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Old 12-06-2012, 07:25 PM
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Softail Brembo upgrade

I's doing it.

I decided to get new parts, as brakes are pretty important and I didn't want to use parts that I wasn't sure about. So I got the rotor from a V-Rod, the caliper from a Touring bike, and an 11/16" bore master cylinder from an FXDX. Part numbers needed so far.....

CALIPER ASSY, LH, BLK, FRT, BRAKE 43027-08
BRAKE DISC, FRT, FLOAT/BLACK 44405-07
MASTER CYLINDER ASSY, FRONT DUAL BLACK 45013-96D
BANJO-BOLT BLEEDER ASSY 41783-08
BOLT, BANJO 41747-82A
BLEEDER CAP 42853-06
SCREW, PAN HEAD TORX 3655A (need 5)
GASKET, BRAKELINE 41751-06A (need 2)
GASKET 41731-01 (need 2)
BOLT, LOWER CALIPER MTG. 44160-00 (need 2)

It's important to note that the Brembo calipers DO NOT work with DOT 5 fluid, so you have to change the front of the bike to DOT 4. Mixing DOT 4 and DOT 5 makes for a jelly-like muck, so I'm changing everything out. No, it's not the cheapest way, but it's the way I'm comfortable doing it.

Add brake fluid, and the above is everything you need to completely replace your front brake system, other than the brake line. Mine's custom, so I won't be going the H-D route with it. The line attaches further towards the top of the Brembo caliper than it does on the stock one, so the length and fitting angle may be off with a stock line. I'll post up what I find. The only things that get reused are the brake line retention clips (one on the top tree with the chassis ground, one under the lower tree), and the clamp that holds the master cylinder to the bars. A new master cylinder comes with a lever and all the guts, a new caliper comes with pads.

In theory, you could keep the stock 9/16" bore master cylinder and the stock rotor, and just upgrade the caliper. But you'd be missing a little bit of surface area for the pads to bite into if you kept the stock rotor. And even if you rebuilt your master cylinder and got all the DOT 5 out, you'd still have a small piston pushing the fluid into the larger caliper. I want this thing to stop as well as it can, so I'm going all the way.

I got the stock hydraulic system off tonight and put the new master cylinder on. Tomorrow, I'll swap the rotors and put the new caliper on.
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Last edited by Killer of Bikes; 12-08-2012 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:34 PM
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:06 AM
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Nice, the DOT4 change is worthwhile by itself. DOT5 doesn't like altitude changes. I've had to bleed my wife's brakes on her Sportster after every trip into the mountains as the entrained air comes out of solution.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:13 AM
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Is that a touring caliper?
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:23 AM
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If you haven't ever had those rotors off, have Dana log the number of times you say "FVCK!" while trying to break the bolts loose. Also note the start/finish time for our collective amusement.
Heat is your friend.
Well, right up to melting the grease in the sealed bearings...
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:52 AM
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And I don't know if those forks clamp the axle on one side like the touring bikes do, but if so, DO NOT hit the brake lever until it's all aligned/centered and tightened, or your brakes will be likely todrag. Unless the Brembo's are better at self centering than the old brakes. Do the Brembos at least have boots on the pistons?
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MegaGlide View Post
If you haven't ever had those rotors off, have Dana log the number of times you say "FVCK!" while trying to break the bolts loose. Also note the start/finish time for our collective amusement.
Heat is your friend.
Well, right up to melting the grease in the sealed bearings...
Hell, just run video for the whole procedure, we can edit it down and make a blooper reel for the next Palooza.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:02 AM
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I've had the rotors on and off before; I use Blue rather than Red LocTite to make it a tad easier. I'll have to look at the caliper, but I believe there's a boot on the pistons.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaGlide View Post
If you haven't ever had those rotors off, have Dana log the number of times you say "FVCK!" while trying to break the bolts loose. Also note the start/finish time for our collective amusement.
Heat is your friend.
Well, right up to melting the grease in the sealed bearings...
impact...

jus sayin...
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:14 AM
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaGlide View Post
If you haven't ever had those rotors off, have Dana log the number of times you say "FVCK!" while trying to break the bolts loose. Also note the start/finish time for our collective amusement.
Heat is your friend.
Well, right up to melting the grease in the sealed bearings...
No cursing required if you apply heat to the bolt. Apply pressure on the tool of choice and it'll break loose easily. For rotors bolts I add a cheater bar about 3-feet long.

Heat should always be applied when red locktite is used if possible.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by vafatboy View Post
No cursing required if you apply heat to the bolt. Apply pressure on the tool of choice and it'll break loose easily. For rotors bolts I add a cheater bar about 3-feet long.

Heat should always be applied when red locktite is used if possible.
It should help keep the garage warm too!
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:53 AM
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:27 AM
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:09 PM
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I sorta took it for granted.

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