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Discussion Starter #1
Just finished my 3rd weekend in a row,and almost 1/2 GALLON of brake fluid,trying to bleed the front brakes,and I still have absolutely nothing.
Removed the line from the master cyl to reroute it behind the triple tree for clearance when I changed handlebars and risers.Naturally,I removed most of the fluid from the master before removing the line,but I left enough to keep the holes covered,to minimise the amount of air I'd have to deal with.
After that,even before bleeding,I had SOME brake.Nothing till the lever was most of the way back,but better than nothing.
Last weekend I tried the regular old fashioned bleeding method,and ended up going from better than nothing,to pretty close to nothing.
Yesterday I tried reverse bleeding,again only making it even worse somehow.
Next I tried gravity bleeding,again ending up with nothing.
Today in desperation I went back to the regular old method,yet again with zero results.
Weird thing is,while the bleeder's open,while pumping the lever,there's resistance/pressure.Yet when there are no more air bubbles coming out and I close the bleeder,nothing
The only other method I know of is the vacuum/Mityvac deal,but I don't see how that'd be any different than the regular way really.
Is there something I'm missing here,or does this just confirm my lifelong suspicion that the universe is set up in such a way as to screw me over at all times
 

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Please explain more when you say "nothing". Is it mushy? Still have air in the lines?

If you still have air in the lines try using a zip tie and zipping the brake lever compressed/activated. Walk away and leave it overnight. Sometimes this will give bubbles time to migrate out. This helps with 750's anyway which can be difficult to properly bleed.

You could have a bad brake line(s). Sometimes they'll decompose internally and clamp off a hose.
 

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Weird thing is,while the bleeder's open,while pumping the lever,there's resistance/pressure.
As VN750Guy said, you might have collapsed brake lines. That would be the first thing to look for. Any signs of black in the fluid that came out? Not old, brown fluid, but black that looks like oil, or small bits that may look like sand or small flakes... With the portion of your post that I quoted, I would tend to look in this direction. You should have almost no pressure with the bleeder open.

You also might have air trapped in the line up by the master cylinder. That wouldn't account for the odd pressure situation, but it would account for you having a difficult time bleeding the lines.

When we have a problematic brake system at the shop (like you are having), we bleed it one stage at the time. This may sound crazy, but it works 95% of the time. The rest of the time, there's usually a defect we did not notice previously, such as a collapsed brake line.

Close everything on the system. All bleeders, tighten lines, etc.

Bleed at the master cylinder/line junction first by cracking the banjo bolt loose as though it were a bleeder screw. Have plenty of rags, etc handy to keep the fluid from damaging your paint and other finishes. A good cover might help here as well.

Once that is clear of air, move to the next junction in the line and repeat. Continue this until you reach the bleeder screws on the calipers.

Now you have bled the complete system stage by stage without giving room for small air pockets to move back up along the system.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did the tying the lever down overnight last week too,forgot to mention that before.When I did it,I left the master cyl cap off,and layed a clean rag over it to keep bugs/dirt out.Is this correct,or should I have left the cap bolted on?Also,should I have opened the bleeder while the lever was tied down?I did it with cap off but bleeder closed

I really don't think there's anything wrong with the lines or master,since everything was fine till I removed the line from the master,that's when the fun began.No black or solid particles in the fluid either,in fact,it was still nice and clear

I think it must be air up by the master as you mention.I'll try your suggestion of using the line at the master as a bleeder next weekend.That and the bleeders on the calipers are the only junctions.I was surprised to find that the line is actually 1 piece,from both calipers meeting a block bolted to the frame,and on up to the master

I was expecting to see 2 separate lines coming from the block where the 2 lines from the calipers meet

Also,I did the left side (as you're sitting on the bike) first since it's the furthest from the junction block and the master (junction block is on right side of frame),then moved on to the right side.I don't know if it makes any difference in this case since it's only a little bit longer

I've been thinking,maybe it's as simple as the speed at which I closed the bleeders.I was closing the bleeders slowly,while pulling the lever slowly,so by the time I fully closed the bleeder,the lever was already bottomed out on the grip,perhaps trapping more air bubbles.Maybe I just need to close the bleeders really quickly,while pulling the lever as slowly as possible.

