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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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brake fluid change

I know that many people don't change the brake fluid but I feel it is worth the time and effort. My (new to me ) bike is a 05 VN750 with 9000 miles. It's not the miles, but the age that makes me feel like a brake fluid change is in order. On some vehicles I have owned we have cracked a bleeder and then make sure the tank never gets air by adding fluid until it runs clear. I assume this procedure will work on this bike. Any comments, corrections, or suggestions?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 02:23 AM
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I agree that even with a 2005 I would change the fluid. I like to do it every 4-5 years at the most. That method should work fine for this bike, the braking system is not exactly cutting edge in this day and age, but it gets the job done.

What I would also do is tie your brake lever closed overnight to help force out any erroneous air.

1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
NGK Iridium Plugs #7803/DPR7EIX-9
Duralast Gold ETX15 AGM Battery
Coastered & Shaved
TOC MCCTs
Metzeler ME880 [110/90-19, 170/80-15]
Balance Dampers Replaced
Tuxedo Mod
Rebuilt Forks w/ Progressive Springs
V&H Cruzers
VN750.com Grill Cover
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Emgo 23-92411 Handlebars
MOSFET FH012AA R/R


1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

1998 Honda VFR800 FI

2014 Honda VFR800F

1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 01:32 AM
Ndr
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I've always been one to replace the brake fluid on all of my vehicles every 2 years.

When I replaced my master cylinder and brake lines, I used a vacuum pump to suck the fluid down from the master cylinder into the calipers. Was quick and easy, and didn't leave any air in the lines.

Brake Bleeder / Vacuum Pump

......I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere then in any city on earth.

*2014 VN900 Custom (16,200 miles and counting)
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ndr View Post
I've always been one to replace the brake fluid on all of my vehicles every 2 years.

When I replaced my master cylinder and brake lines, I used a vacuum pump to suck the fluid down from the master cylinder into the calipers. Was quick and easy, and didn't leave any air in the lines.

Brake Bleeder / Vacuum Pump
Ordering one of those right now.

Want to write up a quick and dirty tutorial pertaining to using that and the VN750? I'd love a "dummies" guide.

1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
NGK Iridium Plugs #7803/DPR7EIX-9
Duralast Gold ETX15 AGM Battery
Coastered & Shaved
TOC MCCTs
Metzeler ME880 [110/90-19, 170/80-15]
Balance Dampers Replaced
Tuxedo Mod
Rebuilt Forks w/ Progressive Springs
V&H Cruzers
VN750.com Grill Cover
Meanstreak Seat
Emgo 23-92411 Handlebars
MOSFET FH012AA R/R


1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

1998 Honda VFR800 FI

2014 Honda VFR800F

1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 12:31 PM
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Fluid Flushing

Just recently purchased a 2002 VN-750 with only 9k miles. Seemed like the front brake wasn't working too well. So I flushed and bled the brake fluid. Seems the left caliper woudn't pass any fluid. Was about to trouble shoot it and decided to pump the lever a few more times. It finally broke loose with all kinds of crud coming out. Flushed till it ran clear and now my front brakes work like they should.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 11:09 PM
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I just did a partial flush on my bike, ran out of fluid befor I could get all the old fluid out. My old fluid looked like molasses. I had been having some issues with the lever pull for the front breaks. It was like it was sticky, making it impossible for a smooth pull and their for grabby breaks. The fluid still looks a little dirty but the action is smooth as silk and will lock the front if I won't.

I've never heard of replacing the brake fluid on a car unless you had to bleed the system after replacing a caliper wheel cylinder. That's why I hadn't messed with the breaks on my bike even though its been that way since I got it. I guess the scaled down nature of a mc braking system amplifys any problems within the system. A cars braking system is so powerfull as long as theirs no air in the lines it will push the old tired brake fluid without problems.

Keep her rubber side down.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 02:16 AM
Ndr
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Quick and Dirty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thtanner View Post
Ordering one of those right now.

Want to write up a quick and dirty tutorial pertaining to using that and the VN750? I'd love a "dummies" guide.
Here ya go, written from memory while sitting here at work. Let me know if anything needs clarification.

===
===
You'll want to start by connecting the vacuum pump to the provided lines and plastic tub.

Be sure to pay attention to the markings on the lid of the tub to connect it up correctly. One of the ports on the tub has a small hose attached pointing straight down on the inside. This port must connect to the caliper, the other port connected to the vacuum pump. If you connect it backwards, you will suck fluid into the pump (ask me how I know )
Do not touch the brake lever during this process.

1. Connect the vacuum line to the bleeder screw of one of the calipers. (I did the right side first) . Do not open the bleeder screw yet.

2. Open up the master cylinder top and remove all of the old fluid. clean it out nice and pretty with a rag to remove any potential scum and debris.

3. Pour in some new fluid into the master cylinder

4. Pump up the vacuum pump to get some pressure If attached properly, it should maintain vacuum while the bleeder screw is still shut.

