Help - Rear Caliper Dust Seal and Missing Parts - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-17-2019, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Help - Rear Caliper Dust Seal and Missing Parts

Friends,

Sorry about the length of this. I've discovered a few issues with the rear caliper on my 2014 DL1000 and I need some advice. The bike has about 35,000 kilometers on it and I don't have any details re: its service history outside of routine service during the warranty period.

Back story: this bike is at our second home and winter getaway in Mexico. (Sooo glad to be here given the snow predicted for Ann Arbor!) I purchased this bike when we were here in July and only had it a few weeks before we returned to Michigan for the rest of the year. I knew it was going to need a chain and sprocket set when I bought it, so I brought them with me when we came down here last week.

While going about installing the chain, etc., I gave the rear caliper a good look while I was in the neighborhood. Good news: the pads are virtually new. But wait, bad news... what's that rubber o-ring poking out there? It looks like the shop that did the brake pads didn't get the dust seal in the groove in the caliper properly. This is #3 on the parts fiche, the first o-ring. And comparing my caliper to the parts fiche and shop manual, parts 16 and 17 on the fiche, the "insulator" and "shim," are missing.

I tried gently pushing the dust seal back into its groove without removing the piston, but no luck. The piston is going to have to come out to get it reinstalled. And it looks like the o-ring might have gotten twisted, so it's likely that it will need to be replaced, anyway.

I've never pulled caliper hydraulics apart myself. The shop manual says to remove the caliper and push the piston out with compressed air. I don't have access to compressed air here. Is it okay to get the piston out by leaving the caliper connected to the hydraulics and gently pressing on the brake pedal to push it out?

When I disconnect the brake line or push the piston out with the pedal, how much fluid will I have to deal with? Just the rear reservoir or the entire ABS system? I'm guessing the rear system is isolated by solenoids when the key is off but I don't know that and I couldn't figure it out from the shop manual.

I'm okay with bleeding the rear, it needs flushing anyway, but if both front and rear are connected and I have to bleed the entire system, that would be challenging.

Do I need any special tools or skills to replace that dust seal? I'm hoping I can just install a new seal and not mess with anything else. The caliper isn't leaking and from what I can see the piston looks to be in good shape.

Re: the missing insulator and shim: I don't know whether the pads that were installed were Suzuki or after-market. Are there after-market pads that don't require the insulator and shim? Seems unlikely, but it's the one possible explanation (outside of incompetence) I could think of for them not being there.

Thanks,

Vinnie
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-17-2019, 11:46 PM
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I don't have time to write a full procedure here but will point out a few key things. First, if you are not 100% confident in your ability to do this job, find someone who is. For me taking that caliper apart would be a few minute job, but that is due to my having done many hundreds, if not thousands, of these over many decades, in my professional life. You can remove the piston from the caliper in several ways depending on how tightly it fits. Some can be grasped with a suitable holding tool and turned and gently and evenly pulled out. Others will need to be "pumped" out.

My concern for a lay person doing this job is the ABS factor. If you drain the system while you have that piston out you are very likely to get air into the brake system, possibly into the ABS internals and that complicates the bleeding of the brakes when you reassemble the system. I think you might want to seek out competent assistance with this repair.

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post #3 of 10 Old 01-18-2019, 12:12 AM
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CurrenV, you can certainly use hydraulic pressure to remove the piston.
Here is a method Ive used in the past at friend's homes that didnt have access to compressed air:

