle in
  2. Torque down the axle bolt
  3. Torque down the pinch bolts on the right side
  4. Reinstall the calipers

    Note from Bare's page then says, "There are problems associated with brake rotor drag, specifically on the left of the bike. These problems arise from improper spacing when installing the axle and tightening the axle pinch bolts – specifically on the left side. Using original OEM parts, the right side dimensions are set and cannot be adjusted, so the right side brake clearance is not an issue." So this is the part that makes me wonder how I can adjust the right side.
    .
  5. Try to align the groove on the left side of the axle with the inside of the left fork
  6. Spin wheel and hit brakes here and there. Lightly tap left fork in or out to make minor adjustments until you get several rotations of the wheel with one good spin.
  7. Optionally, roll the bike and slam the front brake hard a few times. Slowly roll into a curb a few times, to help seat things properly.
  8. Torque down the pinch bolts on the left side

Thank you all for the comments. I think what I will be doing next is disassembling, cleaning, lubricating, and then trying again. I will also follow the NorthStarRiders video more closely, because the last time I didn't really clean or lubricate the parts. That may be a big part of my issue.

I will post back my results. Fingers crossed.
 

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I just did mine and the caliper was squaking so i loosened up pinch bolts on both sides held the brake on and bounced.
Now all i hear is a slight drag after tightening the pinch bolts.
 

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Sounds dumb but is the rim mounted backwards? Had a shop do a tire once and did that. Warped a rotor.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I just took things apart and confirmed that the left side does not drag but the right side does drag. It drags all the way around when spinning the wheel, but on about half the rotation it drags harder than the other half. I pulled the calipers off and watched the rotor as I spun it, and I feel like I can see it moving slightly, horizontally, on the right side. I don't really notice this on the left. Also, right rotor and pads are much more worn than the left.

So it seems that I have a warped (front right) rotor. I can replace this, but my concern is what caused it? The bike didn't always do this, so I feel like something I did caused the problem.

Also, my rear brakes have the same issue, though the dragging there is even more excessive. The rear rotor also seems to be warped, as the dragging is much heavier on a portion of the rotation than on the rest of the rotation.

I have done a few things to the bike since I bought it, which might be related to this issue:
  • Replaced front and rear tires (I mounted the rim and it's correct)
  • Modified floor board locations to return them to stock position, which required me to purchase and install a bunch of stock parts. The previous owner of the bike had installed L&R Extreme forward controls, which relocate the floor boards forward. All of this affected the brake pedal (I remember one thing I had to do at the end was to replace a spring with a stock one because my brake light was stuck on all the time, so maybe something is not right with that pedal adjustment, still? I honestly don't remember a way that the pedal itself can be adjusted, though (only lubricated).

The front and rear brakes are linked, so if my pedal were out of adjustment it could cause dragging in front and back (but why only the right front and not the left?)... Dragging causes heat and heat can cause rotors to warp.

So what do I think I know at this point?
  • I don't think that installing a rear tire can really be done wrong, to where it will affect brake dragging. I did this a few times on my 1300 (which has an 1800 wheel and braking system), and never had an issue with it.
  • Apparently the right front brake should not drag from an improper axle/fork alignment (only the left would do this), my left front brake is fine. This makes me think that the adjustment of the front axle/for is OK.

To me, at this point, the only thing that makes sense is that the brake pedal was somehow not adjusted properly when I put my floor boards back to stock setup. I feel like I should order replacement rear and front right rotors (leave the front left alone) and pads, clean and lubricate brake parts, and reassemble. If things seem to be dragging at that point, see if I can figure out how to adjust the brake pedal? And if all else fails, finally take the bike in to a stealer for a fix (hope to avoid this, of course -- I will not learn what I did wrong this way).

What do you guys think? Any other thoughts/theories/questions you can share? I really need to get this bike straightened out for a big trip to Colorado next month.

Thank you!
 

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I would think it's time to look at the master cylinders and see if there's any undue pressure being applied by the linkage. Next, flush the system. Lastly consider rebuilding the master cylinders.
 

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Pedal will have little to do with the problem if at all. Sounds like a caliper rebuild is in order front and rear.
 

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Many have had this same issue... swish swish swish sound at slower speeds after breaking especially while turning. Mine still does it... I tap the front break and it calms down. Doesn't do it all the time but seems to be worse in warmer weather. Alignment is right so I said screw it and just live with it. But this is a common problem on this bike and another annoying sound on the VTX.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What I've observed at this point is that both the rear and the front right rotors are warped (not just the front right that I originally noticed). At this point I will be replacing those two rotors (leaving the front left one alone), cleaning and lubricating all calipers, and replacing all pads. I have never done it before but I think I will also replace the seals on the rear caliper while I'm at it, and then of course replace all the brake fluid when finished. Sure hope that after all this is done, the problems are gone. I can only surmise that the rotors were somehow bent when the tires were mounted, way back when... Otherwise I have no idea what started all this.
 

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Calipers. When brakes are applied there is equal force exerted into all calipers, left and right no matter. Pistons in the calipers not moving back a few thousands after applied will cause pad to drag which will cause excessive heat and wear which will cause rotor warpage and hot spots.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Parts Replaced, Back to Square One (Dragging Again)

OK, so as of today I have replaced rear and front right calipers, which were warped. I replaced seals in the rear caliper, cleaned and lubed everything, and replaced the pads. For the front I cleaned and lubed everything and replaced the pads. Put everything back together and the front right caliper is dragging very badly again. Rear caliper just has a slight rubbing (more than it should? Not sure).

Here is a video of me spinning the wheels.

Does the rear seem OK? Front is obviously not OK.

