Strange brake issue. Lever is TIGHT! - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Strange brake issue. Lever is TIGHT!

1996 300FW. I recently went through it and everything works perfect. Except the front brakes. The brake lever has very little if any pull. The brakes are "on". I rocked the machine and you can feel the fronts grabbing. Funny thing is sometimes the brake lever will move about 1/4 inch and then the brakes grab. 4-wheeler is not being used. This is all in my garage, different temps.

This 4-wheeler has not seen much work in its life. The brakes are near perfect. Shoes are original and very little if any wear. I emptied the master cylinder and then filled it again with fresh brake fluid. Then bled the brakes until clean brake fluid was coming out. The adjusters are all backed off as much as possible. With the drums off the brake lever moves as it should and pushed the shoes out. With the drums on, very little and at times no movement of brake lever and the brakes are working.

Strange to me why it does this. I'm leery of spending any money on the drum brakes as I think its more cost effective to just do the disc brake conversion. But I'd of course rather not spend any money and these brakes look perfect!

Could a brake cylinder be getting hung up? Any ideas?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 08:19 PM
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If you bled the brakes itís very easy for air to collect in the upper hose near the master cylinder reservoir.

First the brake shoes must be run out far enough to provide back pressure in the brake lines.

To get that air out, remove the little rubber puck from the bottom of the fluid reservoiróuse a narrow flat screwdriver. Carefully rotate the handlebars to the left until the reservoir is over the hoseóyou want all those bubbles to flow up against the master cylinder assembly. Then jiggle the brake lever and youíll see air bubbles rise in the fluid reservoir.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 08:21 PM
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wheel cylinders are sticking in their bore.
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'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '08 vt750c2 shadow spirit
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Goober, I don't think that is it. The brake lever is tight. They are not spongy at all.

Shadetree - that makes sense to me. Is it possible to take them apart and clean? Can't hurt to try if you think thats it. One of the wheel cylinders had the rubber boot filled with brake fluid when I took the drums off to inspect and clean. I took drum off to inspect after riding wheeler around yard and there was no brake fluid leaking out so I thought I was good.

I just checked the repair manual and they look pretty simple.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Budweiser View Post
Goober, I don't think that is it. The brake lever is tight. They are not spongy at all.

Shadetree - that makes sense to me. Is it possible to take them apart and clean? Can't hurt to try if you think thats it. One of the wheel cylinders had the rubber boot filled with brake fluid when I took the drums off to inspect and clean. I took drum off to inspect after riding wheeler around yard and there was no brake fluid leaking out so I thought I was good.

I just checked the repair manual and they look pretty simple.
yes, they can be taken apart, and cleaned. you need a grease gun, correct size zerk ( grease fitting to press stuck piston out ). a Dremel with a small wire brush attachment helps to polish the bores out. also would be a good idea to pull the star wheels apart, and clean them up, and grease the threads. careful : one side has left hand threads on the star wheels !! ( these are the brake shoe adjusters ). when you get all that done, and back together, there is a sticky in this section by me on how to bleed brakes.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 06:37 AM
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Ok i see now i was cornfused by the real issue.

Let us know what the problem was as you find itóthe boot filling with fluid sounds like a bad seal too? Might have to get a rebuild kit to replace that seal?

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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What does the grease fitting do? I’ll probably be able to answer my own question when I get it taken apart!

And Goober, yeah it’s hard to explain!! Partzilla have rebuild kits for the wheel cylinders?
Thanks for the help! I’ll get it taken apart next week and let ya know.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 01:27 PM
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Does the lever have an adjustment on it to take up slack on the plunger. It needs a bit of play so the piston can release the pressure in the system.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 02:43 PM
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I gather your talking about something like this vehicle master cylinder adjustable push rod ? No there is no adjustment built into any of them, @ least not that I'm aware of .... And i don't know of anyway to easily cheat it.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Budweiser View Post
What does the grease fitting do? Iíll probably be able to answer my own question when I get it taken apart!

And Goober, yeah itís hard to explain!! Partzilla have rebuild kits for the wheel cylinders?
Thanks for the help! Iíll get it taken apart next week and let ya know.
once apart, you put a bolt in one hole where the cross over line was, use the grease fitting in the smaller hole on the cylinder, then use the grease gun to use pressure to pop the piston out of the bore.

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '08 vt750c2 shadow spirit
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