How to: Install Stainless Steel Brake Lines - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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How to: Install Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Disclaimer: Myself nor anyone on zx6r.com is responsible for anything you may break while following this how-to. This how-to is purely informational and can be taken however you like. If this is out of your mechanical ability, please, for the love of your bike, don't do it.

With the legal jargon out of the way, lets get started, shall we?

So I was getting annoyed with the squishy feeling of my stock brake lines and decided it was time to upgrade to SS braided lines. I went ahead and purchased HEL's kit and I must say I'm very impressed. I was also shocked at the ease of the installation (minus a few wtf brain fart moments lol). So here we go:

Step 1:

First things first, get ur bike up on a stand - i just used my rear swingarm stand...i don't recommend using a fork stand because your gonna want to be able to move the front wheel for maximum accessibility.



Now we need to tackle the brake reservoir. Unscrew the "lock" from the reservoir, and take the lid off. After you take the lid off you'll notice a rubber diaphragm looking thing (used to prevent water vapor from getting to the fluid) - carefully pull it out to expose the fluid.







Step 2:

Next you need to get the fluid out of the reservoir. Theres a couple of methods to do this: you can just traditionally bleed the brakes, use a suction pump, or my personal favorite, use a turkey baster it'll get like 90% of the fluid out in one shot. Then you'll have to bleed the brakes to get the fluid out of the lines. Granted you won't get it all out so keep that in mind when removing the lines.



Step 2a:

If you don't know how to bleed your brakes this will be a quick touch on how to do it. If you are still confused, Google it.

Basic procedure - pull the cover off the bleed nipples on the master cylinder and the 2 calipers. Get a tube that can fit over the nipples with a bottle to catch fluid and a 10mm wrench for the calipers. Do one at a time. Start with the right caliper. Open the nipple (turn the wrench) press and hold the brake, close the nipple. repeat this until you are pulling air. Then to the left caliper. Next do the master cylinder (you'll need an 8mm wrench for this nipple) for good measure, there probably won't be any fluid in there, but it doesn't hurt to do it.





Step 3:

Time to loosen up the master cylinder for better access to the under side. Using an allen wrench loosen, but don't remove, the bolts holding the master cylinder to the clip-ons.



Step 4:

Now we begin the fun part. Get a rag or a crap ton of paper towels and start covering everything under the master cylinder. Using a 12mm socket undo the banjo bolt at the under side of the master cylinder. Remove it and set it aside.



A little further down, above the radiator, you'll see the little junction box with 3 lines going to it. Unbolt it and set the bolt aside (no fluid will come out here).





Now we move down to the calipers following the same procedure of removing the bolt from master cylinder. Again, don't forget to protect your rubbers and paint/powdercoat from the brake fluid.



After you got the banjo bolts out of both calipers, you'll need to remove the line guide that is in the fender. Its a little tricky to remove em, you kinda have to pinch them and pull them out. Might need to pinch from the inside of the fender. Don't get frustrated, it'll give out eventually.



Once you get both of those guides out the lines are free to be removed. Grab em from the master cylinder line and carefully pull em out the top. Be careful of spillage.





Congrats you're done. Now go test ride the bike and report back....

Step 5:

If you survived the previous step, congrats you're not a moron. I felt i needed to do my part to further help Darwins theory of natural selection. Anyways...

Get your new brake lines out. There should be 3 to a full kit. The rear lines usually have the companies logo on both ends (for mine it did at least). Looking at the 2 front lines, the shorter of the 2 is going to go to the right caliper and the longer to the left. Right side is the side that the brake lever is on.



Now it's time to begin the physical installation. Both brake lines will be going directly to the master cylinder. Grab the long bolt that has 2 holes in it along with 3 crush washers.



Hold the bolt so the head is pointed down. Slide a washer on, right brake line with the banjo angled down, followed by another washer, then the left line with banjo down, followed by the last washer. You don't have to worry about the holes lining up.



Screw this into the master cylinder, but don't tighten it yet. Now bolt the bajos up to the calipers. You should be doing washer, banjo, washer. The banjos bend goes forward to back (refer to photo below). Dont try to force them, if they aren't lining up you did something wrong.





