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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched the forum and found some "ideas" as to what to try but thought I would ask you guys directly before I get "dirty". I haven't ridden the LT for a few months due to the "crappy winter" we are having in the NE but the weather finally seems to be easing so I need to get her fixed.

Last fall I had complete "brake fade" a few times when trying to stop. The pressure/resistance on the front lever and rear pedal felt "normal" but had no braking at all. If I would put massive pressure on either brake it would seem to result in a llittle braking at the calipers. I can hear the brake "servo motors" whining when i use either brake so they seem to be okay. The bike has ~47k on it and I will admit...has never had a brake or clutch fluid flush. I change the oils and filters regularly so dont come down on me too hard...lol.

I am planning on doing a complete brake system flush (integrated ABS pump) following the tips on this forum. BUT....any tips or ideas as to what you guys think my problem may actually be or to check for would be gtreatly appreciated. I know this can get expensive to fix at a shop and am hoping the brake flush is all I need.

Thanks,
Steve
 

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Not a brake expert by any means, but....Brake fluid absorbs water, and water in the fluid can cause extreme brake fade as heat from braking can cause the water to vaporize causing loss of the hydraulic action of the brake fluid..also with an 04 your brakes are arranged into 2 different circuits, one from the lever to the ABS pump, and from the pump to the calipers, as I understand it. Just because your brake reservoir on the handlebar is showing full, you could be lacking in the caliper circuit. So it sounds like you are on the right track to bleed the brake system, check the HOW to make sure you have the correct process for your year of LT. The other problem to check for is if your brake lines are breaking down, and the inner pressure liner in the brake hose is compromised, when you brake it could be causing the fluid to escape into the outer rubber part of the hose, in which case you would lose braking power, and your hose would get a bubble in it....very dangerous as the next step in that senario would be failure of the hose, catistrophic fluid loss, and no braking!! Just my thinking on the subject...
 

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Maybe your ABS kicked in . Did you hit a bump or to while you were on the brakes ? Mine will have the ABS come in to play every once in a while , usually on some stutter bumps .
 

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I would think that if there was a ABS issue it would turn on the fault light. If you don't have a fault light I think it is more mechanical in nature. Brake system are complex and on the LT even more so. In addition to the things mentioned above, you may also want to check if the calipers are frozen by simply pushing the pads into the calipers a bit and trying the brakes. Whatever it is it sounds like it needs to be addresses before you ride again.
 

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A 2004 LT? You REALLY need to have it completely flushed and bled. CLUTCH & Cooling system too.
Don't screw around with brakes, do it ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SmokinJoe said:
A 2004 LT? You REALLY need to have it completely flushed and bled. CLUTCH & Cooling system too.
Don't screw around with brakes, do it ASAP.
I agree it needs attention ASAP but am just curious as to how millions of bikes and cars get driven thousands of miles without ever having their brake systems flushd?? I have been riding street since 16 and never have done a routine maint brake sys flush. Granted...all my street bikes have been HD's before getting this LT four years ago. I still have 3 HD's right now and they and the others in my past have never had brake problems other than pad/shoe replacements and an occasional bleeding of an ounce or two of fluid. Maybe I have just been lucky.

I know my previous HD's and current ones (51 Pan, 68 FLH, 01 RK) are "prmitive" compared to the LT. I'm just curious if the "complexities" of the LT brake system are what make it prone to problems if not flushed occasionally. I love the ride but what a "pain in the butt" to work on...lol. May be time to sell the LT and my Road King and get that Ultra...lol...just have to "stir the pot" a little.

Steve
 
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