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  • Brakes adjustment

    I noticed that my front brake lever seams "squishy" and I seem to have to pull it in a long way to get it to stop. I checked the pads they have alot of meat on them and the fluid is full. I there another adjustment I am missing somewhere? do they need to be blead? any help??
    HERDSTER #00115
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  • #2
    not sure what is going on there. I have noticed sometimes different bikes feel different.
    what year and model is your bike?
    Ride in Peace Wndchsr


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    • #3
      wave, if its a 2001 king, and has never been serviced on the brake fluid side, you may want to get that oil switched out..after only a couple of years, the oil will begin to absorb water, and other contaminates, and cause brake action problems...hopefully your not building rust inside the system, but i would recommend an immediate fluid change, and see if that improves the braking quality.....and if you havent got one, get one of those inexpensive vacuum brake bleeders from the auto parts store...it will make your life much easier when you change the fluids out....g
      Originally posted by wavman8 View Post
      I noticed that my front brake lever seams "squishy" and I seem to have to pull it in a long way to get it to stop. I checked the pads they have alot of meat on them and the fluid is full. I there another adjustment I am missing somewhere? do they need to be blead? any help??
      U.S. Army "Retired"
      (Disabled Veteran)

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      • #4
        Does it "pump up" after a couple of stroke????? If so You have some air in the system and it needs to be bled.
        If the system has DOT 5 in it the dot5 fluid has some air embedded in it and it will seperate out over time,try cracking the bleeder screw,squeeze on the brake lever,watch for air bubbles to pop out,tighten bleeder screw then release the lever,If You got some air on the first try then repeat the steps until the air is purged always maintaining the fluid level in the master.
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        • #5
          It is an 01 King and as far as I know has never had the fluid changed. Its got almost 20,000 on it. It will not "pump up". I noticed it was strarting fade at the end of last season but I thought it was just pads again but after looking there is plenty of meat on them. I will try changing the fluid out and see if that solves the issue. Any recommendation on brake fluid??

          Thanks all1
          HERDSTER #00115
          Herdstock II survivor
          Herdstock III survivor
          Herdstock IV survivor
          Herdstock VI survivor
          MOO TON CREW member
          I like the dog. If he can't eat it or f**k it, he pisses on it. I can get behind that

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          • #6
            may be looking at a master cylinder rebuild, the internals could be going bad, but i would try the fluid first, and see if that wont make a difference before you look at a cylinder repair...thats alot of miles on factory fluid.....oh the horror !!!...LOL !!
            Originally posted by wavman8 View Post
            It is an 01 King and as far as I know has never had the fluid changed. Its got almost 20,000 on it. It will not "pump up". I noticed it was strarting fade at the end of last season but I thought it was just pads again but after looking there is plenty of meat on them. I will try changing the fluid out and see if that solves the issue. Any recommendation on brake fluid??

            Thanks all1
            brake fluid requirements i'm unsure of, the specs may be dot4 or dot5...it could go either way in 2001...best to look it up....or in the owners manual, or tech manual....
            Last edited by gruss; 04-06-2010, 03:03 PM. Reason: more info..
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            • #7
              bad me!! bad me!! guess I should do that pretty soon, stopping is an important thing..lol
              HERDSTER #00115
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              Herdstock III survivor
              Herdstock IV survivor
              Herdstock VI survivor
              MOO TON CREW member
              I like the dog. If he can't eat it or f**k it, he pisses on it. I can get behind that

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              • #8
                so i finally got the fluid changed out, i ran a whole bottle thru the system and then some. I still have the squishy lever action BUT now I am able to "pump" the lever a few times and it gets stiff (insert joke here if you want) I thought "air in the line" so I bled the system again with another bottle, did not see any bubbles coming out but still the squishy lever...any ideas folks?
                HERDSTER #00115
                Herdstock II survivor
                Herdstock III survivor
                Herdstock IV survivor
                Herdstock VI survivor
                MOO TON CREW member
                I like the dog. If he can't eat it or f**k it, he pisses on it. I can get behind that

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wavman8 View Post
                  so i finally got the fluid changed out, i ran a whole bottle thru the system and then some. I still have the squishy lever action BUT now I am able to "pump" the lever a few times and it gets stiff (insert joke here if you want) I thought "air in the line" so I bled the system again with another bottle, did not see any bubbles coming out but still the squishy lever...any ideas folks?
                  Wav, If you can "pump" the lever, and it finally gets firm on the lever, the chance still exists that air is trapped in the line. Did you gravity bleed the line, or vacuum bleed it ?

                  Also, the chance still exists that the brake cylinder in leaking inside between the piston seals....
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                  • #10
                    I seem to remember a free video clip at a web site called Build a Hog. They described some makes/years with squishy brakes and had a short and free clip on how to fix it. May not apply to your model but worth a look.
                    HERD Member #108 1

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gruss View Post
                      Wav, If you can "pump" the lever, and it finally gets firm on the lever, the chance still exists that air is trapped in the line. Did you gravity bleed the line, or vacuum bleed it ?

