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I have bled brakes on many cars and bikes without significant problems. Upon rebuilding my master cylinders on my just aquired GL1100, I am having a heck of a time getting the firm feeling back. The fluid is clear of air, so I suspect air trapped in the MCs. How do I clear the air from the MC, if that is my problem? I have read posting in the archive, but have yet to understand this procedure.

Thanks
 

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I aquired a GL1100 with soft brakes, and I'm in the sameprocess of bleeding the system. Not easy, compared to a car. I think air is trapped in the large diameter brake line, running down from the master cylinder to the coupler at the lower triple tree. Getting the air out is a fight against gravity.

I have the front calipers off, with spacers between the calipers. I hold the calipers at different elevations and angles to get air to move. I punch quickly on the brake lever a number of times, opening the bleeder at each compression of the brake lever. I do this to force the airdown the brake line.I then hold the caliper, with the bleeders open,so fluid just flows on its own. After about 15 seconds, I get a lot of air coming out. The bleeders have a plastic tube on them, so I don't get air back in to the calipers when I bleed by gravity.

I'm getting air out this way, a lot of it. It more successful with the LH brake caliper.The brake lever action seems to dislodge air from the brake line. The gravity bleeding seems to move the dislodged air out through the system. I've consumed a big container of fluid, and it's definitely not a fast method. It is working for me. Surely there is a faster method, and I'm all ears for that.

LD Hack
 

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LD Hack,

Sounds very similar. I even have used my vacuum bleeder to no avail. I should just lay the bike down to bleed them :)
 

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Some guys use a device called a "Mighty Vac". I guess it's a vacuum that is capable of drawing brake fluid out through the bleeder. BTW, Dave beat me to this in his post. I need to type faster:D

I have used a method that is simple and very inexpensive. I take a length of clear tubing, a clear container that is clean of course, put some fresh brake fluid in the container, puton end of thetubing which is attached to the bleeder nipple and put the other end in the container making sure that it is below the level of the fresh fluid. Crack open the bleeder valve and pump the pedal/lever. Make sure you keep the resevoir filled or you'll have to start over again;). When you don't see any more bubbles traveling down the tubing, you're almost finished. Just close the valve, check out the pedal/lever for firmness and voila you're done.

It may be necessary to initially crack the banjo bolt open as occasionally there can be a bubble in there that is hard to get out otherwise.

This method has worked very well for me several times on my '83.

Regards,

Hobie
 

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Davebave wrote:
I have bled brakes on many cars and bikes without significant problems.  Upon rebuilding my master cylinders on my just aquired GL1100, I am having a heck of a time getting the firm feeling back.  The fluid is clear of air, so I suspect air trapped in the MCs.  How do I clear the air from the MC, if that is my problem?  I have read posting in the archive, but have yet to understand this procedure.

Thanks
You might check out www.speedbleeder.com and see if they have something for your application. Their chart doesnt show one, but a phone call might be in order. They make a cool little bolt on bleeder. It replaces the bleeder on the bike, and has a small ball valve and spring in it, so you just loosen it, and do the pump thing. When you are ready, just tighten it down like you would the stock bleeder.

Maybe they will have something that fits yours. I put some on my willys and love em...
 

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When I rebuilt the rear master cylinder on my 78 GL1000 I jury-rigged a vacuum bleeder by using a length of plastic hose and a large syringe-like device I picked up at Wally Mart. It was a called a Fuel Mizer I think and was supposed to used to accurately measure 2-cycle oil. Anyway, after pumping away for two days and getting nowhere trying to bleed the brakes, this setup worked like a charm. I bled the brakes in about 15 minutes. :clapper:
 

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ubarw wrote:

You might check out and see if they have something for your application. Their chart doesnt show one, but a phone call might be in order. They make a cool little bolt on bleeder. It replaces the bleeder on the bike, and has a small ball valve and spring in it, so you just loosen it, and do the pump thing. When you are ready, just tighten it down like you would the stock bleeder.

Maybe they will have something that fits yours. I put some on my willys and love em...
Seems to me the SB8125L is the ones I bought for my GL1100. Have only had to bleed them twice, once when I rebuilt the system, the other when I replaced the lines with braided stainless steel ones.

Raymond
 

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I just bled my brakes this past weekend using one of those hand pump vacs. I wrapped some teflon tape around the attachment that went in the bleeder hole for an airtight fit. Brakes work fine now.
 

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keeping it simple. just open bleeder,keep pressing pedal until you get plenty of fluid coming out. close and pump up 10 times or so then bleed air off close valve. done
thank you gene
 

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I had the same trouble this past summer with mine. What finally got the air out was to pump the lever until it gets firm, then tie the lever so it's pulled towards the handle. Let sit overnight with it tied andwithout touching it and see what you get. I had to do two days in a row but got all air out after second day.

