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My brakes were completely dead this morning

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Wolfhound, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. Wolfhound

    Wolfhound Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Hi - I went to ride my bike ('06 Triumph Sprint ST ABS) this morning for the first time in 17 days after being on vacation and as is usual, I checked the front brakes. There was absolutely no resistance whatsoever from the lever and I was able to pull the lever to the bar with no effort for over one minute which is when I got tired of trying to pump them up. The bike was not able to be stopped in the garage at walking pace. Basically, the lever would have flapped around in a stiff breeze!!

    I clamped the lever to the grip and after a while, there was a return of feel to the whole system and the brakes were able to stop the bike - at least in the garage.

    So, did the calipers or pistons 'seize' after only 2.5 weeks of not being used??

    I haven't ridden it on the road yet and although the system "has pressure" now, I am reluctant to ride it down to the dealer. I should get it towed down with the AAA, right??

    Thanks and take care - Wolfhound
    #1
  2. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
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    25,130
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    out and about
    Personally, I'd ride it. :D

    Sumping ain't right, obviously. Master cylinder or further downstream. I know nothing about that ABS system.
    #2
  3. Wolfhound

    Wolfhound Been here awhile

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    Mar 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    A slight update: I went to see if the brakes had retained some firm feeling and pulled the lever a few times. After a few hard pulls, there was a loud sound like rushing, escaping air and the lever instantly went as soft as it could be.

    I'll let you know what the problem was after it gets towed to the dealer. Thankful to have expanded AAA coverage!!
    #3
  4. MikeyT

    MikeyT Krusty Olde Pharte

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
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    Location:
    The Thumb of Michigan
    I'm glad that happened in the garage. I'm also curious as to what caused the problem. Post it up when you find out, would you?
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,863
    uh oh.. where's "dr. abs brake" when you need him to sound the alarm :lol3 It's a good thing it happened in the garage.

    Does the rear brake work?
    #5
  6. Wolfhound

    Wolfhound Been here awhile

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    Mar 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    390
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    Yes, indeed - a very good thing it happened in the garage. Good question about the rear brake - I shall find out. I do know that the front and rear circuits are separate - also, there seemed to be alot less brake fluid in the front reservoir butr obvious leaks are not readily apparent. But then again, I am not exactly mechanically inclined!!

    I feel especially lucky as I was beginning to consider riding it down to the dealer as I had managed to pump it up - even without the benefit of hindsight, a good example of some stupid thinking on my part.

    Thanks - Wolfhound
    #6
  7. Van Isle

    Van Isle Been here awhile

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    May 30, 2005
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    850
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    Victoria, BC, CDN
    I think that would have nothing to do with ABS, but everything to do with no brake fluid, or a leak somewhere.

    Let us know!

    VI
    #7
  8. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Richmond, Va

    No external leaks? Any indication on the bike where the noise came from?
    #8
  9. Nabucco

    Nabucco Enfant Terrible

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    Dec 25, 2006
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    568
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    The Behave State
    Don't think your calipers or pistons seized - your hyd fluid doesn't compress so you should have felt resistance. Sounds like a leak or air in the system or a problem with your ABS pump. Can you replicate problem if you switch off the ABS?
    #9
  10. Wolfhound

    Wolfhound Been here awhile

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    Mar 13, 2007
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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Hello All. Well, there is now very little brake fluid left in the reservoir but neither I nor the mechanic at the dealership can see an obvious external leak and my garage floor is "clean". As for the noise it made, all I can say is that it came from the front of the bike, around/under the bars!!

    The ABS on this bike can not be switched off.

    Anyway, it is in the hands of my trusted dealership now so I shall update as soon as I know anything further.

    Thanks again and take care - Wolfhound
    #10
  11. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    Wonder if you ruptured a hose, and it filled the area in between the interior of the hose and the exterior.
    #11
  12. Ducky 149

    Ducky 149 Been here awhile

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    I would guess that the seal in the master cyl (lip seal) that is on the piston pulled back a little from the bore of the mst cyl causing the lack of pressure and also the wooshing sound from the bar area. I think the master needs repl/ rebuild. Good luck!!!

    Ducky
    #12
  13. Wolfhound

    Wolfhound Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Ducky149. Actually, Triumph replaced the original master cylinder (14mm) with a larger one (5/8") on the ABS bikes. I had this done a few months ago. This was an authoriosed swap for riders who complained of soft, spongy brakes - the ONLY thing that spoils this bike slightly. Well, that and the fluffy EFI at 3,000 - 4,000 rpnm in lower gears!!

    Thanks - I will hopefully know more tomorrow and will update.

    Take care - Wolfhound
    #13
  14. Wolfhound

    Wolfhound Been here awhile

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    Mar 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
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    OK - here goes with the official explanation. There was a crushed washer in between two banjo bolts which was causing a fine leak from the brake lines as they pass under the tank. So, what I and the mechanic thought was a separate coolant leak was actually brake fluid.

    I need to ask them to show me in person when I pick the bike up.

    Now all I need to do is get my confidence in the brakes back!!

    Take care - Wolfhound
    #14
  15. Cogswell

    Cogswell Now living the new normal.

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    Glad to hear it was something relatively simple (leak) instead of a faulty component.

    Mike
    #15
  16. Van Isle

    Van Isle Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the update! I was all ears...I don't like hearing stories of brake failure :huh

    VI
    #16