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Fresh EBC Shoes, Front Brakes Still Suck 2001 XR80R

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I've read the front brakes suck, but they can't suck this bad!!! I just installed fresh EBC's front and rear on the '01 XR80R, adjusted the slack out of the cable and the brakes suck. Should I be able to pull the lever to the grip with all the adjustments backed all the way out? 

 

I didn't mic out the front drum (the bike looks like new though) to see if it's beyond spec. Maybe it's that or the cable is stretching too much?

 

 

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Another possiblity is that someone has fitted an

incorrect cable - the outer sheath may be shorter

than your application requires, hence the inability

to take up enough slack with the OEM adjusters.

Likewise, are the new shoes the correct parts for

this app?

It isn't clear whether both front and rear brakes fail

to have adequate take-up adjustment, or just the

front following shoe replacement.

Older bikes have an indicator cast onto the outer

face of the Brake Panel (holds shoes and mechanism).

There is a sheet metal pointer with a splined hole that

fits onto the actuator shaft under the lever.

This pointer is there to give a quick visual indication of

excessive shoe/drum wear. If the pointer has been

installed on the spline so that its punched dot is aligned

with the dot on the end of the splined actuator shaft

and if the cable lever can rotate the shaft such that the

pointer reaches or passes the indicator cast into the face

of the brake panel, then there is too much wear/clearance

between the shoes and drum. If the pointer does NOT

rotate around to the indicator, this signifies that excessive

travel at the lever is due to issues with other components.

Were the drums cleaned? If so, how? Was grease or oil

applied to any points on the brake panel?

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Honda lists two choices of shoes for the front brakes

on an '01 XR80R.

P/N #06430-GN1-730 lists at $18, the other P/N rings

in at $19. In stock at the local dealer for p/u today.

At DennisKirk, EBC Sintered Metal 333G price out at

$19. Their Sport Carbon 333 ring in at $14. If they have

these in stock, it is at least a day, probably more before

domestic customers will recieve the box. Foreigners

like me can count on waiting a minimum of ten days,

as well as having to pay shipping and anywhere from

$5 for brokerage if the parcel travels by post to who

knows WHAT princely sum if it ships by UPS Canada.

EBC is a great resource when OEM is NLA. But my

experience is that, if Honda still lists an item, stock

trumps aftermarket. At least check and compare ...

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All pivot points need to be lubed with hi temp brake grease. Cable needs to be well lubed also. Engines Only sells a heavy front brake cable, www.xr100.com

 

Last item is to center the brake hub. Loosen the axle nut just enough so you can move the brake hub around, Squeeze the brake lever firmly and hold tight while you tighten the axle nut.  This will center the brake pad pressure in the drum. It will take a bit for the pads to seat but you should center the brake hub any time you tighten the axle nut.

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Terminator Front Brake Cable #80120-TFC for $45 + shipping

Honda OEM Cable, Fr Brake #45450-GN1-A21 for $15 at your

local dealer. Certain to fit.

How hard do you squeeze the front lever, anyway? For too many

riders, stretching or breaking the front brake cable is a highly

unlikely occurance.

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Always sand/deglaze drums first before replacing shoes. Lube all pivots including at the brake lever.

Lube the cable with a lube tool and cable lube.

All shoes, including OEM need to be worn in and seated before they feel firm and 100% normal.

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You can also rotate the arm on the drum a spline or two, that will take up more cable if adjustment is a problem.  I don't have a 80, but on my kids xr100 the brake works pretty well if adjusted properly.

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GN1-A21 is what my front brake cable appears to say. Looks like a stock Honda brake line? Anything is possible with this bike, I did some trading to get it. I installed EBC part # 14-333 front and rear on the 2001 Honda XR80R. I cleaned the drums and all brake parts with an aerosol brake parts cleaner and rags, then compressed air. Pivots were lightly greased with high temp wheel bearing grease. I didn't sand the drums because, well, I just didn't think about it at the time. They are easy enough to pull back apart and sand and/or relube pivots. No other lube was applied to any other area yet. Will lube cables at a later time. I used to race mountain bikes, so I'm well versed in cable repair/replacement and lube/maintenance. I know what it does when you adjust the tensioners. 

 

I chose EBC pads because I've used them on many of my vehicles, and I like them. However, I agree that factory parts are great in most cases. 

 

It's not that I'm squeezing the lever excessively hard, it's that the lever (front brake) travels all the way to the grip with the adjustments (at the lever and at the drum) backed all the way out. The rear brake seems fine. That one is the least of my concern at this point.

 

I understand that you have to seat the brakes, but this isn't going to get better after seating. 

