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Brakes Gone

cuda

Member
Member
Ok, I did not change my brake fluid as often as I should have, didn't ride for a few weeks, I replaced the battery today, the brakes are about useless, and I have to rapidly pump the front to get any pressure. rear brake about the same,, scary to ride, so I'm thinking of replacing ABS unit, which I found used, should I buy?

I've purchased a new rear master Clynder unit with a fluid reservoir I found new, was thinking of replacing the front also.

Scary to drive

2011 38,000 miles
 
First question; Have you done a good brake beleed and did you bleed it from the top?

As you've seen in recent discussions this has happened to several.
Blais in particular had fits getting his to work correctly.

Ride safe, Ted
 
I had a shop check the valves and change all fluids, and new hoses, I first noticed I had to pump before they started working right and has gotten worse. New liquid moly dot.5.1 ?

Not sure how Dingbat did them , never go back, dropped the bike off the lift, and broke the headlight, and plastic, I wanted Steve to do the work I just got ripped off. Said all the valves were in spec,
 
I was a motorhead when I was young, but I rather be a delegator, I have a lot of chit and everything needs maintenance

I own lots of tools and different kinds of welders, and have others come over to use them,:oops:

I guess I need to read the directions huh?;)
 
That sucks. It does sound like he screwed something up, badly.
Talk to Ron Simmons, he took his bike to a guy the does amazing work; he might be able to get you fixed up.
 
A couple thoughts regarding mushy brakes. Hopefully, it is this simple for you.
1. Cause can be simply that the pads were moved to allow the brake caliper to be fitted back over the disk. There's nothing wrong, you just need to pump the brake lever about 5-6 times and all will be well. This gets me each time I change my front wheel.
2. You got some kind of contamination on the pads or disks. Use some brake cleaner on both the pads and the disk. You shouldn't need to change them.
3. You got some air in the brake fluid. I was astounded one summer when my brake fluid went from being "dark" to having a "science experiment" floating in it. Oh My Gosh!!! But, bleeding the brakes will solve this.

But here's the thing...even if you don't bleed the brakes "perfectly"...you won't get the effect you are experiencing unless you have a bunch of air in the system. (Don't panic, purists!) :D When cold, the feel you get on the brake caliper won't be much different between a contaminated system with water in the lines, and good clean brake fluid in the lines. Where the difference shows up, is when you ride and the brakes start getting hot. Then the water in the system will boil, you'll get a loss of brake efficiency, and you're in trouble. But if all you did was back out of the driveway and go around the corner, you won't feel the difference.

Sometimes I've heard of people who changed their brake fluid, and have spongy brakes. The solution for them was to put something around the brake caliper to hold the brakes engaged with pressure overnight. Like a bungee, wrapped around the front brake lever. The pressure being applied overnight, forced the air out of the fluid which then rose to the brake reservoir and out of the system.

Bottom line I'm trying to pass on, is don't go looking for an expensive solution. There may be a number of no-cost fixes that will fix this.

Chris
 
If you want to make it really easy to bleed the brakes, install murph's speed bleeders.
 
If you get into bleeding the brakes and need to add fluid, the factory service manual instructs you to completely flush the system if you are changing brands of brake fluid to prevent seal failure.
 
It's possible they used DOT 5 instead of 5.1. DOT 4 & 5 are not compatible, if 5 was used it will cause ABS problems.
Does that issue with Dot 5 versus 5.1 hold for clutch fluid as well? I just completely flushed my clutch system using dot 5 synthetic.Will that cause me issues? Seems like it has better Feel than before.
 
Does that issue with Dot 5 versus 5.1 hold for clutch fluid as well?

It certainly does. It causes the brake rubbers to swell and rot effectively, as they are not for mineral oil based fluid.
 
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I used dot 5 synthetic. Does that hurt them. I wasn't at the time even aware that there was a dot 5.1.
 
Dot 5 and Dot 5.1 mix like oil and water. Dot 3, 4 and 5.1 are all compatible. When Dot 5.1 was introduced a decade or more ago, observers commented loud & clear that it was as a dumb idea, as it was incompatible with Dot 5 and should have been labelled Dot 4.5 or Dot 6 - anything but 5.1, which gives the impression that it's the latest version of Dot 5. Sadly, it's a case of 'buyer beware.'

Sooner or later you will have to strip, clean and replace all the rubber components of the hydraulic clutch or fit a good used clutch master cyl and line to the slave cyl, which will also need to be removed, opened up - clean the metal parts with kero, flush with water, dry then wash a few times with methylated spirits or similar alcohol and fit a new piston seal.

Did you use Dot 5 in the brakes?
 
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I have resurrected a handful of old bikes using Dot 5 in brake ( no ABS ) and clutch systems with no problems. I have only done this on systems that have been totally disassembled and cleaned ( brake clean and compressed air ). My theory is Dot 5 does not absorb moisture so less corrosion, also will not ruin paint.
 
No. Just in the clutch system. Like I said, I wasn't aware that 5.1 was even a thing till reading this. I've got some 5.1 ordered. I'll redo my clutch hydraulic soon as I get it
 
Does 5.1 absorb moisture? Mainly asking cuz I used to only buy small bottles of 3 and 4 due to that. 5.1 is expensive and if it does absorb water it's gonna suck to have to throw away any extra if it won't store.
 
No. Just in the clutch system. Like I said, I wasn't aware that 5.1 was even a thing till reading this. I've got some 5.1 ordered. I'll redo my clutch hydraulic soon as I get it

Lucky not in the brakes!

That may not prevent future trouble as you won't get ALL the Dot 5 out. If you concerned about cost, use Dot 3 to flush then Dot 4 (Kaw recommended) to fill, but I refer you back to reply 15.

Yes, all regular brake fluids absorb moisture, whether is a sealed system or not. It's the moisture (and oil in your case) in the system you need to worry about, not what's left in the bottle. Get one of these perhaps.

 
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Wait..... Dot 4 is ok for Kawasaki? I've got a bunch of that, synthetic also. Could I, should I? flush with that? All my dot 3 is old, prolly contaminated.
 
Wait..... Dot 4 is ok for Kawasaki? I've got a bunch of that, synthetic also. Could I, should I? flush with that? All my dot 3 is old, prolly contaminated.

It is my understanding that all brake fluids are synthetic*. There are two kinds: glycol based (DOT 3, 4, 5.1); and silicone based (DOT5).
In regards to brake fluid the term Synthetic is just a marketing tool to get you to buy that brand, sort of like "gluten free" bottled water.

*exception: I'm informed that somewhere out there is a road grader or other heavy equipment that uses non-synthetic hydraulic oil for brake fluid.
 
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