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Katana How-To's & FAQ's A forum filled with write-ups, FAQ's, and visual aids for
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:11 PM   #1
Black_peter
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Default Brake bleeding/flushing

The Black Peter Way
[HOW TO Rebuild here]
Heres what you need:
Clean fluid (Cyber and I highly recommend Castrol LMA)
An 8mm wrench (A good one, avoid using an Ignition wrench)
A Syringe (These type are available. no needle)
Short length of 5mm ID tubing (this should fit the syringe and the bleeder)
Waste bottle (your old bottle of brake fluid)
Clean rags (at least one lint free! (polyester, nylon etc)


Optional is the grease, and German Mustard jar.. (long story)

I like to start by removing the old fluid from the res.
Clean the cap and side of the res. well, you don't
want dirt etc falling in.
Wrap a rag around the res. to prevent damage to the
painted surfaces. Brake fluid is very caustic.


Remove the cap, spacer (if applicable) and bellows.
Place these parts in a safe clean place.
NOTE: it is not necessary to have the cap on during the bleeding/ flushing process. However if you are concerned with "stuff" falling into the fluid (bad thing) lightly place the cap or bellows on.


As you can see this fluid has taken on an amber hue. Castrol LMA
is clear as water so any color change means it's time to go!

Clean fluid. The amber you see here is the reflection of pecan tree.

Draw out 90% of the fluid with your syringe.
Not all as you don't want air to get into the Master Cylinder.
Refill with new fluid.

Now draw a bit of clean fluid into the syringe.
Place the 8mm wrench over the bleeder.
Attach the hose to the outside bleeder.
Attach the syringe assembly loosely. While gently pushing the
plunger affix the hose over the nipple. This assures there is
no (or very little) air in the system.


Now while squeezing the lever open the bleeder.
Keep the bleeder open while pumping the lever.
As you pump the fluid will fill the syringe.
Hold the end of the syringe at an upward angle as you are pumping.
This allows any air to rise to the end of the syringe.
You may notice that the plunger moves back a bit when the
lever is released, this is the master cylinder pulling fluid back.
Keeping the syringe up keeps air from being drawn in too.

Once the syringe is full, close the bleeder and remove the
syringe from the hose. Empty the syringe into the waste.
Reattach and continue with the pumping. Keep an eye on the res.
and refill. I refill it at least three times.


To avoid a "3 Stooges" moment try not to put your coffee cup this close to the waste bottle...

Move to the inside bleeder.

Removing the pad cover allows more room for your wrench.
Bleed this the same way as the outside. However I only refill once
here. It isn't as easy to work on and we are only bleeding/flushing the caliper here. When we ran 3 reservoirs full of fluid through the outside bleeder we flushed the caliper and the hose.

After you are finished:
All bubbles have been purges and the fluid coming out of the bleeders
is as clean as what is going in.
Clean the bellows with the "link free rag"

The bellows extends to take the place of the fluid.
Fluid is not lost! The calipers require more fluid to fill the pistons
as the pads wear and the pistons need to extend to make up for the
space. Extend the bellows to clean it completely.
Pop the bellows back, fully retracted and after topping off the res.
(to the full line) replace the bellows then cap. The bellows should
touch the top of the fluid..



Don't be afraid to run a lot of fluid through the system.
I used 3/4 of the bottle. I'll use the rest on the rear.
The reason I like this method is:
*It is easy to assure no air gets introduced into the lines.
*The syringe is a cheap "one man bleeder".
*It allows you to keep track of just how much fluid you are flushing.
This allows you to flush both side equally and not run out of fluid 1/2 way.

Castrol LMA is about $3.50 a bottle. I flush mine twice a year.
I usually only use my middle finger to stop the Kat.
At $7 / year that is worth every penny
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:01 PM   #2
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this is sticky material.
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:37 PM   #3
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what no mention of speed bleeders?
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Old 05-20-2006, 05:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwannadie
what no mention of speed bleeders?
Don't use them..
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:45 PM   #5
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nice tattos
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Brake bleeding/flushing

My notes on Black_peter's method:

(A) Make sure the rags are cotton. Why? Because polyester and nylon do not absorb fluid. Use of aluminum foil is also recommended -- bend to shape over your fairings & bottom of the tire/wheel, and/or use it to form a catch cup so that spills won't get on your paint.
Having a garden hose already pressurized and some liquid dish detergent is also wise, in case you do spill -- to help get the oil of the brake fluid off the bike as fast as possible (brake fluid is simply hydraulic oil with some acidic properties to it).

(B) If using SpeedBleeders (my preference), note the nut is no longer metric, but uses an SAE wrench size (1/4"). Rotate bleeder 90 degrees from sealed to engage one-way-valve operation. I offer them for all the Kats in my specials thread ( http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?t=58596 ).

(C) Brake fluid, being an oil, doesn't come off skin easily. Being caustic, it can also prompt some serious reactions in some people. As a result, I tend to recommend wearing some form of protective glove and eye protection just in case a hose pops off or your slosh it.

(D) Unsealed brake fluid (been sitting in a bottle opened last month, etc) has zero value except in doing a caliper rebuild, so use all the fresh/new brake fluid you have on hand during your flushes.

(E) Recycle your DOT 4 brake fluid where-ever you recycle your oil (pour it into your oil catch pan & recycle it when you recycle your oil). It's not good for the environment, so I highly discourage you from just tossing it in the garbage unless you absolutely know for a fact that your garbage gets incinerated at a garbage incinerator for power generation.

PS - Black_peter, could you tell the nice people where you get your large syringe? BTW - great write-up.

Cheers
=-= The CyberPoet
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Last edited by The CyberPoet; 10-18-2008 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxmd
this is sticky material.
Stuck !
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:19 AM   #8
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Good stuff Peter, thanks for the writeup.
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Brake bleeding/flushing

Quote:
Originally Posted by The CyberPoet
My notes on Black_peter's method:

(A) Make sure the rags are cotton. Why? Because polyester and nylon do not absorb fluid.
True, but for cleaning dirt etc off the parts I use lint free..
As in the photo I used cotton for the other perposes..

Quote:
(D) Unsealed brake fluid (been sitting in a bottle opened last month, etc) has zero value except in doing a caliper rebuild, so use all the fresh/new brake fluid you have on hand during your flushes.
Excellent reinforcement to my suggestion that "in for a penny in for a pound" flush your brake fluid well!!!
Quote:
(E) Recycle your brake fluid where-ever you recycle your oil (pour it into your oil catch pan & recycle it when you recycle your oil).
YES!!
I buy my car oil in the gallon size. Those bottles swallow a lot of extra
fork oil, brake fluid etc..

Quote:
PS - Black_peter, could you tell the nice people where you get your large syringe?
I got mine "on the job". However they are now popular
for dispensing liquid medicines to kids..
http://www.walgreens.com/store/produ...id=prod1491343

Quote:
BTW - great write-up.
Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:51 AM   #10
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Brake Rebuild instructions are here:
http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?t=57662

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet

Last edited by steves; 10-17-2008 at 02:49 PM.. Reason: fixed link
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