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Bleeding front brakes on my XT350 1986...advice needed!

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I just replaced my front clutch cable and I'm bleeding the brakes for the first time. I don't have any of the fancy tools like a brake vacuum pump or syringes to make this job easier. I'm following the direction in the Clymer manual. I've got a tube attached to the bleeder valve with the other end in brake fluid to prevent air going back into the caliper. After completing the process my front brake still feels spongy and not griping hard enough. I'm guessing there is still air in the system. Any advice on getting all the air out? Any other advice on bleeding front brakes?

Thanks in advance!

Matt

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If you are sure you have all the air out of the system you probably should replace the brake hose . After all, it's probably the original hose and is swelling as you apply the brakes which is robbing the caliper of fluid pressure . This is  common in cars as well and is no big deal . There are aftermarket braided stainless steel hoses you can buy if you are into hard riding but the factory hose is usually all that the average rider needs . If the prices of the two are close , I would go with the aftermarket one .

Edited by rzxt350

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If you are sure you have all the air out of the system you probably should replace the brake hose . After all, it's probably the original hose and is swelling as you apply the brakes which is robbing the caliper of fluid pressure . This is  common in cars as well and is no big deal . There are aftermarket braided stainless steel hoses you can buy if you are into hard riding but the factory hose is usually all that the average rider needs . If the prices of the two are close , I would go with the aftermarket one .

Its a brand new stainless cable. I'm thinkin there is still air in there but I can't get it all out. Any tricks??

M

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You can take the squirter and tube out of a spray bottle.Take the end of the tube and put it over the bleed nipple. ( I use safety wire to secure it. ) .Then open the nipple and start squeezing,aim the spray into a container. this will draw the air and fluid thru the new line.

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Ok, first it's a hose not a cable. In your original post you said you replaced the clutch cable . Alright, does the brake build up fluid pressure ? Does it still have a solid feel after 10 minutes or so ? If not and you are sure you have the air bled out, you might need to buy a master cylinder rebuild kit. They are very inexpensive and easy to rebuild. I bought 2 off of ebay, one for my xt350 and one for my bigbear 4x4. They both used the same kit .

Edited by rzxt350

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When I replaced my front brake line I had to pull the caliper off the mount and hang it as high as I could while bleeding it. The air bubble kept rising back up when I was trying to bleed the brake with the caliper below the master cylinder.

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I have just replaced my hose as my old one split , I found I couldn't bleed it as a tiny hole in the master cylinder was blocked , but now with the new hose and pads fitted the bike stops perfectly but the feel is completely different to before with more travel on the lever and a bit spongy , I will rebleed mine again but I am certain there is no air left in it .

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Ok, first it's a hose not a cable. In your original post you said you replaced the clutch cable . Alright, does the brake build up fluid pressure ? Does it still have a solid feel after 10 minutes or so ? If not and you are sure you have the air bled out, you might need to buy a master cylinder rebuild kit. They are very inexpensive and easy to rebuild. I bought 2 off of ebay, one for my xt350 and one for my bigbear 4x4. They both used the same kit .

 

Holy crap...that's what I get posting a question after having a few beers. Yes rzxt350...I meant to write front brake hose...sorry about that. To answer your questions...yes... the front brake does build up pressure. But when I push the bike forward then apply the front brake it slowly stops. It doesn't grab sharply. What do you mean by "...still have a solid feel after 10 minutes..." ? I'm not leaking any brake fluid...I think I;m holding pressure.

 

 

I might try XScring's idea.

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When you leave the bike alone for an hour or more, when you try squeezing the brake, does the brake feel

spongy or solid ? If it's spongy I think you have a problem with the master cylinder .

Edited by rzxt350

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Yep...it feels soft when I apply the front brake. I thought that's how it feels if there is still air in the caliper or somewhere in the brake system??

I guess I'll go buy a caliper plunger assembly...they're cheap.

I was hoping it was some easy air in the system fix...

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Yep...it feels soft when I apply the front brake. I thought that's how it feels if there is still air in the caliper or somewhere in the brake system??

I guess I'll go buy a caliper plunger assembly...they're cheap.

I was hoping it was some easy air in the system fix...

You realize the master cylinder is on the handle bar where you add brake fluid not the brake caliper down on the front wheel . The master cylinder kits are pretty inexpensive too. Just make sure you clean all the parts real good and there is a very small hole on the bottom of the fluid reservoir that must be clean and clear of any debris. You might want to check that first before buying any parts. You might get lucky just giving it a good cleaning .

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Being a noob i learned the hard way. The front brake was still spungy after bleeding so i adjusted the lever at the cylinder. Felt great then 10 miles down the rode the rotor dust cover goes up in flames from all the heat! yikes made my rotor look like a bowl.

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I would make sure you have it bled correctly before throwing more parts at your system. Bleed the caliper off the bike like I stated earlier, mount everything back up and go ride for a couple miles using the brakes to get them warm. Let everything cool off, and check to see how the lever feels. I had to do it twice before it got rock solid.

 

***NOTE*** When you have the caliper suspended, keep slight pressure on the brake lever to stop any fluid from back feeding.

Edited by XSrcing
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