Honda ATV Forum banner

Wheel Cylinder Problem

7770 Views 26 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  shadetree
1986 TRX200SX

Front brakes on one side will not retract. The handle does without any issue.

The front left works and retracts, but only the rearward shoe really moves out and contacts the drum. Teh front pad doesnt move much at all.

Does this all sound like a wheel cylinder issue? Can I take them apart to lube them?
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
So you're saying the front right is the one that will not retract? If hydraulic brakes will not retract on one particular wheel, it may mean that the flexible brake hose at that wheel has collapsed. When a hose collapses, it allows hydraulic fluid and pressure to be transmitted to the wheel cylinder when brakes are applied, but when the brakes are released, the hose collapses and won't allow the fluid to relieve.
If you're saying that the front left is the one with the problem, it doesn't appear that way to me. The wheel cylinder is attached to both the front and rearward shoes, so when you retract the brake, only the shoe that moves most easily will be the one to retract. The other shoe won't move, but there shouldn't be any force exerted between that shoe and the drum. When you retract the brake, can you move the front brake shoe away from the drum by hand? If so, there's no problem. That's normal.
On my front left yes....When the brakes are released I can push the pad away from the drum with my finger. I can test it with the drum on obviously. I've never worked on drums but the wear on the shoes is very uneven between front and back and top and bottom. So this is normal?

On the right,I can't even get the drum off. Need a puller or something. The brakes drag on it for sure. Is there anything to lube on it to make it retract better? Hose looks ok to me...,.
Meant to say I CANNOT test anything with drums on. Can't access anything inside.
I would say your left front brake is working normally, even though it is showing some uneven wear. As long as the wheel cylinder can move in and out, and the brake shoes pivot freely on their pivot points, that's about all you can ask for.

The difficulty you are having getting the drum off on the right side is not unusual on older machines. Maybe someone will chime in with tricks they have learned for getting drums off. The drum is probably packed with rust and crud which inhibits movement of the shoes both ways. Once you do get the drum off, inspect the pivot points for the shoes to make sure they are free.
You could have a broken or unhooked return spring, a seized wheel cylinder piston, an over-tight or seized adjuster, or even all of the above at the same time under that drum.

First thing is to back off both of the adjusters so you can be sure that the brake shoes are not tight against the drum or too close to the drum for the shoes to clear. There is a hole in the drum that you can push a big flat-bladed screwdriver into to rotate the adjuster star wheels. If they are seized up, spray some PB blaster or similar on them and use the screwdriver blade and a small hammer to try to tap the seized adjuster in either direction until they both turn freely. Work carefully and don't ruin it.

Then try to pull the drum off... you may have to tap on it around the center where the axle comes through it and use two screwdrivers to pry it away from the backer plate. Use some pb blaster on the shaft if it looks rusty there. Don't beat on it hard, don't miss where you aim your hammer or pry on it too hard, else you might ruin something.

If you still can't get the drum off, use some heat from a torch to expand the drum around the axle but again, be careful, and don't get it too hot. You can easily ruin stuff...


See less See more
Well, I have to replace the pads anyway, so I'm thinking of putting the wheel back on the right side and using a jaw puller VERY gently while TAPPING the center hub. I should be able to do this very carefully without bending anything but I will certainly see of the adjuster is free first.

As far as I know there is no wheel cylinder OR rebuild kit available for this bike so if it's hosed then thats the end of the road for this ride unless I'm missing something.
As far as I know there is no wheel cylinder OR rebuild kit available for this bike so if it's hosed then thats the end of the road for this ride unless I'm missing something.
There is no such thing as the end of the road for your ride... or any other ride for that matter. Lots of good used parts are still available for that. You may not need much of anything at all anyway... many times those brake parts just need a lil' careful cleaning and lil' fixing up.

A determined man will always be the sole creator of his own successes, regardless! Hang in there...
Alright, I messed with it tonight again. I dont want to put heat on it as I will destroy the seals and bearings. The adjusters are frozen. They won't budge. I am going to have to drop a puller on the wheel while its installed on the bike with the hub nut removed. Has anyone done this? I don't know if the wheel can handle it, but I have pretty much no other choice right now. I can't beat on the castle nut and hub any more, its not budging. Its soaked in penetrating lube and has been all day. I've tried gently beating around the drum, but even gentle taps have put small marks on the drum, so I can't hit on it really hard enough to make much difference. I know dents on the outside don't translate to the inside, but I don't want to REALLY hit on it. If this was my truck where I could run down to Oreilly, it would have been off already with a torch and 5lb sledge...guaranteed.

