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Teach me: replace brake fluid

  1. #1

    Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Ok so I know how to bleed brakes (kinda) and I want to replace the brake fluid on the SV

    Do I just do the same thing I would do for bleeding while adding fresh fluid in the reservoir?

    If anyone had the time and patience to give me a step by step would be great.

    Thanks in advance,
    Sav

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  2. #2
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    You can do it that way. It's tedious and slow, but also the least likely to introduce air into the system by accident.

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  3. #3
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    He has my mity vac...

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  4. #4
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    As with many things there are multiple methods.

    For me it depends a bit on how complicated the braking system is.

    On the sports bike I'll just (as much as possible) completely drain the system. Open the bleed valves. Pump until the master reservoir is empty. This implies that you have done something to catch the brake fluid coming from the bleed valves. I tend of use speed blenders and some clear hose (which can be picked up cheap) run to a common "collection point".

    Once the master is empty (assuming this is the front, which is harder) close the bleed valves. Pour new brake fluid in the reservoir. Try to estimate which of the brake lines is longer. "bleed" that one first, going slow and being sure not to let air "back up" the bleed valve. Pay attention to the fluid "color". You can normally tell the nice new clean fluid from the old watery dirty fluid. Pay attention to the master reservoir. Don't let it run dry. Once you have "new fluid" running through, switch to the shorter line and repeat. Keep watching the master reservoir. Get clean fluid on both and then check the level on the master.

    Check the brakes. You could have left over bubbles. You don't want to start this 10 minutes before a race. Give some time to bleed the bubbles out.

    There are other techniques. Lots. Reverse bleeding. Pumps. All kinds of stuff.

    On the GL introducing any air to the system is like crashing into a wall, so pouring brake fluid become like pouring a black and tan to not "mix" fluids, but with relatively simple brakes it isn't that hard.

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  5. #5
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    I use one of those cheap suction bulbs to empty the reservoir. Then I add fresh fluid to the reservoir. Then squeeze and bleed several times and top off the reservoir as needed.

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  6. #6
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Yeah, if you have a mity vac or a "turkey baster" it is faster than "bleeding".

    With a mity vac, on a sport bike, pick a side. Open the bleed valve. Take the lid off of the reservoir. Hook up the vac. Turn on the vac until it runs "dry". Close the bleed valve. Repeat for the other side.

    Pour the reservoir full. Open a bleed valve. Pull on that side until you see fluid (keep and eye on the reservoir, but generally you will be ok). Close the bleed valve. Repeat for the other side.

    You may still need to bleed bubbles.

    There will be a group who says you need to make sure that you completely open the pistons on all brakes to get as much fluid (and contaminants) as possible out of the calipers. They aren't wrong.

    There will be a group that says you need to buy a special tool to open up the brake calipers without doing damage to the surfaces of the pads. They aren't wrong. I tend to use a flathead screwdriver to pry them apart.

    There will be a group that says before opening up the calipers you should use a brush to clean the cylinders to make sure that you aren't getting anything pushed up in the boot. They aren't wrong.

    It becomes a matter of how much attention you are willing to give to these details.

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  7. #7
    Posting Freak caddydaddy's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by jasnmar View Post

    For me it depends a bit on how complicated the braking system is.

    On the sports bike I'll just (as much as possible) completely drain the system.
    If the bike has ABS, like my Triumph does, you shouldn't get any air into the system when bleeding. If you do, the dealer must use their scan tool to operate the ABS pump to bleed the air out of the lines. Just a caution for anyone with ABS brakes!
    I just pump the brake level slowly and refill the reservoir so that it doesn't run dry or get air into the lines.

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  8. #8

    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    I have smuttys vac but no clue how to use it.

    Jasnmar what you said makes sense. I will try it this Saturday and see how it works out.

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  9. #9
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    No doubt. I am *assuming* Savas is talking about the SV. I could be completely off base.

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  10. #10

    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Just to be clear. I connect the vac to whatever bleed valve I want and take all the brake fluid out? Then do the other side?

    Them start pouring fresh brake fluid on whatever side first but make sure I don't run the reservoir empty to avoid getting air in the system... Let it sit over night and bleed out next day to make sure there are no bubbles?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes we are discussing the SV

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  11. #11
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Just to be clear. I connect the vac to whatever bleed valve I want and take all the brake fluid out? Then do the other side?
    Correct. At this point your front brake system is basically empty.

    Other things like pushing your front pistons into the calipers are up to you. "Ideally" you would completely evacuate the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Them start pouring fresh brake fluid on whatever side first but make sure I don't run the reservoir empty to avoid getting air in the system...
    Put brake fluid in the master. Pick a side. Same as before, but rather than waiting until you get air, now you wait until you get fluid (you have filled the system with air, now you have to fill it with brake fluid).

    Close the bleed valve. Put fluid in the master. Repeat for the other side. Wait until you get fluid.

    Bleed the brakes... If you "opened" the calipers this will require more bleeding (because you have created more air space and pulling fluid through won't fill the cavity). Bleed as best as you can. Let it sit. Bleed again.

    With a pump (mitt vac) there are other options. It really does depend on how much effort you want to put into this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Yes we are discussing the SV
    As far as I know the SV brakes are pretty simple. No ABS. No "interlocking. " Lever runs front master which pushes front calipers. Foot runs rear master which pushes rear caliper.

    If you have trouble call.

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    Last edited by jasnmar; 08-19-14 at 11:04 PM.

