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Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody felt an ABS pump failure? Hoping against hope that's not what happened but am 95% sure it is:

Caught in feet-down crawl traffic needing front brake for about 15 minutes, then at a red light, holding pressure on front. Felt a very subtle nudge or bump, very faint, but a feeling that caused me to pump the brake lever a couple times. It felt just a bit off, just enough to make me feel uneasy, then shrug to myself. Red triangle and "BRAKE FAILURE" start flashing. Light turns green, I'm rolling 35ish, give a couple of experimental squeezes, get a firm jolt (new stainless lines), but then holding the front brake on lightly to prepare for a turn, suddenly mush -- and I overshot the turn. "Cooling off" at destination apparently restores normal function until I apply brake and hold, and then mush again with the warning lights. This is a repeatable phenomenon.

Is there ANY possible cause for this besides ABS pump failure?
 

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What model year is bike?
Have you checked brake fluid levels?
Sounds similar to my 2002 LT symptoms, do you have access to a GS 911 diagnostic tool?

Fault codes will tell the story.
 

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Has anybody felt an ABS pump failure? Hoping against hope that's not what happened but am 95% sure it is:
Unfortunately you are correct. Very typical to have problems with ABS. Perhaps partly due to people neglecting annual brake fluid change. As kedwards said: Start by checking fluid levels, then have fault codes read.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, kedwards, John, and C-A-D. Know it's not the fault of old fluid because that was flushed/refilled when the stainless steel brake lines were installed less than 500 miles ago. If levels could do this I'll burn incense, bow down to a Voodoo doll, or wear a tutu to a Harley biker bar for it to be the reason. I'll check. My guru is 250 miles away, so I posted here before trailering over there.
 

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I would give it another chance as heavy brake usage under idling conditions will pull the battery down considerably ( I see a strong voltage drop on my voltmeter at a red light). A marginal battery will take some time to recover. Worth a shot to get a good charge and see what happens.
 
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Unfortunately you are correct. Very typical to have problems with ABS. Perhaps partly due to people neglecting annual brake fluid change. As kedwards said: Start by checking fluid levels, then have fault codes read.
one has to wonder why? I have ABS on cars and have had it on two Harleys and never had to change the fluid or had an ABS failure.
What is screwed up in the design of this system that demands yearly fluid changes and the replacement of the stock brake lines? Is this just a very poorly designed system, as the rear drive seems to be? :confused:
 

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I second the battery.
I have often seen LT's throw the warning when the battery is low.

Traffic is the reason I take the twisty or back roads to go places.
It takes the same amount of time and I have more fun going through an area I may have never seen before.
 

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one has to wonder why? I have ABS on cars and have had it on two Harleys and never had to change the fluid or had an ABS failure.
What is screwed up in the design of this system that demands yearly fluid changes and the replacement of the stock brake lines? Is this just a very poorly designed system, as the rear drive seems to be? :confused:
Really do not have a good answer but few thoughts:

- Do not know how many car ABS-systems have inbuilt Servo-pumps to boost brakes - so the structure is complicated
- The amount of brake fluid in bike is really low compared to cars - so absorbed water ruins the fluid fast
- No need to switch brake lines until they do get old - exactly same in cars. I have switched many pieces of brake hoses in my cars during past years

Still I feel the servo-boosted brake system was a big mistake and that is the reason BMW gave up on it - just for the reason for it being so prone for failures.
 

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one has to wonder why? I have ABS on cars and have had it on two Harleys and never had to change the fluid or had an ABS failure.
What is screwed up in the design of this system that demands yearly fluid changes and the replacement of the stock brake lines? Is this just a very poorly designed system, as the rear drive seems to be? :confused:
It is not a good design if you don't want to do the proper maintenance.

I flush all my vehicles every three years,even the cars and many do require it. Nothing wrong with the rear drive design but rather improper assembly at the factory and during dealer repairs.

Yes the design on the servo ABS is complicated and it has a relatively small amount of fluid so the maintenance is even more critical.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, doesn't look like I'm going to have to wear a tutu to a Harley biker bar. Brake fluid is okay in both reservoirs. Battery has been on a trickle charger for days. Still getting the rapid blinking of the warning delta though on center stand, engine off, the hand brake felt good.

