Caliper Pin Re-Install Problem

Question I replaced rear brake pads over the weekend on my 2007 FLHRS. I own the touring set of DVD’s and had watched them first, as well as carefully following the shop guide. When I tried to reinsert the caliper pins I encountered resistance on the inboard side. Have you heard of this caliper pin re-install problem? I tried every trick I knew as well as re-consulting your DVD’s, the HD Forums, the HD shop guide and even called a couple of service departments. I ended up finding out on my own after a couple of hours that there are two critical pieces that are pressed into the receiving holes on the inboard caliper. Inside each hole is a split metal ring, followed by a metal bushing. Apparently as the pins are screwed into place, the pointed end passes through those pieces, which help stabilize it and probably protect it from shear forces during braking. Unknown to me, during the removal of the pins, those pieces had shifted and when I went to reinsert the pins the pressure I’d put on them trying to screw them in had damaged them further, misshaping them and preventing the pins from going back into place.

I really think you need to include something about this caliper pin re-install problem on your DVD. Even the guys at the parts counters don’t have these parts shown on any schematic, and you can’t reorder just these pieces–you are forced to replace the entire caliper assembly. I’ve always made things on my own when I couldn’t find replacements–and I ended up buying bushing materials from a local hardware store and refabricating them (one of the sets had been pulled out but they were still in good enough shape to re-use and to use as templates. Doing this saved me around $200 for a replacement caliper so it bears mentioning in your Touring Edition set. Harley should be ashamed of themselves for not including this in their manual as well–and for not offering replacement rings (now I’m just venting!). Anyway, I just wanted to let you know.
Terry J

Via Email

Answer Hi Terry, No, I have not had that happen. As you know, there have been many caliper and braking component changes in the past few years. The most likely cause of this problem is the lack of regular maintenance on the pins; the pins should be serviced and lubed the entire life of the pads. As we state on the DVDs; thread bolts in by hand, if you are having trouble getting the bolt in STOP, look around and assess the situation. At the Harley-Davison factory they did not have to fight to get the bolt in, either should we. Terry, thank you for your email and tip. Make sure to check out the caliper rebuild videos.

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