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I just replaced my brake reservoir and thought while I was at it, might was well bleed the brakes. I found a nifty brake bleeding kit at the local hardware store for a few bucks. The bottle attaches to the nearest surface with a magnet to keep it from falling over. Well after bleeding both front calipers and running through about a bottle of brake fluid, I only noticed a few very small bubbles. The question is, do most of you notice a lot of bubbles, or large ones if you have some sponginess at the brake lever? I've never bled brakes before so I don't know if this is good or normal. The brake lever does feel a bit more solid now if that helps. I would have preferred to bleed from the bottom up but my '07 master cylinder doesn't have a bleed screw on it. Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.
 

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Brake bleading can be a pain in the a$$. It isn't always easy to get all the air out of the lines. Ideally you bleed for a short time and there are no more bubbles are leaving the valve. I have a vac bleeder and that dosn't always ensure the best and fastest bleed. It seems that the last two of my bikes I had brake dealings with ultimately needed a rebuild somewhere (master cylinder or caliper ) because air kept getting in. After bleeding the brake it was irritatingly squishy but fuctional.
 

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You'll know you're done when there is no spongyness left at the brake lever. You probably still have air in the master cylinder. There are three ways to deal with this. 1) Turn the handlebars so that the brake lever is angled up -- the air is near the banjo bolt and you want that to be at the lowest point. With the cover off, so you can see into the reservoir, pump the lever rapidly, hold it in tight and release. If you're lucky, you'll begin to see bubbles come up from the hole in the middle of the reservoir. Repeat until no more air comes out, then re-bleed the whole system. This worked when I recently put steel brake lines on my 599. 2) Care should be exercised as this procedure has the potential to spray brake fluid on painted surfaces. Position the handlebars so the brake lever is angled down. Loosen the master cylinder banjo bolt so it is finger tight. Cover every painted surface in sight. Putting gentle pressure on the brake lever, loosen the banjo bolt until fluid seeps out. You won't notice the air come out, but it will. Tighten the banjo bolt and re-bleed the whole system. This worked on the R90S when I put on steel brake lines. 3) Care should be exercised as this procedure has the potential to spray brake fluid on painted surfaces. Buy a banjo bolt with a bleeder bolt and bleed the master cylinder. Then re-bleed the entire system. Generally, only Ducatis of a 'certain age' require this. Keep in mind that air rises as you think about how to position things before you start.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks

All great information. Is there a specific size of bleeder-bolt I should use on the master cylinder? I wonder if I should just get the Suzuki GSXR radial master cylinder and upgrade. I think that master cylinder has a bleeder on it already. If I go with the radial master cylinder, do I have to get new brake lines?

It looks like part number SB8125L is the one for late model Triumph brake calipers...
 

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All great information. Is there a specific size of bleeder-bolt I should use on the master cylinder? I wonder if I should just get the Suzuki GSXR radial master cylinder and upgrade. I think that master cylinder has a bleeder on it already. If I go with the radial master cylinder, do I have to get new brake lines?

It looks like part number SB8125L is the one for late model Triumph brake calipers...

yeah, thats the right part number. i got 3 of those for my brakes. they work awesome. one note of caution. they dont thread in as far as the stock ones. dont try to thread them in as hard as you can. they will go in too far and pinch the bleed valve shut.
 

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Do you have to drain the brake fluid before switching out the speedbleeder, or does vacuum keep it from spilling out when you take off the original?
 

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Do you have to drain the brake fluid before switching out the speedbleeder, or does vacuum keep it from spilling out when you take off the original?
Ideally you would empty system first. I tend to avoid this as filling an empty system can be a real pain.

In practise you can:
a) hold caliper above whole brake system, so that bleed nipple is the highest point and do change
or
b) wrap a wet rag around old nipple while you undo it, stick a rubbergloved finger on the opening, thread new nipple in

While playing with the brake fluid it's always a good idea to have a can of water + a wet rag handy for spillage. And cover possible spill area beforehand.
 

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While playing with the brake fluid it's always a good idea to have a can of water + a wet rag handy for spillage. And cover possible spill area beforehand.
Very good advice. I learned the hard way. Also note that brake fluid will contaminate your pads -- if you get any on the pads, change them.
 

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i use a clear line and a bottle so i can see all those bubbles come through, also i have a mity vac for the troublesome ones but they can be quite a bother to keep clean, with the clear line and bottle I would just leave everything in the bottle then cap it and toss out appropriately :)

Rinse spillage with water and good to go
 

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I use the clear line and bottle, but with the MityVac. I spray brake cleaner in the tubing after I'm done. Soon as spring hits, I'll be replacing the fluid in The S3.
 

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I used to think they were retarded, but Mightyvac rules!

I just put on carbon fiber Fren Tubo brake lines last night.

taking the old line soff, putting new lines on, and refilling/bleeding all brake lines too all of 15 minutes. Mightyvac just made it so much quicker...period.
 

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I've been using Speedbleedeers for years on all my bikes. If you have Speedbleeders, you don't need a MitiVac or any other type of vacuum pump. The whole concept of a Speedbleeder is to eliminate the need for a vacuum pump.

As for installing the bleeders, just unscrew the existing bleeder and replace with the Speedbleeder. Once its unscrewed all the way to the top, have your Speedbleeder in the other hand and immediately put it in the hole as you pull out the stock bleeder. You may get a little fluid on the caliper, so have a shop rag handy. They key is being quick. :)

It's best to do a fluid change right after changing the stock bleeders so as to eliminate any air that might have possibly made its way into the caliper, which is minimal, if any at all.

The only other tools you need are some clear surgical tubing and an empty container (e.g. plastic soda bottle), and of course a small wrench for loosening/tightening the bleeder screw.

Brake Fluid Change Procedure (after the Speedbleeders are installed):

1. Place the surgical tubing over the bleeder nipple with the other end inside a container
2. Crack the Speedbleeder open (e.g. about a 1/4 turn).
3. Take the cap off the brake resevoir
4. Pump the brake handle slowly until the brake fluid is near the bottom of the resevoir, but don't drain it. As long as fluid is covering the hole at the bottom of the resevoir, no air can enter the system.
5. Once you have drained most fluid out of the resevoir, start adding new fluid.
6. Continue to pump and add fluid until all the fluid coming out of the surgical tubing is clear and bubble free.
7. Fill the resevoir to the appropriate level.
8. Replace the resevoir cap and tighten the speedbleeder.
9. Repeat the same process for clutch and rear brakes.

It's an easy 1-person job. I've done it many times. Strategic placement of shop towels around the brake resevoir and caliper are recommend in the event of any spillage.

Cheers.
 

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Along with the Speedbleeders, I bought their hose and bag kit, $6 US if I recall right. It's been worth the couple of bucks as it makes the job mess free. I put them on two bikes which I've sold off so I'll be buying more. The only caution I'd give is to be careful and not cross thread them when installing and to wait until you're doing a fluid flush or other brake maintenance.
 

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There's no specific MightyVac for a car or bike...just go to Cycle gear or any autoparts store.

And the Mightyvac is used, at least in my garage, for more things than JUST bleeding my bike brakes. I bleed the brakes on my truck, car too. I used it to suck out differential fluid in my truck, etc etc. it's a great CHEAP tool to have.
 
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