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Old 03-10-2009, 01:19 PM   #1
KillerKimmy
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Changing Brake Fluid

I got my manual, searched the threads, saw pics with a clear tube (that I don't have) and found lots of tips on what fluid to use. . . But the step by step hold your hand of "how to replace your brake fluid" isn't there.

Hold my hand?
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

http://www.spokes-women.org/Technica...e_bleeding.htm



And the clear tube can just be a piece of fuel hose - which you can get for next to nothing from any auto parts store. You'll need an 8 mm fixed spanner for the bleed nipples, preferably a ring type. Don't use an adjustable spanner, it will ruin that small nipple fast...
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:50 PM   #3
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Should I be replacing it? Been in there since 07. Someone said every year change it. A book I read said 3 times a year if you ride all year.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Yes, about time. 2 years is the maximum. I change it yearly in my street bike, 2-3 times/year in my race bike
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Yeah thats what I read 2-3 times a year in SPORT RIDING TECHNIQUES.

What fluid do YOU recommend? I'm not racing so all that BEST FLUID stuff I think is overkill for me.

Thanks
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:46 PM   #6
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

DOT 4 should be what the manual recommends but i could be wrong. thats just what I use. if you have a habor freight locally they sell a nice little kit that has a vacumm
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #7
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

I'd say changing it every 2 years would be just fine if you're not taking it to the track. Once it gets darker than a good scotch is my rule of thumb.

Use 3/8" fuel line to go from the bleeder to any old container you have handy. Keep pressure on the brake lever with one hand and use the wrench to slowly loosen the bleeder with the other. Just crack the bleeder open. As the lever gets near the bar (not all the way in) close off the bleeder. Repeat until the reservoir is almost empty - you'll get into a rhythm while doing it. Refill the res with fresh fluid. Once you've filled the res 3 times go to the other caliper and repeat. Fill the res only twice this time. Top off the res, clean up, and go ride.

I use the Prestone DOT 4 in any auto store. $6 for the big bottle. And yes, I close the bottle and save what I don't use for next time (or the car, or whatever).
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Last edited by easter bunny; 03-10-2009 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #8
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Any quality brand DOT 4 or 5.1. DOT 5 is NOT compatible with these, it's a totally different fluid and can't be used.

5.1 has a higher boiling point than 4 but that doesn't really matter on the street. That's the main difference. OTOH, the prices of the two are usually pretty damn close so I use 5.1 in all my bikes myself.

Another thing. Once a bottle of brake fluid has been opened, the fluid will start absorbing moisture from the air that's left in the bottle, breaking down fast. The brake reservoir has that membrane to keep the air gap to a minimum at all times. For that reason only buy brake fluid in small bottles (they are 250ml here or about 9 oz) and throw them away after you change the fluid. The larger bottles are for cars. Don't be tempted to buy them for economy even if the volume price is lower - it'll just deteriorate on the shelf...

And - brake fluid ruins paint and plastic so clean off immediately if you spill on the bike.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:56 PM   #9
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVS View Post

And - brake fluid ruins paint and plastic so clean off immediately if you spill on the bike.
ask southernjeepn about that. he got some on his speedo cover and its all cloudy and nasty now dont know how it made it all the way over there though
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:57 PM   #10
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Yeah Dot 4 is what I'm supposed to use, they have valvoline, and store brand, no stp at this place but I can certainly look elsewhere, or the dealer. No harbor freight either.

How come one place I read I need to siphon the fluid out of my resivoir? Can't just bleed it through the valve? Guess that is what the vacuum is for?
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:58 PM   #11
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

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Originally Posted by KillerKimmy View Post
Yeah Dot 4 is what I'm supposed to use, they have valvoline, and store brand, no stp at this place but I can certainly look elsewhere, or the dealer. No harbor freight either.

How come one place I read I need to siphon the fluid out of my resivoir? Can't just bleed it through the valve? Guess that is what the vacuum is for?
Valvoline is just fine. You can also use car brake fluid as long as it's DOT 4 or 5.1 - same thing

And you can just bleed the old fluid, no need for siphoning.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:01 PM   #12
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

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Originally Posted by easter bunny View Post
you'll get into a rhythm while doing it. Refill the res with fresh fluid. Once you've filled the res 3 times go to the other caliper and repeat. Fill the res only twice this time. Top off the res, clean up, and go ride.
How come you only fill the res twice for the second caliper? And which caliper are you referring to? What if I do the front first then back?
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:02 PM   #13
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Thanks SVS . . . Good info!
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:10 PM   #14
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerKimmy View Post
How come you only fill the res twice for the second caliper? And which caliper are you referring to? What if I do the front first then back?
Two front calipers. While doing the first side you're changing out the fluid in the res and the lines as well as the caliper. The second side you just need to change the fluid in the caliper - the lines and res are already fresh!
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:15 PM   #15
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Ah HA! I would have figured that out if I realized there were two bleeder valves to each wheel. I haven't even taken a look yet. Just figured I'd get everything ready first.

Thanks a million!
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:40 PM   #16
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Be extra super careful that whatever container you're using to catch the old brake fluid doesn't move and is out of the way! Don't be a dumbass and knock it over, covering the floor and your tire in goo. Not that I would know anything about it....
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:03 PM   #17
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

but make sure you bleed the brakes properly and take your time!!!

Good luck!
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:51 PM   #18
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Do yourself a favor and suck most of the fluid from your res. to begin with, and then refill with fresh, this should cut down on the time quite a bit. Other then that you can gravity bleed them (open one or both bleeders) and let gravity do the work! May take a bit this way, or you can do the normal pump, open, close repeat method.. Your best bet is make sure the rev. never gets empty..
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:57 PM   #19
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Hey, I wrote that article! Cool beans, glad you found it!
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:04 PM   #20
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Re: Changing Brake Fluid

Quote:
Another thing. Once a bottle of brake fluid has been opened, the fluid will start absorbing moisture from the air that's left in the bottle, breaking down fast. The brake reservoir has that membrane to keep the air gap to a minimum at all times. For that reason only buy brake fluid in small bottles (they are 250ml here or about 9 oz) and throw them away after you change the fluid. The larger bottles are for cars. Don't be tempted to buy them for economy even if the volume price is lower - it'll just deteriorate on the shelf...
I never knew that. This is good to know. Thanks.
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