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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello CX500 Community!

First off, I gotta say I have been a lurker on this forum for months now, and it's so relieving and refreshing to see such a positive community of people who are happy to share their knowledge. I'm here reading and researching at least once a day!

Alas, it's finally come time for me to post an issue of my own...I have a GL650 and took my front wheel off today to clean thoroughly (both the wheel and the forks). Had a fun time getting the wheel back on (fun is an an interesting word) and was happy to finally re-attach my brake calipers to the fork. Once it was all put back together, I gave the front wheel a spin, and it was very stiff. It would turn, but not freely rotate like it used to.

I'm pretty sure this is an issue with the brake calipers because the wheel spun freely before I put the brakes back on. I tried slightly loosening the caliper bolts thinking that maybe I overtightened them, but the wheel was still stiff.

While the wheel was off, I rested both calipers on boxes so as to not let them hang like the service manual suggests.

Does anybody have any ideas as to how to get my front wheel spinning freely again?

Thanks gang!
Adam
 

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Tight front wheel

Hello CX500 Community!

First off, I gotta say I have been a lurker on this forum for months now, and it's so relieving and refreshing to see such a positive community of people who are happy to share their knowledge. I'm here reading and researching at least once a day!

Alas, it's finally come time for me to post an issue of my own...I have a GL650 and took my front wheel off today to clean thoroughly (both the wheel and the forks). Had a fun time getting the wheel back on (fun is an an interesting word) and was happy to finally re-attach my brake calipers to the fork. Once it was all put back together, I gave the front wheel a spin, and it was very stiff. It would turn, but not freely rotate like it used to.

I'm pretty sure this is an issue with the brake calipers because the wheel spun freely before I put the brakes back on. I tried slightly loosening the caliper bolts thinking that maybe I overtightened them, but the wheel was still stiff.

While the wheel was off, I rested both calipers on boxes so as to not let them hang like the service manual suggests.

Does anybody have any ideas as to how to get my front wheel spinning freely again?



Thanks gang!
Adam
The first thing to try is lightly hammering on the caliper. I know lightly is a subjective word, and the hammer should be a soft face one, like a rubber mallet or a plastic hammer. I have used a small section of a 2X4 hitting it with a small hammer. No luck? Then remove the calipers and see if they were the problem. If it spins freely you know where the problem is. If it doesn't, you know where the problem is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The first thing to try is lightly hammering on the caliper. I know lightly is a subjective word, and the hammer should be a soft face one, like a rubber mallet or a plastic hammer. I have used a small section of a 2X4 hitting it with a small hammer. No luck? Then remove the calipers and see if they were the problem. If it spins freely you know where the problem is. If it doesn't, you know where the problem is.
Thanks for the reply, BQ. I went out and tried tapping on the calipers. No luck.

Tomorrow I'm going to take them back off and double check that the axel isn't sticking. If it's not that, I think I'm going to try to pry the pads apart within the calipers. Is it possible they sort of migrated together while they were off?

It's always something, but I guess that has become part of the fun.
 

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Did you pull the brake lever when you had the wheel off? If you have then the calipers may bind - but it would have been hard to get the calipers back on. But normally if you cannot spin the wheel with the calipers off - you have not mounted the wheel properly.

If the calipers are binding - simple issue is to as suggested give them a solid whack with a soft faced rubber mallet or dead blow hammer. If the wheel spins - then the issue is there.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Take the calipers off do it one at a time so you can tell it the problem is being caused by one or both of them.

But before you do that try loosening the nuts on the caps that attach the axle to the forks and see if the ends of the forks move on the axle (you may have the ends too close or too far apart, which could cause the calipers to be in the wrong place relative to the discs.
BTW: You do know to install those caps with the arrows pointing forward and to tighten the nuts at the front first and then torque the rear nuts, don't you? This is covered in the Factory Shop Manual which you can download free through the CX Wiki (link in my signature).

You could also try squeezing the brake lever really hard and then letting go to see if that pulls the calipers into alignment.

BTW:Welcome to the forum. Please add your bike's model and model year to your signature (see forum settings link in my signature) so that you don't have to remember to tell us every time and we don't have to keep asking when you forget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BTW: You do know to install those caps with the arrows pointing forward and to tighten the nuts at the front first and then torque the rear nuts, don't you? This is covered in the Factory Shop Manual which you can download free through the CX Wiki (link in my signature).
Sidecar Bob,

I will check the bottom cap on the right fork when I get home from work. The 650 only uses one cap on the right side of the bike, and the axle threads into the other side. Seems to make getting the wheel on and off a bit harder if you ask me!

