Brakes not giving me a break

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by murf, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. murf

    murf Active Member

    Hey folks. Well I'm slowly getting my fxr to "fit" me better and still encountering minor aggravations along the way. But it's all good.

    I installed 10" mini apes this weekend and finally after getting the right extended cables, after 3 trips to two parts dealers, and new brake lines everything is bolted down in place. Now comes the frustration. I'm told that bleeding the 2 disc system is a long process getting all the fluid into the lines and no air. Is there anything I can do without a lot of tools at my disposal to get "em bled faster. Myself and a friend pumped that lever and cracked open the bleeders for at least an hour and there is no more resistance in the lever now than when I started. I had to ride it home with no front brakes. No problems encountered but was sure a tense trip. any suggestions are appreciated.
  2. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I had similar issues with the fronts on my RK. I took each caliper off and removed the pads. I then pumped the pistons out so as not to make pop out. I cleaned the pistons with a shoe string since I had them that far pushed out anyway. Then I removed the master cylinder cover then slowly pushed each one of the pistons all the way back in. I found on the rigth side top outboard piston had a bubble in it that was substantial. The fluid path and the bleed point aren't cunducive to bleeding in the nornal manner. It allows air to get trapped.
    There is also a trick that you can read in the self help section about removing the master cylinder cap and tying the break lever back the handlebar overnight and letting it sit. Then in the morning use a rubber malet and tap calipers and lines to work air up toward MC. Many have had luck with this but I had limited success with it. Hope this helps and good luck.

  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I use a large syringe and some clear plastic pipe and push the brake fluid in through the bleeder and the air goes up the brake hose and out through the the resevoir
    only push on syringe till slight resistance is felt and close the bleeder at that point

  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Brian has a good idea here its called reverse bleeding:s and it works good
  5. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

    zip tie the lever down overnight and let the air back bleed it works
  6. murf

    murf Active Member

    Hey folks, used the tapping the lines suggestion and as I depressed the brake lever I was getting bubbles then it started shooting fluid right out of the reservior. I now have some resistance and am going to tie the lever down tonight and see whats what in the am. I was going to ride around locally and the bleed it again but I got a no start (elec. ?) Got the batt. tender on it overnight and we'll see. Always something. Thanks for the support.
  7. stefdustin

    stefdustin Member

    On my RK I had the same problem with bleeding. A local Harley mechanic told me to top off the master cylinder and let it set over night with the mc cover off. I put the cover on the next morning and had excellent brakes.
  8. 59Panhead

    59Panhead Member

    Good Call on bleeding your brakes that way! Its where the Air wants to go in the 1st place....up and out!

    Now bleeding ABS brakes that way is a little harder to do!

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Bud has you covered...I use bungee cord to hold brake lever down. Then a rubber or plastic mallet, gently tap from the caliper farthest from the master cylinder, the hose up to the cross over, up to the hose to the master cylinder...then from the near brake caliper up hose to crossover and up hose to master cylinder and m/c banjo...if you have the cover off, you will see some bubbles escape. Keep lever depressed, undo bungee and slowly release and depress slowly to the bar, then again and again more briskly each progressive time until all bubbles are done.

    The lever should be considerably bungee down again for overnight. In the morning repeat what was done earlier starting from the caliper furthest and tapping the components in sequence again. Your brakes will be great once you complete the final brisk slow release, brisk actuation sequence ridding system of the last bits of air. :D