I think my only chance now is that the system might require the forward motion sensor check to clear the warning signals. However I hear a different pump whine than I've ever noticed before when I apply the brake. Faint, high-pitched, but sort of gravelly, as if multiple pitches sounding together.


But then again since Obamacare, it would probably cost me many times the cost of a pump replacement to get treated for the results of the tutu visit to the bar.
 

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The rapid blink is a "kiss of death" unless a GS-911 read out shows it to be pressure differential fault. Those can sometimes be fixed by pulling off the relief valve and cycling it to free it up. There is a guy in SA that has fixed quite a few for local riders but they are not easy to work on.
 

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I think my only chance now is that the system might require the forward motion sensor check to clear the warning signals. However I hear a different pump whine than I've ever noticed before when I apply the brake. Faint, high-pitched, but sort of gravelly, as if multiple pitches sounding together.
Hi, I was thinking some forward motion may make the lights go out, ...I think the pump has 2 speeds , so it might explain the sound thing... or not...:wave

I had the blinking ABS lights around 10 years ago, I put brake fluid in...that didn't help. I put in a new battery, ..It still had the blinking lights for a few days, then it went away. It has been good ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Maybe this is assumed by respondents, but I don't have just blinking lights -- I've got full servo failure and almost no braking effect.

Thanks, jzeiler, for the tip about the relief valve. I'll make sure my guru doesn't overlook the possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
John, thank you for the suggestion, but I'll walk before I have anything to do with e-Bay, just like Sears got my last nickel in 1984.

Besides, at the expense level involved, I'd not be comfortable buying used from a complete unknown source and without recourse -- and my experience with e-Bay shows me they offer no real recourse.
 

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I'll walk before I have anything to do with e-Bay, just like Sears got my last nickel in 1984.
Guess you don't hold a grudge do you? I had a machinist that worked for me and he got treated bad at Sears once on a tool and never stepped foot in there again.

I don't blame you on the e-bay deal they didn't even know the mileage of the bike let alone if the unit worked. May have been the cause that resulted in parting out the bike, ABS failure!!!

Hope you find a good fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The only reason that automotive fraud class action suit against Sears in California, circa late 1970s/early 1980s didn't break out in Alabama was that my mechanically-retarded friend's girlfriend was a perpetual victim and had a dysfunctional relationship with her lawyer son. I had driven her car a few days before she took it to Sears in Mobile, left it for an oil change, shopped, and came back to find it on a rack with all four wheels off and the brakes pulled apart. She was told that the brakes were so worn it was against federal law for them to put them back together again -- yes! -- and they wanted $500 for a complete brake job. In the mid-80s. She was living on Social Security. Poormouthed them down to $400. I found out about it and went ballistic. There was nothing wrong with the brakes when I drove the car. Upshot of my going ballistic was I got calls from Sears Tower in Chicago, the Mobile store manager, and the automotive manager. I did not return any. Put it all before the girlfriend. She whined, retreated into her victim role, complained about her son, and did nothing.

There is a lot more I know first-hand about Sears but it's not appropriate for this forum. I've pushed the limits with this much.

But "Satisfaction guaranteed," my ass.
 

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John, thank you for the suggestion, but I'll walk before I have anything to do with e-Bay, just like Sears got my last nickel in 1984.

Besides, at the expense level involved, I'd not be comfortable buying used from a complete unknown source and without recourse -- and my experience with e-Bay shows me they offer no real recourse.
While I understand your reluctance to deal with an unknown vendor, unknown part history, Ebay does have a full money back return policy. I have purchased a number of new and used items on Ebay and have had only one time that I had to use their policy. They contacted to seller, he returned my money with shipping charges included.

Unfortunately our selection for a solution is limited to by-pass, $2500 to BMW or try a used part.
 

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I bought my '07 LT through eBay from a guy that lives about 10 miles away from me. Thoroughly happy with the transaction and very satisfied with the bike over the 27K miles I have ridden it all over the US.
 
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