Bleeding to Death - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 22 Old Mar 29th, 2019, 5:59 pm Thread Starter
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Bleeding to Death

All, 2004KLT

Doing this wide range of maintenance/upgrades, including Spiegler lines and new fluid. I have followed Kirk's video religiously. Have clear fluid flowing everywhere.
Not to a point to ride yet, but the feel of the brakes seems a little soft. Unfortunately, I've only ridden this thing once back in Oct. I think I recall that the stroke of the hand lever and the foot lever was very short. Like the hand lever might have moved 1/4", now it's moving over an inch.

Is my recollection correct? If properly bled, do these levers have very short stroke? Both hand and foot are moving a little over an inch. I have run the bike and tried the levers and no improvement.

I think Kirk's video for bleeding is a case without swapping brake lines. I swapped lines and that basically let air go everywhere.

Let me know if I need to keep bleeding, or take a new approach, or maybe they're fine and my memory is off.

Thanks
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post #2 of 22 Old Mar 29th, 2019, 10:00 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Yes but only with the key on as the ABS unit gives feedback to the lever and pedal. Button it up and do a gradual riding test. If you did something wrong a fault will present itself.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #3 of 22 Old Mar 30th, 2019, 9:21 am
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Watching. My replacement lines arrive on Tuesday. Not looking forward to going in deep.
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post #4 of 22 Old Mar 30th, 2019, 12:10 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

If you wanted to bond with your bike, hereís the chance.


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BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #5 of 22 Old Mar 30th, 2019, 1:42 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa6bmw View Post
All, 2004KLT

Doing this wide range of maintenance/upgrades, including Spiegler lines and new fluid. I have followed Kirk's video religiously. Have clear fluid flowing everywhere.
Not to a point to ride yet, but the feel of the brakes seems a little soft. Unfortunately, I've only ridden this thing once back in Oct. I think I recall that the stroke of the hand lever and the foot lever was very short. Like the hand lever might have moved 1/4", now it's moving over an inch.

Is my recollection correct? If properly bled, do these levers have very short stroke? Both hand and foot are moving a little over an inch. I have run the bike and tried the levers and no improvement.

I think Kirk's video for bleeding is a case without swapping brake lines. I swapped lines and that basically let air go everywhere.

Let me know if I need to keep bleeding, or take a new approach, or maybe they're fine and my memory is off.

Thanks
The only way to know for sure is to do a bleed test with the GS-911 or the dealer’s MoDiTec.

After I installed my Spieglers, I had a heck of a time getting the rear brake bled enough to pass the bleed test. And even when both ends passed, the brakes did not feel as firm as with the old factory hoses. Same was true for the clutch since I had the slave cylinder completely apart to clean it and grease its bearing. However, after a few hundred miles of riding, the lever travel on both brakes and the clutch got less and they all felt firm and positive as before the work. I think that no matter how well you bleed the circuits, some air still remains in the form of micro bubbles that simply cling in place and refuse to move with normal bleeding velocities. I believe the only way to get things completely back to normal is to let the vibration of the engine ad the road coalesce the micro bubbles and move them to the free surface of the master cylinders.

So, as long as your brakes work well enough to ride safely, I suspect you will find that the best way to really get them back in shape is to simply take a few rides.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #6 of 22 Old Mar 31st, 2019, 7:00 am Thread Starter
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Re: Bleeding to Death

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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
If you wanted to bond with your bike, hereís the chance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yes, if nothing else, I am highly bonded!!

I have worked on other bikes, rebuilt car engines, restored a couple of muscle cars, but this bike has a challenge around every corner. My oldest son was here to start into this job. I lost count of how many times either of us said, "why did they put that there?" or "why did they design it like that?" The transmission drain plug is a gem, and the location of the air filter. Based on stories over many years from many friends about maintenance and costs for BMW cars, I will never own one. I was expecting this to be a challenge being from BMW, and it was. Patience, diligence and creativity in tool making and gaining access - that's what it takes.
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post #7 of 22 Old Mar 31st, 2019, 12:08 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

You will need to run the ABS Pump during the bleed process. Make sure you have a battery charger handy. It will draw the battery down.

2004 K1200LT. Big Mama
1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500LC. Betty Lou.
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post #8 of 22 Old Mar 31st, 2019, 1:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Bleeding to Death

In case it hasn't already been identified, I found that a 3/8" - 16 coupling nut is perfect for the transmission drain plug. The hex is 14mm and the length is 1-3/4" so you can work it up in there, then get a wrench on it.
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post #9 of 22 Old Apr 1st, 2019, 8:08 am
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa6bmw View Post
In case it hasn't already been identified, I found that a 3/8" - 16 coupling nut is perfect for the transmission drain plug. The hex is 14mm and the length is 1-3/4" so you can work it up in there, then get a wrench on it.
You can also use a 7/16" threaded rod connector bolt that is of proper length and size to use with a boxed end wrench.

"If at first you don't succeed... well, so much for skydiving."

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post #10 of 22 Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 3:18 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

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Originally Posted by Santa6bmw View Post
Yes, if nothing else, I am highly bonded!!

The transmission drain plug is a gem, and the location of the air filter.
I hope whoever designed the trans drain plug has lost their job. That was a major engineering error.

2002 BMW K1200LT 57k (new to me 1-20-19)
1971 BMW R60/5 27k (father-in-law was original owner)
1972 & 1973 Honda Trail 70s
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post #11 of 22 Old Apr 2nd, 2019, 5:07 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

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Originally Posted by krazzz View Post
I hope whoever designed the trans drain plug has lost their job. That was a major engineering error.
I am not sure what the error is with the drain plug. I think the error is the exhaust system bracket and/or the EHCS.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #12 of 22 Old Apr 10th, 2019, 10:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: Bleeding to Death

I'm thinking about installing speed bleeders on all 3 calipers.

