Bleeding brakes with new brake lines - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Bleeding brakes with new brake lines

Alright, what's the trick here cuz I'm having a hell of a hard time with this. I've never had issues bleeding brakes before, always used a vacuum pump, like Mitty-Vac or similar with success, but this is the first time I've ever installed brand new lines. I've gone through about 4-5 reservoirs of fluid and brake still feels really soft/mushy, there is barely any resistance from the lever, although I see that the pads are being engaged on the rotor, just not very hard.

Is there a trick to doing this? I'm doing this on the R3 which also has a MC that doesn't have a bleeder bolt. So I figured it'd be even simpler to do since it's just one banjo on the caliper and only one caliper too

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post #2 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbk1198 View Post
Alright, what's the trick here cuz I'm having a hell of a hard time with this. I've never had issues bleeding brakes before, always used a vacuum pump, like Mitty-Vac or similar with success, but this is the first time I've ever installed brand new lines. I've gone through about 4-5 reservoirs of fluid and brake still feels really soft/mushy, there is barely any resistance from the lever, although I see that the pads are being engaged on the rotor, just not very hard.

Is there a trick to doing this? I'm doing this on the R3 which also has a MC that doesn't have a bleeder bolt. So I figured it'd be even simpler to do since it's just one banjo on the caliper and only one caliper too
I added one of these to my 300 MC banjo bolt. It is pretty much impossible to get a firm feel without it. Spiegler Banjo Bleeder Bolt - Sportbike Track Gear

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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It shouldn't be impossible because it was plenty firm before with the stock lines. With steel braided lines I expect the feel to be even more firm but it's not even close to being the way it was before. I don't think the hardware is the issue, but more about how i'm bleeding it.

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post #4 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 03:58 PM
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It's really difficult to get air out of the master cylinder without a bleeder. You could try pumping the brake and firmly tapping (light beating) the master cylinder with a screwdriver handle. That should help move the air bubbles up into he master cylinder reservoir.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 05:06 PM
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I found the hand vacuum pump to suck.
Mine is a electric version. For me, the trick has always been to have a LONG line.
I make a P trap over the signals or mirror.

SO it's direct up from bleeder over mirror or signal, down then back up.

Suck fluid until the first up line is fluid. Then turn pump off. Pump master until few bubbles.
do other side, NO bubbles then back to first side.

Last edited by Indy; 02-26-2017 at 05:09 PM.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 05:13 PM
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Here is the procedure I use directly from the service manual for my 2009 ZX-6R (should be the same on any bike): Brake Line Bleeding | 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R

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post #7 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the procedure I use directly from the service manual for my 2009 ZX-6R (should be the same on any bike): Brake Line Bleeding | 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R
I've tried that method of pumping the lever and then open and close the bleed valve. But unlike what the instructions there say "pump until the lever becomes hard"....that never happens. I can pump it all day and it's still soft. I don't get it. Almost seems as if there is a leak in the system then

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 08:38 PM
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I've tried that method of pumping the lever and then open and close the bleed valve. But unlike what the instructions there say "pump until the lever becomes hard"....that never happens. I can pump it all day and it's still soft. I don't get it. Almost seems as if there is a leak in the system then
Hydraulic systems use hydraulic fliuid because it doesn't compress. Air willl compress. You have air in the system. The brakes were working fine before the system was opened. You drained the system letting air into it. You have to get it out now. The master cylinder is the highest point of the braking system. It will hold air and it will never travel down to the calipers. It sucks that you don't have a bleeder on the master cylinder but you can get the air out. You can loosen the banjo bolt and use as a bleeder but will make a mess. Another thing you could try is lifting the caliper above the master cylinder and seeing if you can work the air up to it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hydraulic systems use hydraulic fliuid because it doesn't compress. Air willl compress. You have air in the system. The brakes were working fine before the system was opened. You drained the system letting air into it. You have to get it out now. The master cylinder is the highest point of the braking system. It will hold air and it will never travel down to the calipers. It sucks that you don't have a bleeder on the master cylinder but you can get the air out. You can loosen the banjo bolt and use as a bleeder but will make a mess. Another thing you could try is lifting the caliper above the master cylinder and seeing if you can work the air up to it.
Hmm...you gave me a good idea! It's only a couple of bolts to take the MC and reservoir off, so I can just set that on the floor and might make things easier! That way I can also shake it around a bit. Thanks for the tip. I'll give it another go tomorrow.

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post #10 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 10:41 PM
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Was having the same issue when I made the swap. I threw the part @jd41 linked and also tried the other method of bleeding where you

1) Open zerg
2) Pump once and hold
3) Tighten zerg
4) Release break

And it did the trick. Not sure if it was the parts or trying the other way of bleeding but it worked
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-26-2017, 11:27 PM
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I add about 6-8 inches of hose straight up off the bleeder on the caliper. Open the bleeder and wait.... and wait.... and wait. Eventually gravity will pull the new fluid through. Maybe pump the lever a few times as well... but with patients... it will get there.

And speed bleeders are your friend...

YRMV...




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post #12 of 13 Old 02-27-2017, 01:07 AM
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If your still having trouble you can bleed it from the bottom up, get a syringe and attach it to your caliper bleed nipple with a piece of hose, then open the nipple and push the fluid in the syringe into the caliper, keep an eye on the master cylinder be careful not to overfill it and spill brake fluid everywhere.
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-28-2017, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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I guess time and patience were the key. I went back and took the MC off and set it at a lower level than the caliper, bleed everything again, but was still pretty mushy. Ended up doing the good old zip-tie trick, and left the lever zip-tied as close as I could to the handlebar and when I came back this morning, hard as a rock! Solid brakes now. All is well! Feels even better than before, which it should, since they're steel lines.

The rear caliper was easier because I pushed the fluid in with a syringe since I don't have a reservoir on the rear, just a clear tube.

2007 ZZR600 (sold)
2006 CBR600 (sold)
2010 1198 (parted out across North America)
2013 CBR500R (race bike)
2009 ZX6R (race bike)
2015 R3 (project bike and future race bike)

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