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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a 2001 SV650S motorcycle. I'm trying to learn how to do some maintenance and repairs to reduce the outflow of cash from my bank account, and this month's lesson is on the replacement of the factory brake lines with Galfer brake lines. The rear lines went well, but I'm having an issue with the front lines.

When I pulled the front brake lines off, I found the banjo bolts at the bottom end were filled with a white sludge. The fluid itself felt grainy, so there's a precipitate of some sort in the fluid. Any idea what it may be? How bad of a failure of something in the system is this, and what's my next step? I don't want to throw the Galfer lines on if there's something else in the system that I should replace.

 

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Never seen that before. Some kind of contamination?

You didn't fill the brake reservoir with blinker fluid, did you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never seen that before. Some kind of contamination?

You didn't fill the brake reservoir with blinker fluid, did you?
The brake lines are as when I bought the bike used.

Also, never had any issues with the front brakes. Seemed to work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yuck! Could just be really old fuid, I'm surprised you didn't feel it in the brakes.
My worry is that something else in the system is degrading, like the plastic reservoir is flaking apart. I'm considering just buying a replacement as I think that rubber thing under the cap is worn out and the threads on the cup are turning yellow.
 

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The white sludge or milky brake fluid is caused by water contamination. If the fluid isn't changed on a regular basis, over time water enters the system. Non silicone brake fluids attract water and over time you can have 8% water content or more depending upon humidity levels where you live. Poor maintenance by the previous owner. That system needs a good flushing. At least it isn't brown which would indicate rust forming throughout the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The white sludge or milky brake fluid is caused by water contamination. If the fluid isn't changed on a regular basis, over time water enters the system. Non silicone brake fluids attract water and over time you can have 8% water content or more depending upon humidity levels where you live. Poor maintenance by the previous owner. That system needs a good flushing. At least it isn't brown which would indicate rust forming throughout the system.
I think there was some of that. I'll need to give the system a more thorough look, it seems.
 

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Brake fluid typically turns brown of its own accord when exposed to water.
As for the goo, I've never seen that in a brake system. I've had to monkey around with some pretty old and nasty systems before, and never saw that. My guess is whoever worked on that last tried to use some kind of thread sealer or perhaps even used grease on the bolt.
Is this material on any of the other fittings, or in the reservoir?
You'll probably be fine flushing out the calipers with some brake cleaner if you don't find it elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Brake fluid typically turns brown of its own accord when exposed to water.
As for the goo, I've never seen that in a brake system. I've had to monkey around with some pretty old and nasty systems before, and never saw that. My guess is whoever worked on that last tried to use some kind of thread sealer or perhaps even used grease on the bolt.
Is this material on any of the other fittings, or in the reservoir?
You'll probably be fine flushing out the calipers with some brake cleaner if you don't find it elsewhere.
The reservoir felt slimy and was tinted brown. I don't recall noticing any white residue in the reservoir. I only found the material on and in the lower banjo bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, finally got the replacement parts Saturday, and spend today replacing the front brake lines. I also pulled the front calipers off and cleaned them out. This is what I found in the pistons of the left front caliper.



In the right front caliper pistons I found a similar mess but it was white.

Cleaned everything out, flushed with lots of brake fluid, and put it all together. I don't know if it's the Galfer stainless steel lines, or the fact that the system is cleaned, or the fact that the brakes have been freshly bled, but they grab much quicker than they did before, and feel really responsive.

The whole affair took about 6 hours today. It's the first time I've ever done something like this, and it was rather fun to learn more about how the mechanics of the bike work. I just wish there hadn't been so many problems with the whole affair.



 
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