Could it be that easy?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
vn750guy,by "nothing" I meant no resistance/pressure against the lever,as if the whole system were dry,with no fluid.Altho,after bolting down the cap,I have resistance/pressure once the lever is pretty much bottomed out against the grip.

So the brakes technically work,but it's all or nothing.No brakes as I pull the lever further and further back,then suddenly full brakes and I feel like I'm gonna go flying over the handlebars,lol
 

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When bleeding brakes, I always pull lever (or push pedal) before opening bleeder.

Pull lever and hold (or if you like to pump it up, pump it up and hold)
Open bleeder, leave open for a second or two
Close bleeder
Slowly release lever

If you're releasing the lever at all with the bleeder open, you're reintroducing air into the system every time.

Also, if you wanted to try the vacuum route, I've had pretty good luck with the cheapie Harbor Freight hand vacuum pumps. They take a bit of squeezing to pull the vacuum, but seem to do pretty well after that. They're not a full-on vacuum pump, but it'll get the job done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you're releasing the lever at all with the bleeder open, you're reintroducing air into the system every time.
I think that was my problem right there.

Just watched a good vid showing the proper way,and the speed bleeders have already shipped out,so I should be good to go this weekend
 

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When bleeding brakes, I always pull lever (or push pedal) before opening bleeder.

Pull lever and hold (or if you like to pump it up, pump it up and hold)
Open bleeder, leave open for a second or two
Close bleeder
Slowly release lever

If you're releasing the lever at all with the bleeder open, you're reintroducing air into the system every time.

Also, if you wanted to try the vacuum route, I've had pretty good luck with the cheapie Harbor Freight hand vacuum pumps. They take a bit of squeezing to pull the vacuum, but seem to do pretty well after that. They're not a full-on vacuum pump, but it'll get the job done.
To DKC Nice catch as I read through the thread I wondered how he could go through that much break fluid and still have a soft lever. I had a VN 750 and bleeding that bike was a breeze. My current 1600 Mean Streak isn't bad but it is three times the work.:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I put the speed bleeders on today and tried it again.I decided to just bleed at the bleeders again,instead of trying to bleed the master first,thinking the speed bleeders might do the trick for me

When I bled the left side,it only took a few pumps before no more bubbles showed.When I did the right side,I didn't see a single bubble right from the start,but I still gave it over a dozen pumps anyway,thinking some bubbles would show up.Lever felt rock hard,thought I had it made.

No dice,still the same.Took her for a ride,and still nothing till the lever's almost bottomed out,right from the very first stop.

Looks like I'll still have to try using the banjo bolt at the master as if it were a bleeder.
 

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Hey Tiny Tim, can you link the speed bleeders you're using please? A lot of them have a trick to work effectively, but I need to see which ones you have to know if this is the case here.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Brake Bleeder / Brake Bleeding / Speed Bleeder Products / USA

This is the ones---sb7100s---ordered it direct from speed bleeder.com

Directions just say to open 1/4-1/2 turn and pump brakes till bubbles stop appearing,just like standard old school method,except you don't have to keep opening and closing the bleeder
 

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I've seen them before. Some people swear by them, but I've personally never had good luck with them. Those aren't the particular ones I was thinking, but similar. Yours are new, so the internal spring isn't rusty (hopefully). That's one issue I've seen with them. Another is an improperly machined seat (the taper at the end). If you still have your old ones, double check that.

One other thing to test if you start bleeding at the top. Take the hose completely off the master cylinder and put your thumb or finger over the hole. Now pump that master a few good times. You should build enough pressure in the master cylinder that it blows out around your finger. You shouldn't be able to completely stop the fluid with your finger. That is a decent basic test to make sure your master cylinder is functioning and bled out decently. It's not a manual prescribed test or procedure, but it's one from experience that will give you a good idea of what's what.

If it passes that test, then proceed with bleeding the remainder of the system.
 
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