I followed the steps from bareasschoppers and also tried loosening pinch bolts and stopping hard, pushing bike up and down while braking, and so on. Nothing made the problem any better. No matter what I do, the right side drags really hard. I confirmed again that the bigger spacer is on the left and the smaller one is on the right.

RIGHT SIDE


LEFT SIDE


So now I will not be able to take the bike on my vacation which starts this Saturday. That really sucks, but would REALLY suck is to not have this resolved before I leave for a Colorado ride on July 9th.

I'm thinking that I'll order seals for both front calipers, and will then replace those once I get back from vacation. If that doesn't help I can only think to bring the bike in to the stealer for what will hopefully be a quick fix. I cannot dink around with this anymore if it will mean missing this CO trip that I have been wanting to do for years.

Any other thoughts about what I could do to fix this? From all I have read, the right side should not be the one to drag when caused by mounting the wheel on the bike and improper adjustment... So it seems like it has to be some other cause.
 

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Parts Replaced, Back to Square One (Dragging Again)

OK, so as of today I have replaced rear and front right calipers, which were warped. I replaced seals in the rear caliper, cleaned and lubed everything, and replaced the pads. For the front I cleaned and lubed everything and replaced the pads. Put everything back together and the front right caliper is dragging very badly again. Rear caliper just has a slight rubbing (more than it should? Not sure).

Here is a video of me spinning the wheels.
https://youtu.be/QADJFw0yhxw

Does the rear seem OK? Front is obviously not OK.

I followed the steps from bareasschoppers and also tried loosening pinch bolts and stopping hard, pushing bike up and down while braking, and so on. Nothing made the problem any better. No matter what I do, the right side drags really hard. I confirmed again that the bigger spacer is on the left and the smaller one is on the right.
The rear wheel drag sounds and looks normal. Rebuild the right front caliper at the least but suggest rebuilding both fronts would be better.
There are three pistons in the front caliper, two working off of the front master on the handlebar and one working off of the foot brake. If you push the pistons back into the caliper as you did when you installed new pads, then spin the wheel there should be a little resistance which is coming from the left caliper. Now press the foot brake and then after spin the wheel again. The drag should increase slightly. If it jams up then you know that piston is binding. Do the same test with the front brake master to see if one of both of those pistons are binding. At least then you know where to put your efforts. Popping out the pistons with the caliper on the workbench needs to be done with air pressure. A narrow piece of wood should be placed where the pads normally go to catch the piston as it pops out. Use a green Scotchbrite pad to clean the pistons and bores of the caliper using brake fluid. No need to take the caliper apart any further unless the bores are so corroded that they need honing. If the surface of any of the pistons are pitted then replace them too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The rear wheel drag sounds and looks normal. Rebuild the right front caliper at the least but suggest rebuilding both fronts would be better.
There are three pistons in the front caliper, two working off of the front master on the handlebar and one working off of the foot brake. If you push the pistons back into the caliper as you did when you installed new pads, then spin the wheel there should be a little resistance which is coming from the left caliper. Now press the foot brake and then after spin the wheel again. The drag should increase slightly. If it jams up then you know that piston is binding. Do the same test with the front brake master to see if one of both of those pistons are binding. At least then you know where to put your efforts. Popping out the pistons with the caliper on the workbench needs to be done with air pressure. A narrow piece of wood should be placed where the pads normally go to catch the piston as it pops out. Use a green Scotchbrite pad to clean the pistons and bores of the caliper using brake fluid. No need to take the caliper apart any further unless the bores are so corroded that they need honing. If the surface of any of the pistons are pitted then replace them too.
I replaced the seals on the rear caliper and it was much easier than I thought it might be. I just pushed the brake to get the pistons to extend, and then I was able to just pull them out with my hands after I removed the caliper from the bike. I would plan to do the same thing with the front ones.

Very helpful tip for narrowing the problem down to front or rear brake pistons on that front right caliper. I will definitely do that. For now I will be ordering the new seal sets and will have to plan to replace them in the few days I'll be back at home before the CO trip. I'll need to plan for the worst and assume this will still not fix my issue though... And maybe try to make an appointment at the stealer that I can cancel if everything works out.

Thank you for the detailed response! Really appreciate the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After pulling off each caliper, what I've noticed is that they seem to each drag about the same amount... With medium effort to spin the wheel and only the right caliper on the bike I get about 1.25 rotations. Repeat this with only the left caliper on the bike and I get somewhere between 1.0 and 1.25 rotations. Would you say that this seems about right, with one caliper on the bike? More importantly though, with both front calipers on the bike the resistance is about double the amount -- I can't even get a full rotation with medium effort, if both calipers are on the bike -- maybe about 3/4 rotation if that [see video in previous post above]).

When I first took all this apart at the outset the right pads were a lot more worn than the left... So maybe my cleaning and lubing things has helped with that some. Now I have new pads in the front and one new rotor in the front.


FWIW, I called my local dealer to ask if there was any way they could work on the bike this afternoon or tomorrow morning, and maybe there was just a quick adjustment that could be made. The guy explained my descriptions of things to the mechanic and the mechanic told him this sounds about normal for the bike. He said to ride the bike and with some wear it will get better. I called a buddy who also has an 1800 to ask him what he remembers from when he replaced his pads. He thought I should go for a nice ride and then come back and check again (good idea, I will do that too). He feels like this is probably not something to worry about.

I cannot believe this is the case -- even with new pads and one new rotor in the front, it is acceptable that the wheel won't even spin an entire rotation without heavy effort? This is kind of how it was when I was riding it before all these repairs, it never got better, and I burned up pads and warped a rotor. I don't want to do that again...

But I will at least take it for a ride today and see if this makes any difference at all.

Please let me know any thoughts you all might have. Thanks again!
 
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