Need some help with brake bleeding - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Mar 17th, 2006, 9:45 pm Thread Starter
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Angry Need some help with brake bleeding

Ok guys I need some HELP! I canít seem to get all the air out of my front brakes, Hereís the story. I changed the front tire thus removed the calipers, and two days later I put every thing back together including new pads. Yep you guessed it, all the brake fluid drained out. Well no big deal I thought to myself. I started to bleed the brakes thru the left caliper then the right till no air bubbles. Tested it and I could pull the brake lever to the bar with little effort. Thought about it for a minute and remember the ABS unit, Sh--!. Ok so now I bleed the whole system again starting with the ABS unit then the calipers. I still can pull the lever to the bar, it takes more effort then before but not good enough. As I started the process again I got a fair amount of air bubbles coming out of the ABS unit. I gave up for the night after pumping a pint of fluid thru it, and still not getting the right feel of the brakes. I also thought that letting it set over night that all the air would rise up to the top by the bleeder. Next day I started again from the ABS and sure enough big air bubbles. Thinking I got it licked I finish up and I STILL can pull the lever to the bar, but I can pump it up to the point that I canít pull it to the bar and hold it, thus no leaks and the master cylinder is ok. (I think?) But after letting it sit for a few minutes I still can get air bubbles out of the ABS unit and none out of the calipers. Again after pumping another pint through.
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I AM MISSING! This is driving me NUTS!
The Conditions: I have bleed many motorcycle brake systems before, So I know how to do it. Although this is the first time with ABS.
Did them the old fashion way, by hand using speed bleeders.
The temp. in garage was 40 f. as was the brake fluid.
Used Dot 4 fluid.
Kept fluid in the reserve.

2001 K1200LTC
1988 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane
1986 Honda 750 Night Hawk
1980 Honda CB750F
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post #2 of 14 Old Mar 17th, 2006, 10:26 pm
 
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post #3 of 14 Old Mar 17th, 2006, 11:06 pm Thread Starter
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Yes I did check the hall of wisdom.

2001 K1200LTC
1988 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane
1986 Honda 750 Night Hawk
1980 Honda CB750F
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post #4 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 1:50 am
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Dude, I feel your pain.

While I'm no expert on the BMW Motorycle ABS system, I have changed numerous ABS pumps in my professional automotive career. I know for a fact you will never correctly bleed an ABS pump assem unless you can cycle the various valves that control fluid distribution and pressure. The only way, in my experience, is with the use of a factory scan tool...such as a BMW MoDiTec to command the system to function while bleeders are open with a constant supply of fresh fluid. The determining factor of correct bleeding is acceptable pressure readings during the scan test. As you know, air in the system will cause low pressure at all conditions. The system likley will fault with low pressure during its self diag procedure or when sensed as such. This fault will need be cleared, a probable function of the MoDiTec.


If your bike has the EVO/servoAssist/linked brake system make sure the rear fluid resivour has not drained as well, actually check it anyway. Do the rear brakes work using the foot pedal?


In the interest of your LIFE, I think you might reach out to your local BMW dealer and explain what went down. If there reasonable people, they should help you out with a minimum of static, naturally its gonna cost you a flush and scan.

I have repaired lots of vehicles owners have tried to fix and made worse. I never belittled them or added insult to injury. I did ask alot of questions to make sure I understood where they went wrong to determine if the net result was logical. My point is, if the BMW guys ask questions, they're likley not trying to rub your nose in shit, but rather just want to understand the chain of events.
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post #5 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 8:34 am Thread Starter
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Unhappy

The nearest BMW dealer 50 miles away and I have no trailer. I also am kind of mad at myself for making such a foolish mistake. I like to fix my own mistakes and taking it to the dealer will be my very last resort. Taking it to the dealer would make me feel that I have been beaten. I know it sounds funny but thats just the way I am. Has anyone ever had this happen or ever change the ABS unit? What about jumping the ABS motor with power leads disconnected from the bike with a charger?

2001 K1200LTC
1988 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane
1986 Honda 750 Night Hawk
1980 Honda CB750F
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post #6 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 9:49 am
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My dealer charges $130 to flush the brake and clutch system with new fluid. He also picks up on an enclosed trailer within 50 miles for free is the service bill is over $100. Just some FYI so when you have that "I've been beaten feeling " there may be an option.

