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my brakes are stuffed. still!

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by idontlikemondays, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. i wrote in about this a while ago. tried all suggestions, but ill go over the problems agian.
    the front brakes are spongey. took it to honda, the mech thought it was the piston seal in the front master cylinder. 90 bucks later. fixed.... for the first few days. started to get spongey again, bled the brakes. ok... for a week. bled them again. ok for a week. wrote in here asking for suggestions. got good feedback. tried that trick where you tie the brake leaver all the way in. leave it over night. worked very well. for a week!!!
    ok so now i know air is getting in the system somewhere. but it still stops ok. i thought i just live with it for the time being, look into when i get some down time.
    then the other day, some dickhead red p plater (yes ok, i know im a p plater too..) cut me off just before the king street exit on the darling harbour overpass, then slammed on the brakes. well i slowed down, sure, but the lever was all the way in, and i was no where near stopping as fast as i should be. if she had come to a complete stop i rekon i would have gone into the back of her. im begining to think its not a "she'll be right, ill check it out later" problem.
    now i havent taken it into honda cause im thinking theyll just take another 100 bucks off me. now ive done alot of work on my "quick stops" since. and after 5 mins of continued heavy braking, i can smell brake fluid (im 95% sure) from the front caliper, the brakes firm up, and for some god only knows reason, the throttle cable gets really sticky (unrelated im sure). so im thinking the piston seals in the caliper are on the way out. but i cant rules out a leak in the lines, the rubber hose appears to be in good condition. maybe its the washer in the attachment between the caliper and the line? although i wouldnt ahve thought so since im assuming its a copper washer.
    so any thoughts on options here? anything else i should check before i spend the cash on a caliper rebuild kit (which i assume you can get), or should i just buy a new brake system.
    i would really really appreciate any advice, since the contents of my wallet and possibly my livelyhood are at stake.
    thanks in advance

  2. Dom -

    are you still running the original rubber brake hose? Sometimes after a few years the rubber gets soft, the hose bulges...the brakes go spongey.

    Not sure how legal this is in your state (it's often seen as a "track only" thing) but I've replaced many a ratty old rubber hose with a braided steel hose (many bike shops sell 'em and there are plenty of people in AMCN and other mags who make 'em to length at a reasonable price) and I've always been rewarded my much more positive brake feel, and much less sponginess.

    Regarding legality - most cops wouldn't spot it in a million years, or even know what it was.

    Take a good look at your brake hose, then. How old is it?

  3. Yeah you should look at the braided brake lines. I got mine done when I first bought my FJ. the rubber hoses were so bad you could feel them flex when you pulled the lever. I got 2 lines from the MC to each caliper made at a car brake shop for $45 each.

    Although if it's good for a bit, then goes soft, it's a fluid or air leak. Are you using fluid?

    If the mech did the MC seals, buy a rebuild kit for the front caliper and get a braided line made? If you only have 1 front caliper then you should get away for 100 bucks in parts and you should have a confident front stopper.

    You'll be able to get the lever rock hard with the braided lines.

  4. Yep.. wot he said, I used a ready made kit from "Hel" they included new banjo bolts and washers, you really should replace the washers when your replace the lines.

  5. Mate, I've got the same thing going on at the moment.

    I've got braided lines. I've replaced the master cylinder. I was going put a caliper kit through, but I've been told they don't supply the seals any more.

    I load the lever ovenight and get a good lever for a few days, but then it fades to the point I have to do it again over the next few days.

    I'm starting to suspect I have a scratch on one of the bores somewhere. I can't see a leek anywhere and the fluid level in the resevoir doesn't move.

    But why it's good for a couple of days, then slowly gets worse is beyond me.

    And yes I've done a lot of bleeding and I've changed the fluid heeps.

    If anyone knows what this is, it would be appreciated.
  6. It "could" be the hose

    but that would consistantly be sloppy, although worse when hot.....

    Dont get me wrong, putting braided lines on is perfectly legal (providing you check they are compliant) and they are awesome, not an expensive excersise either....

    I would have taken it back to the same honda person that fixed it the first time and told him he obviously didnt do it right........ for all you know he stuffed up the job...... since the same problem still manifests... Just my 2c worth...

    As to your question about buying another brake system... this is possible ofcourse, but be weary of second hand ones..... They might be faulty.....
  7. cheers for the prompt reply felas i really appreciate it.
    the lines are original ('02 model). but there were no bulges or anything like that in the line. i just thought it was the piston seal in the caliper cause they looked pretty ratty when i changed the pads recently. but i rekon i'll try the rebuild kit and get braided lines. worth the investment for me, ill probably keep the bike till i drive it into the ground, i wont be able the afford an upgrade for a while.
    ibast, ill be doing the job at the end of next week when i finish my exams. ill let you know how i go. the fact that the dont make the seals anymore is a pain, dont know if anything i find out will be helpful for you.
    if after all that its still shit, ill be going back to honda and asking questions, dunno if it will do me any good, worth a try but. what is there policy if they stuff up a job? i just assumed they wouldnt carry a job garrentee on a bike that ran out of warrenty.

  8. well i got a goodrich braided steel line, and absolutley friggin perfect!
    fellas thanks so much for your help with this. the problem was pretty much spot on with what people were saying. as it turned out, there was actually a leak in the hose, this was because the handle bars fitted were too high (the guy who had it before me put the 03 model bars which are about 40mm higher than the 99 model one) and this was causing the line to come out of the clamp at the Master cylinder end. i could hear the air pissing out it when i was compressing the cylinders back into the caliper with a g clamp. and i got the correct handlebars too. another thing i rekon is worth mentioning, i got quoted 220 bucks for the line at loyd penn artarmon, and 134 bucks at sydney city honda lane cove.
    again fellas i cant tell how much i appreciate your help, i was completly on the wrong track with what i thought was wrong.