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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2005 LT that I purchased earlier this year with 8,300 miles and it now has12,000 miles. And from what I can tell, the brake fluids have never been flushed. That being said, I am exploring the cost to do it on my own vs. a local dealership or independent shop. That being said, I called a local shop in southern NJ since our BMW dealership closed due to poor management. After a few minutes of chit chat, the mechanic (he worked at the BMW dealership) quoted me $350 due to the tupperware coming off and the 4 hours of labor to complete the job. My guess is that it would not take a master BMW mechanic 4 hours to do the job as they are quoting me a flat rate. Since I would like to save a few dollars, this leads me to asking:

1. How long will it take someone with no formal wrenching skills to do it. Although I am handy with some tools, and not concerned about tackling the job, how long should I budget to flush the front and back system?

2. I have been in touch with 3 members (tonygret, jzeiler, Razmataz) on the site who have been great and it looks like the DVD by tonygret is a must have along with the funnel from beemerboneyard. Thank you guys.

3. Speed bleeders: Does anyone have a source to order speed bleeders? My guess is that there are metric and SAE ones. Do I just go to ebay and look up "speed bleeders"?

4. Syringe: Is there a special syringe I need to order? If so, which one.

If anyone can point me to a source for the items necessary, I would grateful.

Thanks a ton guys!
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

There is a lot of information on this site that a "search" will uncover. I too am in a simular situation and have tought about doing it myself. I searched this forum and complied what I think I need and have even been offored assistance, but it just wasent a good time to be away....

Because the brakes are so important and in this bike quite complicted, I've hesitated to do it myself. I would suggest, if you are going to do it yourself that you get someone who had done it to at least watch and advise. It should not be that hard, but there always seem to be little "got yas" out there and compaired to the cost of your investment, having the brakes done by a profesional, might be worth it.

One other thing and I do this locally before I take my bike in, I strip it! I take off all of the relevant plastic. Saves a lot, they just don't wash it...
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

I've done my own on my 2005 since new. Every December...

Not that hard.. just need to go easy. The hardest part, actually, is getting the wrench to fit the bleeders on the ABS unit... after that, it's easy... especially if you have a bit of help.
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

cfell said:
I've done my own on my 2005 since new. Every December...

Not that hard.. just need to go easy. The hardest part, actually, is getting the wrench to fit the bleeders on the ABS unit... after that, it's easy... especially if you have a bit of help.
I think the KEY is to get a little help the first time. That's what I did with the three main fluids. Made a bigh difference. Wish I could find someone around the Tampa area to assist. I'd even buy the beer and pizza or ribs......!
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

I agree with "getting a little help". I did my own oil, final drive and tranny change, not too bad, pretty straightforward. However, like stated above, the complications I could get into on the brake flush makes me think I need some first time assistance and I would like to do it over the winter. which leads me to ask, is anyone one this site located in or around Springfield Missouri?? I will buy the beer!!
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

You don't need speed bleeders and only a couple of small pieces need to come off to get to the ABS pump. The time it will take depends on how you prep. Anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. If you decide to remove the rear wheel, all the pads, shim the calipers and take off the handle bar covers to rotate the front reservoir as BMW says you should it will take several hours at least. I chose not to do any of that and just flush the wheel circuits without messing with the pads or calipers and strapped the handle bars to the left for the front control circuit. Some would argue that you wont get all the fluid flushed this way, but I bet 95% is renewed. Add to that the fact I plan to do it every year now and over time I will have more new fluid more often than BMW suggests. One note of caution doing it this way would be to make sure you get the levels in the ABS reservoir back where they were or be prepared to do another flush every time you change the pads.

My only recommendation beyond any printed instructions or video you may see is to stuff a rag all the way around the ABS pump before you start flushing to absorb any stray drips. Otherwise the spilled fluid will find it's way to the exhaust and smoke like crazy.
As with any brake system avoid getting ANY air in the system, especially on this thing.