I tried loosely putting the rim on the bike with the drum nut removed, and then just slamming the wheel towards me to the lug nuts, but its not enough force to pull the drum off. I feel like if I can put a puller on the rim and drum and put a little pressure on it, not CRANK it down, just firm it up, and tap the center bolt, it would give. Maybe not. I got no other ideas.

Any other advice for putting a puller on it?
See less See more
Ya gotta do what ever it takes so I think you are doing fine. Your "slide hammer" idea using the rim was a good idea. If you can figure out a way to get a more effective stroke out of rigging something up similar to that... Nothing wrong with using a puller either. Or a big hammer. Check out the troubles jeepwm69 had with a bike he's working on:
I fabed a puller for doing hubs and drums , it works two ways , slide hammer or push with a bolt , works great , one thing about that bike and a hub puller , if you make one for the front , then it won't fit the rear as it has two different wheel lug patterns on it -------------- are you close to New Orleans ? , I have pretty much all of 2 - 86 TRX200SX's , I got a good set of left and right , upper and lower front A- arms with knuckles and brakes that worked for $100 , but don't ship ------ the 200SX is a fun bike to ride , I have had a couple of them


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Im near Houston. I'll get this off. I know parts are available, but I hate spending too much on this. I wanted to avoid taking everything apart, but on this bike the rear brakes were so far out of adjustment that they really weren't activating, so whoever used it before has been running on the fronts since then. The front left pad is very thin, and I suspect the right may be metal on metal. The left drum is within service spec, but just barely. Hopefully the right is OK. At any rate, I think removing the wheel cylinders and dropping everything else in degreaser and rust removal bath will be highly beneficial. I have a hydrochloric acid product that will strip rust off of parts and make them look brand new in minutes. The adjusters will need that. Thanks for the ideas. Tomorrow, Ill work on it again.
See less See more
Alright, I got the MF'er off. That's the good news. The not so good news is that the hub spindle is crushed a little. Yes, it took THAT MUCH force to pull it with a puller. I ended up partially threading nuts on the studs and pulling against that. I tried the wheel, but it looked like it wanted to bend, so I stopped. The spindle is just peened a little, so the cotter pin won't go back through. I was able to file off the edge so the nut goes on, and I think I can just drill out the hole a little and it'll be good to go.

The bad news is that bearings and seal were destroyed by my torch. I tried my best to apply just as much heat as needed, but it was not happening. I can see the bearings are rusted to the hub. It's apart now. Need to replace seals and bearings. The wheel cylinder on that side doesn't look like it works, but I don't have the pads off yet. We will see.

Hate damaging things, but I guess you do what you gotta do. It's not anything that ruined the integrity of the hub I don't think.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
And the wheel cylinder is trashed.

I can't pull out the pieces with a vice and channel locks. Where do I get new wheel cylinders?

I see them all over ebay, but not the part numbers I need:


I need these two, I find part numbers that are kinda close, but not exact. Surely Honda used the same cylinders on like...every other quad they made from 1984 to 1987? Can someone help me cross reference it?
See less See more
I'll do some snooping in a few minutes... Sometimes a grease gun and a grease zerk screwed into the back of the wheel cylinder will get the piston moving... yours sound pretty bad though... sounds like your bearings and seals were already shot too. Tough breaks...
I see what you mean about fleebay. Nothing but rebuild kits there right now. One seller has the complete backer plates still loaded with the cylinder, adjusters and shoes for $99 OBO and thats it. May have to wait in the weeds for one... unless you can find it local. In the meantime maybe try a grease gun on it with a bit of heat from a torch to expand the cylinder a bit. Careful though, a piston can come out of there like a bullet if its under a lot of force.
There is a TON of corrosion along the outside of it. No clue why, but its probably the original fluid. Hopefully my master cylinder is ok. Yikes.

I found this:

*Updated 5/31/14* TRX200SX Front Brake Question

Any thoughts? It looks like HONDA BRAKE CYLINDER ASSEMBLY LEFT & RIGHT TRX250 RECON 2007-2014 might work, as long as I grind off the alignment dowel!

Whatcha think? If that fits, then I bet others do too. WIsh there was a way to verify.

But I dont understand the difference....because this part number is different but it looks pretty damn close.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I think you found the solution!! I imagine all of those cylinders would work. The newer Recon cylinders are probably a safer bet though, cause someone already verified the fit on them. The adjuster blocks look pretty close to the same too.

Master cylinder will be a similar deal if you need one... Most of them take the same banjo bolt to hook up the brake line and they all fit a 7/8" handlebar, so whatever you can find cheap will probably work just fine. Thanks for sharing that!
If you are thinking of installing a wheel cylinder that appears similar to the one on your machine, consider that the piston diameter may be a little different than your old one. This will cause the braking force to be different from one wheel compared to the other. Changing the wheel cylinder on both wheels should keep your braking force balanced.
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.