Brake fluid change interval car vs motorcycle

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Project84, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Someone give me a Duke so I can ride the paint off of it.....

    700 miles is sometimes not even a whole weekend for me....on a 26 year old moto
  2. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

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    Completely off topic but at 90-100 miles per tank, it's all the thrilling excitement coupled with incredible discomfort and several oh shit moments I could handle to go more than 2 tank fulls in a day.

    Brakes work good though!
  3. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Someone asked if anyone had seen actual failure from not changing. I have no idea how old this fluid is, bike sat in POs backyard for at least 8 years and has been nonoperationally registered since 2008.
    Master was full of brown gel, lines completely plugged, brake pistons seized in the bores, behind gel as well.
    Fully disassembled and soaking currently and looking for new seals, so I thought I'd drop this here.
    Assuming rear is the same but I can only fit one caliper and it's bits in the berryman at a time, so rear will come off shortly.

    What would you guys recommend for cleaning out the inside of the lines? I can't get an air hose in there, and unsure if brake cleaner is safe. I could possibly boil them and leave to try for several days but not sure that is going to do a whole lot.

    IMG_2614.JPG
  4. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    in that case, id wipe out as much as i can, brake clean the rest, wipe it again, and assemble with brake assembly lube on new seals.

    if the brakes look like that, id recommend new hoses. otherwise, id push clean fluid in/thru the hoses with a syringe until it was clean

    that is the reason i change brake fluid/flush brakes every 2 years.

    i have seen cars at work with brake fluid not changed for 30 years and its horrendous on the hard parts.
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  5. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I soaked the calipers and their parts, + all banjo bolts in berrymans after pulling all the rubber out. They came out pretty darn clean except the banjo bolt hole which I cleaned with a lot of brake cleaner, qtips and air.
    The lines I managed to get an inflatable ball needle bent without kinking it and blew out the lines, then ran an old bottle of fluid through. It was too old to use as brake fluid (opened 2+ years ago) but great for flushing lines. The hoses are otherwise in good shape and I can't afford to replace them as this is a budget rebuild.
    If they turn out to be compromised in any way, they will go, but otherwise, just getting it put together.

    Both calipers were like this, the other was worse and the master, I was able to pull a rectangular piece out about 1/4" thick and the side of the master. Had to fully disassemble that as well.
    Oddly, the rubber is in great shape but the aluminum has oxide on it. I've cleaned it up and will monitor it over the coming weeks to ensure it stays gone.

    So there ya go... a bike not used but left outdoors will absorb a crapton of water... it cost me the entire day to disassemble & clean the master, 2 calipers, 3 hoses and the splitter. I still have the rear to do, but not today.
    My back says no more standing.

    Oya, took the IR 1/2" impact gun to get the banjo bolts out as well. Trying to use a wrench would have been too much twisting torque and it felt like things were going to break.
  6. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    In a shade tree kind of way you can lap them MCs.Find the right size gun mop? Dip the mop in fine valve grinding compound and spin it in there with a cordless drill.

    NO guarantees that will work as it did for me so many years ago but sure as heck saved me buying an expensive MC.

    Jello?Found some of that recently on an apparently well maintained Honda.Front was fine but the rear?Doesn't look like anyone had even removed the rear MC protective guard since 2004.I didn't split anything as I had the whole rear system off the bike/frame.Bench bled/flushed and again a few days later.

    Buy some Red Rubber grease for assembly lube.Big cans on fleabay UK/Millers brand?About $20.00 and a lifetime supply.Or portion some out and pass it on to friends?

    Great rubber preservative btw.

    There:
    http://www.redrubbergrease.com
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  7. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer Supporter

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    I did similar on the road with 600 and 1200 grit paper loosely rolled and dipped in brake fluid spun by hand. Same Caveat Emptor.
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  8. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    I've personally had two brake issues due to old fluid on my bikes and two on friends bikes...

    Basically, as it absorbs moisture the boiling point becomes much lower. Three out of those 4 failures were in trackdays, and it is scary when the fluid boils and you can pull the lever all the way to the handlebar with little braking. The other one was on my XJR1300 while riding with a passenger, being an old school bike it has a HUGE rear rotor and, unlike modern sportbikes, the rear brake actually plays an important role in slowing down. At some point I had no rear brake as the fluid boiled, just allowed it to cool down and slowed my pace... That was a good warning that the fluid on the front was prone to boiling too.
  9. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Someone successfully did similar on a BMW when he found corrosion/leakages in his MC.I'll try to find that post on I-BMW when/if my internet comes back to life.

    Dremel with a buffing pad and a variety of polishing compounds?Them BMW MC bores are now coated/anodized(?)from the factory btw. From the mid 90s on??They sure will last longer but by no means will the coating/anodizing totally prevent corrosion if the fluid is contaminated.