 

"Last item is to center the brake hub. Loosen the axle nut just enough so you can moveicon1.png the brake hub around, Squeeze the brake lever firmly and hold tight while you tighten the axle nut.  This will center the brake pad pressure in the drum. It will take a bit for the pads to seat but you should center the brake hub any time you tighten the axle nut. "

 

I will have to try this also. I'm thinking it either has the wrong brake cable, the cable is old and worn out, or the drum is beyond spec and the shoes have to travel too far to stop the bike.

 

For what it's worth, the bike hasn't left the garage yet. This is with me sitting on it and pushing it around.

 

"You can also rotate the arm on the drum a spline or two, that will take up more cable if adjustment is a problem.  I don't have a 80, but on my kids xr100 the brake works pretty well if adjusted properly."

 

That's a great idea! I might have to try that if all else fails.

 

Thanks to all who replied.

Edited by Dini

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Dini,

 

Having just worked on your brakes, the manner in which the
shoes are mounted to the Brake Panel will be fresh in your
mind.

 

One end of the castings that act as backing plates for the brake
friction material rests on a pedestal fixed into the brake panel,
the other end slots loosely into a recess on the inboard end of
the splined shaft known as the brake cam.  Two springs hold
the two brake shoes in place.

 

This arrangement allows the brake shoes to 'float' and readily
self-align into position, relative to the drum.  There is little to be
gained in terms of brake performance or durability from tiddling
around positioning the brake panel while the axle is loose that
could not be equally achieved by applying the brake and rocking
the bike back and forth slightly once or twice.

 

Regarding repositioning the brake lever on the splined shaft.
As mentioned previously, the end of the shaft likely has a stamped
dot.  The lever ought to have one, too.  If present, these should
be aligned as the lever is installed onto the shaft.

 

I am guessing that your 14-333 are the EBC Sport Carbon shoes
offered by DK as #333.

 

Don't sweat about not sanding/deglazing the drums.

 

Actually, if you wanted to go all OCD on this task (aka: do it the
RIGHT way) then the brake maintenance procedure would include
'arcing' the shoes - using a fixture to grind the circumference of
the shoe to an arc slightly different than that of the drum for the
purpose of ensuring smooth progressive application rather than
abrupt grabbing.  A routine practice back in the day of automotive
drum brake service.  Above and beyond for purposes here.

 

Incidently, if you notice advertisments for 'brake arcing' showing
a machine performing an operation on a drum, the operation shown
is NOT 'arcing'.  What is shown in the picture is the refinishing/resizing
of the drum (and they are not doing this by hand with sand paper.)

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GN1-A21 is what my front brake cable appears to say. Looks like a stock Honda brake line?

 

Yes.

 

I installed EBC part # 14-333 front and rear

The rear brake seems fine.

 

It's not that I'm squeezing the lever excessively hard, it's that the lever (front brake) travels

all the way to the grip with the adjustments (at the lever and at the drum) backed all the

way out.

 

That the rear brake seems fine suggests that the EBC #333 shoe set

is compatible.

 

Stock cable.  Compatible shoes.  So take chadzu's suggestion to look at

how the slave lever at the brake panel is positioned on the splines of the

shaft for the brake cam.  Ditto for the sheet metal brake wear indicator

mentioned in an earlier post.

 

Are there dots, if so, how are these aligned?

 

When you move the slave lever by hand, can you feel the shoes engage

firmly in the drum?  As the brake cam shaft rotates w/ the lever, does the

sheet metal wear indicator stop short of the mark cast in the face of the

brake panel?  If it goes past the mark, the cam is rotating too far and this

indicates something amiss inside - ie:  the shoes and drum do not match

up, size-wise.

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So here's my update...

 

 

I tore everything back apart. The front brake lever/perch is aftermarket, but "meant for" an '01 XR80R. May not have the right throw, as mentioned. The brake drum has been checked for max diameter, 95.3008 is what it measured. Max diameter is 96mm. The front brake cable is brand new OEM Honda, and the part number has been checked half a dozen times. It is also the same number as the one that I replaced. The EBC shoes I installed are part number 14-333, which have also been checked half a dozen times. 

 

Still the same issue: adjustments at lever and brake drum backed all the way out, insufficient brakes. I can still pull the lever all the way to the bar. There is enough "meat" left on the brake drum that I should be getting brakes. 

 

I actually mocked it all up without the front wheel to see what was happening when the brakes were applied, and it looks as though the EBC brake shoe lining is either too thin, or the lever/perch isn't pulling enough cable to activate the brakes correctly. Either way, no brakes. I priced out OEM shoes, they are around $20 at the dealer. However,they are very proud of the entire front brake lever/perch assembly (which is sold in pieces) at around $80 with my discount!!! (OUCH). 

