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Author Topic: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics  (Read 3288 times)

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Twolanerider

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Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:03:21 AM »

This is a simple enough chore it probably doesn't warrant the next several pictures.  But since it came up the first time a couple years or more ago have occasionally had someone find the old thread(s) and again question if the non-rebuildable Brembo calipers can actually be rebuilt.  Finally remember to take pics while doing a set tonight.  So here goes:

Yes, they are rebuildable.  The non-rebuildable verdict from Mother Harley is company policy but no more.  There's nothing special about rebuilding these calipers compared to others.  It's a simple chore if you're willing.

This pic is a complete seal kit.  The cylinders each take two o-rings (one narrower than the other).  There's also a small o-ring that seals the fluid port that goes between the two halves of the caliper.  Only other part for a complete rebuild is the pistons themselves.
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 12:05:26 AM »

If you've got the calipers apart because you've sent the parts off to chrome be sure and run a tap through the threaded holes.  They might or might not need it.  But the odds are they will.  Ruining a freshing chromed bolt or caliper half is a bad way to wreck an otherwise quick little project.
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 12:06:38 AM »

Crappy lighting and a cell phone photo.  So you can't see the two channels in the cylinder.  But they're there.  Thicker and thinner o-ring in each cylinder.  It's obvious when you see it in person.
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 12:08:51 AM »

With the o-rings in the cylinders wipe them and the pistons with a light coat of clean of brake fluid.  To lubricate for installation of the pistons.  With light pressure find where the pistons feel straight and with light pressure will pop/slide in to the cylinders.  If you have to push very hard it's not lined up straight.
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 12:10:25 AM »

Note the hole with the arrow pointed toward it.  That's the channel that carries fluid from one caliper half to the other.  The small o-ring in the kit goes in that hole.  Be careful not to drop it as you put the two halves together.
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 12:12:05 AM »

Becasue it's just an o-ring that's supplied in the kit the little bugger can fall out.  The stock piece is actually a little different.  It's a ring seal with a nipple the extends down in to the hole a bit.  Both will work.  Don't sweat the little stuff.  Just make sure whatever you use doesn't fall out.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 12:41:15 AM by Twolanerider »
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 12:14:26 AM »

With the two halves together but not fully pulled too each other is when I prefer to install the spring clip that goes over the brake pads.  It just snaps in place.  There is a bow at one end.  That goes over where the brake pad pin bolts through.  Install the spring clip then finish tightening the three bolts that put the caliper halves together.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 07:22:00 AM by Twolanerider »
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 12:15:48 AM »

Brake pad pin goes in the (obviously) only other hole available after the three bolts that actually hold the halves together are in place.  Once the pads are in place the pin will install and tighten.
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2012, 12:17:03 AM »

There is a small spring steel clip that slides over a notch in the brake pad pin.  Push it on once the pin is installed through the pads and tightened up.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 07:23:21 AM by Twolanerider »
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2012, 12:19:38 AM »

After all that is done (less than a half hour) snap the screens on the top and screw in a brake bleeder.  Voila, rebuilt calipers.  Harley's edicts notwithstanding.  Whether because you've sent cores off to chrome or just needed to service it's a very do-able little chore.

Note in the pic here that only four bolts are exposed outside the grill.  One bolt and the pad pin are always hidden.  Since a chrome shop might charge $3-4 per bolt that means only the four exposed bolts really need to go to chrome if you're dressing up a set of calipers.

The rebuild kits are aftermarket (thanks to HD-Dude for first finding these awhile back).  At first there were just complete rebuild kits with pistons and seals.  About $40 per caliper and Drag # 1702-0117 ($33 at Lake Shore) for the front.  A bit more expensive and Drag # 1702-0118 for the rear.  If the pistons are good there's now also a kit that's just the seals.  $12 each and 1702-0125 or 1702-0126 for front and rear respectively.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 12:43:15 AM by Twolanerider »
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2012, 12:27:10 AM »

If you're doing this for a bike that's new enough to originally have had Brembo calipers that's all you have to do.  If you're intent is to retrofit a pre-Brembo bike as an upgrade there is one more thing necessary.

Note the arrows.  The caliper on the left has a tab still standing next to where the brake line would attach.  On the left caliper (as installed on the bike) that stand is in the way of attaching the brake line on the older bikes.  So Dremel the darn thing off.  After that the calipers bolt directly on a pre-Brembo bike and the stock lines attach.  Find a set of 11.8 brake rotors and you've everything needed at the wheels to make the upgrade to larger/better brakes.

You may or may not choose to change the master cylinder to use the newer cylinder that is spec'd with the Brembo calipers.  I've seen it done both ways.  I prefer using the new cylinder with the newer calipers.  I prefer the feel and feedback at the brake lever with that combination.  But have seen it done with the original master cylinder and it worked ok.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 12:45:26 AM by Twolanerider »
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2012, 12:28:11 AM »

All done.  Goin' to bed.  Lots of detail for a simple chore.  Hopefully will help someone someday. 

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North Georgia Hawg

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2012, 01:27:06 AM »

EXCELLENT POST! THANKS for this hard-to-find info!

No help here from the Mother Ship, that's for sure. The MoCo struck a deal with Brembo to NOT make the rebuild parts even available, so they could make more money off of us by selling only complete Brembo replacement units.

That is what I call "thinly-veiled CONTEMPT for the customer". Glad that others are stepping up and this is changing...
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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2012, 05:04:33 AM »

Thx Don! :2vrolijk_21:
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Twolanerider

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Re: Brembo Caliper Rebuilding -- With Pics
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2012, 07:20:35 AM »

Thx Don! :2vrolijk_21:

Very welcome.  Was asked in a PM about the mounting bolts.  If changing to Brembos on a pre-Brembo bike you'll need four 10mm bolts that are 40mm long for the bolts to mount the calipers to the legs.  I use bolts and washers there so the bolts don't dig in to the legs.
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