Brian
Fanwood, NJ
2003 K1200LT Anthracite

"Explain it to me once more: WHY do I have to "Press 1 for English"
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post #7 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 11:56 am
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In advance, please forgive me, but 'why was there no fluid in the calipers when all you did was remove the caliper, and put in new pads? --- did you , perhaps pull the wrong bolts first and thus allow, or cause an air leak? --- or somehow put a hairline crack in the caliper while wrestling it away from the wheel/rotor, which might air to enter the system
Not asking because I already know the answer, --- rather asking because I would have expected after putting in new pads that the reservoir would have been even more full that before putting new pads in not the other way around.

Hope you let me know what you find wrong.

Paul & June Moore
Briensburg, KY
'01 - K1200LT
'85 - Honda Rebel
'81 - Aspencade
MOA - 109605 & 6
RA # - 27733
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post #8 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 12:29 pm Thread Starter
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I removed the calipers to remove the wheel and tire. Re-assembly was two days latter and I did not cap off the brake lines, thus the fluid drained out thru the open brake lines. No damage done to calipers (very easy to r & r) and I removed the correct bolts.

2001 K1200LTC
1988 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane
1986 Honda 750 Night Hawk
1980 Honda CB750F
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post #9 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 12:46 pm
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OK --- I've just never pulled the hoses off the caliper when removing the caliper -- never needed to.

Hope you find your answer --- sorry to cause you to answer stupid questions - but that's what I do --- "Ask stupid Questions".

Paul & June Moore
Briensburg, KY
'01 - K1200LT
'85 - Honda Rebel
'81 - Aspencade
MOA - 109605 & 6
RA # - 27733
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post #10 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 2:39 pm
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Garage
I have an 02 and have changed both the tire and brake pads. I've never taken the brake line off the caliper to remove it from the front forks. I just sort of wedge it against the rotor and push the pads back far enough where they will clear the rotor. I then tie wrap them up instead of hanging buy the hose. Is there something differenent about the 01? Not tryuing to be a smart a** just trying to figure out what you did.

2005 K1200 LT "Graphite Graydude Metallic"

Todd "Graydude" Ask me why I'm the best Realtor you've ever met!

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post #11 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 3:02 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott122262
Ok guys I need some HELP! I canít seem to get all the air out of my front brakes, Hereís the story. I changed the front tire thus removed the calipers, and two days later I put every thing back together including new pads. Yep you guessed it, all the brake fluid drained out. Well no big deal I thought to myself. I started to bleed the brakes thru the left caliper then the right till no air bubbles. Tested it and I could pull the brake lever to the bar with little effort. Thought about it for a minute and remember the ABS unit, Sh--!. Ok so now I bleed the whole system again starting with the ABS unit then the calipers. I still can pull the lever to the bar, it takes more effort then before but not good enough. As I started the process again I got a fair amount of air bubbles coming out of the ABS unit. I gave up for the night after pumping a pint of fluid thru it, and still not getting the right feel of the brakes. I also thought that letting it set over night that all the air would rise up to the top by the bleeder. Next day I started again from the ABS and sure enough big air bubbles. Thinking I got it licked I finish up and I STILL can pull the lever to the bar, but I can pump it up to the point that I canít pull it to the bar and hold it, thus no leaks and the master cylinder is ok. (I think?) But after letting it sit for a few minutes I still can get air bubbles out of the ABS unit and none out of the calipers. Again after pumping another pint through.
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I AM MISSING! This is driving me NUTS!
The Conditions: I have bleed many motorcycle brake systems before, So I know how to do it. Although this is the first time with ABS.
Did them the old fashion way, by hand using speed bleeders.
The temp. in garage was 40 f. as was the brake fluid.
Used Dot 4 fluid.
Kept fluid in the reserve.
First you need to read Mark Neblett's document on bleeding EVO Power Assisted Brakes. Just follow the link Joe provided and it's the first link on the subsequent page. If you've already done that, I would certainly take your bike to the nearest BMW dealer and tell them exactly what happened. (You do know you don't have to remove the calipers to install new pads and/or ner front tire right?) I think they will be very encouraging and willing to get it right. If not, let us know on this site.

Good Luck.

