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Caliper paint stripping? 16 Jan 2021 23:55 #841850

  • z1kzonly
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OK! Someone here or 1 of the FB Kaw sites talked about submerging the whole caliper in a cheap quart of dot 3 Brake Fluid, and let it sit. Weeks, Month? the stuff that eats paint!
And leaving all the rubber components inside?? I'll try it! But, with the seals and dust cover, O-rings?
I'm hoping it works! Then just wash it good before some paint. :laugh: :laugh:
Because the crap, whimpy chemical paint stripper in cold weather ain't doing it! This bike had some ugly parts! They worked good. I am flipping them around, just made some short steel lines for the old stainless steel braided.
I told Matt Mikaw about dot 5 silicone. I painted my Harley front master cyl. YES! 1992 or 93 with DuPont Centari Acrylic Enamel! Yu have to be old to know that stuff! And it's still fine! And if I took cover off top. The fluid is still a purple color! It does not absorb moisture. Plus the other project I painted with modern 2K urethane clear coat, with dot 5 still fine.
Livin in "CheektaVegas, NY
Still have a Kaw! 76 KZ900 Pro-Street.
Went thru 25 of these in 40 yrs.

And The Old Girl, Harley 75 FLH Electra Glide,
Old faithful! Points ign. Bendix Orig. carb.
Starts everytime!

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Caliper paint stripping? 17 Jan 2021 06:28 #841864

  • 650ed
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If you haven't done it in a long while you may want to change your DOT-5 brake fluid with new DOT-5 fluid. The reason is that DOT-5 doesn't absorb moisture, but moisture still gets in the brake lines and puddles in one spot. While the fluid may look perfectly fine in the reservoir, the puddle may be down at the caliper and cause problems. The link below gives a description of the issue. Ed

techtalk.mpbrakes.com/brake-fluid/can-i-use-dot-5
1977 KZ650-C1 Original Owner - Stock (with additional invisible FIAMM horn)
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Caliper paint stripping? 17 Jan 2021 08:24 #841868

  • martin_csr
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I wouldn't think Dot 3 would harm the rubber components, since Dot 3 is specified on a KZ.
I soaked a master cylinder in Dot 3, washed that off, then hit it with a small wire wheel to remove whatever paint was left. then painted it.

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Last edit: by martin_csr.

Caliper paint stripping? 17 Jan 2021 09:57 #841875

  • Mikaw
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Marty, yes thanks I’m planning on using DOT 5. Look at you with the Right & Left calipers. I was lucky enough to find the correct Right caliper and bracket. Not easy to do. I soaked mine in Berrymans and kept scraping away at the loose paint then back into the Berrymans. Then took the dremel to them with small wire wheels to remove the last of the paint.
1976 KZ 900 A4 kzrider.com/forum/11-projects/613548-1976-kz-900-a4
1976 KZ 900 B1 LTD
1978 KZ 1000 B2 LTD
Kowledge Speaks, But Wisdom Listens.
Jimi Hendrix.

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Last edit: by Mikaw. Reason: Spelling

Caliper paint stripping? 17 Jan 2021 10:21 #841881

  • z1kzonly
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Yes, common sense will prevail! I will take them apart, glass bead them, I'm afraid of what I'll see, (pitted pistons) then paint them.
Then I will be making new custom SS braided #3 hose with the factory 10mm / 1.5 pitch fittings going up to the banjo's
Livin in "CheektaVegas, NY
Still have a Kaw! 76 KZ900 Pro-Street.
Went thru 25 of these in 40 yrs.

And The Old Girl, Harley 75 FLH Electra Glide,
Old faithful! Points ign. Bendix Orig. carb.
Starts everytime!

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Caliper paint stripping? 17 Jan 2021 10:40 #841886

  • z1kzonly
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If you haven't done it in a long while you may want to change your DOT-5 brake fluid with new DOT-5 fluid. The reason is that DOT-5 doesn't absorb moisture, but moisture still gets in the brake lines and puddles in one spot. While the fluid may look perfectly fine in the reservoir, the puddle may be down at the caliper and cause problems. The link below gives a description of the issue. Ed
Thanks Ed, I actually did change the front brake hose and restored the original 75 front banana caliper, maybe 10 yrs. ago and changed fluid. I found a 2014 picture. Before my current 75 FLH - HD 2019 status. Wait till you see my original paint decal 1975 gas tanks. Coming soon! Harleys are not for everyone and vice versa with Kaws, But I love and grew up on both. I was looking for a brake caliper picture and came across this one! Ain't She a beauty! I also build Mini-Bikes too. Now you guys know why I never finished the Kaw Hot Rod YET! Always doing other stuff!

techtalk.mpbrakes.com/brake-fluid/can-i-use-dot-5

Livin in "CheektaVegas, NY
Still have a Kaw! 76 KZ900 Pro-Street.
Went thru 25 of these in 40 yrs.

And The Old Girl, Harley 75 FLH Electra Glide,
Old faithful! Points ign. Bendix Orig. carb.
Starts everytime!

