Firming up the brake lever on 03 Fatboy???

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by 08FatBob, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. 08FatBob

    08FatBob Member

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    I'm posting this on behalf of my old man who rides an 03 Fat Boy. I noticed when we swapped bikes the other day that I can just about pull the front brake lever clear to the grip. He also noticed that my brake lever was much firmer than his. I looked through his service manual but couldn't find anything there on a possible cause and solution. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck Member

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    WHOA! :11: I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but what's the fluid level showing?
     
  3. Davidw2415

    Davidw2415 Senior Member

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    I not an expert, but I would suggest checking the brake pads for wear and replacing if neccesary. And if they need replacing or not I would check all the lines and components for a possible leak and then try bleeding the brakes to make sure there is no air in the lines. I'm sure if I am off base Glider or Hobbit will be along soon to give you the correct info. Good luck, ride safe.
     
  4. 08FatBob

    08FatBob Member

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    You guys are great for all the quick responses, thanks so much. The fluid level is per the service manual, 1/8" from the top. Brake wear is about 50% remaining, and my dad keeps that thing looking like it did the day he bought it, so no leaks, we would have seen any. Also, I thought of bleeding, and we tried that today but to no avail. Still soft, and to catch the last question I think, brakes have never been serviced, he's only got about 8500 miles on it. Keep the ideas coming please.
     
  5. Davidw2415

    Davidw2415 Senior Member

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    Hey Blues, I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but If My wife and I made a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe toward the end of May what kind of weather could we expect?
     
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Brake pad wear usually will not effect the feel of the handle. The brake fluid in the system replaces the missing linings in the caliper as they move outward. It sounds as if you have air in the system or a defective master cylinder. In 03 they used dot 5 which was a problem back then due to the fact that it compresses more than the other dot fluids. That's one reason why they stopped using it in the ABS bikes. If you have bled the brakes and possibly replaced the brake fluid through bleeding the system repeatedly, I would remove the brake caliper and position it so the bleeder is exactly at the 12 o'clock position and upright, put a shim between the pads about the thickness of the rotor and bleed the caliper then. Quite often there is air trapped that normal bleeding just will not remove from the caliper. Also DO NOT mix the brake fluids. If you are running the DOT 5, stay with that then, they do not mix.
     
  7. Derekj

    Derekj Member

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    Another thing to try is to remove the master cylinder resevoir cap and VERY gently squeeze the lever while looking into the resevoir and you might see the tiniest of bubbles. If you see them continue squeezing the lever and gently tap the brake line to work out all the air in the system as air will always travel up.
     
  8. Flashback

    Flashback Active Member

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    Days anywhere in the 70's would be normal can be colder so go prepared, nights cool to cold always a possibility of storms about 10 years ago got 3 inches of snow overnight the first week of June at our house on the south end. Main roads will be open (highway 80 to tahoe city, Mount Rose from the Reno side to Incline,Spooners from the Carson City side to State line and 50 from Placervile to the Y). the road from the Y over emerald bay to Tahoe city will be closed till June.
     
  9. Franks the Bull

    Franks the Bull Member

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    ???? almost every bike I know with the brake lever coming into the grip, needs front pads. Bleed em all you want, it only takes 10 minutes to see your inner pads are gone. If you own a Road King, they eat front pads..
     
  10. up@12

    up@12 Member

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    What about the rubber gasket in the top of the master cylinder lid, Maybe it has a small crack in it or is not sitting there properly.