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Thread: Front brakes keep getting air in lines...

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    Member hlucin8's Avatar
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    Front brakes keep getting air in lines...

    Bike is a 2008 ZX14, It's been sitting for nearly a year and a half with very rare use. Now that I have a long commute again I've started using it a lot more. I noticed the last time I rode it when moving house the front brakes were very soft. I bled the lines and all was good on the next ride. It sat again and during this time got soft again. I replaced all the fluid in the front rear and clutch system and bled everything. Clutch and rear are fine but the front fluid has gone murky again and within a week is spongy again.

    I am thinking that something has corroded while it's been sitting. My question is what should I be trying first? Lines, calipers or master cylinder?

    2008 ZX14 SE
    'Prowl'


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    Member Helipos's Avatar
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    Id go for another flush.
    Give the bastard a good flush with new fluid not the old shit that has been sitting in the shed for years, followed by a good flogging and another flush if required.

    If there was air getting in from external, there should be fluid leaking out.
    If your not seeing a leak I suspect you had an air pocket trapped in there or used old fluid for the flush.

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    Or that some of the old fluid remained. Flushing the front brakes is a fair bit more time consuming and complicated than the rear and clutch, as I found out the hard way.
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    Member hlucin8's Avatar
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    I bought brand new fluid and ran the resivour right down. I've bled it 3 times since. The new fluid is now dirty as well which either means it mixed with the old fluid or the cause of contamination is still there.

    2008 ZX14 SE
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    Member Phildo's Avatar
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    Get a 60mL syringe from a vet or place that sells horse stuff. Get some matching clear tubing from Bunnings.

    Drain the brake fluid.

    Reverse flush, by pumping fresh fluid in through the bleed nipple.



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    Disassembling the master cylinder and brake caliper to put new seals, etc, in is easy enough.

    With bleed nipples, if they’re on tight and haven’t been loosened for a while then use a 6-sided socket to avoid stripping them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hlucin8 View Post
    I bought brand new fluid and ran the resivour right down. I've bled it 3 times since. The new fluid is now dirty as well which either means it mixed with the old fluid or the cause of contamination is still there.
    How far down did you run the reservoir? You might have air in the master now

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    .. Tokico calipers, I put ZX14 Nissin calipers on my ZX6RR race bike, a massively superior option. Maybe you got your bike just before they swapped to Nissin as I thought they were std equipment from 2008 on.

    If ya have the dosh consider doing this upgrade; pair it with some braided lines & a Brembo RCS m/c & you'll have braking that just doesn't quit. The level of control on offer from the superior components is amazing.

    I could never get the Tokicos on my racebike to work consistantly over a race & were always needing to be bleed .. I tried everything know to man.
    .. and thats Racer # 193 to y'all; my fabulous sponsors (who all do good shit) are: Graeme Fleming IT Consultants, Vision Image, Pacific Safety Wear, Excess Power Equipment, Pro Photo Booth

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    Use a fresh container of brake fluid.
    -

  10. #10
    Member Triple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smeghead View Post
    .. Tokico calipers, I put ZX14 Nissin calipers on my ZX6RR race bike, a massively superior option. Maybe you got your bike just before they swapped to Nissin as I thought they were std equipment from 2008 on.

    If ya have the dosh consider doing this upgrade; pair it with some braided lines & a Brembo RCS m/c & you'll have braking that just doesn't quit. The level of control on offer from the superior components is amazing.

    I could never get the Tokicos on my racebike to work consistantly over a race & were always needing to be bleed .. I tried everything know to man.
    NISSIN calipers came out 2006 on the ZX14's, so he wont have Tokico.

    (PS, I also ditched my ZX12 Tokico's for ZX6/14 NISSIN calipers and radial master cylinder. Money very well spent)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phildo View Post
    Get a 60mL syringe from a vet or place that sells horse stuff. Get some matching clear tubing from Bunnings.
    FYI The Surgical Supplies place in King Edward St Oz Pk sells them as well, no idea on price though, just noticed them when I was in there a couple of weeks back
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    Noted. We'll check back on that one in three years
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    Quote Originally Posted by Para045 View Post
    FYI The Surgical Supplies place in King Edward St Oz Pk sells them as well, no idea on price though, just noticed them when I was in there a couple of weeks back
    I'm afraid to ask
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    I'd start by draining the whole system and flushing through with new fluid, get a solid lever by hand then use a tie wrap and hold the lever in to the bar at the end of the lever. leave it overnight and check again by pulling the lever in, if its easy and the tie wrap goes loose then I'd be looking at seals/pitted cylinders.

    depending how old the fluid was when you left it laid up then it could be water in the fluid causing corrosion to the cylinder. I'd probably change the seals regardless given the cost and the fact there the only thing to stop you.


    I've got a vacuum bleeder your welcome to borrow if you want.

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    Member Para045's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLK'N'BLU View Post
    I'm afraid to ask
    Just needed some tools for work vv














    Seriously though a good mate developed a hernia and was laid up at home so I drove him there to get a brace vv He's now had an operation so all good

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    Are your brake lines the first ones? It's possible for them to deteriorate and suck in air, but not leak fluid. Get braided lines and fit those. Turn the calipers upside down to get all the fluid out. That way you can clean them out properly as well. Get yourself some brake cleaner to clean them.
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    Member SIR sparks a lot's Avatar
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    Brake lines or brake seals are allowing air in replace both no point flushing the system over and over again

    Calipers are easy to rebuild master cylinder is even easier
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    Member agrid's Avatar
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    If your fluid is old, buy a new can before spending money on parts. If its not the old, moisture infested, fluid you will still have plenty left for the next job after you do replace some parts. Cheap fix is good.
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    Member hlucin8's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help guys. The lines are original I believe and the fluid I haven't replaced stove I have had the bike. My fault. I'll look at lines and seals then then go from there. I got more new fluid and a syringe to do the reverse flush but I might wait for new lines and seals first.

    2008 ZX14 SE
    'Prowl'


  19. #19
    Member hlucin8's Avatar
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    Seems to be a leak at the master cylinder bleed valve. I've left a fluid filled line attached to it to confirm over night.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I did a reverse flush and then a normal bleed 3times through. Brand new fluid. Fingers crossed I have found the problem

    2008 ZX14 SE
    'Prowl'


  20. #20
    Moderator Arwon's Avatar
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    Calliper only bleed the top so flushing without pushing pads all the way back is invalid. Open both bleed nipples on the calliper side and connect clear hoses . Push pads back fully. Disconnect brake lines and Crain rest of system. Full and purge. If it still continues I'd start at the mastercylinder with a full rebuild. Cheap to do
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