Front brake lever, excessive play

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by SE6A, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. SE6A

    SE6A Member

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    .....I bought a 99 softail standard recently, there is excessive play in the front brake lever....checked and topped up with fluid....checked the lever mounting is up against the switchgear...and now assuming the pushrod doesn't come fully out of the master cylinder...would a repair kit be my best plan of action?
     
  2. glazier

    glazier Junior Member

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    Bleed the line first and see if that makes any difference. Flush out all the old fluid and remove any trapped air. Make sure to use the correct fluid.
     
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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  4. stray dog

    stray dog Junior Member

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    Does the brake seem soft/spongy or is it hard once the lever reaches the end of the excessive play?

    If soft/spongy, see posts above.
    If hard, you probably have caliper piston(s) dirty and hanging up.
     
  5. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    When bleeding I connect a clear plastic pipe to the bleeder arched up then down to a catch can
    Apply pressure to the brake open the bleeder watch the fluid come out through the pipe close the bleeder then release the pressure from the brake continue this process till there is no more air bubbles in the fluid in the clear plastic pipe
    Be aware that if you use one of the simple one man bleeding systems that air can be drawn in through the bleeder threads when the brake pressure is released
    Keep the method simple apply pressure open bleeder close bleeder release pressure

    Brian
     
  6. SE6A

    SE6A Member

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    Hi Guys....thanks for all your suggestions, I did the bleed method with a tube on the nipple, squeeze the lever, hold release etc, which did clear out the old fluid, its just the lever that has too much travel before it actually does anything...when riding you can see it vibrate and move around.....I could only assume the push bar was not coming out far enough...could this be something to look at?.....
     
  7. W.Bacon

    W.Bacon Member

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    Vibration in the lever, by itself is not a problem or a symptom. Everyone here may have a different interpretation of what excessive play means.
    Once I removed my master cylinder from the handlebars and reinstalled it. I did something completely wrong and managed to bend the little tab on the plunger that activates the brake light. It would hit the light switch, shut it off and leave "excessive play" in the lever. I took it off, straightened it and paid greater attention when reinstalling it. Problem solved.
     
  8. SE6A

    SE6A Member

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    thanks for that, I did replace the switch covers with chrome ones recently, and noticed the front brake switch didnt work, so I need to buy one and fix that too...as you say, I will look carefully at it all
     
  9. stray dog

    stray dog Junior Member

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    manual states to sandwich 5/32 piece of cardboard in there when working on switch housing as to not damage the brake light switch
     
  10. SE6A

    SE6A Member

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    Thanks again for all your suggestions and tips, it my first month or so of Harley ownership, so all appreciated.
    Couldn't wait for the weekend, took it apart tonight, and basically with my fingers I can pull out the push rod in the master cylinder by about a quarter of an inch....this , if it came back to this position, would put the lever against the stop and not have the brake light on. (if the switch worked, thats my next project!)
    but the push rod just pushes back in, so I am presuming that the spring, which should push it back out is no longer fully functional...does this make sense so far?...
    my local Harley shop has a cylinder repair kit....and also many on e bay etc, so considering if this is the route I need to take.