Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2013, 7:28 pm Thread Starter
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Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

I've got a 2003 K1200LT and after the mechanic changed my rear brake pads (about 3 months ago), I began noticing that my brakes were squeaky/ a bit noisy as I started riding. I also noticed a fair bit of brake dust and my fuel consumption when up. Finally after a ride, when the bike was set on the centre stand and in neutral, the rear whell just wouldn't free-wheel freely - on different days, there'd be various degrees of being suck - from rotating and stopping sooner that you'd except of a free-wheel spin (like someone was gently pressing the brakes) to just refusing to spin (like someone was pressing the brakes harder).

I notice the squeaking get noisier when the brakes/ wheels warm up and when the bike is in netural, I can feel like it's being held back.

I took it to the mechanic before and he tried bleeding the brakes and he took off the whole rear brake (off the disc) and re-attached the brake mechanism. He eventually got it to free-wheel while in netural on the centre stand but once I rode it off and the wheels/ brakes warmed up again and once I'd pressed the brakes, the semi-stuck brakes symptoms surfaced again.

This morning I took it to the mechanic and like what we'd observed in the past, when the bike first got to him (he's about 1.5 miles/ 2km from my home), the rear wheel free wheeled easily. I then took it for a ride and after riding a further 1.5miles/2 km the semi-stuck brakes symptoms appeared again.

Back at the workshop, the rear wheel was a bit stuck and he tried releasing some brake fluid and the spun freely. However when the brakes (either hand or foot brakes) were engaged again the rear wheel became semi-stuck. He tried pumping the foot brake and trying to spin the rear wheel, but the rear wheel was still semi-stuck. HOWEVER when he tried to pump the hand brake after a few spin-and-brake episodes, the rear wheel completely free wheeled.

It looks like the brake pistons are not completely releasing the rear brake, but something is happening with the servo assist that is somehow able to completely unlock the rear brake (although mind you know not press the hand brake once and the rear wheel unlocks, but it's a bit hit-and-miss, sometimes the hand brake needs to be pressed about 5 times before the rear wheel completely unlocks).

He said he didn't know what was wrong or what to do, and didn't charge me for his time today. So I got him a 6 pack of his favourite beer to thank him for his time, but my problem still exists.

On the way back from the mechanic, when I found that the brakes were squeaking after I'd released both hand and foot brakes, if I pumped the hand brake about 5 times or so, I could feel the bike was completely rolling smoothly while in neutral, but the moment I touched the hand or foot brake, I could feel that the rear brake was semi-stuck again.

If anyone has any idea, I'd appreaciate any thoughts about what I can do to rectify this issue. I don't really want to change my riding style/ teach myself a bad habit of just using the hand brake (which because of servo assist does activate the front and rear brakes - and usually the initial press of the brake, be it hand or foot brake, does cause the rear brake to become a bit stuck).

Thank you in advance for sharing your similar experience and what you did to get over this problem and/or what you suspect the issue or problem to be and what you'd suggest I check.
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post #2 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2013, 7:55 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Three obvious things come to mind (no knowing how often you have flushed your brake system)
1- dirt dislodged when the calipers were spread to accept the new pads, clean and or replace the caliper(s)
2- Extremely dirty brake fluid
3- Faulty, collapsing brake line(s), let fluid in but not allowed to return.

I'm betting on all three

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post #3 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Hi Joseph.
Wish I could help but diagnosing issues isn't my strong point here...
It sounds like a brake piston is sticking and maybe the brake caliper needs to come off and be thoroughly cleaned out... simple procedure.. although you mentioned your mechanic tried that, or at least in part? One of our resident "engineers" might have better idea for you.
Going forward though, replacing the rear brake pads (and front brake pads) and cleaning the calipers is quite easy to do yourself, I was scared I'd f%#$ it up and so kept going to the dealers for $$$ repairs... but its really very simple and might give you a better idea of what's going on if you learn to do it yourself... really takes little time to do.

