Failing to bleed brakes. Please help. - Yamaha R6 Forum: YZF-R6 Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

Hi,
I have a 2003 R6 with 17k miles.

2 weeks ago, I bled the brakes no problem with a bleeder tube. The tube has a simple mechanism that only allows 1-way travel outwards from the bleeder valve. I only bled the bleeder valves on the calipers and skipped the master cylinder since I couldn't see where I'd bleed the MC. Still worked fine and it was a quick job.

This week, I changed the pads no problem.

Today, I changed the 16-year-old OEM brake lines to stainless steel ones (Galfer brand). Once I tried bleeding again, I couldn't get any pressure on the brake lever. I was going at it for over an hour and only a negligible amount of brake fluid came out. All banjo bolts are super tight. My only guess is that there is a lot of air in the lines as well as the master cylinder.

When checking multiple youtube vids, I see them bleeding the master cylinder as well as the 2 bleeder valves on the front brakes. I don't see anywhere on my front master cylinder where I can bleed it. Does the 2003 R6 not have that option or am I missing something?

Thank you.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

I ordered this Reverse Brake Bleeder from Phoenix Systems as a hope it'll work.


 

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 04:51 AM
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

nope that master cyl doesn't have a way to bleed it. i've never seen a reverse bleeder. I've always used a mitivac or my new favorite is the pneumatic brake bleeder. but it requires compressed air to work.
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in the past if found it helpful to use a zip tie or rubber band to hold the lever down to the grip. with the lines loose until they start to drip. then tighten them up and proceed to bleed normally. it does take a really long time to get some pressure. but now with a pneumatic bleeder it's done in seconds.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

To clarify, do you keep the bleeder valve open when using a zip tie or rubber band to keep the brake level fully depressed? I did the zip tie thing, but with the bleeder valve closed. Left it like that for about 18 hours. Nothing changed.

Hopefully the reverse bleeder works. Update coming Weds night.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

So guys, I'm at a lost with what is going on.

Tonight, I used the reverse pressure bleeder. The bleeder pulls fluid directly from the Motul bottle into the gun and up into the bleeder valve and up into the reservoir. While doing this, I saw the reservoir slowly fill up with fluid which meant it was working. I could see a ton of air bubbles coming out of the reservoir. I repeated this on both front calipers.

Then I checked the brake lever pressure and squeezed a bunch of times. No pressure still so I decided I needed to bleed it the normal way. I switched the pressure bleeder so that it would pull fluid from the bleeder valve back into the Motul bottle so I'm not wasting fluid (it's all new fluid anyways). There was a continuous amount of air gaps in the tubes, even after refilling the reservoir ~5 times on both calipers. I don't understand how there can still be so much air. But 1 good thing came out of it was that I now have pressure back in the brake lever. I was able to ride around the neighborhood fine. The problem still remains as to why can't I get all the air out.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 09:19 AM
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

Just rebleed the system and do it the old fashion way. Get someone to help you - make sure the master cylinder is full - get a short length of hose that will fit on the bleed nipple on the caliper and run this to a small container to catch the brake fluid that you are bleeding out of the caliper. Have your buddy pump the brake lever several times and then hold it. Then while they are holding ó you open the bleed valve and have your buddy squeeze the brake lever down until it stops and then while your buddy continues to hold the lever all the way down you tighten up the bleed valve. Once the bleed valve is tight have your buddy let off the brake lever then pump the lever several times and hold again and repeat the above process again, 10 to 15 times. You will have to check and refill the master cylinders several times during this process. If this process donít get all the air out of the system you have a master cylinder, caliper seal, or banjo bolt leaking.
Also not a good idea to reuse brake brake fluid that you have bled out of the system - even if it looks clean. Always use new out of a sealed bottle brake fluid.
Note - this works good on systems that have some brake pressure but the lever or pedal feels spongy.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 09:41 AM
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

first...when you put pads in did you clean the caliper, pistons, & seals from old debris?
second... that tool you purchased costs double what a HF bleed vac costs.
third... you could have gravity bled the system. Kind of messy but pretty reliable with $.22 worth of tubing
forth... never grab the lever until the bleeding is done. A hydraulic system needs to be 100% hydraulic... not 99%.
fifth... are you sure the bleed nipples are 100% air tight?

bleeding brakes is really simple. Especially simple when the system is hung on a bike with gravity on your side.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor700 View Post
Just rebleed the system and do it the old fashion way. Get someone to help you - make sure the master cylinder is full - get a short length of hose that will fit on the bleed nipple on the caliper and run this to a small container to catch the brake fluid that you are bleeding out of the caliper. Have your buddy pump the brake lever several times and then hold it. Then while they are holding ó you open the bleed valve and have your buddy squeeze the brake lever down until it stops and then while your buddy continues to hold the lever all the way down you tighten up the bleed valve. Once the bleed valve is tight have your buddy let off the brake lever then pump the lever several times and hold again and repeat the above process again, 10 to 15 times. You will have to check and refill the master cylinders several times during this process. If this process donít get all the air out of the system you have a master cylinder, caliper seal, or banjo bolt leaking.
Also not a good idea to reuse brake brake fluid that you have bled out of the system - even if it looks clean. Always use new out of a sealed bottle brake fluid.
Note - this works good on systems that have some brake pressure but the lever or pedal feels spongy.
that was pretty much what i was doing but i couldn't build any pressure in the lever to force the air out, so i reverted back to using my pressure bleeder to do the traditional bleeding method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboBlew View Post
first...when you put pads in did you clean the caliper, pistons, & seals from old debris?
second... that tool you purchased costs double what a HF bleed vac costs.
third... you could have gravity bled the system. Kind of messy but pretty reliable with $.22 worth of tubing
forth... never grab the lever until the bleeding is done. A hydraulic system needs to be 100% hydraulic... not 99%.
fifth... are you sure the bleed nipples are 100% air tight?

bleeding brakes is really simple. Especially simple when the system is hung on a bike with gravity on your side.
yup, i cleaned them very well with brake cleaner, a toothbrush, and shop towels. pistons looked almost new after.
i wasn't aware of the HF bleed vac at the time and the one i bought was the one in the youtube video i watched. it seemed effective and has good reviews on amazon
after i felt pressure in the lever again, i rode it around the neighborhood and felt like it had a decent amount of grab so i'm going to see my buddy at his shop to get his help. he works on cars but i'm sure he can figure it out on the bike. really crossing fingers that it's user-error on my end and not another faulty part that i have to replace.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 04:40 PM
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

you just gotta keep doing it. they're a bitch when the lines are empty. it's not user error. it's just a bitch of a system.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Failing to bleed brakes. Please help.

Update: My mechanic buddy bled the brakes using my reverse pressure bleeder but managed to get it down right. What he did differently, which is not in the user manual or any other youtube vid, was direct both ends of the tubes into the Motul brake fluid bottle and get squeezing the gun until there was no air in the tubing. From there, he put 1 end of the tubing to the bleeder valve and started forcing fluid in. This way, the reservoir doesn't "burp" as the manual calls it with a bunch of bubbles coming up. It was quick and easy.

The rears were a bitch though. We did it according to the book but the rear brakes weren't grabbing as they should so we kept bleeding it several times over. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that the new rear Vesrah pads need time to get bedded in since they're fresh. A few runs on the street and highway got it feeling good again.

In the future, I'm going to make sure I bed-in fresh pads for a week before bleeding the brakes to avoid confusion as to what is going on.

Thanks for all your help guys.
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