Brake Calipers ’96 Road King

Question for Fix My Hog Hi, I have a 1996 EFI Road King with 70,000 miles. My mechanic bleeds my brakes at each service but my brake pedal feels soft after a few weeks. It feels like my brake doesn’t even grab until I almost have the brake floored. My mechanic suggests changing the brake calipers on my Harley. Any other suggestions or should I do that?

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Fix My Hog Answers Soft pedal after a few weeks is a dead give away for a weak line connection.I’m taking for granted it is the rear. Stock brake lines on FLs make a hard bend around the swing arm cleve block area always a culprit for trapped air, also with age and mileage the metal connection where it meets the rubber line is most likely the cause, even though you my not see fluid when pumped it can draw air at this connection, also the metal connections have a tendency to rust internally which can cause a restriction and soft pedal. Replacing the caliper should be the last thing you do, first replace the line with stainless steel braid for less expansion than rubber, then rebuild the master cylinder, it hangs low out under the floorboard and always gets loaded with road debris. Then change the caliper last, with a good aftermarket differential bore 4 piston set up. To bleed correctly remove the caliper, shim the thickness of the rotor, leave pads in and bleed away from m/c up in the air, high and down as low as line length will allow.  Wrench Safe, FMH
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2 Responses to “Brake Calipers ’96 Road King”
  1. Thermal Reboot
    Thermal Reboot

    I was on my first road trip last summer when about 100 miles into the trip when my rear brake failed, it went completely to the floorboard. I could get a little brake if I pumped it, fortunately my front brakes held out for the trip. I rebuild the rear master cylinder and bled the brakes and everything was rock solid after that. Since the bike is an 01 FLHCTUI I figured I should rebuild the front master brake cylinder while I was at it since they were the same age.

  2. Michael

    I’ve found out that by removing the pads and pins cleaning the pads and pins the brake will work like new put it takes some work