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1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

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1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: randylexus » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:58 pm

My 1996 Virago 1100 started giving me fits with the front brakes locking up so tight that I had to remove both just to get back home! So, I took an entire front brake unit off my '98 parts bike and installed it on the '96. Well, after bleeding the brakes, it worked great. I rode the bike about 30 miles, with no problems, had great stopping power, everything working as it should be. That was four days ago! Today, when I started to back my bike out of the shop, I noticed that they are again LOCKED, just as they originally were on the first brake system. Anyone have an idea why this would happen again? The pads (all 4) were pressed against the rotors, not letting them turn. I welcome any and all suggestions. (The brake lever has about 1/8 inch give under pressure)

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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: faffi » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:47 am

Usually a result of a blocked return bleed hole in the master cylinder.
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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:28 am

:VTF:

faffi wrote:Usually a result of a blocked return bleed hole in the master cylinder.

********* :yup: ****** Could try back-bleeding. See if anything starts float'n in the reservoir.

Might wanna take the calipers back off , check the pistons for crud or rust. If you don't have enough freeplay at the lever , those pads can rub just enough to start building up heat. They'll still rotate, until you stop the bike and walk away. All the while, this heat will start to expand the shoes and/or pads. And..if ya got crud of them, they won't retract.
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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: randylexus » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:53 pm

I appreciate the info------- will check it out!

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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: bstig60 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:32 pm

Suggest you flush the system and make sure the return line in the master cylinder is no blocked. Rebuild MC if necessary, then bleed the system.
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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: mark75 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:25 pm

Howdy.

Welcome to VTF.
:yup:

I would add that if you still have the old OEM brake-lines, that could be, or might enhance the problem.

the lines had 3 layers, and as they aged the liner would break-down - either clogging the system or allowing the line to expand instead of forcing all the pressure on to caliper where it was supposed to be.

:con: Yamaha recommends replacing them every 5-7 years.

flush the system with rubbing alcohol, replace old brake lines with woven-steel ones and then you'll enjoy more responsive brake-action.

as faffi said: on the floor of your brake master-cylinder, you'll find 2 small holes - one is tiny [closest to M/C wall, IIRC] and could easily clog. it is the fluid-return vent. may need a welders "jet cleaning tool" similar to this to accomplish the task ---> https://www.amazon.com/Welding-cleaner- ... B01974FYWI

as long as you're doing all this, might as well re-build the M/C, while you're at it... [you'll need circlip pliers]
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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: randylexus » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:47 pm

Are there two small holes in the base of the master cylinder, i.e. one for sending pressured fluid and the other for return fluid? I am only seeing one.

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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:41 am

There's only one hole in the master.
Last edited by Flyingdog on Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: faffi » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:44 am

If it only has one hole it differ from all I have worked on, which have had one extremely fine hole and one bigger, the tiny being the return.
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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:59 am

Yes..you're right there is two..not the first time I made "that" mistake on the 1000. Compared to the 750 (huge openings)..the 1000 is smaller than a needle point. " IIRC " you really have to looked hard. Cuz it almost looks like just a machined divot just to the left of the plungers' hole (as looking from the seat--forwards). Fluid slightly darkened? Forget it..you'd never see it.
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Re: 1100 Virago Front Brakes Locked!

PostAuthor: randylexus » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:47 pm

You are exactly right, it looks like a machined divot! Who would have guessed there's a near microscopic hole in it????
Thanks again fellows, I really appreciate the info and verifications. Ride safe!
Randell C.

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