'03 R/K issue solved

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by Bodeen, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Thanks to all the info on this board I have gotten to the bottom of my spongy front brake issue on my '03 Road King.
    Lever could be pulled back to within a 1/2" of bar since I have owned the bike (2mnths). I have bled from the top down, bottom up, I tried the overnight brake lever tied back trick, every way except the MityVac way. I just dont want to spend that much money on that tool.
    Yesterday I started with the left caliper off, pulled pads and cleaned pistons using the shoestring method by Glider. I noticed not all pistons move at the same rate due to the design. I used an old paint stick and a couple hand clamps to hold the easy moving piston while pumping to extend lesser moving pistons. Once all were cleaned I reinstalled with high temp grease in the proper locations. The right side caliper was treated the same but when I pushed the furthest piston from fluid source back into position after cleaning it, I heard the huge air bubble trapped behind it go through the line. Ah Hah! Put it all back together and all is normal. Nice tight, minimal travel front brake.
    After looking closely at the design of fluid flow it seems to me that once air gets to that last piston in the fluid flow pattern, it would be nearly impossible to bleed this air out with any method other than forcing it out as I did by retracting the piston all the way.
    Anyway, I just thought I would post my findings so that it may help somebody in the future. Thanks again to the board and self help articles etc.

  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Glad you finally got it straightened out. Sometimes in difficult situations like yours, it pays to remove the caliper and block the pistons so they can't overextend and bleed like that so you can rotate the caliper bleed screw to the highest position to bleed it better.