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Author Topic: Brake bleeding - How To  (Read 37566 times)

Jeff

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Brake bleeding - How To
« on: July 09, 2004, 09:46:00 AM »
Bleeding brakes is simple.  Time consuming, tedious, but simple. You don't need anything fancy to do it, here are some instructions.  This is MY method.  It may not be yours.  I have had years of good results with this.  It is not the only means, but again, mine which I shall share with you...

Required materials:
Brake Fluid - Personally, I recommend silkolene pro-race 2000 from silkolenestore.com
Phillips screwdriver or other tool (as required to open reservoir)
8mm wrench (or other tool) to crack bleeders
Clear rubber hose (fuel line works fine) 12+ inches long
Water bottle with a couple inches of water in it
Rags.  Plenty of rags

Before you start bleeding or touch anything, there are a few things you should know and consider.

1.  Always clean fittings and caps BEFORE removing them.  Brake fluid does not like dirt...  
2.  NEVER shake a bottle of brake fluid.  It's oil, you're not going to "mix" anything.  All you're going to do is add tiny air bubbles to the fluid, which is exactly what you're trying to remove
3.  Brake fluid will remove paint and melt certain plastics.  If you get any on your plastics, get wiping IMMEDIATELY.
4.  NEVER pump the master cylinder without something between the calipers (preferably a rotor, but a similar diameter flat piece of wood or metal will work).  The pistons may pop out of the caliper.  If they do, don't jam them back in.  The caliper will need to be disassembled and reassembled, but that's another article...
5.  Adjust your brake lever OUT so that you can get the longest stroke available while bleeding.

All steps beyond this point assume you have the lines installed correctly and the calipers back on the bike, or a suitable block between the pads.

Initial bleed:
This is done like when you are swapping lines and have tons of air in the system.  This is the first step in fully bleeding the brakes, and requires "fine bleed" and "overnight bleed" to completely finish the project.

1.  Open the reservoir and top it off with fluid
2.  Attach the hose to the bleeder of one caliper.  Run the other end of the hose into the water bottle, keeping the end IN THE WATER.
3.  Open the bleeder valve slightly (you don't need to remove this or open it like 3 turns.  1/4-1/2 turn should suffice)
4.  Pump the brakes slowly.
   a.  You should see air bubbles coming out in the water which indicates you are removing air.
   b.  The purpose for the water here is to prevent air from sucking back into the brake system.
5.  Eventually you will see fluid coming out of the caliper bleeder.  MAKE SURE you keep the level of fluid up in the reservoir so you don't add air, or you've set yourself back to step 1.
6.  Keep pumping.  Run a full reservoir through the line.
7.  Close the bleeder valve
8.  Repeat on other side

Fine Bleed:
This step assumes you have a majority of the air out of the system.
1.  Open the reservoir and top it off with fluid
2.  Attach the hose to the bleeder of one caliper.  Run the other end of the hose into the water bottle, keeping the end IN THE WATER.
3.  With small short strokes, pump the lever until it is firm.
4.  Squeeze the lever firmly.
5.  Crack open the bleeder valve momentarily and then close it.  This should be done while the lever is pulled in and NOT RELEASED.
6.  Release the lever and repeat steps 3-5 until you get 3 or more full strokes with NO evidence of air bubbles.
7.  Repeat for other side

Overnight Bleed:
Assumes you have given your best attempt to remove all air from the system.

Using a zip-tie or strong rubber band, zip or wrap it GENTLY around the brake lever & clip-on to open the brake system.  You DO NOT need to crank it hard!!!  All you need is an open path for air to flow.  Leave this sit overnight, or for 24 hours if possible.

The change in temperature will cause slight expansion/contraction of the fluid and will move the tiniest air bubbles up to the top and out into the reservoir where they will do no harm.

Before you remove the rubber band / zip tie, take a small wrench/pencil/object and tap the lines from the caliper all the way up to the reservoir.

