HELP NEEDED, front brake bleeding with new stainless lines - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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HELP NEEDED, front brake bleeding with new stainless lines

First of all I HATE BLEEDING BRAKES! I've never liked it and ALWAYS seem to have problems, no matter if it's a car or anything else..... With that said,
I got a set of Galfer braided brake lines for the bike. The rear went on fine and bled out with no problems. A nice strong pedal within minutes with minimal bleeding. The front is a 2 line system, like many others, with single lines to each caliper. The installation itself went well, I followed the instructions putting the right side line against the master cylinder and then the left line and the long banjo bolt. I have no leaks anywhere and no visible air bubbles coming out when bleeding, it's straight fluid....BUT I DO NOT HAVE ANY PRESSURE building on the brake lever no matter how many times I pump it! What am I doing wrong? I have a little bleeder bottle with a hose and line inside the bottle with fluid in it. I used 1 copper washer against the master cylinder, 1 washer between the lines and one at the head of the bolt. There is plenty of fluid in the master cylinder. Is there something I'm over looking?
Did I say I HATE bleeding brakes


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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 04:37 AM
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Sounds like you're doing everything right. Maybe something to do with the twin lines? I've only ever done single lines before so I'm no help.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 05:43 AM
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once you use a vacuum pump to bleed brakes you will kick yourself for not getting a vacuum pump earlier... it just helps with headaches like this.

if you get a long piece of clean pvc hose and just suck on it while attached to the bleed nipple, it might help. You got to get all that air out and that is the hardest part. Just suck till some fluid appears in the tube and try the brake lever periodically to see if it is now pumping with pressure.

the master cylinder might have lost fluid as you changed the lines up top and now is just pushing air and this cannot suck brake fluid into the pump... hence a vacuum might help.

I've got a Pela oil evacuator for engine oil, and use it for brake/clutch bleding and well sucking any fluid out. I also use jars and bottles sometimes to capture the fluid if I want to use it again before it goes into the main container.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 06:47 AM
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Try bleeding the master cylinder first. Remove hoses and use your finger over the outlet. Once bled fill master cylinder then quickly fit hoses. Carry on bleeding the calipers.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 07:56 AM
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Been awhile since I did mine. Did you have to remove or mess with the lever at all? I recall the V setup being different, there's a "plunger" for lack of a better word on the lever that has to connect correctly with the master. But, if you didn't remove the lever, that wouldn't be it. Just thought I'd throw it out there in case you changed levers as part of the project...

Odd you can't build pressure. Did you install a bleeder bolt at the master cylinder side? The only thing I can think of is air in the master. If there's no bleeder bolt at the master, put down A LOT of rags and bleed the lines at the master by cracking the banjo bolt.

Crush washer placement sounds correct, there should be a crush in between everything.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 08:55 AM
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Are you using the two person pump and bleed method? One person pumps the master cylinder and holds the lever in/down while the other person cracks the bleeder. Close bleeder then release lever. This is the most effective way for me to do it. I never have been able to get a vacuum pump to work well.

Something else to try is to leave it overnight with the lever zip tied back to the handlebar. That will allow any trapped air to migrate up and out of the lines.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 09:18 AM
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You might be getting air in around the bleed valve? You could try some plumbers tape around the threads.

Other than that, the major problem I've seen is not getting the sequence right; hose from bleeder to container, pressure on lever and hold, loosen bleeder then immediately tighten, release lever slowly, repeat until no air and a firm lever.

Or get a vacuum pump.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 01:37 PM
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The Mity-Vac vacuum bleeder works so WELL for me, that I have TWO, one in AZ, the other in BC. Last one came from Harbor-Freight for $35.


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Do I leave the cover off the master cylinder when bleeding? Maybe that is my problem?


