The conclusion: There was still air in the system. We took the lever off. Used a 1/4" ratchet extender to push the piston farther than the lever was capable of. There was basically about an 1/8" of travel. Once that pushed the rest of the air out, we continued a couple more pumps and pressure built right up.
The really good news is that it was all worth it because this new CZR system is much more powerful than my stock system was.
Thanks to all for the help.