No rear brake??? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Aug 11th, 2007, 11:29 pm Thread Starter
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Question No rear brake???

Picture this, you are riding up a steep incline for miles, headed for a 4100 ft mountain top. You are about to reach the top and the pavement turns to loose gravel. Whoa!, I stop and turn the LT around and head back down, hitting the brakes ever so often to keep from flying off the mountain curves. About a third of the way down I notice that the rear brake pedal is going down further with each application. After about 5 braking events there is NO more rear brake. Wait a bit, tried it again, nothing. OK, now let's gear it back and take it a bit more cautious as we now only have front brakes. ABS was out before, so nothing new on that.

BTW, for the record, this is a 2000 LTC and the ABS has been out for quite a while with no problems.

Brake pads were replaced last year and we have not been enough miles for that to be a problem. Anyway, I checked them before we left out and there was more that sufficient pad for the entire trip and a lot more, so pads are not the issue. Did we leak out the fluid in route? Finally got down the mountain and got to a gas station. Went in and got some brake fluid as I suspected that to be the problem as I could see little in the window. Anyway, pulled things apart and got the cap off the resevior, there is fluid, but only a little low, pumped it and saw fluid being returned, but no brake, so I topped it off and before I put the cap back on I tried the rear brake again. Surprised, they are back to normal.

Now can anyone explain that? When I pulled in I had no rear brakes. I stop and check the fluid, add a small amount, and now I have brakes? Sorry, there was enough fluid for braking action before as I saw the fluid return when I pumped it, but no brake at that time.

Still puzzled on this one, but I will completely change the brake fluids and bleed them before any more trips.

tcars
John

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post #2 of 10 Old Aug 11th, 2007, 11:56 pm
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Too hot

In motor training we have had rear brakes go out cause they go hot. I thinking maybe going down hill you used the rear to much????

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post #3 of 10 Old Aug 12th, 2007, 12:08 am
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Another possibility is that the fluid in the rear reservoir may be old and have moisture in it, increasing the possibility of the phenomenon known as "brake fading".

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post #4 of 10 Old Aug 12th, 2007, 1:52 am
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QUOTE:
I thinking maybe going down hill you used the rear to much

Yes, they got too hot. Had the same problem after doing 3 alpine passes in Switzerland last year, racing up and down. In my opinion it might be a combo of 2 elements;

1) using the rearbrakes a lot, the heavy weight grings them to a temperature, wher the breakpads are producing more gases at friction point, this giving a gas-pillow between disk and brakepads. Thats why frontdisks are having whole, this transports the gas away from the contact point of the brakepads and disk.
Get a "wholed" rear disk or use the front more often.

2) when the brakepads are heating up that much, the brakefluid does as well, assuming that it is "fresh" brakefluid, as within the annual change, it transports the heat to the BRAKELINES, these are expanding more, therefore the volume of brakefluid (push breakpedal down) to build pressure increases in a way you normally don't get.
Install Steelbraided Brakelines or use the front brake more often.

Yes it did happen to me as well and it is quite an unexpected surprise.

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post #5 of 10 Old Aug 12th, 2007, 8:15 am
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Boiled the brake fluid by using too much brakes, when it cools the brakes returned. You need te gear down, 1st gear if needed. Just had a friend total his Yamaha Venture in Colorado on vacation. He overheated the brake fluid & crashed going down hill. He said he hit the brakes & the pedal went all the way down. After the bike was towed to a dealer the brakes were normal again. Luckely him & his wife came out with minor injuries, they had helmets & jackets on.

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post #6 of 10 Old Aug 12th, 2007, 8:27 am
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Unlike many of the riders here, you are riding way outside my comfort zone. I wouldn't have been riding the bike knowing that there are problems with the brakes like the ABS is out unless I was riding it to get service. I definately wouldn't consider driving in the mountains with it.
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post #7 of 10 Old Aug 12th, 2007, 8:57 am
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QUOTE:
Unlike many of the riders here, you are riding way outside my comfort zone.

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post #8 of 10 Old Aug 12th, 2007, 9:12 am
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Time for a brake fluid flush

I agree with those that have suggested moisture in the brake fluid. Brake fluid will, over time, absorb moisture from the air, which lowers it's boiling point. When you got your brakes hot, it boiled the moisture in the fluid, causing the brake fade.
Flush out the old fluid, refilling with DOT 4 from a new, sealed container.

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post #9 of 10 Old Aug 13th, 2007, 10:27 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rglassma
Unlike many of the riders here, you are riding way outside my comfort zone. I wouldn't have been riding the bike knowing that there are problems with the brakes like the ABS is out unless I was riding it to get service. I definately wouldn't consider driving in the mountains with it.
Bob:

I started riding in 1960 and have ridden more than 40 years without ABS, so I am in my comfort zone. Now I will grant that I cannot brake as effectively as a working ABS system in an emergency situation, but I can get the big momma stopped pretty quickly. If you started off riding young, then you quickly learned when and how to use the brakes. Dirt bike riding brings those lessons home very quickly. You learn or you quit riding the dirt. :-)

tcars
John

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post #10 of 10 Old Aug 13th, 2007, 10:36 am Thread Starter
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Smile

A big "Thank You" to all those who offered some info, it is appreciated.

The fact that I've never had brakes to go out so quickly and where I was when this occurred did cause some alarm. I try to start braking well ahead of where needed and did this time, so there was sufficient time to gear down and use the front brakes. No butt pucker, just more cautious.

Once it cools down a bit (102 yesterday) and we get unpacked, I'll put her on the table and replace all the brake fluids with new DOT 4. Think I may even replace the rear pads at the same time. That way I won't have to do that part of the maintenance this winter.

Thanks again, tcars,
John

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