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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just ordered stainless steel brake lines and clutch line(just want it all to match, not concerned with performance on this modification). This got me to thinking, how often should you bleed your brakes? I know for track days, the ones who are very serious will bleed before and after. For street use, I suppose every time you change your brake pads?

I'm being cheap by going back and forth to convince myself to invest in the motion pro mini bleeder. Help me make up my mind :)
 

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Brake fluid is dirt cheap and it only takes half an hour, so I do it every 6 months with the oil before the feds do their half yearly 'warrant of fitness' check (NZ thing).

About the only thing that really kills brake hydraulics is lack of maintenance.

Having said that, every year will be fine, and do the coolant at the same time.

I saw the thread from the guy with the white sludgey crap in his system but didn't post. That's just a product of laziness... Mind you, although many said they'd not seen that before, I can tell you I have seen lots waaaaaaaaaaaaay worse than that (actually, not on bikes, on cars).

I like diggers... they're usually maintained correctly.... what I really ******* hate is winch brakes on fishing boats... now there is some badly maintained salt eaten crap if ever I've seen any....

/edit: Oh, and clean your caliper pistons with a toothbrush every time you wash the bikes (or every 2000 miles at least). Just remove the caliper mounting bolts, remove the pads, and put something between them... pump the pistons out so you can see clean piston, and then scrub the little ****ers until they're all minty fresh. If you do those two half hour jobs, you'll basically always have brakes that work at 90%+ of their capability, that don't drag, and won't need a full overhaul for a loooong time :) Probably take you an hour the first time, but doesn't take long to get a routine. Try not to let the calipers dangle off the brake hoses... it won't be a problem unless you're rough, but it's not good practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Damn that's some fresh advice there Imdying.

I've done my share of work on cars, I never let my calipers just "dangle" :)

While I'm swapping out the brake lines, wouldn't hurt to pull the calipers and clean them. What cleaning agent do you use when doing this?

On that note, I've been itching to look at some new pads for my calipers to see how much meat difference there is. If I go through that much work I may just get new pads up front while it's all apart.
 

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Every winter.

Keep this in mind: As long as there is no air in the system, flushing the old fluid out with fresh is dead simple and rather quick to do. No need for fancy suckers.

The fancy suckers do come in handy when you are pulling M/Cs or calipers off the lines and need to start from scratch.
 

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Damn that's some fresh advice there Imdying.

I've done my share of work on cars, I never let my calipers just "dangle" :)

While I'm swapping out the brake lines, wouldn't hurt to pull the calipers and clean them. What cleaning agent do you use when doing this?

On that note, I've been itching to look at some new pads for my calipers to see how much meat difference there is. If I go through that much work I may just get new pads up front while it's all apart.
All good mate, never hurts to mention stuff like that though, never know who you're talking to on the net :)

Hot soapy water never killed anything :) Having said that, we clean everything in methylated spirits when we have them stripped for a full rebuild. Just stay away from anything petroleum based like WD40, kero, CRC556, etc etc. Even Brakekleen I'm not really a fan of... besides, it's just money for moneys sake... hot soapy water, some brushes, and rag or two... you'll have that around the house. You can 'floss' the pistons when they're pumped halfway out, to make it easier to get the back sides, just use a clean rag and stop when it no longer gets dirty :)

Best advice I can offer is if they're super mucky, go hard out on them for a few hours and get them all new looking again, and then start on a regular maintenance plan. Brake dust is much easier to manage when it hasn't had years to bake itself on there :)
 

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Keep this in mind: As long as there is no air in the system, flushing the old fluid out with fresh is dead simple and rather quick to do. No need for fancy suckers.

The fancy suckers do come in handy when you are pulling M/Cs or calipers off the lines and need to start from scratch.
Yep, that's true.

On a dry system you need to prime the air out of the master cylinder (easy peasy) before you hook the lines up, but with the correct technique you should basically never need anything other than a jar and some hose. Now having said that, anything like a cheap mityvac makes it easy enough to do after you've been drinking, and that can't be a bad thing :D
 

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Ideally, once a year, or like you said, before every track day at least.
Waste of money. I change mine once a year at most on the race bike with off the shelf DOT 4.
7 race weekends and 15 or so track days per season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I went ahead and ordered the Motion Pro 8mm tool.
I'm just worried about spilling Brake fluid on the tires.


Imdying, I'm pretty certain I will be one of those lucky individuals whom the past owner of my bike has never cleaned the brake caliper :)
It will turn into an all day cleaning affair.
 

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Its pretty easy there's a bleed nip so you won't have to worry about getting any on your tire, extra hands always help but if not at least get some news papers around the master cylinder (prevent spillage). Put a clear tube on the nip, pump the lever and hold, crack it open, keep filling the reservoir (repeat) and voila!
 

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Well I went ahead and ordered the Motion Pro 8mm tool.
I'm just worried about spilling Brake fluid on the tires.


Imdying, I'm pretty certain I will be one of those lucky individuals whom the past owner of my bike has never cleaned the brake caliper :)
It will turn into an all day cleaning affair.
You'll be right. Might take you some extra time the first time, but you're not actually doing anything difficult. Just be careful, cheat by wrapping the caliper in a cloth around it (leaving the piston area exposed so you can still work on it) and secure that with some tape. Just means if you let go of it, it won't swing down and scratch anything. Don't go hard out with the lever, and if the wrong piston tries to pump itself off, just jam something in to stop it. I generally just jam the top two together with a bit of wood, and then hold the opposing piston to the one I want to pump out and expose with my finger. On a two piston calipers it's ridiculously easy.... pump pump, clean clean, job done :)

If nothing else it'll show you there's no rocket science going on... brakes are very reliable because of just how simple they are. Other than neglect, or filling with the wrong fluid (TOP TIP: Never let a service station top up your brake fluid. EVER. I have had to rebuild too many entire systems after ATF contamination... yeah yeah it's a service station, but most service station workers aren't super bright).

As far as price goes... I've many times paid more for a single beer or cocktail than 500ml of good quality brake fluid. To me, it's a moot point... bit like saying I'll get my hands dirty (which I won't because I just use a pair of gloves... hell you should be able to do the entire job and not even need to wash your hands, after a few practice runs :)
 
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