                      Also, the chance still exists that the brake cylinder in leaking inside between the piston seals....
                      Gravity bled it. I do have a vacuum bleeder guess I could give that a shot. I am going to take the calipers off this weekend and see if I can find any leaking gong on.
                      HERDSTER #00115
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                      I like the dog. If he can't eat it or f**k it, he pisses on it. I can get behind that

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wavman8 View Post
                        so i finally got the fluid changed out, i ran a whole bottle thru the system and then some. I still have the squishy lever action BUT now I am able to "pump" the lever a few times and it gets stiff (insert joke here if you want) I thought "air in the line" so I bled the system again with another bottle, did not see any bubbles coming out but still the squishy lever...any ideas folks?
                        Your problem isn't the master cylinder or the fluid. It's a common problem with 2000-2004 RKs.... I just fixed one that we replaced the master on and bled more times then I care to metnion.

                        You have an RK with dual front brakes. Every 3K, it's recommended to pull the calipers anc clean the pistons due to brake dirt accumulating on them.

                        Remove the caliper.

                        (Do one at a time)

                        With the pads in the caliper (do not remove them) pump the brakes till the caliper pistons come outward. With the pads in, the pistons won't fall out.

                        Clean around the pistons with Brake-Clean and a tooth brush. Spray clean.

                        Push pistons back, and reinstall calipers back on, then pump brakes up.

                        I gauren-teeeee.

                        Some people claim that it happens less with some aftermarket pads, vs HD OEM pads.
                        Last edited by Dave63; 07-16-2010, 03:29 PM.
                        **Note: The technical info I provide is suggestive. I am not a perfeshunel.

                        "No two motorcycles should be the same. Your bike should be based on your creativity, and whatever's going on in your life at that time..." Jesse James


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wavman8 View Post
                          Gravity bled it. I do have a vacuum bleeder guess I could give that a shot. I am going to take the calipers off this weekend and see if I can find any leaking gong on.
                          leaks will be evident, but the reason I say to vacuum bleed the system is gravity will allow air pockets to remain in the high spots of the system. The caliper piston top to be more specific. Vacuum bleed will "pull" the air pockets out of the lines and caliper, and makes the job 10 times faster, cleaner, and easier...good luck Brother......post the results please..........g

                          note: bleed the lines with the calipers extended into the "running" position against the brake discs. Removal to bleed them will not get the air out because the pistons are extended to far out on the seal assembly..in addition, they hang with the pocket to the uphill, and the air will follow the grade....Go ahead, ask me how I know....LOL !!

                          note #2: make sure "all" line fittings are tight. A loose fitting will run you in circles for a month....go ahead, ask my neighbor how he knows that....LOL x2
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dave63 View Post
                            Your problem isn't the master cylinder or the fluid.

                            You have an RK with dual front brakes. Every 3K, it's recommended to pull the calipers anc clean the pistons due to brake dirt accumulating on them.

                            Remove the caliper.

                            With the pads in the caliper (do not remove them) pump the brakes till the caliper pistons come outward. With the pads in, the pistons won't fall out.

                            Clean around the pistons with Brake-Clean and a tooth brush. Spray clean.

                            Push pistons back, and reinstall calipers back on, then pump brakes up.

                            I gauren-teeeee.

                            Some people claim that it happens less with some aftermarket pads, vs HD OEM pads.
                            Thanks Dave I will give that a shot tomorrow and let you know how it goes..
                            HERDSTER #00115
                            Herdstock II survivor
                            Herdstock III survivor
                            Herdstock IV survivor
                            Herdstock VI survivor
                            MOO TON CREW member
                            I like the dog. If he can't eat it or f**k it, he pisses on it. I can get behind that

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dave63 View Post
                              Your problem isn't the master cylinder or the fluid. It's a common problem with 2000-2004 RKs.... I just fixed one that we replaced the master on and bled more times then I care to metnion.

                              You have an RK with dual front brakes. Every 3K, it's recommended to pull the calipers anc clean the pistons due to brake dirt accumulating on them.

                              Remove the caliper.

                              (Do one at a time)

                              With the pads in the caliper (do not remove them) pump the brakes till the caliper pistons come outward. With the pads in, the pistons won't fall out.

                              Clean around the pistons with Brake-Clean and a tooth brush. Spray clean.

                              Push pistons back, and reinstall calipers back on, then pump brakes up.

                              I gauren-teeeee.

                              Some people claim that it happens less with some aftermarket pads, vs HD OEM pads.
                              this doesnt account for having to pump the brakes to use them. I do believe Wav still has air trapped in the lines. thats why I advise a vacuum bleed.
                              U.S. Army "Retired"
                              (Disabled Veteran)

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