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Brake bleed nipple sheared off...best fix?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by paul09, May 30, 2014.

  1. [​IMG]

    I'm pretty noob when it comes to mechanics but enjoy learning and generally this bike being like 25 year old trail bike (yamaha dt200) is easy to work on.

    Rear brake had slowly got spongier/weaker until now it just doesn't work at all. Fluid level appears fine, so I planned to try bleeding it in case of air in line. Didn't take much effort to snap the nipple thing off!

    From my quick research I have 2 options,
    1. Attempt to drill out the bottom part and buy new nipple thing
    2. Buy one of those banjo bolts with built in nipple and just leave the original nipple sealed

    Are these the only options? Apart from buying a whole new caliper which I'd like to avoid. Any specific thing I should look to buy (e.g. are the ones on ebay cheap junk or alright)? Any tips and advice would be much appreciated, thanks :)
  2. Paul,

    Don't want to bring you down too much, but given the look of that thing and the symptoms, I'd be looking at doing a complete overhaul of the brakes. Probably a bleed won't fix things life’s not like that, is it. I be thinking clean out the calliper bore, a seal kit (master too). 25 years old? - New hoses. I'd be looking at the front as well. How much value to you place on stopping?

    • Like Like x 1
  3. I agree with all of that, but he's still going to have to get that broken bleed nipple out, that's all I was addressing... Quite frankly the best solution for the bike would probably be a gallon of petrol and a match :LOL:
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. Actually with hole down the middle of the nipple already that's a good start for the eziout. But I'd say there's a lot of reaction between the steel and the alumimum so that little sucker may be reluctant to move. Small diameter eziout, break easily too.
  5. Ah, takes me back to the UK that does :D.

    First off, I wouldn't touch it with an EZ Out. When things are corroded enough to shear off, you almost certainly will snap the thing, significantly reducing your options.

    Your first option is to do nothing with the broken nipple. I've successfully bled brakes by slackening off the banjo bolt instead, due to exactly the problem you have there. It's not ideal, and if the banjo bolt is equally corroded you might be stuffed, but it does work.

    Second option is, as you suggest, a combined bleed nipple/banjo.

    Third (and the proper way to do it) is to try drilling the nipple out without knackering either the threads or the sealing surface. Difficult to do but worth a shot if you have access to a replacement caliper if it all goes pear shaped.

    As others have said, it looks like the caliper (and the rest of the brake system) could do with a rebuild. Worth thinking about, although my priority would be the front for serious attention.

    Another point, related to that is, if you put WD40 anywhere near that bleed nipple, and succeed in getting it out, you need to strip the caliper and clean it thoroughly. You do not want traces of mineral oil in your brake fluid. And if you strip the caliper, you will need new seals at the very least.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Just use front brakes
    • Like Like x 1
  7. This is almost 100% true, although I have had to deal with this exact same problem twice before, and successfully used an EZYOut to extract the broken piece. This was cast iron calipers on a car though, not an alloy one on a bike. I was too poor at the time to afford replacement calipers. I did, however, enlarge the hole in the broken stub (so I could use the largest possible extractor) before inserting the EZYOut, being VERY careful not to contact the threads or the seat with the drill bit, and it was touch and go as to whether the nipple was going to budge, or break the extractor, even while carefully applying heat to the caliper around the area. It did work, luckily.

    See above.

    Do both front and rear.(y)

    Absolutely. (y)(y)

    Good luck.

  8. Nothing to add, I just clicked because it had nipple in the title.

    I must say I'm very disappointed.
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  9. upload_2014-5-30_10-14-24.
  10. Rather than an EZ Out, I would try tapping an Allen key in, probably using copious amounts of whatever penetrant you favour. Looking at the general visible condition of the caliper, and the rusty sprocket/chain on the other side, I wouldn't recommend anything other than a fully rebuild. Well, anything except retiring the entire bike from service.

