Author Topic: I haaaate bleeding brakes  (Read 552 times)

Offline tt_four

  • Gs500ness
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Motorcycle God!
  • ******
  • Posts: 4411
  • Karma: +4/-0
I haaaate bleeding brakes
« on: December 28, 2010, 09:16:31 PM »
This isn't even motorcycle related, although I do need to bleed the brakes on both of my bikes this winter. I've got a bicycle in my garage, it belongs to the son of a guy I work with. He's actually the guy who told me about the job, and he's also the same guy who let me squeeze in the back seat of his car with his 2 kids for 4.5 hours when they were driving across the state and dropped me off at the dealership so I could ride my XB home, so I definitely owe him some favors. Anyway, I always fix up his bicycles whenever he needs something, he pays but I don't charge him much, usually just the cost of parts plus $5-10 depending on how much work it was. Every summer and christmas his son comes back from school and his bike is usually a mess with bent up wheels and squishy brakes. This time when they put the bike in the back of his truck they pulled out the front wheel, and in the process of getting it home the lever was pulled and the pistons closed together. He eventually got them back apart, but said he had to let a little fluid out to do it. I've been bleeding them, which was going smoothly, but the one piston is only pressing out at somewhat of an angle because I just don't have any way to wedge anything in there the right way to put leverage on it in the direction I need to, so I'm having a hard time even getting the rotor back in there.

I was a bicycle mechanic for years so my ratio of working on bikes to riding bikes is still high enough that I get annoyed when people insist that they need hydraulic brakes, especially on their college campus commuter. My life would be much easier if everyone just used mechanical disc brakes. I also feel like things would be easier if everyone stuck with friction shifters too though, so obviously I can't always have my way.

Anyway, back to the basement to fight with this some more. There's one tool I've always wanted and have never been able to find anywhere, and that's a reverse pair of pliers. I want something I can stick between 2 things, like caliper pistons, and be able to squeeze outwards. Harbor freight actually has a pair for $15, but at their skinniest setting they're still too wide to put between anything. Even the GS has one sided brakes that you can just compress with a C-clamp, so why is it a bicycle needs dual sided calipers? Thanks for listening to me complain!  :bowdown:

Offline The Buddha

  • The guru Ba-moo-derator
  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+49)
  • Motorcycle God!
  • *****
  • Posts: 24229
  • Karma: +54/-0
Re: I haaaate bleeding brakes
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010, 09:15:09 AM »
Bicycle hydraulic brakes have some crap like #1 or #0 lines and they have no master cyl. Bloody hard if you ask me. I got into an argument with one ghey ass cyclist about why it should have a master cyl. The part that irks most people isn't the big and clunky, its the tiny and chintzy ...
Cool.
Buddha. 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
I run a business based on other people's junk.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Offline tt_four

  • Gs500ness
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Motorcycle God!
  • ******
  • Posts: 4411
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: I haaaate bleeding brakes
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010, 11:06:56 AM »
I toyed with it more and the piston is still not moving. I think when he pryed it apart before it only opened the bottom, and then when he got the wheel in and tried the brake, it but so much pressure on that piston that it wedged it in there at the angle. I think the only way to fix it is to pull the whole caliper apart so I can press it back flat with the vice. Exactly what I was hoping for.... I've never rebuilt a caliper before, but there's only 2 bolts holding it together, so how hard can it be? The only downside is that the fluid I just put in it was the last of the new stuff, and the only way to get more of the kind I need is to order it, so it's just getting the fluid sucked out and then squirted right back in when I'm done. The only good thing about his bikes is that it gives me something to learn on and by the time I have to do any of that on one of my motorcycles, I already know what I'm doing. I've seen some different styles, but this one still at least has a small resevior, and I assumed it has a master cylinder, but I don't know too much about brakes to be willing to argue that. The one thing that makes this a pain is the lack of a bleed screw. It's not like motorcycle brakes where you loosen the nipple and can tighten it to cut off the flow. If I want to stop the flow I had to pull off the fitting/hose and screw in a seperate bolt. Oh well, that'll be my night tonight. Hopefully it won't need a new gasket, because I don't have one!

Offline The Buddha

  • The guru Ba-moo-derator
  • Administrator
  • Trade Count: (+49)
  • Motorcycle God!
  • *****
  • Posts: 24229
  • Karma: +54/-0
Re: I haaaate bleeding brakes
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 12:39:56 PM »
Bike brakes bleed 1000 times easier and none of this will be useful ... just do it one time and you'd know. Bicycle is much much harder.
Cool.
Buddha.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
I run a business based on other people's junk.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Offline tt_four

  • Gs500ness
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Motorcycle God!
  • ******
  • Posts: 4411
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: I haaaate bleeding brakes
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010, 06:34:16 PM »
I did it once on my old triumph, I remember it being easier than I thought it was going to be.

Either way, I gave up on trying to wedge it back. I drained the fluid, pulled the caliper apart, and popped it back with a vice and a socket over the piston. It was so much easier than all the time I spent on it last night. I thought it was going to be this big open thing with a gasket, but it was nothing more than a tiny hole between the two pieces with a rubber o-ring between then. Definitely wasn't worth the concern I gave it. Put the fluid back in it and I think I'm good to go. I may have gotten an air bubble or two in the line again, but I don't care. It's back together and works. Maybe I'll have a little more energy tomorrow to try to flush the bubbles out, but I'm just happy it's working again. He clearly needs new brake pads too after all the jamming he did in there with the screw driver,  but they'll work.

Offline yamahonkawazuki

  • I am a big fat hubcap LOSER!
  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Motorcycle God!
  • ******
  • Posts: 18980
  • Karma: +57/-0
  • Je ne suis pas sourd a la musique que tu joues
Re: I haaaate bleeding brakes
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2011, 02:47:42 AM »
LOL that brings back memories. am parting ym race bike out now cause of finances lol.; and building another motorised bicycle. this one will have hydraulic disc brakes. i  pulled that set off of another bike i had bought for parts
Jan 14 2010 0310 I miss you mom
Vielen dank Patrick. Vielen dank
".
Discussions
A proud Mormon

Offline tt_four

  • Gs500ness
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Motorcycle God!
  • ******
  • Posts: 4411
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: I haaaate bleeding brakes
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2011, 10:32:01 AM »
good thing this popped back up. reminded me that I still need to actually go finish fine tuning that bike so he can come pick it up. I'll make sure I do that by the end of the day.

Offline madjak30

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • World Supersport Racer
  • *****
  • Posts: 868
  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: I haaaate bleeding brakes
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 03:03:46 PM »
Next time you are looking for "reverse" pliers...go to an automotive parts place and get some snap ring pliers...they don't give you much movement, but are a double hinged plier...or at least some are...I think mine are Lysle brand...??  I've only ever used them once and that was a few cars ago...

Later.
** If you're not having fun, you're doing it WRONG**

Riding since May 2010


Check out my blog @ http://madjaksmotormouth.blogspot.com

Offline tt_four

  • Gs500ness
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Motorcycle God!
  • ******
  • Posts: 4411
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: I haaaate bleeding brakes
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2011, 06:24:57 PM »
Good thinking! I do have a pair of those, they're not too heavy duty though as snap rings are all pretty thing. HD does have one sturdier pair, maybe they'd be a little more useful.