    I have a spare for my bike.I don't think I'll ever need it but I sure opened it up for an inspection/cleaning and lubed the shit out of it with Red Rubber grease.In a Ziploc in case of need....well greased I don't want it to environmentally corrode like another BMW one I didn't store properly years ago.By the time I got to that one for a cleaning/inspection it was too late.
  10. concours

    concours WFO for 47 years

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    The corrosion will need to be mechanical removed. Dental pick CAREFULLY in the corners of the seal grooves. Then scrape the flat surfaces of the bores, small flat screwdriver, GENTLY.
    Tiny BRASS wire wheels or scotchbrite on a Dremel to finish
    I've done bunch of them successfully on vintage bike restos.
  11. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    They came out of the chemdip in pretty good shape, just had to clean with qtips and lots of rags but seems overall to be good.
    What looked like corrosion was gone when it came out, so I'm guessing it was just dried dirt/gel/jello... except on the outside edge but that didn't seem to come into contact with anything. Should that be of concern still?
    I did have to scrape the pistons a bit, then I hit them with some metal polish and they seem good... I didn't wear through the 'gold' coating.

    So I'm going to try it and see what happens.
    New calipers could mean the difference between fixing this beast and scraping/parting out. Seems silly but it's just not worth enough to spend the money. Then again, I might find a good condition used set.
    I'm hopeful they work and work well. if it's marginal, they will be scraped. I don't want to sell an unsafe bike.

    Somehow, I thought I took more pictures but they aren't there. I reassembled with a lot of brake fluid on the seals and the pistons and they were pretty stiff going in, so I can have hope!
    I still have to pull the rear and check it out as well... I'll be sure to get actual pictures of that.
  12. concours

    concours WFO for 47 years

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    Sounds like those calipers will be fine. The external corrosion being cosmetic. The "gold" anodizing seems to have done it's job. If they don't leak, they'll be fine. A sudden complete failure will not occur.
    OTOH, the brake hoses (ALL) have a date of manufacture printed on them. The owners manuals mention replacing them every few years (3-8). Obviously, most people don't. BUT, there is a degradation going on there. Let your conscience be your guide. Carefully inspect & test.
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  13. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Appreciate the info. I'll keep my eyes out for a deal on a set of hoses as they are original and more important than any cosmetic work planned.
  14. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    There is some paperwork out there as to when the DOT regulations on dating brake and hydraulic lines came into effect.If I remember that is post-2000 so earlier ones may not be dated by law???

    Hit them brakes hard and tie up the pedal/lever overnight.Inspect the next day.No leaks and pressure still on? Passed the safety check!
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I had an abs light issue on my 97 Bonneville. It would stay on when started cold but go away with a restart when the car was warm. Abs worked when it was off.

    I flushed the lines for the first time ever and car has 60k on it. So 20yrs and 60k miles.

    After I flushed I still had that light issue but I've been doing abs dirt road stops. Abs pump is working and guess what no abs lights any more. What ever was dirty/clogged is now resolved. I'll exercise the abs this winter and do another flush. I figure there is more in there to flush out.
  16. whodat90

    whodat90 Corporal of Industry

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    I had an FJ12 that had literally crystallized the brake fluid, and most bikes I get I go ahead and flush the fluid when I do my 'new to me' maintenance. I wonder if the reason bikes get nasty so fast compared to cars has to do with the fact that we don't have power brakes (Excepting BMW) and cars do? Ever step on the brakes on a car without turning it on? I theorize that the seals, pistons, etc. are all much stiffer and therefore less likely to allow water ingress, where on the bikes they have by necessity to be softer to allow the lower pressures to actuate. Car brakes operate at up to 1200PSI http://www.markwilliams.com/braketech.aspx I can't find actual numbers for bikes, but they can't be that high.
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  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Good theory on car power (vacuum) brakes vs Moto brakes.
  18. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Crystallized brake fluid?

    Reminded me of this so I found the thread:

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/white-crap-in-my-dot-5-1.778307/

    Subsequent to that I added Brembo? mounting lube to some Dot4.Dissolved at first but a couple days later the lube had congealed back into greasy clumps.I should have left it in the test cabinet for a couple years if only to see if the clumps crystallized.

    Mounting lubes for internal brake parts?Some of them are sillicone based.Not compatible with brake fluids.I'll keep using the proper lube.Castor based lubes such as "Red rubber grease" just as I have done for????

    BTW and if you have to rebuild calipers or such on Honda cars the OEM kits (if still available) should come with 2 types of lubes.One for internal brake parts such as seals in contact with brake fluids and the other for external parts.Internal lube is Red and is castor based Red Rubber Grease.And has the distinctive castor smell.....!
  19. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    I'm not going to argue with you guys about these assembly lubes for internal brake parts but this is honestly the first time I've heard of them. Why wouldn't you just use the proper fluid as an assembly lube? It's always worked for me. Why risk the chemical compatibility or problems down the road? Does it actually improve the float of the hydraulic parts or something?
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  20. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    I love this thread.