I did try pumping the brakes a few times but didn't necessarily give them a "hard squeeze," so I may try that first.

I'll update tonight after I have time to do some more troubleshooting. Thanks for the ideas everybody!
 

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Make sure the steel tabs that drive the tach gearbox on the axle are aligned with their "holes". Otherwise they can be crushed and cause drag.

Yeah, what he said, Speedo, not tach.
 
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I am now struggling with the exact same thing as mentioned in the OP.
I have removed and replaced the front wheel twice before with no such issues. This time I put another wheel on with another set of discs but the same callipers with same pads...and the pads now grip on the disc. Too stiff IMO.

Everything regarding the fitment was done as per manual and correctly torqued. I loosened everything up again..fiddled with callipers..removed them and put them back on. Movement is slightly better but the pads definitely grab the discs...while everything seems in place with correct spacing.

I have not tried to hit the callipers with rubber hammer yet..and will try..but is this normal? Any expert advice plse?

Will the first ride perhaps let everything settle in again?

Thanx in advance.
 

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Open one of the bleeder screws if fluid comes out and the wheel is then free

Also try the other caliper if it's a bad line it

Could only affect one caliper

Then you either have a plugged brake line or a plugged return hole in the master cylinder
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My issue ended up being the speedo drive. It was misaligned and caused stiffness. Worth a check!
 

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Thanx for the replies.

How do I retract the piston?
I will try to bleed both callipers.
I think the speedo drive is in perfect position..and the wheel turns freely without callipers..plus then the pin on the speedo drive - where the cable fits in -also turns freely as it should.
Where and how should I hit the callipers with rubber hammer?
 

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Murray..not sure I understand 100% what u suggesting...sorry..lol

Do u mean I shud open the bleed screw..without pressing the brake leaver? In other words..not the normal bleeding process..but just open the bleed screw quickly...and check if fluid comes out?

PS: brakes and Master cylinder has always been fine. Not the best brakes in the world..but was fine.
 

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Murray..not sure I understand 100% what u suggesting...sorry..lol

Do u mean I shud open the bleed screw..without pressing the brake leaver? In other words..not the normal bleeding process..but just open the bleed screw quickly...and check if fluid comes out?

PS: brakes and Master cylinder has always been fine. Not the best brakes in the world..but was fine.
I believe that's what he's suggesting. The idea is that maybe you still have hydraulic pressure on the caliper pistons that is causing brakes to drag. If you've never done any cleaning to the pistons in the calipers, it might be time to do so. As pads wear, more of the piston is exposed and one ends up with a piston that won't retract back in to the caliper due to a buildup of crud.. As far as diagnosing if it's brake related, there are only 4 bolts to remove that hold the calipers. Pull the bolts, pull the calipers, lift the front end and spin the wheel. If it spins freely, you have found your issue. While you have the calipers off you can then inspect them and give them a cleaning if necessary. Here's a couple of links to some general info on servicing brake calipers, just to give you an idea.
https://www.motorcyclenews.com/new-rider/choosing-kit/2006/november/jan26-05-how-to-service-brake-calipers/
 

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Thanx Bud.
Problem already identified to the callipers..since the wheel spins freely without callipers. I have also already cleaned the callipers..bud did not remove the pads to check and clean the pistons. But like I said..they were fine before.
Could this issue arise because or while the callipers were removed and lying suspended on an object..for 2 months?
Thanx for the article Bud.
 

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it is more likely that either a line deteriorated and is holding fluid pressure

or when you pushed the pistons back to replace the pads you did it with the bleeders closed

and pushed a bit of junk back up and plugged a line at the narrowing of the line fitting or plugged the return hole in the master

you are not supposed to retract the pistons with the bleeders closed
 

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If not in the hydraulics maybe the caliper is not seated correctly in the cutouts of the anchor pins. This causes a sliver of alloy to be caught between pin and caliper causing the caliper to bind.

Another one I've found is that the rubber on the anchor pin so equipped has swollen from being greased with mineral grease. This jams up the works.
 

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On anything this old it is highly recommended to disassemble and clean the calipers if you have not done that yourself in the last few years. That will insure that you don't have any debris inside the caliper to cause problems.

One of the trouble spots is inside the grooves where the rubber rings that seal around the pistons go. If there is any corrosion there it can push the rubber rings against the piston hard enough to keep the piston from moving freely enough to retract into the caliper the way it should. I also recommend replacing the rubber rings at least once per decade because they can be too stiff even if they look & feel OK.
 
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