    Going by the few things I can see wrong with it, I believe you're looking at several hundred dollars of replacement parts, plus time. I don't expect the resale value would increase enough to match even the parts cost. Although I'm sad to see any bike pass from the riding world, it may not be worth fixing. However, if you find the sentimentsl, historical, and learning value adds up to enough for you, I certainly would endorse saving the poor thing.

    Earlier this year I rebuilt brakes on a, '89 VFR750F because it definitely needed it to be safe (it had poisonous chocolate syrup for brake fluid), it was otherwise sound, and about the only ethical and financially viable alternative was parting it out. Given that those Viffers are a bit of a classic, it seemed a shame to lose yet another from circulation and I do like to learn new things.

    As to actually going ahead with it, I bought my rebuild kits here. US site, but it actually arrived in a few days, and they seemed to have pretty much flat rate $66 shipping, so it would be a good opportunity to pick up other bits and pieces. They don't appear to have kits for 1989 DT200s, but I've done no research into parts compatibility. eBay may provide alternatives. Bikemart (in Ringwood) can get you Goodridge brakelines, which seem to be the best option.

    It wasn't a hard job, though getting the new seals to cooperate and get into place properly was tricky.

    May also be worth inspecting your pistons before starting down that road, though. if you've got that much rust about the place, there is a real possibility they're stuffed as well. If they are, you can add a hundred bucks (maybe more) to the bill. If the insides of the actual calipers are dodgy, I doubt you'll want to keep them at all.

  11. Firstly, thanks for all the advice, a lot of good points and things for me to consider.

    Haha it's alright, I know the bike is a bit old and worn, it's not my primary bike and cops a lot of beatings around the farm and stuff. I mostly just use this on the farm and for mucking around, it has been stacked about 1000 times, not going to pour money into it but I have been able to just fix up little bits myself to keep it running and it still is awesome fun to ride. I've found it a great learning experience too, replacing bits and learning as I go. So far everything has been cheap and easy fixes e.g. rewiring the indicators/brake lights, fitting new clutch cable etc

    It does still have full vic road registration (passed roadworthy ~2.5 years ago) :p

    I guess if it came to it I would certainly consider rebuilding the brakes (or buying a new unit/good second hand one) as long as it didn't cost too much - I'm about to have 7 weeks uni break so will have plenty of time to slowly learn and build. Also the crap on the chain/sprocket isn't rust it's just dirt and crap, after last ride in mud at the farm I somehow convinced myself 'eh I'll clean it after exams' which I already regret as there's crap dried all over it now. I did scrub a bit of the sprocket and there's no rust at all underneath, it's a nice shiny gold still, previous owner did mention they changed chain+sprocket not long before I bought it ~2.5 years ago.

    Hey, I love this bike haha. This is the first bike I ever owned and I have many fond memories :) I trailered it home to melbourne all the way from brisbane, an awesome trip I'll never forget :D

    If you reckon this is worthy of a gallon of petrol and a match, you should see some of my still-running paddock bashers haha.

    This is what I have been doing for several months haha. The front brake works well.

    I'll have a look around see if I can find pricing on getting a whole new unit or perhaps a rebuild kit, and probably just weigh that up against getting a banjo bleeder thing.
  12. I've had a similar situation. In my case the nipple was so tight that the hex on the nipple was rounded. I was still able to grip the nipple with vice grips, and applied a little WD and a little heat, but even then it was still so tight that the vice grips would slip. I eventually got it out, but it required a lot of heat with a heat gun, heating it to well over 100 degrees centigrade.
    Now if your nipple is stuck as tight as mine was, and you are using an ezyout, I doubt whether you could apply enough torque to undo it, without the ezyout slipping or breaking. You could try soaking it in WD overnight, and then apply enough heat until it is smoking hot, almost molten. But even then you would have to ask yourself 'do you feel lucky punk?'
    • Like Like x 1
  13. "Now if your nipple is stuck as tight as mine was, and you are using an ezyout, I doubt whether you could apply enough torque to undo it, without the ezyout slipping or breaking."

