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Front brake drag following tire change

2415 Views 51 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Dave White
Hi there. Just joined; this is my first post. First of all, I just want to say thanks to all you forum contributors over the years. You have helped me understand my 2014 Victory Cross Country, and attempt to address a problem I’m having right now. Please bear with me while I tell you my tale of woe. It’s a bit of a long read, but I want to explain that I have covered all the obvious things. Shortly after getting my front tire replaced by a local ‘specialist’, I noticed a rubbing noise coming from the front wheel, as I was backing it out of my garage. To investigate, I went for a short ride, and stopping without using the front brakes, got off the bike and touched both rotors (at the same time). The right rotor was hot, the left was cool. Back home, I removed the right caliper and scrubbed the pistons with a toothbrush, soap and hot water, then with brake cleaner. Using a caliper spreader and shims, I isolated each of the 4 pistons and using the brake lever, made sure each piston was not stuck. I was also able to push back each piston with my fingers. I also cleaned the rotor, and spun and cleaned the rotor bobbins. When replacing the caliper, I spun the wheel and pulled on the brake lever to set the pads, before torquing up the bolts. The rubbing is now a bit quieter, and the rotor no longer gets hot. However, the dragging noise is still there, but disappears when the wheel is spun with the caliper removed. However, I’m inclined not to believe that the improvement was due to the caliper and rotor being cleaned, as the problem, statistically speaking, must be something to do with the recent tire replacement job. I think the improvement is related to the caliper being taken off and put back on again (an alignment thing). My next step was to remove the front wheel. The wheel, tire and spacers were the right way round, I re-torqued up the axle, and bounced on the suspension 5 times (front brake lever held), before locking the pinch bolts (as per 12.9 in the Service Manual). I also measured the runout of the rotor with a dial indicator; 0.007in; well within tolerance. I also replaced the pads and bled the front brakes, ensuring that the master cylinder was not overfilled. No change. I’m well into trial and error country now, and could easily spend hundreds of dollars with no improvement. I accept that there is always some drag, but there is hardly any noise from the left side. I can hear the right caliper noise out on the road with my earplugs in. With the wheel on correctly, and assuming the caliper, pads, brake fluid, and rotor OK, the only thing I can think of is fork alignment, especially as the problem caliper is on the ‘floating’ side of the axle. As I mentioned, I bounced on the suspension after refitting the wheel. I sat on the bike with my feet on the ground. However, I was not able to compress the forks to full travel, as I think I would need to have all my body on the bike to do this. Even with the bike lashed down, I don’t fancy doing it. How do you guys manage? Anyway, I’m fresh out of ideas on this one, and would appreciate your help. Regards, Dave.
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