Thursday, February 13, 2014

Everything Is Possible In Time

Changing to rear Brembo brakes on an 03 Electra Glide sounded like a great idea.  The fronts were a simple buy and bolt process.  Buying was simple, as I mentioned in the past, because a lot of people changed from black to chrome and sold the black to offset the cost.  Me being me, I bought the parts off an 08 for the rear and then started to look into the process.

Nearly all the links I could find were from 08, 09, 10.  I only found two mentions to links with written directions and/or pictures.  Both links were bad.  Not detoured I took Petunia apart and began the process.  1st problem was the mounting bracket.  Being thinner and a 25mm hole were the first problems.  Started looking for a machine shop to bore the hole out and make the needed 0.71" spacer.  STICKER SHOCK!!!!

25mm to 1" is only about this (l) much.  My first thought was to get some sand paper and just sand it down.  Then I remembered about honing a cylinder and went to Home Depot to see what specialty tool I could find.


 It was like they knew I was coming!  Grabbed two of these bad boys and rushed home.  Got some oil and started to hone it out thinking I had to go slow to keep from heating the aluminum.  Stopping to check, it was working.  Starting back up I snapped off the grinding stone.  I wasn't deterred because I had bought two.  Being more careful, I started again and was happily making progress until I got in a hurry.  Snap......back to Home Depot to pick up the three stones they had left.  It took four of the little Devils to get it done, but it worked like a charm.


Next came the mock-up to see how close it was to fitting.


See that dark spot right of the silver spacer?  That is the difference between a 0.5" original spacer and the needed 0.71"spacer.  Searching I could only find a 0.75 spacer, so I bought two just in case.  My plan was to use a grinder because the difference between 0.71" and 0.75" is only about 1/25 of an inch.  The spacers arrived and I used the aforementioned grinder and like magic it fit the first time.



I also ordered a master cylinder rebuild kit. Taking it apart showed that this was well worth the effort.  The internal plunger was rusted out and it appeared there had been water, or condensation, in the master cylinder.


Less than an hour after UPS dropped off the kit, Petunia was ready for a road test.



First response was similar to the fronts, felt funny and like there were no brakes. But, after a short start, stop, start, stop cycle it was time to hit the road. What better way to test brakes than out among the Snow Birds that frequent the Surprise area at 4:00 PM.  After an hour of stop and go traffic the brakes began to come in.  Even with the 03 master cylinder it was easy to lock the rear tire.  Because I am a feel rider that won't be an issue for me.  The last set of rear pads on Petunia were put on 43,000+ miles ago in Alaska and there was still plenty of pad remaining.  I am mainly a front brake guy and use my heel on the rear brake pedal.  I am more than happy with the update and even more so with the perseverance in doing it myself without the need for a machine shop.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

It Won't Be Easy

Picking up a nail and getting a flat is a pain!  Having the tire go flat in the garage is a bonus. Taking the tire off is less than a five minute job.  At least after the two hour delay looking for and purchasing the BFWs, big f'ning wrench, to get it off.


Since it was off I thought I would install the Brembo brakes I had already picked up.  Comparing the old to the new I find it isn't going to be an easy swap.  The axle hole is about 1/16" to small for the axle.


The existing caliper, silver is wider than the new, black.  I'll be looking for a machine shop to bore out the bracket.  Then I will mock it up on the bike to see what will be needed  to make everything lineup and work.



I have read many posts in my search to find how to swap to the rear Brembos on an earlier bike and many have claimed it is to much work for the results.  But, I'm hard headed and the fronts made an unbelievable difference.