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Thread: Front brake locking up, ZTL / Gafler / Nissan - PLEASE HELP!

  1. #11
    Senior Member BuellyBagger's Avatar
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    I'm going to tell you what I would do in this situation. I can say from experience dealing with inconpatent technicians at the auto dealer I work at and lazy and incompetent techs @the harley shop I had taken my bike to in the past. Id Go get the bike, tell them you'll pay the original (I hope no more than an hour maybe 1.5) labor for installing the rotor and nothing more. Take the bike home and carefully follow John's instructions. Take it as a lesson that if you're going to do modifications to your motorcycle you'd better be able to do it yourself or don't do it. Dealer techs are trained to do warranty work and recalls not do custom work. Not only that, they don't want to... it usually turns out to be a no paying PITA

  2. #12
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    This is not a "Buell thing" it is a "motorcycle thing". There is nothing special about the Buell brake system they shouldn't know before they committed to working on it. If they didn't know, they should have turned you away at the door. They took your money and need to provide you the result they promised (a working brake system).

    To fix the bike, Lunatic has layed out the clear path of the right things to check. You (or they) can use the close up pics in the first post (below) for proper orientation of the hardware and square-ISH rotor spacers.

    https://www.buellxb.com/forum/showth...l-instructions

    The Nissan radial caliper shouldn't have the typical 'wrong aftermarket levers on a Buell makes the front brakes lock up' BUT make sure the aftermarket levers you have on that master cylinder aren't compressing the piston at rest. Make SURE there is a little clearance between the lever plunger and the master cylinder piston.

    To fix the situation:
    1) Know what you want. Personally I wouldn't pay a dime, but thats up to you.
    2) Take all your paperwork, have your facts straight, especially what you have already done for them and how much it cost you.
    3) SET AN APPOINTMENT and go in and speak to the person in charge. Be polite, and be FIRM about what you want.

    Know this: If they won't agree to the terms you want, they won't release the bike to you. That's fine, you can't ride it anyway. Set up a small claims dispute if it's worth your time.
    Don't think paying them, then disputing the charges is a good idea either. Your payment (and signing the work order) is your agreement to pay them, so don't do that if you don't agree.

    IMO, by them saying "its the master cylinder" then oops, "its the caliper" tells me they don't know anything. Whats next? 'its the brake line'? theres nothing else left to swap!

  3. #13
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    My money is on the rotor fitment or improper installation of said rotor.

  4. #14
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    Thank you, all. I am taking into complete consideration all you have posted.

    Interesting that the dealer re-installed the original stock rotor and now it is still locking up. Off hand it does seem like they may not installing the rotor correctly.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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  6. #16
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    Attachment 10628
    Attachment 10629
    Attachment 10630
    Attachment 10631
    Attachment 10631

    Here is the rest of the story.

    I rented (!) a trailer to pick up the Buell from the Harley repair shop, like the shop told me to. When I arrived, the service manager who had been dealing with me wasn't there, and I fortunately spoke to a lead service manager. I told him I was told to pick up my non-working motorcycle, he grabbed the invoice on which was billed nearly $700 in labor (!) for all the time they spent (wasted). When I explained to him why I was there and a synopsis of the ordeal, he was like whoa, this is just not right, went and spoke to the head service manager, when they both wanted to talk to me. After having me explaining to them in detail all that had taken place, they embarrassingly apologized and asked me if I was willing to give them an opportunity to personally have a go at troubleshooting the problem.

    Picked up the Buell from the dealer repair shop today. Bottom line is this story has a happy ending in that the shop succeeded in installing the Galfer wave rotor and (finally) figured out the problem with the brakes locking up. The root cause was apparently obstruction of the brake line. The dealer proved this out by installing the brake rotor and brake line removed from the dealership owners' personal Buell (you got that, right - this Harley Davidson dealership owner doesn't ride a Harley - she rides a Buell). After the system worked with this combination, they apparently blew out my brake line with compressed air before they installed it and all the rest of my front brake parts back on the Buell and everything worked. They reduced the bill to the standard amount of labor to remove and replace a front rotor. I could have fought that, but I stayed the good guy, glad this 4 week mess was over. My test drive was my 20 mile ride home, and I can say at this interim that this front brake combination is quite good indeed. I highly recommend this mod. I just hope that, if you don't do it yourself, who you have do it knows what they are doing.

    Thank you again for the advice, everyone.
    Last edited by vtech007; 10-18-2018 at 08:19 AM.

  7. #17
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    Glad you got it fixed

  8. #18
    Senior Member BuellyBagger's Avatar
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    Good deal! I'm glad that there's still some good folks in shops out there. Ask them if THEY can fix a rocker box leak on a milwaukee 8 the first time?! (long story)

  9. #19
    Senior Member Chicknstripn's Avatar
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    I’m glad I have the time, tools and patience to my own maintenance.
    I’d hate having to put my bike in someone else’s hands.

    Glad your bike is sorted out.

    And I’m happy to hear they didn’t try to stick you with a $700 bill for their lack of brake trouble shooting expertise.

    My advice, if you have to pay someone to do work for you, find another shop. The shop you had your bike at obviously values their time more than yours.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Glad it worked out. Seems like you talked to the right person this time. Keep their card handy!
    It wouldn't hurt to hit up their bike-nights once in awhile to glad hand the owner as well.

    It's a shame you even need to do that to get good service, but thats the world we live in



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