URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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zeoran
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URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »



A week or so ago, the brakes on my 99 Aspencade felt mushy so I decided to bleed them. I bought 3 speed bleeders, a bleed kit and some 5.1 fluid (the proper kind) The bleed went fine and afterward, the brakes were a tiny bit better but still mushy, so I came to the conclusion (with advice from the forum) that I needed to replace the hoses with steel braided ones. (which are on order)

However, on Friday when I was riding her doing some errands, I noticed that the brake pedal was not only mushy but very quickly became useless and the pedal simply went to the floor. (as the saying goes for cars) I switched to only using the handlebar brake for the rest of the trip and when I got home, I confirmed that the rear master cylinder was completely empty of brake fluid.

I started work today on tearing the bike down again and getting the system back up and running. I've got plenty of new brake fluid and still have my kit. I confirmed just by visual that the fluid leaked out the rear. Now whether it leaked out because I didn't tighten the bleeder tight enough and it vibrated loose enough to leak out fluid or whether there's another hole in the system back there I don't know yet. The only hole I'm aware of is in the left saddlebag from where the brake fluid got all over the back of it and ate through the plastic to create a half-dollar sized hole. But my main concern right now is how to properly refill and pressurize the system again.

I have so far been bleeding it and keeping the cylinder full of fluid and just switching from rear to front to rear again. But what I'm concerned about is that I can't properly confirm that I've gotten all of the air out of the system without having BOTH bleeders open at the same time and pumping fluid out BOTH bleeders simultaneously. Otherwise, air bubbles can simply move from one part of the system to the other when I'm bleeding the other side, right???

I know under normal circumstances I could do it the way I was doing it, the same way I did it last time. (which is the same way the instructions in the forums have said as well) But this isn't a normal brake bleed because the master cylinder got completely empty and I know air got into the system and plenty of it.

How do I properly bleed and pressurize the system under this circumstance? Am I right that I need to have both bleeders open at the same time?

God bless,

~Mark



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ct1500
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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by ct1500 »

Only one bleed screw open at a time. Keep the reservoir full and open the rear. Gravity more often than not can start a flow in a few minutes without any pedal. Then a couple bleeds at rear with pedal. If no flow with gravity then bleed rear first. Move on to the front, bleed that with pedal then rear. One more sequence of front then back and you are done.

The reason why I start at the rear for a GL1500 is it gives you some pedal without compressing air in rear to better help push the brake fluid up and over to the front. The full stroke of pedal is now pushing brake fluid forward only. :ugeek:
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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by GlimWas »

Bleeding 'by the book' is first beed the front and then the back. First the longer line and then the shorter one. Do not attempt to do it together at once......
And speed bleeders are fairly useless if you you have empty brake lines, they only 'work' properly when replacing the fluids.
Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle

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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by Happytrails »

So your brake system emptied because the bleeder screw? Just trying to understand what happened.

I used to use a mityvac to pull brake fluid thru empty brake lines I replaced or that were completely dry. But anymore I just do it the old school method of using a bottle with some brake fluid in it and connect it with a hose to the bleeder screw. Then make sure the bottle is higher than the bleeder screw and then open the bleeder. Even with empty lines it should push thru brake fluid and for me its been a simple reliable way to get all the air out. Speedbleeders are great but they can also be quirky at times.

Like was mentioned if your bleeding the rear brakes then do the front caliper first and then the rear. There is a chance that your brakes felt mushy because air was in the system around the banjo bolts or there may have been air in the front line because it has to rise and then go down to the front caliper. But you'll need to figure out why your brake system lost all its fluid before then. Good luck! :)
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zeoran
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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »

I didn't think about the fluid-in-the-bottle trick. I was able to feed fluid back into the system after a couple of hours of going back and forth between the front and rear bleeding each one repeatedly.
I know for a fact that the leak came out the rear, it was obvious not only on the caliper but also on the poor saddlebag that now has a hole in it the size of a pill bottle because of the brake fluid eating through the plastic. I have a feeling that I didn't tighten the bleeder screw well enough and it eventually vibrated loose or came loose through usage or both. I swapped the bleeder screw with the front-left caliper, just in case it's a problem with the screw itself. (can't afford further damage to the saddlebag) I'll be keeping an eye on things closely for a while.