    Mine and the OP's were stuck alright, tight enough to result in BREAKING the nipple right off.

    Read my post above, it can be done. I've done it, twice. Both times successfully. Both times were carbon copies of the OP's situation, except that the calipers I was dealing with were cast iron. I must have been a lucky punk! :D:D
    Yes, it's nervewracking. :LOL::LOL:

    "smoking hot, almost molten" is way too hot. Caliper damaging hot.
    100C - 200C and not much more is about the limit I would be comfortable with, the melt point for Aluminium being 660C. I wouldn't like to see even half that as it could change the "temper" of the alloy. Remember that the caliper sees much lower temps than the disc during hard use.

    "it required a lot of heat with a heat gun". A heat gun delivers heat in a quite wide and diffuse stream. A gas torch with a very small burner tip, applying heat to a small area closely confined around the area of the nipple would be much more desirable.

    To the OP, good luck.

  14. For the application of non-damaging heat to smallish components, up to, coincidentally, about the size of a brake caliper, I've got an el-cheapo deep fat fryer, filled with oil (doesn't really matter what oil, but mine's got hydraulic oil in it), into which reluctant components can be dunked and then, over the course of a day or two, repeatedly heat cycled, immersed in lubricant.

    It's paid for itself several times over.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  15. [QUOTE="gunissan, post: 2730008, member: 33298]Read my post above, it can be done. I've done it, twice. Both times successfully. Both times were carbon copies of the OP's situation, except that the calipers I was dealing with were cast iron. I must have been a lucky punk! :D:D
    Yes, it's nervewracking. :LOL::LOL:.[/QUOTE]

    Nervewracking indeed. I was sweating blood when leaning on the vice grip. I know it can be done, but it is risky.

    [QUOTE="gunissan, post: 2730008, member: 33298]"smoking hot, almost molten" is way too hot. Caliper damaging hot. 100C - 200C and not much more is about the limit I would be comfortable with[/QUOTE]

    I was kind of joking about the molten part. But smoking hot it was. I used an infrared thermometer. I was well aware of calliper damage heating beyond 200C, which is why I said I heated it 'well above 100C'.

    [QUOTE="gunissan, post: 2730008, member: 33298]A heat gun delivers heat in a quite wide and diffuse stream.[/QUOTE]
    Which is why I used it.
    The difference between your cast iron callipers and alloy, is the heat transfer rate. You can locally heat cast iron easier than alloy because the heat travels much slower through iron than it does through alloy. Plus you can see the temperature of the iron by the colour it glows at. Alloy sucks up the heat so fast and dissipates it, making localised heating much harder. Plus it remains the same colour until it melts, so you don't know how close you are to the edge, especially when using a gas torch. You can't melt alloy with a heat gun, but you can with a gas torch.

    To the OP, good luck.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. @Tinkerer@Tinkerer
    Thanks for the clarification. Just a note though, I still worry about heating a cast iron caliper to the point where it is starting to glow!

    Interesting idea, using a deep fryer. Very clever.

    Any progress?

  17. You can just bleed using the banjo bolt but
    The bolt must be at the highest point so you need to take the mounting bolts out and move the
    New washers would be smart and flush lots of new fluid
  18. Sorry for the lack of updates. I actually picked up brake fluid today in preparation. My last exam is on wednesday so I'm planning to do a proper repair after that, I ended up getting side tracked with final assignments and exam prep so haven't actually done any repair attempt yet. Since the banjo bolts are cheap and seem relatively easy, I reckon I'll go that path as a first attempt, I'm going to order one and try that first with a full fluid flush. If still having issues then I'll look into replacing or rebuilding.

    Extremely keen to head to the farm and ride around after sitting in bedroom studying for so many weeks. So I have big motivation to get this fixed up!

    Ah yeah thanks I will keep that in mind.

    Thanks again for all the help, very much appreciated :)
  19. Just wondering how the fix went? Was going to suggest a used calliper from eBay but realised the date of the post.