After everything is all bolted up and tightened, you'll need to fill the reservoir with fluid and begin the bleeding procedure again. This time start with the master cylinder nipple. Loosen, squeeze, tighten. loosen, squeeze, tighten. do this until there is no air bubbles and make sure to not let the fluid drop below the lower line, or you'll start drawing air and have to start all over. Use this method for the right then the left caliper. For good measure do it twice or until all air is out of the system and your brakes work properly.

Step 6:

Now onto the rear brakes!

Remove the housing for the reservoir (08 and older bikes are mounted in a different location)





Drain the fluid like you did for the front reservoir and bleed the brakes. Remember, once you're pushing air you're done.

Side note: I found it very strange that my bike only has 28XX miles on it and i had black some black fluid...something to keep in mine for the future...

Time to unscrew the banjo bolts (again, cover all areas with a rag or towel)





Before you can remove the brake line, you'll have to take the line guide that runs along the swing arm and holds the hugger in place off.



Pull the line out and you're ready to install the new one.



Make sure to take note of which way the banjo's lined up and install the new lines the same way. Again, fill the reservoir with fresh fluid and bleed the brakes. You only have to worry about 1 nipple on the caliper.



That's it, you're done! Changing the brake lines is actually quite easy if you access to the tools and the mechanical knowledge. If you have any questions feel free to ask em and i'll try to help. Enjoy the better non-squishy braking power!
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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just a little update...finally got around to taking it out for a test drive....talk about better braking lol...the response is alot better and feels a bit smoother...no more squishy squishy....oh...and you can do a burnout with east

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post #3 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 02:27 PM
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I was just about to do this too! Perfect timing that you have done this write up. Good job and thanks Chaos!
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 02:28 PM
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Thats an awesome write up there my friend

What brake fluid did you use to refill?

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post #5 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 03:07 PM
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Those brakes are soooooo good Best upgrade on the older model ZX's

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post #6 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 03:26 PM
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I just installed mine last night and tested them hard today

SS lines are the best upgrade upgrade you can do on any bike. I highly recommend anyone use this guide Chaos has provided and throw some lines on ASAP!

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post #7 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 03:57 PM
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Those brakes are soooooo good Best upgrade on the older model ZX's
Been there done that

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post #8 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 03:59 PM
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Great write up man. I did my when i rebuilt my bike and i will never go back.
Need to make this a sticky.



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post #9 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 04:37 PM
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Only thing that sucks about the 05/06 brake lines I got (Galfer colored steel brake lines) is I had to cut a notch off the master cylinder to get it to fit. Other than that super easy install
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TwoBit View Post
I was just about to do this too! Perfect timing that you have done this write up. Good job and thanks Chaos!
Haha awesome. Glad this was able to help everyone...unfortunately i know this will be buried within a week...no one can sticky it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Thats an awesome write up there my friend

What brake fluid did you use to refill?

Steve
I can't remember off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure it was Prestone DOT4 synthetic

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post #11 of 19 Old 03-31-2012, 09:30 PM
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I will add to this...

If for any reason you bleed brakes or install these lines somewhat regularly (more then 1 a month) then a vacuum bleeder is worth the $40.

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post #12 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 12:40 AM
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Good write up mate, im considering SS lines at some point lol

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post #13 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 01:38 AM
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Did mine on my 06 636 a while ago,easy todo loads better brakeing feel,....connorvore why did u have to cut a notch outa master cylinder to get them to fit, is it just with the galfer lines i installed HEL and was a straight forward fit matey... just curious..

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post #14 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 05:38 AM
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luv the write up. I swapped to ss lines last month.
Totally cracked me up with the last comment for step #4.
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post #15 of 19 Old 04-01-2012, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oKayH View Post
I will add to this...

If for any reason you bleed brakes or install these lines somewhat regularly (more then 1 a month) then a vacuum bleeder is worth the $40.
+1 or even if u frequently do it by yourself, pressing the rear brake while holding a wrench, tube, and bottle in the other hand gets old quick.


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luv the write up. I swapped to ss lines last month.
Totally cracked me up with the last comment for step #4.

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