Front Brake Master Cylinder #3

2016-03-24 16.24.41

I got another front brake master cylinder off eBay.  The size this time?  Back to the original 1/2″.  Increasing the size of the master cylinder is a big mistake, don’t do it.  Instead, replace the caliper seals and then, if you still have problems, consider Dot 5 brake fluid (but satisfy yourself that this is a good idea).  There is a stamp on the reservoir saying Dot 3 or 4 only and the replacement caliper seals probably say something similar.  I’m keeping an eye on things but my seals do not appear to be dissolving so far.

Changed the front brake pads in both calipers, too, and finally have pads for the rear.  What with the two new tyres, Silver is going to be like a new bike.

Brake Light


Managed to negotiate LA with brake light permanently on. Switch and adjustable lever come from different parents but had been working together. A bit of scotch pad from the gopro has fixed it.

Now to have a go at TuneECU with my new OBD2 connector…

Hard Work

Blue gloves are for handling noxious substances and for role-play
Rear wheel bearing; this is one of the old ones.  Turns out people are right about jet washing.

DOT 5 - I'm not scared

DOT 5 – I’m not scared

Nice sunset

Nice sunset

Rear Wheel Bearings Replaced

New tools:

  • Hammer (second of trip) – discarded
  • Big screwdriver – discarded (bent)

Bearings went from noisy but no play to, surprisingly, noisy with play.  The load is so heavy, I worried they could actually collapse.

I did the work on a camposite after buying the second hammer of the trip and a big screwdriver to get the dust seals off.  I wish I’d bought new dust seals because they bend when you prise them off.

I was very conscious of the noise because it took a lot of hammering to shift the buggers.  Nonetheless, the only people that spoke to me came to make sure I had everything I needed.  One guy even brought Helen and I a beer each.  This is typical of Americans.

Front Brakes

New tools:

  • Set of picks, as used by a locksmith or a scouser
  • DOT 5 fluid

Front caliper seals replaced. Pistons so stuck I needed the hydraulics to squeeze them out… which is okay for the first one.  To shift the others, I replaced the first piston, poured back in the crappy old fluid that I had cought in a pan (no new stuff to spare), and then brought all the pistons to the brink of falling out in a grown-up game of closer.

You can get the seals out with a terminal screwdriver but it’s better to have a set of picks.  You then need to clear out all of the limescale from the seal seat; you can’t do this without something hook-shaped, hence the need for picks.

I used DOT 5 fluid.  It doesn’t mix with the old stuff and it may rot the seals… I’ll just keep an eye on it.

Front master piston replaced. Cheap master cylinder off ebay came with a replacement piston for free.  This really fills me full of confidence.

Utterly knackered now but at least there was a nice sunset.

Tiger at 7000 miles


Whoa! That got outta hand real quick. We now have a new battery and new regulator/rectifier.

The bad news is that we are $370 lighter. The good news is that I now have a new multimeter.

I also had a go at the rear brake. Got the pistons moving and changed one of the pads. One of the pads? Yes. I have now bought the wrong pads from two Triumph dealers. Boulder gave me front pads, useful later, Seattle tried to give me more front pads but I wasn’t having that. I made them give me the asymmetrical pads like in the back of my bike. They gave me asymmetrical but the mirror image of what I need. Ah well. The small one fitted in and that’s the one that wears with a (semi) sliding calliper.

Brake pads. These are the ones I need. How many sodding combinations can there be?

Bent Brake Pads!

2015-06-21 08.33.10
It’s just the brakes

Both front callipers have bent the outside brake pad. It’s clearly down to me not replacing everything correctly but I’ve srtipped and rebuilt these brakes a hundred times. I put it down to the change of rubbers (and pins) I did before last summer. The better fit of the new rubbers stops the carrier from retracting properly. Not a problem once the whole thing’s together and on the bike, but an obstacle to getting the thing on properly in the first place.

2015-06-21 08.32.44

New front brake master cylinder

Okay, I’ve ordered this.  It’s a front brake master cylinder, complete with lever, from a  ZRX1100.  I was fed up of whinging about the brakes so I just ordered it from eBay without thinking about it too much.

I then had the following conversation with my mate Jason.  Anyone who knows Jason knows Jason knows.

We’re home now and the master cylinder is due to arrive today.  I have to keep a watch out the window because DHL can’t get a heavy item like this up the 5cm door step to our building so they tend to just leave a ‘you were out’ notice then bog off for a fag.

Hopefully, the master cylinder will arrive shortly.  I’ll slap it on, test the bike and update this blog with the good news that the infamously bad Tiger 955i brakes are now fab.

Otherwise, I’ll quietly remove this post and order a more sensible alternative.

I should really credit this chap

Surprise, surprise: it didn’t arrive. No chance of it coming till Tuesday, now, because of Jesus, chocolate and not really being dead when you die. Or something.

I might as well get on with other maintenance.