You will spend about $75.00 for the DVD and tools one time. Then about 10.00 for fluid every time after that.

Tools you need are all standard except for:

Bleeder Bag - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CPARUQ/ref=oss_product

Syringe - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HI0UK0/ref=oss_product

Either John Z DVD or BB DVD - http://www.beemerboneyard.com/jvbdvd1200.html
(Note BB DVD is for an RT but similar steps.The John Z DVD is for an LT.

BB Funnel - http://www.beemerboneyard.com/abs3funnel.html

Various lenghts and diameters of clear tubing from any hardware store.

2x 500ML bottles of DOT 4 Break Fluid.

Good luck!
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

TVPearson said:
I agree with "getting a little help". I did my own oil, final drive and tranny change, not too bad, pretty straightforward. However, like stated above, the complications I could get into on the brake flush makes me think I need some first time assistance and I would like to do it over the winter. which leads me to ask, is anyone one this site located in or around Springfield Missouri?? I will buy the beer!!
+2 on at least watching, if not having someone who has done it looking over your shoulder and guiding you. I just prefer to get it done.
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

tonygret said:
You don't need speed bleeders and only a couple of small pieces need to come off to get to the ABS pump. The time it will take depends on how you prep. Anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. If you decide to remove the rear wheel, all the pads, shim the calipers and take off the handle bar covers to rotate the front reservoir as BMW says you should it will take several hours at least. I chose not to do any of that and just flush the wheel circuits without messing with the pads or calipers and strapped the handle bars to the left for the front control circuit. Some would argue that you wont get all the fluid flushed this way, but I bet 95% is renewed. Add to that the fact I plan to do it every year now and over time I will have more new fluid more often than BMW suggests. One note of caution doing it this way would be to make sure you get the levels in the ABS reservoir back where they were or be prepared to do another flush every time you change the pads.

My only recommendation beyond any printed instructions or video you may see is to stuff a rag all the way around the ABS pump before you start flushing to absorb any stray drips. Otherwise the spilled fluid will find it's way to the exhaust and smoke like crazy.
As with any brake system avoid getting ANY air in the system, especially on this thing.

You will spend about $75.00 for the DVD and tools one time. Then about 10.00 for fluid every time after that.

Tools you need are all standard except for:

Bleeder Bag - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CPARUQ/ref=oss_product

Syringe - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HI0UK0/ref=oss_product

Either John Z DVD or BB DVD - http://www.beemerboneyard.com/jvbdvd1200.html
(Note BB DVD is for an RT but similar steps.The John Z DVD is for an LT.

BB Funnel - http://www.beemerboneyard.com/abs3funnel.html

Various lenghts and diameters of clear tubing from any hardware store.

2x 500ML bottles of DOT 4 Break Fluid.

Good luck!

Tony, GREAT Post - There should be a place to say thanks on the thread! Very informative...
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

Compared to what BMW of Orlando charged me for a flush, $350 does not seem to bad. Took my 05 there for a 24K service as I was 1/4 through a four corner ride. Was not sure if brakes had ever been flushed and thought since i was in the area and plastic would be off, and with another 8K-10K miles still on trip said please flush them. Had been quoted a cost of around "a little over $600" for the 24K service unless valve seats and tires were needed, whenI made the appointment. Dropped bike off at 09:30 and picked up around 16:00. Mech. person was at lunch when I called for progress report, and when I arrived bike was showroom clean, young man was blow drying bike, it looked like new. The only additional service difference between 24K service and yearly service was the flush of brake system.

Total time spent I figure a little over 5.25 hr.
Total charge 1,395

I did file a complaint and after a lot of songing and dancing finally got a $250 refund. Also a free Oil change If I was ever in the area.
Like I said above $350 not bad, even with my refund you are getting a better deal.

