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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys..

I decided today was a good day to change the front brakes on the Meanie. (I did the rears about 3 weeks ago)

Anyways I did not bleed (didn't know if I had to or not) anything and when I had the calipers apart I had brake fluid drain out. I just cleaned up the mess and continued with the brake job. Got it all back together with new pads (including putting the rubber washers between the caliper halves ), but now I have no front brake pressure.

I pulled the brake line off both sides of the bike at the calipers and pulled the front brake and fluid comes out with out problem. So the problem is that the calipers are empty, and pulling the brake lever does not seem to fill them, is there a procedure that I am missing?
 

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You have air in your lines. You HAVE to bleed your brakes any time to do anything with them. The whole concept behind the systems is that fluid can't be compressed thus building pressure. If there's air in the lines it can easily be compressed resulting in no pressure buildup. By taking the line off each side you only introduced more air into the lines.

You can google brake changing how-tos if you need to know how to do it. A friend is needed unless you have a brake bleeder or speed bleeders. Someone needs to press the lever and maintain the fluid level in the master cylinder while the second person opens and closes the bleed screw. You'll need some tubing, a small container, and extra brake fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You have air in your lines. You HAVE to bleed your brakes any time to do anything with them. The whole concept behind the systems is that fluid can't be compressed thus building pressure. If there's air in the lines it can easily be compressed resulting in no pressure buildup. By taking the line off each side you only introduced more air into the lines.

You can google brake changing how-tos if you need to know how to do it. A friend is needed unless you have a brake bleeder or speed bleeders. Someone needs to press the lever and maintain the fluid level in the master cylinder while the second person opens and closes the bleed screw. You'll need some tubing, a small container, and extra brake fluid.
Thanks for the info

I actually did a forum search here and found a helpful thread

http://www.riderforums.com/showthread.php?t=52541

I was able to perform one side at a time and get the brakes working by myself... open bleed screw press lever until air stops and fluid starts coming out, tighten screw while lever is still depressed .

Did it on both sides and it is working
 

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You have air in your lines. You HAVE to bleed your brakes any time to do anything with them. The whole concept behind the systems is that fluid can't be compressed thus building pressure. If there's air in the lines it can easily be compressed resulting in no pressure buildup. By taking the line off each side you only introduced more air into the lines.

You can google brake changing how-tos if you need to know how to do it. A friend is needed unless you have a brake bleeder or speed bleeders. Someone needs to press the lever and maintain the fluid level in the master cylinder while the second person opens and closes the bleed screw. You'll need some tubing, a small container, and extra brake fluid.
Actually you can bleed everything by yourself. I bled both front/rear brakes and the clutch by MYSELF without anything but a wrench, some aquarium tubing, and some brake fluid. You just have to position the front wheel right and stretch a little.
 

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Fyi.. I read that you don't even have to remove the calipers to change the front pads.. So you shouldn't need to bleed anything if you do it right.

Here's the thread: www.riderforums.com/showthread.php?t=60238&highlight=Brake


Page 346 of the VN1500 manual.

Brake Pads
Front Brake Pad Removal
• Unscrew the pad spring bolts [A], and remove the pad spring .
• Draw out the snap pin [A], and take off the pad pin .
• Remove the brake pads [C].
Front Brake Pad Installation
• Push the caliper pistons in by hand as far as they will go.
• Install the brake pads.
• Install the pad pin and snap pin [A]. The snap pin must be “outside”
of the pads.
• Install the pad spring.
Torque - Front Brake Pad Spring Bolts: 2.9 Nm (0.3 kgm, 26 inlb)
Do not attempt to drive the motorcycle until a full brake lever is
obtained by pumping the brake lever until the pads are against
the disc. The brake will not function on the first application of
the lever if this is not done.
 

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Actually, you never have to bleed the system unless you open it up in any way shape or form. By removing the lines, opening a valve or any form of introducing air into the system will require bleeding. Simply changing the pads do not require bleeding.

What you do need to do is put a rag, bucket or anything under the master cylinder to catch access fluid and remove the cover. This will allow the flowback of fluid when you push in the caliper pistons. Install the new pads, reinstall the cover and pump the brakes until they tighten up. It's that easy.
 

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I don't see why you wouldn't change the fluid anyways while you do the pads. It needs to be done about every 2 years anyways. I think thats what the service manual calls for and mine was pretty dark at 2 years. Always having fresh fluid means your calipers will last a very very long time without needing a rebuild or sticking on you.
 
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