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 01:56 PM
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Do I leave the cover off the master cylinder when bleeding? Maybe that is my problem?
The cover must be off. As you pump fluid down through the lines, it must be replaced in the mc. If the fluid gets too low you will be adding air to system. Best done with two people; one to work the lever, keep an eye on the level and add fluid as needed, the other on the caliper to hold the hose and loosen/tighten the bleeder. Use a box end wrench for best results.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
The cover must be off. As you pump fluid down through the lines, it must be replaced in the mc. If the fluid gets too low you will be adding air to system. Best done with two people; one to work the lever, keep an eye on the level and add fluid as needed, the other on the caliper to hold the hose and loosen/tighten the bleeder. Use a box end wrench for best results.
I have been watching the level in the mc, but I will not build up any pressure in the lever until the mc cover is re installed, right?


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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 02:34 PM
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nope cover keeps fluid from splashing around
resevoir itself is not pressurized when you pull the lever
when you pull the lever it's pushing a piston which is forcing fluid thru the lines.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
You might be getting air in around the bleed valve? You could try some plumbers tape around the threads.

Other than that, the major problem I've seen is not getting the sequence right; hose from bleeder to container, pressure on lever and hold, loosen bleeder then immediately tighten, release lever slowly, repeat until no air and a firm lever.

Or get a vacuum pump.
the bleed screw seals via a conical seat & orifice arrangement
tape on the threads serves no real purpose in this situation and could possibly plug the cross hole in the plug
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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nope cover keeps fluid from splashing around
resevoir itself is not pressurized when you pull the lever
when you pull the lever it's pushing a piston which is forcing fluid thru the lines.
OK thanks, so I SHOULD be able to build lever pressure with the cover off? I just pulled the lines out of the mc and stuck my finger over the hole and was able to feel pressure build up against my finger. So the mc is working, right? Hooked the lines back up and re bled to calipers. Got NO BUBBLES on the right side and some worked out on the left. BUT STILL NO STINKING LEVER PRESSURE:censo red:

Did I say I HATE bleeding brakes...............


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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BLACK DOG View Post
the bleed screw seals via a conical seat & orifice arrangement
tape on the threads serves no real purpose in this situation and could possibly plug the cross hole in the plug
Mine had tape on it from new, just a touch around the top of threads. I have used it that way before, when I had a loose fitting, with good results. But I do recognize the need for caution.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 03:22 PM
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OK thanks, so I SHOULD be able to build lever pressure with the cover off? I just pulled the lines out of the mc and stuck my finger over the hole and was able to feel pressure build up against my finger. So the mc is working, right? Hooked the lines back up and re bled to calipers. Got NO BUBBLES on the right side and some worked out on the left. BUT STILL NO STINKING LEVER PRESSURE:
You might have air in master cylinder (MC). With brake fluid in the MC, slowly pump the lever several times until no more air bubbles come up through the fluid from the holes at bottom. Do that with the bleed valve on caliper closed.

After the MC is bled proceed to the calipers and bleed using the technique described earlier. The most important step is to close the bleeder before releasing the brake lever, or you will suck more air back into the system. If the lever is not firm, there is air somewhere in the lines.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 04:04 PM
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I have the same exact problem, same setup with new lines but I'm using SpeedBleeders. Can't seem to get any fluid to pump down to the calipers
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Success!! Finally.........

After much pumping and bleeding, and pumping and bleeding, and pumping and bleeding (probably 2+ hours worth..............I FINALLY got some pressure in the lever and it slowly built up. Man, what a PITA THAT was. I guess with 2 long new lines it just took a while to get all that air out. It did seem that the left line had much more air than the right. I have been doing it by myself too, so that didn't speed things up at all. Thanks to ALL who offered advice and suggestions.
Backroadie all I can say is: pump and bleed X100 and repeat as necessary I would imagine with the speed bleeders it would be quicker. ALSO when I took off the new lines from the mc and did the finger over the hole pump it seemed to quicken things up a bit. Good luck, just don't give up (like I almost did) it WILL work the air out sooner or later. Most assuredly LATER...........


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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 04:39 PM
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Fixed! I used a large syringe with a 3/16 tube in it and pumped fluid from the bleeder hole up to the reservoir, forcing all air out of the system and priming the plunger at the same time, then removed the tube and reinstalled the bleeder. I then bled each side normally. All done, no issues, no problems and good feel on the lever.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 05:35 PM
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Just took her out for a test ride. Wow! HUGE difference with braided lines and EBC HH pads. Sweet!!
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