  12. #12
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Just to be clear. I connect the vac to whatever bleed valve I want and take all the brake fluid out? Then do the other side?

    Them start pouring fresh brake fluid on whatever side first but make sure I don't run the reservoir empty to avoid getting air in the system... Let it sit over night and bleed out next day to make sure there are no bubbles?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes we are discussing the SV

    It's the same as his penis pump, with a little more hose.

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  13. #13
    Wizard loudbeard's Avatar
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    Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Step 1: completely drain all fluid by opening the bleeder valves at the calipers one at a time. Pump your brake lever to pull the fluid out of the master. Remove the brake lines from the calipers and allow it to gravity drain, once the master is empty it won't push any more fluid down the lines.

    Step 2: load bike into trailer, bring to next race weekend, have friend add fluid and bleed it for you.

    Anyway, that's how I did mine, substitute trailer for ambulance.

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    I went to MMI I know what Im doing here chief

  14. #14

    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Lol

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  15. #15
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    I am personally not a fan of emptying the system. I use new fluid to push out the old. Run through 1/3 of a small bottle of brake fluid per caliper and you should be good.

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  16. #16
    Get Weird! maxim_X's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    I'm with the chicken. Just keep lumping until the new clear stuff comes out the bottom. It can save chasing air bubbles if no air gets in there.

    Here are my steps.

    1- Open resi, fill, keep full.
    2- Put a hose in the bleeder nip and a container for it.
    3- Squeeze brake lever, then crack bleeder open.
    4- Close bleeder while still holding the lever.
    5- Pump the lever a few times
    6- Repeat 3 - 5 until the fluid coming out of the laiper is clear and switch to the other.

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  17. #17
    Unsafe At Any Speeds Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    i actually stuff a shop towel in my reservior cup to absorb all the fluids. no point in pushing it through the lines if it's going out anyways.

    Sav, buy a set of speed bleeders for your calipers too.

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  18. #18
    Lifer
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Maxium's technique really requires two people, one to squeeze and one to crack. Doing that by yourself is kind of a pain in the ass. Speed bleeders are huge here.

    I have not been able to get the mitivac to get a proper seal on the bleed nipples on my DL650. IIRC the calipers are the same on the SV. Without a proper seal I was constantly drawing air.

    With a non-ABS system, I'd be tempted to buy a large syringe and try reverse bleeding. That's going to be the next technique I try even on my ABS machine. If that doesn't work, I'm buying a KTM. (No, not really.)

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  19. #19
    Senior Member pontifex's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid


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  20. #20
    Lifer
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Even that video shows the vac drawing air.

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  21. #21
    Lifer Billy's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    For years I used to do the "regular bleeding" method. Squeeze brake, crack open bleeder, close bleeder when brake lever bottoms out, refill reservior when it gets extremly low with fresh fluid. Repeat process until fluid coming out of bleeder is clear. I recently saw a video on reverse bleeding. Seems a HELL of a lot less annoying.

    I ended up buying two of these to help inject the brake fluid using the reverse bleeding method. Also can be used to suck out the old fluid in the reservior to help speed up the process.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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  22. #22
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    I've found that even with a Mity Vac, you're still going to need to purge air bubbles. The Mity Vac should be used to get the majority of new fluid out/in, then close the bleeders and pump the brake by hand to purge the remaining air bubbles. You'll see them coming out of the reservoir supply hose. Tipping the bike side to side also helps unstuck some of the more stubborn air bubbles.

    Once you have good pressure, go for a 10 min ride and use your brakes often and hard. Then open the reservoir and pull on the brake again to get the last few air bubbles out.

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  23. #23
    Lifer Billy's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    The only time I had luck with a Mity Vac was on my first bike which was a 99 CBR 600 F4. All other bikes I've used it on just sucked in air. I gave up on that method a long time ago.

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  24. #24
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    I was able to reach the lever with one hand and crack the bleeder with the other. Might be harder if you have fairings in the way.

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  25. #25
    Lifer Ductard's Avatar
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    Re: Teach me: replace brake fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    I have smuttys vac but no clue how to use it.

    Jasnmar what you said makes sense. I will try it this Saturday and see how it works out.
    As a heads up. Don't assume that because you're using a mighty-vac the process is going to be clean. I bought a mighty-vac about a month ago and learned the hard way.

    The two things to watch for are that the hose doesn't come off the bleed valve, and more importantly, that the hose going from the collection container to the mighty-vac hand-piece stays above the level of the brake fluid. Sounds simple enough but I was doing a rotor change in a hurry (i.e. missing track day sessions) so I didn't secure the collection container well. If the collection container falls, fluid gets sucked right into the hose. Once brake fluid gets in that hose, it goes straight into the mighty-vac cylinder, gets around the back of the piston, and you now have a brake-fluid launcher with a range of ~15 feet.

    Somebody on here probably knows a way to keep the hose from coming off the bleed valve, if not a way to keep it from drawing air around the threads altogether (I've heard teflon tape on the threads helps but I'm not sure). I'm sure that securing the collection container to a place that doesn't move in relation to the caliper helps with this problem too, if not eliminate it altogether.

    Good luck.

    After my experience (especially the air getting pulled around the threads thing), I'm a little disillusioned with the brake vac thingie. I ordered a 100ml syringe and plan to back bleed next time I have a major brake job to do...which shouldn't be long, b/c I have some new front brake lines to put on the gixxer whenever I get around to it.

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