Have a look at Kirk's online videos... first one is the rear brake on a 2000LT
http://www.illinoisbmwriders.com/ins...eos/15-k-bikes

Chris
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post #4 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

typical symptom of a bad flexible brake line, the inner liner is blocking the fluid returning to master cylinder, it will seize the brakes on solidly, seen it lock up a car brake so it could not be moved, releasing pressure at bleeder works until pedal pushed again

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post #5 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2013, 8:47 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Maybe time for a Spiegler kit upgrade... http://www.spieglerusa.com/brake-line-kit-180.htm

Chris
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post #6 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2013, 10:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Thanks all for your replies. Certainly given something to take back to the mechanic to begin with.

CWS - can we get the Spiegler BMW K1200LT brake line kit in Australia or do I need to get it from America (via eBay seems to be the best option for me costing about A$300 + A$60 for shipping.

If I said I'm prepared to ride with this for a while till my next major service and get it all done at the same time, is it safe to do this (if I was happy to live with the 10-15% increased fuel consumption and increased wear to the brake pads and extra brake dust on my wheels) or are the safety implications not worth waiting (perhaps because I might run the risk of my rear wheel seizing on my while riding or something along those lines)?

Thanks again all for the valuable information you have/ will send through.
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post #7 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2013, 11:07 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Do not continue to ride it with sticking brakes. The additional heat and stress can lead to further problems. If opening the bleed valve releases the wheel, then you may have a failed brake line or an obstruction in the ABS unit, but I suspect the bike would throw a trouble code or trip the ABS warning if that were the case (ABS unit bad). Simply put, the line pressure between the ABS unit and the wheel caliper is not releasing when the pedal is released. I suppose there may be a sticking relay or brake switch somewhere but I'm not sure on that. Do your servos continue to run when this happens? Does it only happen with the ignition on? One other thing I would check for is play in the final drive unit. Remove the caliper and then try moving the wheel side-to-side and listen for rough bearings as you turn the wheel. Also check the drain plug for shiny chunks of metal.

Oh yea one last thing. Check your hand lever master cylinder to make sure the relief port is not plugged. Take the cover off and use a small diameter wire to make sure the return port is open to bleed off the line pressure when you release the brakes. CAUTION!!!!!!!! Fluid will squirt everywhere and you will INSTANTLY damage your windshield if you get brake fluid on it. Be very careful doing this.


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Last edited by deanwoolsey; Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:13 pm.
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post #8 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2013, 11:21 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Hi Joseph.
I'm not aware of anyone importing them into Oz... usually with this sort of stuff we just buy from the US as there's no importer (who'll mark up massively anyway), either from the manufacturer or through Fleabay or whoever we can find it cheapest from, especially when you take shipping costs into account.
One of the Sydney guys ( Steve, AKA Alpha1) also just posted about maybe getting a set of Spiegler brake lines for his bike.... I've suggested in that thread that we might look at a "group buy" from down here if it helps cut the shipping costs, eg 3 sets for $60 shipping beats 3 x sets for $180 shipping!!!

Just having a quick look.. Pirates Lair has them for US$255 shipped inside the US (this is where we talk one our our good US buddies to repack and send to Oz for us :-) ) or maybe buy direct from Spiegler at US$245.95, they'd probably ship a few sets in a single box to Oz (and maybe throw in a discount?), then its only cheap internal postage to despatch them around here.
Let me know if you are interested.... as I'm prepared to put some money down, while I've got it.

Safety factor is something you have to consider, as you'll wear the consequences if it all goes wrong. Brakes are a better way of stopping than a brick wall, tree, or side of a car ....

Chris
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post #9 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 3:20 am Thread Starter
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
.... you may have a failed brake line or an obstruction in the ABS unit, but I suspect the bike would throw a trouble code or trip the ABS warning if that were the case (ABS unit bad).
No lights on the dashboard, and the mechanic said the computer would not return anything since there were no warning lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
....Do your servos continue to run when this happens? Does it only happen with the ignition on?
Yes, Servos continue to run. If the brake pistons haven't fully released before the ignition was turned off, then the wheel continues to be sticky after the ignition is turned off. If the wheel free-wheels normally before ignition is turned off, then it free wheels easily after the ignition is turned off. I guess what I'm trying to say turning off the ignition does not change the situation from what it was prior to the ignition being turned off.

