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Ironhead Sportster 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake

Ironhead Sportster 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake

Harley Davidson did make rear disc brakes for the 1979 XL Ironhead Sportster. This is how the rear brakes were set up on an Ironhead Sportster from 1979 until 1981. It is just that the rear brake caliper changed from 1982 and later. This covers the rear brake used from 1979 till 1981.

                                    

Ironhead Sportster 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake Caliper Is Shown

The Ironhead Sportster 1979 to 1981 rear brake caliper is shown at Ironhead 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake Caliper Figure.  It shows how the caliper is made up of one rear brake master cylinder that is connected to the rear brake caliper by a brake line. The rear brake master cylinder is operated when the brake pedal pushes the push rod into it. On stock Ironhead the master cylinder gets mounted on the outer sprocket cover right in front of the rear exhaust pipe. From 1979 to 1981 the rear brake caliper gets bolted to the caliper mounting bracket which fits on the right side of the rear swing arm. The whole brake system aligns up with the rear wheel brake disc. Why did an Ironhead Sportster have to switch away from drum rear brakes?

Ironhead Sportster 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake Master Cylinder

The Ironhead Sportster 1919 to 1981 rear brake master cylinder holds the needed brake fluid. It is a small container with a cover and gasket on top of it. The brake fluid gets pushed through the brake line every time the brake pedal is pushed down on. The pedal has a push rod, lock nut and rod end put in place on it with a retaining pin held there by a retaining ring. A spring that sits in between two cupped washers on the push rod hold the brake pedal up and return it there after the rider pushes down upon it. The push rod and spring gets covered by a rubber boot. Why do Ironhead Sportster rear brake pedals get pressed by right feet? 

Ironhead Sportster 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake Master Cylinder Cleaning

Ironhead Sportster 1979 to 1981 master cylinders should be cleaned using denatured alcohol or some Dot 5 brake fluid. Do not use mineral base cleaning solvents such as gasoline or paint thinner. Use of mineral base solvents will cause deterioration of rubber parts that will continue after assembly which could result in component failure. Why shouldn’t plain brake fluid work better than battery acid?

Ironhead Sportster 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake Caliper

The Ironhead Sportster 1979 to 1981 rear brake caliper that was available from 1979 to 1981 has an inner and outer caliper. The inner caliper sits on the wheel side of the swing-arm. The outer caliper sits on the opposite side of the swing-arm.  The two pieces are bolted together with a piston and pad set in between them. The piston site in the outer caliper. The piston gets pushed toward the inner caliper. That allows the brake pads to get pushed together upon the rear wheel disc. In between the pads and caliper sides there is an inner and outer pad. There is a seal and boot on the outer caliper and around the piston. The outer caliper had one handy bit to it called the bleeding fitting. Why don’t brand new car brakes still bleed like old pickup truck ones did in the eighties?

Ironhead Sportster 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake Mounting Bracket

The Ironhead Sportster 1979 to 1981 rear brake mounting bracket was relatively small. It sits on the left hand rear swing-arm from the rear axle forward, The rear end of the bracket works like a spacer between the rear wheel and swing arm. The rest of the bracket works forward sitting inside the swing-arm. The rear brake caliper gets bolted on top of it with the brake hose and bleeder fitting facing foreword. To remove it from the swing arm one has to pull the rear axle out of the rear wheel and pull them out of the way. Why are the rear disc brakes out in the open like this?

Ironhead Sportster 1979 To 1981 Rear Brake Problem Solving

Some Ironhead Sportster 1979 to 1981 rear brake problem saolving is relatively imple. Every once in a while the Ironhead Sportster rear disc brakes can lock up. One can be out around town and the rear brakes will not release after they get slammed on. There is one easy technique at Ironhead Sportster Rear Brake Problem Solving. When the rear brakes lock up like this all the biker has to do is bleed them. That releases all the air that builds up for some reason into the brake hose. The only thing that is really required is a wrench that fits the bleeder valve. Holding the wrench on to the bleeder a biker just has to press the brake pedal in a few times until it starts to feel right. Then one just has to open the bleeder until the air flushes out. Then shut the bleeder fitting all the way in. One can press the brake pedal by hand or using a foot. Which ever way makes it easier to bleed the Ironhead Sportster rear brakes. Why shouldn’t chopper rear brakes lock as quickly as the ones on some old car?

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    March 13, 2011

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