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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently bought this bike and I’m having a major front brake issue. The lever damn near comes all the way to the handle bar before it grabs anything. Pads and rotors look good so I figured it just needed to be bleed. Got some DOT 5 fluid and ran it through the entire front brakes.

The problem is, I can’t use the typical bleeder method since I don’t get any feedback from the lever, it doesn’t want to push any fluid out. Am I looking at a new rebuild kit for the front master cylinder since I can’t even get it to bleed?
 

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Line could be blocked up. Disconnect the brake line at the master cylinder and try pumping the lever. If no fluid then master cylinder is screwed. If it does squirt fluid you have a blockage in the line.
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PS: Make sure you are using the correct fluid. Check the cap on the Master cylinder. If you used the wrong fluid then you have to completely flush the entire system and get the correct type in there.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It says DOT 5 which I put in. The old fluid was dark and yellow and the new fluid was purple. I put it in the reservoir and purple fluid made it through each bleeder screw by gravity bleeding which leads me to believe that there is no blockage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bringing this back up from the dead.

I rebuilt the front master cylinder but nothing appeared to be out of order on it. Bleed the brakes about 5-6 times and still the same. Since rebuilding the MC, I can now pump the lever enough to squirt fluid out. Any one has suggestions on where to start?
 

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Checked out movement brake caliper pistons?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Checked out movement brake caliper pistons?
I was just coming back to post these as I bet this is the problem:




I am not sure how I missed these posts before. I was probably not googling the right terms but the second link pretty much describes exactly what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I am happy to report, cleaning the caliper pistons took care of it (I think). I took it apart and cleaned to the best I could and it instantly made a difference. I can’t believe I rode around for almost a year with the brakes being like that. I may take it apart again and get in there with a toothbrush to really get it cleaned up.

My next question is, how much ‘play’ should there be? Currently there is approximately 2” of slack before it grabs. Obviously I have no reference point since it’s been like this when I bought it. Here is a quick video:

 

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I haven't have stock levers for a while, but I would say that is normal. I'm sure you know all the tricks for removing air, but just to be sure, I always wrap my brake lever tight for a day when I'm done working on brakes. Just to get rid of any small amount of trapped air. Seems to make them nice and firm after. But it looks like you got it figured out..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I haven't have stock levers for a while, but I would say that is normal. I'm sure you know all the tricks for removing air, but just to be sure, I always wrap my brake lever tight for a day when I'm done working on brakes. Just to get rid of any small amount of trapped air. Seems to make them nice and firm after. But it looks like you got it figured out..
Thank you, that's a little more reassuring. I did gravity bleed them again but may do the old strap trick just to make sure. I wasn't able to test ride it either given it was snowing but might be able to this weekend. I still can't believe it was really that easy of a fix and I went almost a year riding around like that lol. I kept telling myself I would check it out the next weekend and never got around to it. Cost me $25 (bought two 12-point socket sets, metric and SAE instead of the just the 10mm-12p), some brake fluid and 30 min of my time. As easy as it is to do, I would suggest anyone do it as preventative maintenance because it's an obvious design flaw.
 

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Line could be blocked up. Disconnect the brake line at the master cylinder and try pumping the lever. If no fluid then master cylinder is screwed. If it does squirt fluid you have a blockage in the line.
'
PS: Make sure you are using the correct fluid. Check the cap on the Master cylinder. If you used the wrong fluid then you have to completely flush the entire system and get the correct type in there.
Will do this process for first bike project of my younger brother, got to finish first the installation of the railings and bakflip bed cover on the Silverado project. He suspect the previous owner used an incorrect brake fluid on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Been riding it the last couple of days and it’s night and day difference. I also took it to the car wash and squeezed the front brake to pressure wash off any extra debris.

Anyone that thinks they are having a soft front brake should do this. It’s 200% better from what it was.
 

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Been riding it the last couple of days and it’s night and day difference. I also took it to the car wash and squeezed the front brake to pressure wash off any extra debris.

Anyone that thinks they are having a soft front brake should do this. It’s 200% better from what it was.
 

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I want to thank you for this post my front brakes were horrible I would squeeze them 3/4 way to the grip was very annoying. Blead the system 2-3 times and no difference then I was this so got the tools removed both front calipers and cleaned up the pistons put it back together and wow what a difference. Now the travel is 1/4 of the way to the grip. And they bite instantly as soon as I touch them. Thanks again love this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I want to thank you for this post my front brakes were horrible I would squeeze them 3/4 way to the grip was very annoying. Blead the system 2-3 times and no difference then I was this so got the tools removed both front calipers and cleaned up the pistons put it back together and wow what a difference. Now the travel is 1/4 of the way to the grip. And they bite instantly as soon as I touch them. Thanks again love this site.
Glad it worked out for you as well! I still can’t believe it was that easy of a fix. I originally thought a caliper was froze and I was going to have to rebuild it. Amazing what you can find on the interweb.
 

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When struggling with brakes?

Yes, very useful link, been memorized years back when it comes to brake calipers. Nitrile gloves, q tips, brake cleaner & wd40.

 
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