Wrap-up:
If you've just replaced the pads or rotors, the lever might not feel dead solid, and this can be attributed to the pads/rotors not being bedded in to each other.  Bed the brakes in and bleed again as required.
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Christian

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2004, 10:06:15 AM »
Nice write up Jeff. I am putting on my S lines and installing new SBK3 pads from Rick this week. :)
-Chris
2003 Red CBR600RR
NESBA #302
CCS #793
M4 full exhaust, GoodRidge SS brake lines, SBK-3 pads, Yoydyne frame sliders, swingarm sliders, MD Performance bodywork, CFM Rearsets and Clip-ons, GPR steering stabilizer, Vortex sprockets

DaBeachBum

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2004, 11:28:05 PM »
Nice write up Jeff. I am putting on my S lines and installing new SBK3 pads from Rick this week. :)
Christian, can you pleeez post pics of your install step by step? If not, at least a written synopsis? 8)

Christian

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2004, 09:29:34 PM »
If I remember to take the camera into the garage I will.
-Chris
2003 Red CBR600RR
NESBA #302
CCS #793
M4 full exhaust, GoodRidge SS brake lines, SBK-3 pads, Yoydyne frame sliders, swingarm sliders, MD Performance bodywork, CFM Rearsets and Clip-ons, GPR steering stabilizer, Vortex sprockets

Christian

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2004, 05:12:49 PM »
I received the pads today from Rick and they do look sweet! :)

Can't wait to get these bad boys on there. Next step, install them and the new SS brake lines, change oil and filter and have the front suspension rebuilt with .95 racetech spring before Pocono-FUSA on the 14th.  :-[
-Chris
2003 Red CBR600RR
NESBA #302
CCS #793
M4 full exhaust, GoodRidge SS brake lines, SBK-3 pads, Yoydyne frame sliders, swingarm sliders, MD Performance bodywork, CFM Rearsets and Clip-ons, GPR steering stabilizer, Vortex sprockets

etamante

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2004, 07:21:15 PM »
Well I must say, this was a whole lot better then the way the service manual states to do it.  I did it the first time after swapping the brake lines with SS as per the service manual.  Felt squishy still after following each step.  After reading this post again, they are perfect now.  Thanks Jeff. 8)

DaBeachBum

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2004, 08:08:27 PM »
I received the pads today from Rick and they do look sweet! :)

Can't wait to get these bad boys on there. Next step, install them and the new SS brake lines, change oil and filter and have the front suspension rebuilt with .95 racetech spring before Pocono-FUSA on the 14th.  :-[
Did you do the springs yet? I'm thinking of going to a 1.0* for my weight. Will they be a good investment?

Christian

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2004, 11:25:27 AM »
I haven't donemy springs yet but hopefully I will get to drop the bike off this week to get them done before the 3-day at VIR at the end of the month.
-Chris
2003 Red CBR600RR
NESBA #302
CCS #793
M4 full exhaust, GoodRidge SS brake lines, SBK-3 pads, Yoydyne frame sliders, swingarm sliders, MD Performance bodywork, CFM Rearsets and Clip-ons, GPR steering stabilizer, Vortex sprockets

Jeff

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2004, 01:49:03 PM »
Alright ladies.  Don't jack my thread in the FAQ...  And don't apologize, just continue the suspension discussion elsewhere.

Thank you...
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snow

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2004, 04:52:36 PM »
How do you know water doesnt get sucked into the brakes ?

snow

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2004, 04:57:09 PM »
What happens if the water level is higher then your brakes ?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2004, 04:58:42 PM by snow »

DaBeachBum

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2004, 10:15:54 PM »
What happens if the water level is higher then your brakes ?
I used Jeff's method and it works great. You won't pump more than a couple ounces into the jar. Just fill it 1/2 way . There isn't enough reverse suction to get water back into the calipers. use at least 24" or more of tubing. The hard part is being patient when doing the front especially if you did a complete removal and disassembly of the system. There will be ALOT of air that needs to be pumped out and it takes ALOT of  repeated squeezing to get it out. 8)

BlackOps

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2004, 11:18:03 PM »
How do you know water doesnt get sucked into the brakes ?

Thanks snow. I was wondering that myself. Jeff, do you use water because it's clear? I have used brake fluid for other jobs that I have done, but I haven't tried water.
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Jeff

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2004, 11:19:38 AM »
if you use clear hose (which you should), you will really never be able to get water into the system (unless you REALLY tried).  Keep the water lower, and you will have about 2" of brake fluid in the hose, and then the rest will be air, down into the water.  The suction will not be strong enough to pull water back up into the brakes.  
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BlackOps

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Re:Brake bleeding - How To
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2004, 10:03:06 PM »
if you use clear hose (which you should), you will really never be able to get water into the system (unless you REALLY tried).  Keep the water lower, and you will have about 2" of brake fluid in the hose, and then the rest will be air, down into the water.  The suction will not be strong enough to pull water back up into the brakes.  

Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try this winter.
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