One thing though...after I was done, the brakes felt about the same as before. But I decided to try the trick WingAdmin mentioned in another thread, about tying down the brake handle/pedal overnight. I did it first to the rear pedal, then to the front handlebar and it worked REALLY well. The brake pedal is MUCH tighter than before and even the handlebar brake is a bit tighter as well.

I'm still waiting for my replacement hoses from Hel... Covid is making the order take considerably longer than normal. I should have had the hoses by this weekend, instead Hel is waiting for parts from the UK before they can make the cables.

God bless & take care,

~Mark

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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by MikeB »

zeoran wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:13 pm
I know for a fact that the leak came out the rear, it was obvious not only on the caliper but also on the poor saddlebag that now has a hole in it the size of a pill bottle because of the brake fluid eating through the plastic.
Are you sure that hole is not the one that is molded in at the factory? Every GL1500 left saddlebag has an access hole. Normally there is a rubber or Vinyl plug that fills that hole. Here is the part number and description for the seal: 81217-MT2-300 SEAL, SADDLEBAG HOLE. You can buy one for under $4.

Brake fluid will not eat a hole in the ABS plastic that quickly. It will usually attack it and crystallize it. After a period of time, weeks maybe, the plastic will crumble when any pressure is applied to it. To remove the brake fluid, wash it with soap and water. Brake fluid is hygroscopic so it will mix with the water and wash away.
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zeoran
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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by zeoran »

Unfortunately, I'm sure. I do know of the hole you're referring to and it's there and has a cover on it. This is something else... the entire area around it was wet from the brake fluid. I did have the saddlebag stuffed but not overstuffed.





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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by MikeB »

I hope you washed it well. If you didn't get all the fluid residue off, that saddlebag will eventually fall apart.
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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by minimac »

Until you fix the hole with a proper fix, a small piece of duct tape on the inside and some hot glue on the outside will keep crap from getting in there. It will stay as long as you need it to.

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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by WingAdmin »

zeoran wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:10 pm
Unfortunately, I'm sure. I do know of the hole you're referring to and it's there and has a cover on it. This is something else... the entire area around it was wet from the brake fluid. I did have the saddlebag stuffed but not overstuffed.

20200404_163905.jpg20200404_163910.jpg
Unfortunately...brake fluid on ABS causes the ABS to break down almost immediately. Even if you wash the brake fluid off immediately, the damage is already done. The longer the brake fluid is on there, the worse it will be. The affected ABS plastic will become brittle and start to crumble and break, like you are already seeing.

The only way to fix it is to either replace it, or cut out ALL of the ABS plastic in the affected area, and fashion a patch out of new ABS that you cement into place.

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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by home james »

Another tip. Problem with spongy brakes, solved by zip tie, the more competent bodgers can use string, the brake lever back onto the grip, leave overnight, that method firmed up the brakes.

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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by newday777 »

Mark
Reading through the replies I didn't see that you replied what the leak actually was. Did you find the leak yet?

On the saddlebag hole, thankfully there are tons of take off bags still available to replace the saddlebag with. Finding one near you could prove challenging now that a couple of the trike dealers have closed.
I don't know who ended up with JBJ Cycles and Highland Cycles take offs when they closed up(they may have been trashed in a dumpster). You could check with the owner if Wingstuff if they have any hanging around from when they did some trikes.
I do know that Rix at SoCal Trike Center in San Marcos has at least one set if SE bags hanging up still. They have the decals with the second color is the only difference. The red base is the same as you Aspencade. I'm not sure if he has the red Aspencade bags that I can remember.
Or just put an ABS sheet patch, heat formed in an oven to form to the shape. I bought some 1/4" sheet in San Diego @9 yrs ago to repair my 1500 bag that got a rock/debris damage hole. There are a couple places near you to buy it from. They might have a 12"×12" piece or off fall scrap size pieces.
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newday777
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Re: URGENT BRAKE PROBLEM

Post by newday777 »

Use ABS cement to bond the patch as the saddlebag is ABS.

This how to thread tells you how to do it. Read through the whole thing to familiarize yourself if you haven't done it before. The second page has replies on repairing large areas as you have.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3246



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