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My rear brakes suck, need help to fix

12814 Views 25 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  racerock1
They are squealing and seem to want to hold when going up inclines. How can i properly adjust these to work correctly? What needs replacing just the shoes or does someone make a kit to rebuild it? Also the highlifter kit for the rear is just one disc on the right rear or does it go to both wheels? I have heard that HL's pads wear very quickly, is this true? And how long do rotors tend to last? sorry for all the questions but thanks for the help
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I'm right there with you. Mine still work fine for some unknown reason,
but as soon as they go out i want to go to the disk set up. Granted the
pads do wear out faster, but how long can it possibly take to put pads
in? They will stop a lot better & i won't have to do all the maintainence
to the breaks just to keep the mud & water out. If you have the money
i would say go ahead & get the disk set up.
The pads seem expensive to be replacing every couple months or so @ like 65 to 75 for just the front pads. I have heard that the extreme kit is better and will hold up longer. I just dont have that kind of cash especially
right here at christmas. Is there a complete kit anywhere that includes rear brake shoes and all other peices to rebuil dthe drum? I noticed that the drain line was damaged off the drum and mud and sand are in there, anyone have any tips on where to get a new drain line? Does anyone have the rear brake conversion on theres? thnaks
Go to for any stock part you need.
They have it all.
QUOTE ("Chevync20":392dvqj8)
They are squealing and seem to want to hold when going up inclines.
Only on inclines? Not on level ground? Do you have the wingnuts adjusted in all the way? Is the lever positioned correctly? There are some alignment marks to position the lever at the drum. I had a similiar problem with mine. If you open up the drum you will see what spreads the shoes open to apply braking force. If this pivot point gets completely vertical, the brakes will not spring back. Mine still had plenty of material on the shoes but not enough movement range to make use of it. I added a bead of weld along each side of the pivot to give more range of movement. It worked like a charm. I wish I had taken some pics.
Maybe i spoke too soon about my brakes. One of the little bolts was loose
that holds the drum on. As soon as i saw it i thought "oh no". I took the
drum off & whamo! All wet & rusty. I was wonderin' why i was havin'
trouble stopping yesterday. I definately see disk brakes goin' on in the
By the way, where is the best place to order the disk brakes from?
Also, which ones are better? Highlifters or Extreme disk brakes?
my Highlifter disc brakes went through pads like there was no tomorrow, dont know how much I would recommend those.
Should i just rebuild the right front brake or just go ahead & get the
disk brakes? I'm leanin' more towards the disk brakes just for the piece
of mind that i'll be able to stop & not worrying about water gettin' in the
drums although this was my fault. They have never leaked before. I use
marine grease around the seals. I made sure to torque the bolts really
good today so they don't come out again.
I know the Extreme discs do not have holes like the HL ones do. Supposed to make the pads wear longer. I dont have the rear kit, but my fronts use Arctic Cat pads. You can get the severe duty pads for mud. They are supposed to last longer.
Check with ATV Outfitters.
Is that where you bought yours from? All i saw on there was the Highlifter
disk brakes. I am leanin' towards the Extreme disk brakes unless
someone changes my mind, but i would take Highlifters over the drums
im guessing, and im sure i will take some crap for this, but, i think drum brakes, if kept dry and clean will work better. My disc brakes on my 500 pretty much become useless when im in the mud and water untill they clean themselves, or dry up.
That is a very good point there Robb. I really like my drums, but i have
to constantly keep up with the maintainence with them. As opposed to
the disk, all you do is change the pads. I really can't complain about my
brakes. The left front was just as pretty as the day i bought it. I bet if i
work on them some more, they would probably be alright. How do i get
all of that rust & goop out of there. I sprayed a lot of brake cleaner on
there today. It worked some, but not good enough. I scrubbed them &
did the best i could with the time i had. I'm quite sure the right front is
shot, but maybe with a little more effort put into it, i might can bring them
back to life.
when I bought my 450 the brakes were a total mess, I tried and tried to get them working good, but I never had any luck. Thats when I get the disc brakes. Seems like once the seal breaks and they get wet once, its hard to get them back to normal again.
That's not what i wanted to hear
QUOTE ("Railroader":2qgdn3ws)
That's not what i wanted to hear
You need to replace the seals on the Drum brakes. The only thing that can stop my bike are the front discs. The rears are useless.

Robb why would you need brakes in the mud and water anyway? Its not like you have to stop to drive around Railroader.
funny your rears are useless, my rear brakes are way better then my fronts.
I think my seals are gone. Even though I rerouted my ventlines I still get water into the drum. I drain it pretty much after every ride.
The seals ain't where the water came in at. The two bolts that hold the
drum on, one was loose & that is where the water came in at. My seals
are still in great shape.
My seals were great at keeping the water and mud in! Not out.
Railroader, yes, I got mine at ATV Outfitters. Not everything is on the web site. Give Matt a call.
I also had no trouble coming out of the mud. The discs still grabbed hard right away.
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