I'm not very mechanically minded. I do a good job at putting fuel and air in the tank and tires, but that's really about it. I might leave the leaver master cylinder and final drive check to the mechanic, but thanks for the tips about what to look for.
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post #10 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 8:50 am
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

It sounds like you have a defective switch on the brake lever. The servos should run only with the brakes engaged, so either you have a stuck switch or a sticky relay, but probably a stuck switch. Inspect the brake lamps. I think you'll find they are staying lit when this happens, as long as the ignition is on.


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post #11 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 6:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
It sounds like you have a defective switch on the brake lever. The servos should run only with the brakes engaged, so either you have a stuck switch or a sticky relay, but probably a stuck switch. Inspect the brake lamps. I think you'll find they are staying lit when this happens, as long as the ignition is on.
Sorry I think I misunderstood the earlier question of "Do servos continue to run?" I thought the question meant, "Do the servos still work like normal?" The answer to that is "Yes". When either hand or foot brake lever is released, the servos stop humming and the brake light turns off. Sorry for not expressing myself better.

Another thing I sort of worked out is when the bike is parked on the centre stand that the rear wheel is free wheeling in neutral (unstuck), when I turn off the ignition and then step on the foot brake and release, the rear wheel does not get stuck and is able to keep free wheeling. However once the battery is turned on and the servo assist (linked brakes) kick in, then it causes the rear wheel to get stuck regardless of whether I use the hand or foot brakes, but it is the hand brake that seems to be able to be pumped a few times that enables the rear brakes from completely releasing the rear wheel.
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post #12 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 7:41 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

There is a metering (or proportioning) valve (or valve function performed by the ABS unit) associated with the linked ABS. I suppose it may be sticking somehow, more affected by the front input than the rear. While I have heard of the brake lines failing internally and becoming basically a one way valve, I have never seen one myself. Of course that doesn't mean it isn't happening. Personally, I'm out of ideas, but please post what it was when you get it figured out. I'm always looking to learn more about them. At this point I would probably tear down the rear caliper and rebuild it. I suppose the difference in front and rear pressures from the proportioning might explain the front lever release. That, and it's a cheap thing to try.


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post #13 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 8:46 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

I have had to change a flex hose on a friends Chevy, wheel locked solid

when the servo - power brake system is running it may be more likely to lock up at any rate the easiest cheapest attempt at a fix is change the hose, the power brake module is expensive

Gary
2018 R1200RT
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2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
2000 V Star 650/Velorex sidecar
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post #14 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 9:17 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Might have been said before in this thread. If one brake hose is failing from inside, the rest will surely follow. Replace one at a time or all one time.

My 01 front brake hoses looked liked a clogged sewer line. No problems since addresses all hoses one time.

Something about the crappy rubber during these years.
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post #15 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 11:42 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

If you gents want, buy what you need, have it shipped to me, I will repackage for you and ship for what it costs to you. Saves you guys a bit of $. If interested, I will pm you my address so when you order it comes straight to me, then you guys can PayPal the actual shipping needed and work out the cost/ distribution of items when it gets to oz.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying " I'll try again tomorrow".


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post #16 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2013, 6:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheldan2
If you gents want, buy what you need, have it shipped to me, I will repackage for you and ship for what it costs to you. Saves you guys a bit of $.
Thanks for your kind offer to help ship to Australia. At this point, I'm going to start from the cheapest option I think - get the rear brake caliper off and thoroughly cleaned out and/or tear down the rear caliper and rebuild it

If the issue isn't resolved, then it's more than likely the brake line
Quote:
Originally Posted by piper1612000
My 01 front brake hoses looked liked a clogged sewer line. ...
Something about the crappy rubber during these years.
At that point I'll contact Spiegler Germany and later USA to see if they'll ship to Australia.

If it's possible, I'll put another post out to see who's interested in jumping in and buying brake lines at the same time.

If spiegler Germany or USA do not want to ship to Australia, Sheldan2, I might just take you up on your offer.

Thanks again all for your advice and suggestions. Much appreciated.
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post #17 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2013, 6:38 pm
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Re: Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheldan2
If you gents want, buy what you need, have it shipped to me, I will repackage for you and ship for what it costs to you.
Thanks Mike! ;-)
Joseph, if you go down the Spiegler purchase route, open a thread in the Aussie section, that way we'll all see it (sooner or later).
cheers guys

Chris
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