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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Cx500Forum. I've been a lurker here for a while and am new to performing maintenance tasks.

I've searched and read through as much front brake info as I can for my 1980 cx500 custom. It's been laid up for a while, and I've been trying to get it road-ready.

Went to crack the bleed nipple, and to my horror there was no dust cover present. It hissed on release. As far as I can tell, no dust cover has been present on this front brake for the duration of my ownership (8 yrs, maybe 4-5000 miles).

I bled the brakes with new DOT3 fluid and the wheel freed up. However, upon engaging the lever, they locked up again. Lightly tapping the caliper housing with a rubber mallet freed them up enough for the bike to roll around, but this morning the wheel is completely locked when off the ground.

My plan is to inspect and clean the master cylinder and possibly replace the brake line. Then, look into the calipers.

Looking for some insight from those with more experience before I go on a shopping spree. Any advice or guidance on what to tackle first is welcomed!

links to rebuild kits and parts would be highly appreciated, too. Many of them are dead on the old threads and since I am a beginner I like to compensate by attempting to have everything I could possibly need.


If any of the content of this post is ignorant or moronic, I apologize and will improve with time and experience. I really appreciate this forum and would not like to waste any of you all fine people's time. There are a lot of other issues on this bike, but I am not sure I am physically capable of bringing it to a professional if it is essentially immobile as it is now.

Thank you all!
 

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You will definitely need to disassemble and clean your caliper, and replace the piston seals. Not expensive or difficult and worth the time. If the pistons are pitted, you will need to replace them too. I always replace the front brake lines immediately upon purchasing any of these old bikes. Yours are probably disintegrating internally and feeding crud into the brake system. That locks up the brakes by fouling the caliper, and usually fouls the master cylinder enough to warrant rebuilding it too.

I would get all of these and do the work, then you know you're good.
Caliper rebuild kit
Master Cylinder Rebuild Kit
Braided brake line

The information in the wiki is mostly valid, but you may need to spend some time looking up part numbers, welcome to the world of vintage motorcycle ownership!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you!

I had read on another thread that brakes are no joke, but this puts me a little more at ease.

I have found the relevant how-to's on the wiki, and the parts below on GeorgeFix's store. Any problems with the brake line from amazon, or is there another place I could buy locally?

Will update here once I get the ol' girl rollin' again. Thanks again for the solid advice, much appreciated.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Front-Brak...CBX-/362325424256?vxp=mtr&hash=item545c473880 - MC Kit

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Front-brak...uxe-/201513291364?vxp=mtr&hash=item2eeb20ce64 - Caliper kit

https://www.amazon.com/Mtsooning-12...line&qid=1566764912&s=automotive&sr=1-2-fkmr1 - Brake line
 

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Welcome magiconion. You will enjoy this forum for sure!

You are welcome to read the thread on the link below. I also had caliper issues and wheel locking issues...which is explained below with some possible solutions. Hope it helps. NOte that the opening post was for a different bike than mine.. but all those details are in the thread. I believe the last 2 pages are the most NB.

https://cx500forum.com/forum/techni...650-front-wheel-stiff-after-reassembly-7.html
 

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Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Your bike has had many years of Previous Owners who may or may not have done the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable (apparently including yourself if you have had it for 8 years and haven't serviced the brakes) so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage. I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. Check the date codes on your tires and replace them if they are over 5 years old no matter how good they look & feel because old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet. If your bike still has the original rubber brake line(s) (should be replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes = 5 or 6 years) I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid).

This video may be helpful
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Massive gratitudes to both of you. Very helpful! The wiki is and has been very useful so far. I'm also using the clymer manual for general knowledge (although videos are certainly more useful than B&W photo diagrams).

Just ordered the rebuild kits and a new steel line. Will update with pics.
 

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Better than Clymer is the factory service manual which can be downloaded for free from the wiki. A link to the wiki is in my signature line.
 

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There are two holes in the master cylinder (under the reservoir) to move fluid. One is very tiny and clogs easily - it is a pressure relief hole. When it is plugged your brakes stick. I dropped my 500 at least three times trying to get in and out of my driveway when I was trying to get it running! Use brake cleaner and a small piece of wire to clean it out.
 

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Do a search on this forum and you will find many helpful pages about the brakes...

https://cx500forum.com/forum/technical-help-forum/104647-brakes-locking-up.html

https://cx500forum.com/forum/technical-help-forum/104647-brakes-locking-up-2.html#post1033785

These are a couple of posts where procedures for diagnosing and rebuilding the brakes are discussed. I agree that the 30 yr old brake lines are probably in need of replacement, but the calipers and master cylinder can be rebuilt and will perform like new if carefully cleaned and wear parts replaced.

On another note, it is a bit odd that you release the caliper piston then overnite it appears to be locking the wheel... I would guess that the brake lever was pulled inadvertently, or maybe you had cold weather one day then much warmer the next? Generally, once you release brakes they stay released unless you heat them up or activate the master cylinder
 

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There are two holes in the master cylinder (under the reservoir) to move fluid. One is very tiny and clogs easily - it is a pressure relief hole. When it is plugged your brakes stick. I dropped my 500 at least three times trying to get in and out of my driveway when I was trying to get it running! Use brake cleaner and a small piece of wire to clean it out.
I had to cut some plastic out, above the retun hole, to get it cleaned out. Still on my original master. It, being me, has also had a kit put in it. I bought a new master unit to replace it. But that stayed in stock.;)
 
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