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bleeding front brakes

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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 09:32 PM     #1
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bleeding front brakes

Having trouble bleeding front brakes, I just put a new chrome caliper on and can't get the brakes back the way they used to be.Anyone have any good ideas or any tips?
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 09:36 PM     #2
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Re: bleeding front brakes

Read this.

Bleeding Brakes - Harley Davidson Community (Bleeding Brakes)

Reverse Brake Bleeding. - Harley Davidson Community (Reverse Brake Bleeding.)

Brake Bleeding Tips - Harley Davidson Community (Brake Bleeding Tips)
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 08:09 AM     #3
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Re: bleeding front brakes

I didn't take the time to read the links Glider provided, so this may be repetitive information.

I bought a manual vacuum pump from a large auto parts retailer for $30.00. Makes one man bleeding very easy, fast, and effective. Works great for pulling old fluid out of the system to replace with new fluid.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 02:17 PM     #4
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Re: bleeding front brakes

I have never heard of anyone saying that just pulling the brake lever for 12 hours and then tapping the master cylinder would help. Seems kinda stupid to me. Of course, stupid is as stupid does right!! So, last night I wrapped a bungee cord around the brake lever (after breaking 3 zip ties that weren't big enough) and this morning I tapped the calipers, brake lines and master cylinder. Brakes haven't felt this good since I bought the bike!! Glad I know that other people's opinions are usually a lot better than my own!
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 02:24 PM     #5
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Re: bleeding front brakes

Quote: Originally Posted by joetter View Post
I have never heard of anyone saying that just pulling the brake lever for 12 hours and then tapping the master cylinder would help. Seems kinda stupid to me. Of course, stupid is as stupid does right!! So, last night I wrapped a bungee cord around the brake lever (after breaking 3 zip ties that weren't big enough) and this morning I tapped the calipers, brake lines and master cylinder. Brakes haven't felt this good since I bought the bike!! Glad I know that other people's opinions are usually a lot better than my own!
Live and learn, as they say!!

TQ
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 04:24 PM     #6
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Smile Re: bleeding front brakes

my softail custom is a real pain to bleed cause of the angle of the bars so to make it nice and easy i use a large syringe with some plastic tube stuck on the end (type used for car window washers or fish tank airline)
fill syringe with brake fluid place other end of tube over bleed nipple (if you find it a bit tight warm end of tube up with hot air gun or hot water)
open bleed nipple and slowly depres the plunger on the syringe this pushes the brake fluid in ihe bottom of the system and the air goes up the brake hose and out through the master cylinder
caution if you are using glycol based brake fluid (dot4) leave the cover loosley fitted to the master cylinder to prevent splash on to the paint job
caution always wear barrier cream or rubber gloves when handling gylcol based brake fluid cos it can be nasty stuff (and i hate the feel of it on my skin)

Brian
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 04:26 PM     #7
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Re: bleeding front brakes

Quote: Originally Posted by joetter View Post
I have never heard of anyone saying that just pulling the brake lever for 12 hours and then tapping the master cylinder would help. Seems kinda stupid to me. Of course, stupid is as stupid does right!! So, last night I wrapped a bungee cord around the brake lever (after breaking 3 zip ties that weren't big enough) and this morning I tapped the calipers, brake lines and master cylinder. Brakes haven't felt this good since I bought the bike!! Glad I know that other people's opinions are usually a lot better than my own!

Glad it worked for you. I try to post things that I have used and that work. The rest get canned.
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 06:40 AM     #8
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Re: bleeding front brakes

took me 2 hours to blrrd mine after a cable change,you just have to be patient like me,and dont use to many bad words.
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 09:04 AM     #9
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Re: bleeding front brakes

Quote: Originally Posted by fin_676 View Post
my softail custom is a real pain to bleed cause of the angle of the bars so to make it nice and easy i use a large syringe with some plastic tube stuck on the end (type used for car window washers or fish tank airline)
fill syringe with brake fluid place other end of tube over bleed nipple (if you find it a bit tight warm end of tube up with hot air gun or hot water)
open bleed nipple and slowly depres the plunger on the syringe this pushes the brake fluid in ihe bottom of the system and the air goes up the brake hose and out through the master cylinder
caution if you are using glycol based brake fluid (dot4) leave the cover loosley fitted to the master cylinder to prevent splash on to the paint job
caution always wear barrier cream or rubber gloves when handling gylcol based brake fluid cos it can be nasty stuff (and i hate the feel of it on my skin)

Brian
I like this approach for the fronts because the reservoir is above the caliper(s). But the rear I do the old fashion way with a tube from the bleeder into a jar of clean brake fluid. The vacuum unit would work great back there.

And as a note, pump out lots of fluid BEFORE you do the process that FIN suggest above so you are getting the old nasty stuff out of there. I like to pump the old stuff out until the fluid is just ABOVE the hole in the reservoir and then refill the reservoir with clean fluid and do that again (three more times!!). That way I am pretty sure that the system is full of clean new fluid BEFORE using the syringe from the bleeder to push fluid back up to the reservoir. Leave the reservoir almost empty and then push the fluid in from the bleeder (and the air out!).

TQ
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 04:31 PM     #10
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Smile Re: bleeding front brakes

Quote: Originally Posted by TQuentin1 View Post
I like this approach for the fronts because the reservoir is above the caliper(s). But the rear I do the old fashion way with a tube from the bleeder into a jar of clean brake fluid. The vacuum unit would work great back there.

And as a note, pump out lots of fluid BEFORE you do the process that FIN suggest above so you are getting the old nasty stuff out of there. I like to pump the old stuff out until the fluid is just ABOVE the hole in the reservoir and then refill the reservoir with clean fluid and do that again (three more times!!). That way I am pretty sure that the system is full of clean new fluid BEFORE using the syringe from the bleeder to push fluid back up to the reservoir. Leave the reservoir almost empty and then push the fluid in from the bleeder (and the air out!).

TQ
i use this procedure of the syringe when the system has been drained
have long winters in north scotland not unknown to find the time strip the calipers and clean the pistons as part of the winter maintenance programme
with 4 bikes in the stable always one needing a good overhaul
but yes only on the front brake on the fxstc the highest point on the system is the banjo fiting on to the master cylinder due to the shape of the handlebars makes filling and bleeding a 15 minut job

Brian
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