They told me because of the high cost of a store in Orlando BMW allowed them to charge more.
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

Agreed! Thank you Tony Outstanding post hadn't even thought about Amazon as a place to get the last of the kit to do the brakes. LOL Now all I need is a heater and maybe a bar for the garage and I'll be ready to have a go at it.


DanDiver said:
Tony, GREAT Post - There should be a place to say thanks on the thread! Very informative...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

Guys: Super feedback from everyone. If anyone is in the Philly/Southern or Central NJ, and wants to do a brake flush together, I have a garage that can handle 4 LTs. Damn, it is snowing out as I write this thread. :(

Tony, thanks a million for the information and related details...

Glenn
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

How about coming to Florida and we'll do it in my unheated, but 60 degree garage... Going to be in the low 70's tomorrow. Got room for at least 5-6...

I'll supply the beer and ribs......
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

DanDiver said:
How about coming to Florida and we'll do it in my unheated, but 60 degree garage... Going to be in the low 70's tomorrow. Got room for at least 5-6...

I'll supply the beer and ribs......
If I don't have to work on Jan. the 8th I'll be riding down on the 7th after work to the RTE. I always carry everything on my bike for doing brake flushes. We could do it early sat. morning or sat. afternoon. I won't know if I have sat. off until friday & some time that weekend if I make it down there I'll need to drop off a lower drive off of an outboard in St. Cloud to be rebuilt.
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

saddleman said:
If I don't have to work on Jan. the 8th I'll be riding down on the 7th after work to the RTE. I always carry everything on my bike for doing brake flushes. We could do it early sat. morning or sat. afternoon. I won't know if I have sat. off until friday & some time that weekend if I make it down there I'll need to drop off a lower drive off of an outboard in St. Cloud to be rebuilt.
That would be great..... I'll get with you off line to confirm and go ahead and get the parts...
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

DanDiver said:
That would be great..... I'll get with you off line to confirm and go ahead and get the parts...
All you need is DOT 4 brake fliud I don't carry that.
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

saddleman said:
All you need is DOT 4 brake fliud I don't carry that.
I'll have that and I'll get the speed bleeders too.

If you need a place to stay, we've got the room and you are welcome to stay here. I'm about 5 minutes from where I-4 and I-75 meet, just off of Fowler ave.
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

Dan,

too bad I just dropped of my bike this morning at Orlando BMW for an annual service.

They quoted $600 - $100 because the oil, final drive, and transmission fluid was all changed by me just last month.

I am also having them put on a set of Metzlers to replace the Bridgestones (the front went bad) for $140.

Not exactly what the annual is getting me for $500. but it does include the brake flush which I wanted.

I will have a new set of tires on the bike only 5000 miles and ready to go for the next year.

If you think it is ok, I would not mind coming over and meeting you and participating if I am in town when you guys get together.

Paul
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

pauleknight said:
Dan,
They quoted $600 - $100 because the oil, final drive, and transmission fluid was all changed by me just last month.
Paul
So are they saying if all you wanted done was the oil, final drive, and transmission fluid , they would charge only 100.00. I doubt that. Since we all were quoted in the $350.00 to 400.00 range for the flush, my guess is the extra 150.00 is a penalty for not getting the other stuff done there. In this case they made their money even though you did most of the real (important) work yourself. The brake flush is going to cost them 10.00 in material and maybe take them an hour.

I know one day I am going to need a dealer's help, but until then I will save on those $600.00 and $1200.00 service charges. Even at half those prices it is still too much, but it probably wouldn't scare so many people off. I would probably let them do it for half that and they would still make money. I wonder how much money they would make if they were more reasonable. I don't care how well off you are, 600.00 or 1200.00 for a service is a lot of money. Except to my wife of course who thinks 800.00 for a purse is a great deal.
.
 

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Re: How To Avoid The $350 Brake Flus

This really makes me appreciate our local indie shop so much more. His price for the major service at 36k is $450, and he's very highly recommended by the other BMW people in the area. That price is for the non-power-assist bikes, he won't do the flush on the power-assist system.
 
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