5. With a 10mm (??) wrench, crack open the bleeder screw. The old fluid will get sucked into the plastic tub.

6. Be sure to watch the fluid level in the master cylinder to be sure it doesn't get too low. At the same time, watch the gauge on the vacuum pump to be sure some level of vacuum is kept to continue to suck fluid out. You will likely need to give it a few pumps during the process.

7. At any point you need to add more fluid to the master cylinder, close the bleeder screw then add as needed. Repeat as needed until you are sure all of the old fluid is out of the line.

8. Switch to the other caliper and repeat.

9. Top of the fluid in the master cylinder and close it back up.

10. Pump the handle a few time to make sure you are getting good pressure, test the brakes as you would for a pre-ride inspection, and if all seems OK, take it for a careful test spin.

During this process, be sure to keep the vacuum pumps tub in as much of an upright position as possible. Do not let it get too full or you might suck fluid into the pump. Any time it gets full, close off the bleeder screw and empty it.
Depending on how old the brake fluid is in the bike, it will be a distinctively darker color then the new stuff, so it should be easy to tell when you start sucking the new stuff through the line.

......I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere then in any city on earth.

*2014 VN900 Custom (16,200 miles and counting)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 03:20 AM
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Thanks Ndr! I got new brakes en-route so it's time to replace the fluid as well. I'll take some pictures during the process in hopes somebody may find them useful.

Much appreciated!

1986 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
NGK Iridium Plugs #7803/DPR7EIX-9
Duralast Gold ETX15 AGM Battery
Coastered & Shaved
TOC MCCTs
Metzeler ME880 [110/90-19, 170/80-15]
Balance Dampers Replaced
Tuxedo Mod
Rebuilt Forks w/ Progressive Springs
V&H Cruzers
VN750.com Grill Cover
Meanstreak Seat
Emgo 23-92411 Handlebars
MOSFET FH012AA R/R


1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

1998 Honda VFR800 FI

2014 Honda VFR800F

1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 05:42 PM
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Hay I had posted earlier that I had did a partial fluid change. That was to see if new fluid would fix my sticky break lever and it did so I bought me a bottle of dot 3 break fluid and did it right.

Soaked out the old fluid with some rags and cleaned all of the gunk out of the res. the, looks like fluid return, has a tiny hole and I say would be easily stopped up.

Filled it full of new fluid and cracked the left blender open. I went left cause i figured it was like a car where you start with the brake furthest from the mc. I don't have a vacuumed pump and in not patent enuf to let it drip. I pumped the break leaver to force the new fluid into the line and the old out the bleader. Made sure the res stayed at least half full by leaving the cap off. When I was pumping clear fluid I tightened the bleeder back up and did the same for the outher side.

Once I was happy all the old fluid was out I filled the res and put the cap on. Then I pumped the lever up and bleed the brakes following the same patern to purge the old fluid making sure not to run the mc dry. Once I felt like I had the air out and a good feel in the lever I topped off the res. and tied the brake on as per the advise of numerous people on here. We will see how thing work in the morning.

One thin I do know is that the old fluid looked like molasses and was causing me to have issues with my front brakes. The lever pull was really stiff and the action was notchey at best. I've almost dropped her once or twice due to how hard I had to squeeze to make the lever move and then the brakes came on all at once.

Keep her rubber side down.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesoct1990 View Post
Hay I had posted earlier that I had did a partial fluid change. That was to see if new fluid would fix my sticky break lever and it did so I bought me a bottle of dot 3 break fluid and did it right.

Soaked out the old fluid with some rags and cleaned all of the gunk out of the res. the, looks like fluid return, has a tiny hole and I say would be easily stopped up.

Filled it full of new fluid and cracked the left blender open. I went left cause i figured it was like a car where you start with the brake furthest from the mc. I don't have a vacuumed pump and in not patent enuf to let it drip. I pumped the break leaver to force the new fluid into the line and the old out the bleader. Made sure the res stayed at least half full by leaving the cap off. When I was pumping clear fluid I tightened the bleeder back up and did the same for the outher side.

Once I was happy all the old fluid was out I filled the res and put the cap on. Then I pumped the lever up and bleed the brakes following the same patern to purge the old fluid making sure not to run the mc dry. Once I felt like I had the air out and a good feel in the lever I topped off the res. and tied the brake on as per the advise of numerous people on here. We will see how thing work in the morning.

One thin I do know is that the old fluid looked like molasses and was causing me to have issues with my front brakes. The lever pull was really stiff and the action was notchey at best. I've almost dropped her once or twice due to how hard I had to squeeze to make the lever move and then the brakes came on all at once.
You stated that you used DOT 3. Check the master cylinder cover because on mine there is a message to use only DOT 4. They may have changed fluid type requirements after your model year but you should check to be sure. I do not know the difference between 3 or 4 and if the wrong fluid will cause any problems. It is better to check the requirement now before you possibly have a bad situation at the wrong time later. Good luck.

and always remember, "Ride until you rot!"
**Really not sure if the Big "C" is back right now
but having to face the fact that this is a lifetime routine
going forward. Five operations done and it still continues.

Tom
Vulcan 2000
New ride: 2009 Victory Vision Arlen Ness Signature Series
4507 miles
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