 

Where do I go now? New lever/perch or shoes? I don't really want to keep throwing parts at this front brake, but it needs to work. The brake has "slop" ( a little side to side movement) inside the drum when I install it. Is it suppose to? Also, the "slave arm" I think someone else called it cannot be clocked. It has a "dead spline" (what my ASE certified mechanic friend called it) and it can only be installed one way. Like a woodruff key. 

 

The wear indicator turns when you apply the brakes, but doesn't come to the other stationary arrow when applied, if that makes sense. That tells me it isn't at max wear.

Edited by Dini

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The wear indicator turns when you apply the brakes, but doesn't

come to the other stationary arrow when applied, if that

makes sense. That tells me it isn't at max wear.

My vote:

Get a perch that works with that OEM cable. Or get a

cable that works with that aftermarket perch (by having

a shorter cable-to-sheath relationship.)

Edited by EddyCurr

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Another permutation is to get a shorter 'Arm, Fr Brake'

- Honda's name for the part that has been called the

Slave Arm.

I do not know whether a suitable part is available OEM

or otherwise.

The relevance is that with the drum/shoes within spec

and the remark that that the Wear Indicator pointer is

not rotating to the match mark cast into the brake panel

this seems to affirm that there is a mismatch between

the lever ratios at the perch and at the panel.

In this situation my previous suggestion for a cable with

less travel (cable to sheath) is a kludge. When the

Take-Up mechanism is adjusted sufficiently to provide

braking with the lever touching the grip, I predict that

with the perch lever in the released position, the 'Arm,

Fr Brake will be restrained from returning to the fully

retracted position. As long as the shoes are not in

contact with the drum, I suppose this is not an issue,

but it is not as designed.

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Did you install the perch? If so, did the fr brakes

ever work following its installation?

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Bracket, R Handle Lever 53171-KN4-A60 is common

for '01-'03 XR80 & 100 bikes.

However, Cable, Fr Brake 45450-GN1-A21 is common

to '98-'03 XR80 and '04-'13 CRF80 bikes.

This information expands the list of possible donors for

a good used complete OEM perch/lever assembly at

something less than the price for piecing together new

individual components.

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EddyCurr,

 

Many possible fixes have crossed my mind. Below is the link to the exact aftermarket levers I bought for the bike. In hind sight, probably a bad move. But again, it is an XR80R with one of the most simple braking systems you can get. These levers should have worked. They still might, but as for now they are still suspect. I've had plenty of dirt bikes and ATV's that I have put all sorts of different levers and perches on. Always made it work.

 

Normally I would just make what I've got work, no matter what I had to do. My first thought when I realized the slave arm had a dead spline, was to break out my Dremel tool and grind it right out of the arm (it looks like it's on the arm and not the splined shaft). Then clock it as much as needed, and problem solved. Another thought I had was to find a shorter cable. Perhaps a front brake cable from an XR70? Might be just about right. Or maybe a set of shoes for another application that had liners that were twice as thick? I even thought about putting small spacers on the end of the cam so the brake shoes would be closer to the drum before the lever is even pulled. Or maybe a combination of these fixes to make it work. I'm certain I could "make it work" somehow, but I shouldn't have to do that. It's a mostly stock appearing bike that I'm trying to get back running again for some kids to ride. I suppose I will just have to start throwing OEM parts at it until it works. If it still doesn't work then, I will modify whatever I need to so that it will work.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Clutch-and-Brake-Perch-Lever-Fits-Crf-Xr-80-100-1979-2012-Crf80-Crf100-Xr80-P-/400702576664?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&fits=Model%3AXR80R&hash=item5d4bbc1818&vxp=mtr

 

 

You seem very knowledgeable about motorcycles. If you had a spare moment, and wouldn't mind checking this link to see if the lever for sale here is, in fact, OEM just by looking at it I would be very appreciative. The guy/company selling it doesn't know FOR SURE that it is indeed OEM, so I'm hesitant to buy. I would just hate to buy it and be in the same boat as I'm currently in. Thanks for all your replies.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2001-HONDA-XR80-XR-80-XR-FRONT-BRAKE-ASSEMBLY-/161236252208?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item258a6df630&vxp=mtr

Edited by Dini

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Also, does anyone happen to know what a brand new front hub starts out with for brake drum thickness? The Honda dealer didn't have that info. Minimum thickness is 96mm. I'd like to know how much is missing already.

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