1) Loosen the brake bleeder screw, then snug it down lightly.
2) Remove the caliper from the its bracket. Place a drain pan below the caliper. Use shop towels to prevent the caliper from scratching the swingarm
3) Remove the brake pads
4) Slowly and repeatedly depress the brake pedal to push the piston most of the way out of the caliper. Fluid will run from around the piston at this time.
5) Use Hose pinch-off pliers or Vise-Grips with the jaws wrapped with several turns of electrical tape to pinch off, but not damage the brake hose to the caliper.Note--DONT do this if it's a stainless steel replacement hose.
6) Grasp the piston with your fingers--no tools-- and remove it from the dust seal.
7) Using a small screwdriver, remove the lower caliper piston seal.
8) Remove the dust seal and clean out the caliper dust seal groove
9) Lubricate the new lower piston seal with clean brake fluid and install in the caliper groove.
10) Install the dust seal.
11) Open the caliper bleeder screw.
12) Clean, then lube the piston, slowly and carefully push the piston into its bore until it bottoms
13) Tighten the bleeder screw, clean the caliper assembly of brake fluid, remove the pinch off pliers. Clean brake rotor.
14) Install the brake pads pads
15) Install the caliper.
16) Bleed the rear caliper. DONE
Ive dealt with previous pad installations where OEM pads werent used, and the pad insulaters and shims werent installed. Many times these shims and insulators wont fit the new aftermarket pads and get tossed. My '14 DL1000A has these shims and insulators installed(only 7500 miles) and my Suzuki factory service manual shows them. You have several options: Put it back together as it was, 2) order the shims and insulators, and if they dont fit these pads,3) order OEM Suzukii pads. These shims and insulators are there to reduce brake noise and heat transfer to the piston.
Many just toss them, I prefer OEM parts and the shims and insulators that the bike came with new. Your choice.
This is not not a difficult job, and by pinching off the rear caliper brake hose you wont run fluid out of the ABS hydraulic unit.

Last edited by MAZ4ME; 01-18-2019 at 12:14 AM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-18-2019, 12:55 AM
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The missing backing plate and spacer. Most go missing after a brake job even with dealer mechanics, the brakes will still work but won't get up to temperature as quickly and will tend to heat the calipers more. It's not a big deal.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-18-2019, 02:26 AM
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Pete, what does that say about those dealer mechanics if they are using the oem pads?
And many times, it isnt the tech's fault at all, as some dealers wont use oem partsince they can buy the aftermarket pads cheaper and still charge oem prices, pocketing the extra profit.
Sad( for the customer), but true.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-18-2019, 02:32 AM
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This is even with OEM pads going on, and yes it's tragic but I'll concede that I tossed the old pads and backer once myself. Covered in brake dust it isn't THAT obvious that they are there.
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-18-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, guys. MAZ, I had seen you post about using pinch off pliers in other threads but I didn't make the connection here with my situation. Duh. Thanks. I can easily do that. And thanks for the step-by-step method. That's pretty much what I was planning on but it's good to see it laid out like this.

Pete, it's a relief to know that it's commonplace to run without the insulator or spacer. Not ideal, but not unusual. I can understand how they get left out. I found putting the pads back in place with this particular caliper is more fiddly than other calipers I've encountered -- it takes about fifteen fingers to hold everything together. Those little springs! Arrgh!

I hope to get the chain on, the counter-sprocket area cleaned up (obviously never been done in 30k+ Kilometers!) and caliper installed, bled, and tested today. Assuming the caliper works okay and the errant dust seal isn't hanging the piston up, I'll run it for now while I chase down the parts I need. If the piston is hanging or the caliper leaks now that I've been poking at it, I'll just order an entire replacement caliper and pad set from the US and have them shipped down here. Then I'll take the one I've got back to Michigan when I return and rebuild it there where it's a bit easier for me to work.

I love spending time in Mexico -- great riding and great fellow retirees to ride with -- but getting factory parts can be a drama. Not just Suzi, the GS, Tiger, and AT riders have similar hassles.

Thanks for the help -- I'll post my status once I get the pieces back together.


Vinnie
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-18-2019, 11:49 AM
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Vinnie, GLAD to lend a hand as I'm sure the others are as well.
The hose pinch-off deal works not only to prevent a fluid loss during servicing, but also is an excellent diagnostic tool to isolate problem areas and components in the braking system.

Forgot to mention...when youre bleeding the brakes, be sure to crack loose the banjo bolt at the master cylinder(if accessible), then the banjo bolt at the caliper, then finally the caliper's bleeder screw. Air likes to hide in the banjo bolts.

Last edited by MAZ4ME; 01-18-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-18-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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I just ordered a pair. Amazon Mexico will have them here tomorrow. I'm not super optimistic about the quality I might get, but hopefully they'll be adequate.


Vinnie
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-20-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Just a final follow-up:

The caliper is reinstalled and appears to be working fine. The dust seal out of position doesn't appear to be affecting the movement of brake piston so I'm going to run it as is for now and bring parts down from the US on my next trip.

Thanks again for the help.


Vinnie
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