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skeptical old git
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Discussion Starter #1
AT had it's annual trip to the dealers (I know, I know...) for service and MOT.

Collected the bike, jumped on, front brake lever almost comes back to the bar. Hmmm. Tweaking the span adjustment stops the lever coming back close to the bar, but still far more spongey than it was before it went in.

Collar mechanic and ask why I brought the bike in with brakes that felt firm and now there's an extra inch of travel in the lever.
"It'll be firm if the calipers are seizing up. Now they're freed off it will feel more spongey."

What???

Short discussion ensues. Bike isn't unroadworthy so I agree to ride it home and if it doesn't improve, go back in the morning.

Now the feel at the lever is definitely less wooden than before, and given a good pull the brake certainly work. But there's just so much lever travel....

Never ever had brakes worked on by a mechanic and had them feel more spongey. All sounds very fishy to me. Current plan is to have a 20 minute go at them with the the vacuum bleeder in the morning (lucky I have flexitime!) and if I can make them feel better, go back and shout at dealer. If bleeding them achieves nothing, time to eat humble pie...

Opinions?
 

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7,696 Posts
Amazing how they "suddenly" start to sieze up after a service innit :?

Try bleeding, can be a swine to do, then, firmly cable tie the lever back and leave overnight, often helps :roll:

Phil
 

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Need Constant Supervision
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2,495 Posts
Funny that I just replaced my AT's brake reservior this afternoon and after bleeding the front brakes with a vacuum pump it also feels spongy :? Definitely not what it was before I started. I have actually tied the lever to the back and will check it in the morning. That normally get's any air stuck somewhere in the line to the top. :wink:
 

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And I was disappointed with my braided lines first off because they felt spongy but they definitely firmed up over the next few days.
Perhaps it is just a case of trapped air that rises?
 

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Generalissimo Tea Boy
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6,027 Posts
They all do that when you take all the fluid out then fill it again. That's why now I clamp the pipes, just take off and fix the bit I want to, then refill the bit I put back and pump fresh fluid through pushing the old fluid and the new air I've introduced out.

If you've emptied it totally and refilled it, best do the bungee on the lever overnight trick and re bleed it after every ride for a few days. Or you can leave it and it will eventually get better as the trapped air works its way to the master cylinder and lowers the level a little.
 

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Thanks again troop.s.
put braided hose on and bleed and bleed ( got riped of with a 'draper' bleed kit, £7 non-return valve is a slit in the hose that must be immersed in fluid, with a bung to close the end.. bugger , never learn... its works though, but £7 foe a bit of plastic pipe and a bottle....)

Any way not to happy at first but it firmed up after a ride.. now I know why.. will bunggy it back tonight too :D
ray
 

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skeptical old git
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1,734 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
20 minutes with the vacuum bleeder (now I'm really glad I bought one of those!), and the brakes are definitely firmer.

Last night I had to have the lever span adjustment right out to keep the lever away from the bar; now it's OK unless screwed right the way in. I'd say the feel at the lever is about half way between how they gave the bike back to me, and as firm as it was when the bike went in.

If they'd just given the bike back and said "the brakes feel a bit spongey because we stripped the calipers; give it a few days and bring it back if it bothers you" then I would have been happy with that. The BS about it being perfetcly normal is what bothers me...
 

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Need Constant Supervision
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Just checked my brakes after strapping them back and they seem fine this morning. Icenian those vacuum bleeders sure are a good investment even if you only use them once. It makes the difference between an hour and 5 minutes at the end. I bought mine about 3 years ago after trying to bleed a ABS system by myself. After 2 hours I gave up as they were not even remotely better when I started out. It took me the best of 10 minutes to sort them out with the vacuum bleeder.

Next on the list is those speedbleeder nipples as mine felt a bit soft putting a spanner on them yesterday, all I need now is for one of those bastard things to snap off :cry:
 

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skeptical old git
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Discussion Starter #9
leaky nipples and rotting calipers

Maverick said:
Next on the list is those speedbleeder nipples as mine felt a bit soft putting a spanner on them yesterday, all I need now is for one of those bastard things to snap off :cry:
I'd just settle for bleed nipples that don't leak air!

With the vacuum bleeder, the theory is that any air that gets in via the thread will get sucked straight out again (as there's a constant flow of brake fluid out of the nipple). I'll believe that as the thing works. But when there's bubble coming out, you never know if there's air still left in the system, or if it's just leakage round the threads :x

Mityvak say some plumbers PTFE tape on the bleed nipple thread will sort that, never got round to trying it myself.

Still, the calipers are rotting so fast I don't suppose they'll last long now anyway. A FOAF who couldn't rebuild his Brembo calipers found he could get six pot Billet calipers cheaper than new Brembos. Ooh err, not sure I'd dare fit them to AT forks, even if they're available. Suppose I could buy one and take a disc off :wink:
 
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