1980 GL1100 Front Brakes Bled, Still Spongy - Page 2 - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 03:25 PM
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That was William Henry? Geez! I thought it was Henry Winkler.

Why ain't we ridin'?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 05:51 PM
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From totally empty lines you need a mighty-vac to get them full enough to bleed them in the traditional way, speed bleeders are good for the final operation, especially if help is hard to find.

But if the brakes not coming off was the initial problem then you need to pay particular attention to the small return hole in the master cylinder when you do your cleaning, I still have nightmares about how that almost affected me!

For what it's worth and if I may be so bold? The current rebuild of the `80, `81, `82 & `83 GL1100STDASPENSTATE can be followed on classicgoldwings.com in a thread called "The plan is to turn 140,000 into 50,000."

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Update: the technique from "Bike... and Dennis" of tying the brake lever to the throttle overnight worked. The brakes are firm even after sitting for a few hours.

As an avid SCUBA diver I was particularly pleased to read the wiki article an learn all my brakes needs was a decompression stop ;-)

Thanks for all the help. I will of course follow up on replacing the brake lines.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 11:40 PM
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Update: the technique from "Bike... and Dennis" of tying the brake lever to the throttle overnight worked. The brakes are firm even after sitting for a few hours.

As an avid SCUBA diver I was particularly pleased to read the wiki article an learn all my brakes needs was a decompression stop ;-)

Thanks for all the help. I will of course follow up on replacing the brake lines.
This is interesting, I read the Wikipedia page too, but have a question. Henry's Law states that the amount of dissolved gas in liquid is proportional to its partial pressure above the liquid. If I'm understanding this, air above the MC reservoir is one atmosphere and does not change with the MC piston compressed. What changes is the pressure of any air bubbles in the system. After all, with the MC piston compressed the check valve at the end of the piston is closed blocking the brake fluid from the atmosphere. Fluid does not compress, but any air bubbles would. In effect any air in the system will dissolve into the fluid in the system.
My last two bike builds have resulted in varying satisfaction with the brakes. On my CB450 the front is spongy and I have redone it twice. On the GL1200 the rear pedal is spongy, but the front came out nice. On the 1200 I used the plugged hole in the bottom of the caliper to reverse bleed. It pumped fluid up from the bottom and from the vary beginning it worked perfect. I have tried reverse bleeding, vacuum bleeding and old fashioned pumping the brakes.
I'm working on my GL1100 now and bleed the brakes last weeked. The front is OK, but could be better. The rear on the 1100 came out like the 1200 and is very disappointing. I will go down to the garage tonight and tie the front down on the 1100 and I will report back if it got any better.
I worked in a gas station when I was a kid and one of my jobs was to bleed brakes when the shop guys did a brake job. I will never forget the pressure bleeder they had. There was a plate that sealed to the top of the master cylinder and shop air would pressurize a tank that fed brake fluid under pressure to the brake system. Once the system was setup, all that was needed was to go to each slave cylinder and let off the fluid. There was never an issue with spongy brakes.
I putting together a similar system to use on my bikes. I have an older air conditioning flushing tool that I'm converting to a similar tool. I should have it ready to goo next week. I will report back.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 09:28 AM
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I worked in a gas station when I was a kid and one of my jobs was to bleed brakes when the shop guys did a brake job. I will never forget the pressure bleeder they had. There was a plate that sealed to the top of the master cylinder and shop air would pressurize a tank that fed brake fluid under pressure to the brake system. Once the system was setup, all that was needed was to go to each slave cylinder and let off the fluid. There was never an issue with spongy brakes.
I putting together a similar system to use on my bikes. I have an older air conditioning flushing tool that I'm converting to a similar tool. I should have it ready to goo next week. I will report back.
I have one of those but I haven't gotten around to making an adapter for motorcycles. They do a much better job than vacuum bleeders.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 12:04 PM
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I have one of those but I haven't gotten around to making an adapter for motorcycles. They do a much better job than vacuum bleeders.
Dave, I don't want to hijack dbnewton's thread, so I will start a new one with the bleeder. One question, what pressure does your bleeder work at? I got into a debate with a BMW guy and he thinks 2-3 psi is enough. I was thinking 15 psi would be OK. He was concerned the device would come apart and blow brake fluid all over.

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 02:20 PM
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Dave, I don't want to hijack dbnewton's thread, so I will start a new one with the bleeder. One question, what pressure does your bleeder work at? I got into a debate with a BMW guy and he thinks 2-3 psi is enough. I was thinking 15 psi would be OK. He was concerned the device would come apart and blow brake fluid all over.
I always ran it at 15-20 PSI on cars. Probably less would work on motorcycles.

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 05:13 AM
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Put grease on the bleeder threads to seal them when using the mityvac

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 12:23 AM
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Teflon tape on the bleeder thingie... 2..wraps to try to keep air from being sucked past the threads if using an E bay $1 1" bore syringe and clear hose sand and super glued to the end of the plastic syringe (also avail at farm supply stores). then can watch the air bubbles cum thru the hose while sucking the old nasty brake fluid thru the system... should use turkey baster to suck old nasty brake fluid out of master cylinder, before starting to bleed the system so don't run all the old nasty fluid thru the brake system. tap the caliper with small hammer to release any air bubbles that are caught in the caliper?


I thought I read something abt the rear brake being BAD to bleed cuz of the proportioning valve for the combined brakes or whatever the thing is called that use the foot pedal to operate one of the front calipers and the rear caliper. was watching some MotoGP riding teacher telling the class, at the beginning of class, "forget that rear brake"... Moto GP riders go into turns carrying the rear tire off the ground... back brake is not going to do much good with the wheel off the ground. FOLLOWING DISTANCE... its NOT nutt to butt at any speed... contrary to what u see in ur rear view mirror more often than not.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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1980 did not have the proportioning, so no worries there. The challenge bleeding the back brake is being on both sides of the bike at the same time, but it's doable.

I will now get a chance to try some techniques mentioned above. My front brakes continue to work fine but yesterday during a ride the rear lever was way too high. The snap ring in the rear master cylinder popped out. So I'm rebuilding the rear now 😞
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