FLSTC Front Brake spongy

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by 11heritage, May 3, 2011.

  1. 11heritage

    11heritage New Member

    I have a 2011 FLSTC with anti-lock brakes, and everyday the front brake is spongy. After I pump it several times, it gets better, but then the next day same. Took it back to the dealer, they bled it, then same problem. I've bled it several times too. Another trip to the dealer. Anyway have the same problem?
  2. TripleJ

    TripleJ Senior Member

    Try pumping up the brake lever and then zip tie it to the handlebars overnight.

    And welcome to the forum....
  3. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Does this model have ABS brakes?

  4. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

    I had that. It turned out to be caliper pistons dirty, hanging up on their rubber seals, which tended to pull them back in too far when the brakes are released. This effectively disables the auto-adjust capability of hydraulic brakes. The fix is in the self-help area, which will tell you how to remove the caliper(s), pump the brakes out on some kind of limiter, like a trowel or some such, and clean the caliper brake pistons. I believe you press them back in, and repeat a couple of times, then re-bleed, since there could be a bubble resting in the top of the caliper, that gets dislodged when you push the pistons back in, and heads up teh line a bit, where you can get it by bleeding.

    I re-bled several times. No change. Rebuilt the master cylinder...only a slight improvement. Had the caliper pistons cleaned, and it has been good ever since.

    Don't go by this. Instead, find the real self-help thread and use that. I'm probably missing something.

    Rich P
  5. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    Bingo RibEye you hit a bullseye.
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

  7. glazier

    glazier Junior Member

    Seems to me that if it were a 2011, it should be under warranty and they should be able to fix it. Have them replace the caliper and then bleed it. I wouldn't want to be working on a brand new bike. If you mess something up, they could say it voids the warranty. Ya never know. Just my 2 cents (and it might not even be worth that much) :D
    Good luck.
  8. gator508

    gator508 Senior Member

    It's under warranty, I would make them get it right.
  9. Slapp

    Slapp Junior Member

    Just Last week (thursday) I took the misses bike 2011 Heritage in for this same problem dealer said they could not find anything wrong. I explained that if you pump the brake up they are fine, it is when the bike sits for a day or so that it gets all spongy and does not work. Needless to say they claimed no defect so the next time it happens I will ride bike to dealer useing rear brake only so they can see what I am talking about.
  10. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

    Glider...That was a good shot, but requires the complete disassembly and draining. I think you previously pointed me to another one that did not require anything but removal and piston actuation and cleaning, as an interim operation. I seem to recall something about shoe-strings. If that fails, I would definitely do what is in the thread you linked. If I went that far, I would replace the pads while in there, if there was any significant miles on them, but that is just me being obsessive. I don't like having to go back in anytime soon, to where I've just been.

    For an '11 machine, I can't believe pad wear would be significant at all. Might be a defective caliper, or just dirty. In any case, it is not safe to ride until you get her fixed up. 2/3 of your stopping power is in the front, and you will not have time to pump up when you really need it. Don't take chances with your life.

    Rich P