Hope youtry this.... as I had a mechanic have my bike for 4 weeks without him getting it bled. I got the bike home from him and had it up and going in no time.

Don
 

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No special devices are needed to bleed the 1100 as in my 1980, but you must be patient and not in a hurry. Upon doing the release and collect in a large pop bottle the brakes were still soft. So I re-did the front reservoir and piston rebuild. Took no new parts but a great deal of cleaning out the gel, crap and cleaning all holes and mating surfaces.

The rear MC on the side was in worse shape with a gelatinous mass, dirt and ages of neglect. Remove the whole thing and take apart, keep a watch what comes out and clean. I only cleaned with new DOT 3 brake fluid and flushed everything and inspected any tiny little holes and used brass or copper round feelers no burrs to clean. In my case the MC took 3 times to get all crap out.

I re-assembled using existing parts, no new parts were used. I filled up what I could with new DOT 3 brake fluid, wiped extremely clean and mounted the MC to the bike.

The brake line pressure hoses were left on the bike but blown clear with compressed air and inspected for cracks, soft spots. Filled the hosed with new brake cleaner and drained 3x and re-assembled. The front and rear calipers were removed, cleaned and washed in brake fluid 3 x. All surfaces mated well, assembled with pistons open as far as I could get them. All rubbers were OK. Assembly was left attached and verified central drifting/floating and then locked in place.

Now I called my wife to assist in the back brake and front brake pumping while I paid attention to colour, bubbles, soft and hard tensioning on the lines. Over time and patience the pumping became very hard and very minimal until I secured all screws and took a break to let any air moveup in the system.

Back after supper and continued to press pedals look for the tiniest bubbles, lock and measure travels. The bubbles were very tiny, the pedal and the handle were rock hard on bottoming, tied them in that final position and left them over night.

I returned to finalize the flush and noted tiny bubbles only on the first squeeze out and wrapped it up. I have put about 9000 Km on the brakes and the first night out they saved my life as I was cut off by a woman in a car on a wet rainy night. The bike locked up both wheels, stayed straight and I stopped about 1/2" from her back end. I stayed vertical and the truckers behind me saw what took place and with their thumbs up gave me the time to calm down and re-start the bike.

So what was done right? Stay calm and methodical and remember air is less dense than DOT 3 brake fluid. Ask for help if handling the pedals, the liquid, the wrench all at the same time. Remember to push, remove, lock tight then release. The order is simple but it does takethinking. Over time it will take place, over time a pressurized system will squeeze the air smaller and this may help release the trapped air. Be clean, be very clean. Do not reuse brake fluid, do not spill it on paint and keep a lot of lint free rags. If you are not sure of the where abouts of a rag do not use it. Test your brakes every time you get on the bike.

Remember you are doing all this to save your life and to know it was done right! As to parts, test what you have or upon inspection they seem rough or worn then replace.
 

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Keeping the bike upright with both wheels locked to stop is some first class riding, ARKnapp:clapper:Glad to see you here writing about it instead of the alternative.
 

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I do not know why I stayed up but I would think a lot of it comes down to the slippery wet road and the fear of crashing. This ismy first wing and I was told it was a difficult bike to ride up a ramp onto the back of a 4 ' high truck and that seemed easy also. So if I was blessed that night I thank all for that blessing. So even now after 40 + years of riding the people in cars are nuts, they act nuts at least and I find riding a wing does a very good job of keeping me aware. Thanks
 

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If I may add my two cents worth. Also rebuilt front brakes on my 1100. Having read all the posts on this subject I thought I was prepared. What a battle. Pumped fluid in from the bottom. Pumped fluid in from the top. Pumped and pumped. Cracked the banjos. Nearly stood on my head with frustration. Eventually I removed the bottom mounting bolt from the calipers and rotated them slightly so that the bleeder nipple was vertical. This helped a lot because then the air came out and I had brakes once more. I've bled plenty of brakes in my time but have never battled like this before.

Years ago I had a VW bus and modified the MC cap to take an airline. Connected it up to a compressor at about 10 PSI and then simply opened each bleeder in turn (keeping an eye on the fluid level). Worked a treat. No pumping or assistants required. Might be worth trying on a wing.
 

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AFter you pre bleed the MC you connect your banjo and bleed as you would normally do.
Then squeeze the lever tilits about 1/8 inch rom the handle and zip tie it in place.

This will allow air bubbles to gradually release.
come back to it the next day and slowly release the lever. You should feel an instant hardening of p[ressure
 

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I take it it's your front brakes thats are hard to bleed. One trick I have use after believing it can't be done, is pull the lever back to the bars and secure it there overnight. It allowed the air to escape and in the morning I had brakes where there were none.,,,
 

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Put the top on the front MC.
Undo the MC from the handlebar and point it up to let the trapped air rise.

Gord
 
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