Any thoughts or concerns with that?

Thanks.

_________________________________________
2004 K1200LT, bought Oct 2018 w/29K miles.
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post #13 of 22 Old Apr 10th, 2019, 11:00 am
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Re: Bleeding to Death

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Originally Posted by Santa6bmw View Post
I'm thinking about installing speed bleeders on all 3 calipers.

Any thoughts or concerns with that?

Thanks.

No concerns, but I'm wondering why? With the servo assist it essentially pumps the lower circuits for you on the bleed. Hook up a hose, open, and let the motor in the ABS do the work, close, remove hose.

FWIW - I put new hoses on last weekend and my issue is getting pressure in the hoses before the ABS.
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post #14 of 22 Old Apr 10th, 2019, 2:43 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

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Originally Posted by Santa6bmw View Post
I'm thinking about installing speed bleeders on all 3 calipers.

Any thoughts or concerns with that?

Thanks.
Personally I won't use them (had a bad experience with an MGB) but I love their Speed Bleeder bag and hose for $6. If you hook up the hose, elevate the bag and open the bleeder you can turn any bleed job into a one man (woman) job as bubbles will not go down hill so you can pump away manual or servo.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #15 of 22 Old Apr 10th, 2019, 7:03 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Personally I won't use them (had a bad experience with an MGB) but I love their Speed Bleeder bag and hose for $6. If you hook up the hose, elevate the bag and open the bleeder you can turn any bleed job into a one man (woman) job as bubbles will not go down hill so you can pump away manual or servo.
I second John. The bag works great and you can keep the simple stock bleed valves. I think this is a case where simpler is better.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #16 of 22 Old Apr 10th, 2019, 9:27 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruincounselor View Post
FWIW - I put new hoses on last weekend and my issue is getting pressure in the hoses before the ABS.
I have done six installs on LTs and I find it easier to push fluid up from the ABS to the front master cylinder (it is all uphill), but the rear is always a bear to get pressure back into. Tried pushing on the rear and no go, just had to work the master cylinder. Some went kwikly and some took forever to get it.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #17 of 22 Old Apr 11th, 2019, 7:36 am Thread Starter
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Thanks guys.

I was considering them because I want to get my tight levers back. I was wondering if they might improve the quality of the bleed due to their design. After the massive 12K maintenance/upgrades(including new Spiegler lines), the foot and hand have more travel. They were very tight prior. Took it out for an hour long shake down run over the weekend and it ran perfectly. Brakes still work great and they don't get soft, but more squeeze.

I'll go with Voyager's advice and see if I can vibrate any bubbles out over the next few hundred miles.

_________________________________________
2004 K1200LT, bought Oct 2018 w/29K miles.
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post #18 of 22 Old Apr 11th, 2019, 10:01 am
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa6bmw View Post
Thanks guys.

I was considering them because I want to get my tight levers back. I was wondering if they might improve the quality of the bleed due to their design. After the massive 12K maintenance/upgrades(including new Spiegler lines), the foot and hand have more travel. They were very tight prior. Took it out for an hour long shake down run over the weekend and it ran perfectly. Brakes still work great and they don't get soft, but more squeeze.

I'll go with Voyager's advice and see if I can vibrate any bubbles out over the next few hundred miles.
I suspect time and vibration will restore the firmer lever action. If not, I would get a bag and bleed that way another time.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #19 of 22 Old Apr 11th, 2019, 10:13 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Personally I won't use them (had a bad experience with an MGB) but I love their Speed Bleeder bag and hose for $6. If you hook up the hose, elevate the bag and open the bleeder you can turn any bleed job into a one man (woman) job as bubbles will not go down hill so you can pump away manual or servo.
John, from where do I learn this bag process? First I have heard of it.

Scott and Theresa
Munising, MI
2004 K1200LT Black
2014 Kawasaki KLR650

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post #20 of 22 Old Apr 11th, 2019, 10:21 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

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John, from where do I learn this bag process? First I have heard of it.
First, buy one of these or make one from an IV bag if you have access to them and want to invest some time. I just bought one of these given the low price. https://www.amazon.com/Russell-63950...SIN=B000CPARUQ

Second, hang the bag such that it is higher than the bleed valve and connect the hose to the bleed valve nipple.

Then you can crack the bleed valve and bleed into the bag. I personally still use the crack and close even with the bag as extra assurance that I donít crack the valve too wide and let air get sucked in around the threads on the back stroke. However, in theory, you can just leave the valve cracked a small amount and pump away at the lever. On the negative pressure back stroke, all that should get sucked back in is a little fluid from the tube since there is no air against the bleed valve. Again, the only caution is that if you open the valve a little too far, you CAN suck air on the back stroke, but not through the valve, but rather around its threads.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #21 of 22 Old Yesterday, 7:56 am
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Re: Bleeding to Death

+1 what Matt said. I used to do the close and open thing but this has never failed me. I will do a close and open on a BLEED vs. FLUSH as they are two different animals. One has air and the second does not(unless you screw up). And I do not open the valve anymore than needed to see fluid flow.

The issue I had with the SB units was the tread sealer they have on them, it stopped air from getting in but it was too hard to tell when they were closed due to the friction. These were very small bleeders on the rear wheel cylinders on an MGB. I gave up on them.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #22 of 22 Old Today, 7:03 pm
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Re: Bleeding to Death

new brake lines, not too bad...ugh on frozen and stripped banjo bolts. Run a loop of hose with new fluid from bleeder back to reservoir and circulate new fluid until no bubbles.

Current Ride: '02 LT - The Mistress
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