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Caliper paint stripping? 17 Jan 2021 13:57 #841898

  • Nessism
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Negative on DOT 5. It can lead to a spongy lever feel and as mentioned, it doesn't absorb moisture so water can puddle in the system. I use DOT 4, new brake lines and system fully cleaned out, when restoring a brake system. Not to mention, DOT 5 doesn't mix with 3 or 4 so you need to do a full tear down and clean out every possible spec of fluid out of the system before switching.

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Caliper paint stripping? 18 Jan 2021 11:56 #841948

  • Rick H.
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z1kzonly: Your pictures of the Harleys bring back some fond memories for me. Does the black FL have a 1st generation theft alarm on it? Looks like it does. Can't tell you how many of those alarms got tossed because they didn't work very well and would lead to rear fender cracks due to vibration. I love the mini-bike too, does it have brakes or just a "feet brake"?

Rick H.
Rick H.

1977 Kawasaki KZ-1000A1
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Caliper paint stripping? 18 Jan 2021 22:58 #841988

  • Irish Yobbo
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Regarding the DOT number of the brake fluid, what everyone else here has said is correct. DOT 5 is not hygroscopic, so it won't absorb moisture, but it will pool somewhere in the lines. This is not a good feature, this is an unfortunate side-effect. DOT 3 and 4 are hygroscopic, so they will slowly absorb moisture. Eventually the fluid will absorb enough moisture that it's boiling point drops and it should be replaced. Using DOT 5 without ever changing it can result in corrosion where the water pools, or even worse - a pocket of steam when your fluid temperature gets too high.

If you really need that extra temperature resistance over DOT4, DOT 5.1 exists - and that is another glycol based fluid like DOT 3 and 4, and can be used in any DOT3 or 4 system. The DOT 5.1 standard also has a boiling point higher than the DOT 5 standard. So I really don't see any benefit of using DOT 5 - the only minor benefit is that it doesn't corrode paint.
1981 KZ750 LTD
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Caliper paint stripping? 19 Jan 2021 07:47 #842004

  • Shankkole
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I have used oven cleaner to strip many finishes. It acts like a spray foam muriatic acid.I rinse off with a harbor freight cup gun with lacquer thinner and rags. I have used it to clean old boiler parts and furnace orifices.also BEAUTIFUL bikes man!
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Last edit: by Shankkole. Reason: im crazy

Caliper paint stripping? 19 Jan 2021 09:19 #842010

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It's just the labor time and old worn out body parts and too much to do factor for me!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Now look at this set up I came up with! Only about 2 years! I sold this on ebay! Think what it brought for a price 1st. ??
Of course all the rubber was used, but in my opinion, I would have used it!
And, I have been trying to give up this Mad Kaw Disease for years. Every time I say I'm done, I find or buy more stuff! I'm 63 this week!
And These parts went to $80 dollars. I was happy. But it most likely took me a whole week and about $25 bucks worth of electricity to do it! :laugh: Anyone on this site buy them?? These were my ebay ad pics. October of 2018 pic file said.
Tells Ya' like all of us here we love these old motorcycles, Me Both HD and Kaw.
Yes I have Harley ink in my body, of course! But no Kaw ink:laugh:
But now I think? I should have gotten a cool type Z1 engine or drag bike or??? And I would not have regretted it today!
Livin in "CheektaVegas, NY
Still have a Kaw! 76 KZ900 Pro-Street.
Went thru 25 of these in 40 yrs.

And The Old Girl, Harley 75 FLH Electra Glide,
Old faithful! Points ign. Bendix Orig. carb.
Starts everytime!

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Caliper paint stripping? 19 Jan 2021 09:58 #842013

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z1kzonly: Your pictures of the Harleys bring back some fond memories for me. Does the black FL have a 1st generation theft alarm on it? Looks like it does. Can't tell you how many of those alarms got tossed because they didn't work very well and would lead to rear fender cracks due to vibration. I love the mini-bike too, does it have brakes or just a "feet brake"?
Rick H.


Thanks Rick, Yes OEM alarm from 75. And this was an old New York plate that was on my 1stlegal road bike! A little Suzuki Trails 90cc in 76, then it went on a KZ900 in 77. So glad I saved it. New York lets you use old plates as the bike is registered Antique. And the OEM Eagle in correct place on fender. That FL has not gone over 50 MPH in 20 years! Everyone tossed them alarms! They put them on Sportsters too! Still has the little vials of MERCURY in them. Check out my wall with one of the alarms. Has a Wisconsin Plate (Milwaukee-HD) & 1974 (1200cc =74 Cubic inch) How cool is that for an old Harley collectible item. Yes mini bike has a scrub brake. Here was the finished product. The handle bars are 1" on these things So I have white HD coke bottle grips, and a white brake pedal rubber from a Superglide. foot pegs have white bicycle grips. That's my grand daughter and son. Reason I built the mini bike. I had the blue paint so I used it. Plus I painted the helmet to match. Pics are from 2015.
Livin in "CheektaVegas, NY
Still have a Kaw! 76 KZ900 Pro-Street.
Went thru 25 of these in 40 yrs.

And The Old Girl, Harley 75 FLH Electra Glide,
Old faithful! Points ign. Bendix Orig. carb.
Starts everytime!

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