Soft front brake pedal

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by Roadsterrider, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Roadsterrider

    Roadsterrider Member

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    Unfortunately my second post is a question. I have gone through the forum and there are several issues people had that are similar but not the same...


    I have a 05 roadster. Last season my front brake lever was very soft. I noticed that the master cylinder gasket was leaking. I ordered one up and I figured problem solved, wrong... I've bled it a few times now the traditional way. After doing so, my brake feels fine for a short time, then its back to where it was at. I literally have to pump it a few times to shutoff my brake light otherwise it stays on.


    I've heard that the calipers do leak and I may need a rebuilding kit for them...

    What I would like to try is the tying the lever and leaving it overnight and tap it with a rubber mallet the next day.


    I cannot find specific instructions to do so.



    Thanks for any and all help and advice
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Sounds like you may have a bad seal in ghe master cylinder and as far as the cover leaking, follow the torque for that being is is only snugged down. Over tightening will compress or squash the gasket and it will leak then.

    Brake Bleeding Tips - Harley Davidson Community
     
  3. Roadsterrider

    Roadsterrider Member

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    Thank you very much! Do I leave the mc cover off overnight? Do I take it off before tapping it etc?

    My leak at the cylinder has stopped since replacing the gasket but the same lever problems
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    It's in the link.

    Also if you over tighten the cover, the new gasket will leak too.
     
  5. Roadsterrider

    Roadsterrider Member

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    I'm planning on trying this tonight and I'll report the results.




    Once again thanks :worthy
     
  6. theklanchXL1200N

    theklanchXL1200N Active Member

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    My suggestion is the old coke bottle method..... If you don't know what that is I will explain it to you.

    Or you could go to Auto Zone or another parts store and buy what's called a "one man bleeder" They are about $4..... not a pump like shown in the link, it's just a bottle and tubing, it works exactly the same as the coke bottle method..... in case you are a tool junkie.

    Attach a 12" or so long hose to the bleeder, and top off the master cylinder. Put the hose in a bottle containing brake fluid. Open the bleeder and slowly squeeze the lever the whole way to the grip. You will get lots of bubbles the first couple of squeezes, as you need to push the air out of the hose, but it will draw fluid from the bottle as you let the lever out, slowly. Make sure the bottle doesn't go dry and make sure the master cylinder doesn't go dry, keep checking both. I do this with the cover on the master cylinder so I don't make a paint eating mess (brake fluid is really, I repeat, really hard on paint!) and this will get all the air out of the system. My guess is there is a little air in both calipers. In my experience with doing brakes, I find that the air gets stuck in the caliper, not the master cylinder. I've done a ton on my cars, trucks, quads and bike..... most of my pickup trucks had hydraulic clutches also, and every pickup that I have ever owned I have had to replace a clutch in it at some point (I'm not hard on them, I just keep them forever!!!) But back to my point...... Do this one caliper at a time, you'll go through some brake fluid so buy two bottles and make sure you don't let anything go dry while you are doing this and you should get all the air out of the system. I pride myself in the firmness of the brake pedals and levers in all my vehicles and this is the method I use for all my brakes.

    Fooey on those pumps and pressurized bottles. My dad has one of those pressurized setups from Motive for the cars and honestly I think it's more of a hassle to setup properly than it's worth to use. I will say it is good if you are changing a whole car's brake system..... Lines, master cylinder, calipers and wheel cylinder, it makes the job faster, but really I think it's a pain.
     
  7. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    One other thing, if the master cylinder cover is the HD OEM one, read and make sure it is the proper fluid you are using...DOT 5 is unique Silicone based brake fluid (inert, but hard to clean up) BUT it is not compatible with DOT 3, 4 or 5.1 which are all Etylene Glycol based (like antifreeze) which attacks paint.

    If the wrong fluid was put in there it could cause the master cylinder failure you are experiencing. Just a precaution here...:newsmile04:
     
  8. Roadsterrider

    Roadsterrider Member

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    Ok, so here's a update. I did try the bottle method and tapping the mc and doing the overnight deal. It did get better for a short time. So its back to the way it was. Now the same problem I had last year came back. My mc cover gasket is leaking again. The cover is not warped so I am puzzled. I replaced the gasket last year and it was fine up until now.




    So does anyone know what my next steps are?
     
  9. Roadsterrider

    Roadsterrider Member

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    After 2.5 hours of research on the net, I have found out that there is a recall on the master cylinder. Long story short, it's going to the dealership.
     
  10. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Did you find the recall info from the NHTSA or MOCO website? Just want to know if you could cut and paste the link so others who may be affected can see it. After all 2.5 hours of digging should be put to good use...JMO! :D