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Old 07-14-2014, 06:43 PM   #1
hammick OP
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Brake bleeding: shim calipers or not?

I need to flush the brakes on my 2011 R1200RT. In the past I have always removed the calipers so I could shim them to get every ounce of fluid out.

Well I'm feeling a little lazy so I thought I would get people's opinions on this. If I push enough fluid through the calipers can't I get all the old fluid out without removing and shimming them?
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:08 AM   #2
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I leave the pads in place.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by hammick View Post
If I push enough fluid through the calipers can't I get all the old fluid out without removing and shimming them?
Yes.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:12 PM   #4
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Brake fluid is cheap. I just empty the reservoir of oldfluid rrefill with new clean and run fluid through the calipers until it comes out new and clean. You'llget a mix for a while. But eventually it comes out clean and clear.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:51 PM   #5
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maybe i'm missing something but why not remove the caliper with brake line attached . turn the caliper upside down so the bleeder is at the bottom and open or remove the bleeder screw to just drain that completely.{make sure you hang the caliper with a wire so the line does not get stressed}

i usually just flush the lines 1 a year until the fluid is clean like the sevv said.
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
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maybe i'm missing something but why not remove the caliper with brake line attached . turn the caliper upside down so the bleeder is at the bottom and open or remove the bleeder screw to just drain that completely.
Because introducing air into the system just makes the work take that much longer.
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:11 PM   #7
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No matter how much fluid you push through you will not get all the dirty fluid out without pushing the calipers back. Probably won't hurt anything, but why do a half assed job? You only do it every two years.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:05 AM   #8
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No matter how much fluid you push through you will not get all the dirty fluid out without pushing the calipers back. Probably won't hurt anything, but why do a half assed job? You only do it every two years.
What makes you say that? You're diluting the fluid in the calipers with clean fluid. The more fluid you pump through the greater the ratio of clean to dirty fluid becomes. At some point it is all clean fluid.

Or are you arguing that somewhere in the caliper there is a space where the dirty fluid hides until you push the Pistons in?
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:29 AM   #9
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Do you disassemble your engine, run solvent through, and reassemble to do an oil change?

Don't be ridiculous. I have never seen a service manual say to push in the calipers for fluid flushing. The bleed valve is in a position to thoroughly allow complete flushing.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sevv View Post
What makes you say that? You're diluting the fluid in the calipers with clean fluid. The more fluid you pump through the greater the ratio of clean to dirty fluid becomes. At some point it is all clean fluid.

Or are you arguing that somewhere in the caliper there is a space where the dirty fluid hides until you push the Pistons in?
I'm not arguing at all. The pistons hold fluid that can't be rinsed out unless they are pushed in. Sure, you can dilute the fluid with enough pumping of new fluid, but you can't get it all out that way. Even pushing the pistons a little stays in.

So, you do this every two years, why not do it the best you can? It isn't like disassembling a motor, just an extra 20 minutes work. Plus, it is a good time to clean and lube the retaining and slider pins.

Do what you like, I am just giving my perspective on it, as well as the factory service perspective.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by brianwheelies View Post
Do you disassemble your engine, run solvent through, and reassemble to do an oil change?

Don't be ridiculous. I have never seen a service manual say to push in the calipers for fluid flushing. The bleed valve is in a position to thoroughly allow complete flushing.
You work on BMWs at all?

From the BMW factory manual:

Quote:

Install piston resetting device (No. 34 1 531) and locator (No. 34 1 532) in the left and right brake calipers.
Use the piston resetting device and locators to force the pistons in the left and right brake calipers all the way back and hold them in this position.
With the bleeder at the top I am not sure how you can say it: "is in a position to thoroughly allow complete flushing".

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Old 07-20-2014, 07:18 PM   #12
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I'm not arguing at all. The pistons hold fluid that can't be rinsed out unless they are pushed in. Sure, you can dilute the fluid with enough pumping of new fluid, but you can't get it all out that way. Even pushing the pistons a little stays in.

So, you do this every two years, why not do it the best you can? It isn't like disassembling a motor, just an extra 20 minutes work. Plus, it is a good time to clean and lube the retaining and slider pins.

Do what you like, I am just giving my perspective on it, as well as the factory service perspective.
The Pistons don't actually hold fluid though. They are cup shaped buy the open end points towards the pad. It's like having a solid ccylinder in there.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:52 PM   #13
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You work on BMWs at all?
After destroying my K1200LT after 16,000 miles in less than a year of ownership, it never made it to it's brake flushing.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sevv View Post
The Pistons don't actually hold fluid though. They are cup shaped buy the open end points towards the pad. It's like having a solid ccylinder in there.
OK, you win. There is no need, for you, to do it that way. The rest of us should follow the factory service manual!
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:20 PM   #15
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I leave the calipers in place.
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