SS Brake line installation - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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SS Brake line installation

Can anyone give me step by step directions for installing stainless brake lines?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 10:56 PM
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It's a fairly straightforward process. Do the rear first as it's the simplest and should worse come to worst, you can ride without a rear brake.

Note: Brake fluid is pretty corrosive stuff, and can etch metal or plastic on your bike if left to sit on for longer than about an hour. Be particular about wiping off any brake fluid spills, and clean up with some soap and water when the job is done.

Tools needed:
- Ratchet and sockets that fit the banjo bolts on your brake lines.
- Plastic cup to drain brake fluid in.
- Brake bleeder kit (this will save you MANY hours of frustration - consider it necessary).
- A fresh (unopened) bottle of DOT 4 (or DOT 5.1) brake fluid.

1. Drain the brake fluid reservoir by sucking it out with a big syringe and some tubing. You can buy these parts for about $5 at the local auto parts store. This step saves you the trouble of cleaning up brake fluid; you can safely skip it, but you'll be doing more cleaning later. If you do this step, recap the fluid reservoir after draining.

2. Using a ratchet, loosen the banjo bolt at the brake caliper. Grab a rag and back the bolt all the way out. Drop the brake line into the plastic cup. Take the top off the fluid reservoir and let the brake fluid drain out into the cup.

3. Remove the banjo bolt from the rear master cylinder and remove the brake line.

4. Install the new stainless steel line at the caliper with a new banjo bolt and a NEW crush washer.

5. Install the other end of the new stainless steel line at the rear master cylinder with a new banjo bolt and a NEW crush washer.

6. Connect the brake bleeder kit to the bleed valve on the caliper.

7. Fill the rear brake fluid reservoir with brake fluid.

8. Generate vacuum with the brake bleeder. Make sure it holds a vacuum with the bleed valve closed for at least a minute (else you'll think you are bleeding the brake lines, but really you're just sucking air from around the fitting on the bleed valve).

9. Fill the rear brake fluid reservoir with fluid.

10. Crack the bleeder valve on the caliper so the bleeder kit sucks brake fluid through the new line. You MUST simultaneously keep the rear brake fluid reservoir filled. If the rear brake fluid reservoir runs dry, you have to start the bleeding process over from the beginning. This step is way easier with two people, but if you're working alone, bleed in small intervals, and close the bleeder valve when the reservoir looks low, then refill.

11. Once the brakes are fully bled (no more bubbles in the bleeder kit line), close the bleeder valve, replace the cap on the rear fluid reservoir, and test the rear pedal. Any squishiness or sponginess means there's air left in there. Sometimes air gets trapped in the caliper itself and you have to tap on it with a mallet.

The front brakes are done the same way, except where the stock brakes have one line from master cylinder to the right caliper, and one line from the right caliper to the left, a stainless steel replacement set will have two lines of (near) equal length, both going from the master cylinder to their respective calipers. Twice the bleeding fun!

Last edited by Predictive; 04-29-2008 at 05:20 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 02:57 AM
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Use DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 only. Do NOT use DOT 5 (silicone based). Instead of a 'bleeder kit', you can have a lenght of vinyl tubing tight on the bleed nipple looped up and back down in an empty clear container to empty reservoir, and then to bleed by gravity. Do not get any brake fluid onto painted surfaces and plastic...

Last edited by invader; 04-29-2008 at 03:11 AM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by invader View Post
Use DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 only. Do NOT use DOT 5 (silicone based).
This is correct, and typos like this are why I shouldn't post when tired. Silicone fluids don't mix well with glycol ones and can create muck in the calipers. You don't need a vacuum tool to bleed, but in my experience the time reduction for bleeding the system is worth the money one costs.
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