Joe Buttress
Plain Washington
2003 LTE
IBA SS
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post #12 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 3:59 pm
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Good News

Quote:
Originally Posted by scott122262
Ok guys I need some HELP! I canít seem to get all the air out of my front brakes, Hereís the story. I changed the front tire thus removed the calipers, and two days later I put every thing back together including new pads. Yep you guessed it, all the brake fluid drained out. Well no big deal I thought to myself. I started to bleed the brakes thru the left caliper then the right till no air bubbles. Tested it and I could pull the brake lever to the bar with little effort. Thought about it for a minute and remember the ABS unit, Sh--!. Ok so now I bleed the whole system again starting with the ABS unit then the calipers. I still can pull the lever to the bar, it takes more effort then before but not good enough. As I started the process again I got a fair amount of air bubbles coming out of the ABS unit. I gave up for the night after pumping a pint of fluid thru it, and still not getting the right feel of the brakes. I also thought that letting it set over night that all the air would rise up to the top by the bleeder. Next day I started again from the ABS and sure enough big air bubbles. Thinking I got it licked I finish up and I STILL can pull the lever to the bar, but I can pump it up to the point that I canít pull it to the bar and hold it, thus no leaks and the master cylinder is ok. (I think?) But after letting it sit for a few minutes I still can get air bubbles out of the ABS unit and none out of the calipers. Again after pumping another pint through.
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I AM MISSING! This is driving me NUTS!
The Conditions: I have bleed many motorcycle brake systems before, So I know how to do it. Although this is the first time with ABS.
Did them the old fashion way, by hand using speed bleeders.
The temp. in garage was 40 f. as was the brake fluid.
Used Dot 4 fluid.
Kept fluid in the reserve.
Hello Scot,

Good news, the situation you are in is exactly where I found myself a few weeks ago. There is an article in the Hall of Wisdom posted by John Meese. John was good enough to even take a call from me in my hour of need. I may have doubted if I would ever get the BigK back together, but with Johns help, I did.

The secret in this situation is to know 1), the fluid is being pulled from the rear resovoir bottles and 2), you gotta uses the power pumps to push it through. This means that little 1/2 or even 1 litre bottles are no use to you, when that pump starts pumping fluid, it really drinks it, so you need two to four litres of fluid. They to get rid of the old stuff initially and then perhaps you can recycle the new fluid while you bleed it, finally you could then flush it with completely fresh fluid.

You need to attached the hoses, like John shows to the bleed pipes on the top of the two master cylinders. Do not forget to bleed both sides of the rear caliper. If you take is slowly, and easy, you will finish it in a day.

Finally, after I rode my bike for a week or so, the brake warning lights came on, I topped up the two little bottes today so hopefully that is it.

To be honest, if I was back there again, I would ask a dealer to do it. I imagine that they can hook it up to a machine and it will cycle the various sections of the system in the correct sequence. However for me, it is working now.

Best of luck, look carefully at John Meese's article, everything you need is in there.

Mark in Ireland.

Mark Breen

Ireland

K1200LT & R1100RT

728i Also
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post #13 of 14 Old Mar 18th, 2006, 6:25 pm Thread Starter
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Talking

Ok I figured it out and I thank you all for your input. But I need to set a few things straight.

1) I removed the wheel to put a new tire on.
2) I removed the calipers so that putting new pads on would be easy and I could clean them.
3) My LT is A 2001, no EVO.
4) Yes I learned my lesson. (do not drain all the brake fluid out of the ABS system)
What I did was re-bleed the ABS unit with a vacuum type bleeder. This was a little better but still too soft. So what I tried next was to ride it and pump up the front brake enough so that I could brake hard enough to get the ABS to kick in. Did this about 5 times, and returned home. Buy the way if this did not work I was going to give up and take it to the dealer. Drove her into the garage and put her up on the center stand. Ok this is it, last pint of brake fluid and my LAST BEER! (1st of the day) So if this donít work I will have to drive the cage to the liquor store. Started bleeding the ABS unit, then the calipers. Thinking I have been beaten, I cleaned up then put everything back together. Pulled the brake lever and it felt better, hmmm do you think? Well I went for a ride and they worked as good as they ever did, YES! NOW its Miller Time!!!
Again thanks for all your help!

2001 K1200LTC
1988 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane
1986 Honda 750 Night Hawk
1980 Honda CB750F
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post #14 of 14 Old Mar 20th, 2006, 10:04 pm
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And next time don't take the hoses off the calipers, right? You don't need to.

Paul & June Moore
Briensburg, KY
'01 - K1200LT
'85 - Honda Rebel
'81 - Aspencade
MOA - 109605 & 6
RA # - 27733
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