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Discussion Starter #1
OK, here is the back ground info:
I installed speed bleeders..(even on front brakes and clutch) about two years ago. Brakes worked fine for 6 months or more.

For the last year and a half or so, I have had to bleed my rear brake system about every three weeks or month (depending on how often I ride) because air continues to get into the rear brake system. However, I do NOT loose any fluid...The Front brake system is fine- no air at all.

I have been looking (after every ride) for leaks and signs of brake fluid on rims and bleeders and brake hoses. Even removing right side cover to check rear master cylinder for loss of fluid which I have never had to refill. It is full up to the top line at all times.

I have pumped and pumped and even used a tie down to hold rear brake peddle in down position over night, with the results of no fluid loss, and or no peddle loss during this test.

I have removed the front fender and both front caliper covers and "closely" viewed every bleeder (including the rear caliper bleeders) with magnification and lighting to look for any signs of brake fluid and each bleeder is completely dry.

I then removed both sets of brake pads from front calipers and under good lighting, viewed both front calipers for leaks in pistons, wet brake pads and or signs of any leaks and found NONE..

I removed the rear wheel again and rear brake pads, and under good lighting, looked for signs of leaks on rear pistons only to find NONE.

I have checked the rear brake hose connections above swing arm and everywhere else I could see, and find no leaks.

I never have to re-fill the rear master cylinder..it shows no sign of loosing fluid.


So.........in an effort to eliminate possibilities:
(1) I removed every speed bleeder (in rear brake system only), and carefully used Teflon tape on the threads and reinstalled each one. This effort didn't help at all. I still get air into the system.

(2) I purchased a new rear caliper. The new caliper came with a new brake hose already attached. So once again, I removed the rear tire, removed the old rear caliper by breaking the brake hose line where it connects above the swing-arm or forward part of rear fender area. I then removed the speed bleeders from the old caliper and installed them in the new caliper again using Teflon tape on threads, checked tightness of the new hose connection on the caliper itself since it was already attached by someone else, and then installed the new caliper and bled the brakes again. Two weeks later now and I have air in the system again.....and again, no loss of any fluid....

Last night I removed the speed bleeders from the new caliper and reinstalled the stock bleeders. Today I will bleed the brakes again and see if MAYBE one of the rear caliper speed bleeders has been letting air into the system.

NOTE: the only air that comes out of the rear brake system when I bleed the rear brakes is the TOP bleeder of rear caliper..
I never get any air from any other bleeder except that one top bleeder.

SO what is your opinion........I'm running out of ideas as to what could be the root cause of air getting into the system with no fluid loss..

Oh, and the air trapment in banjo bolt could not be the root cause because I get air out EVERY time I bleed the brakes. The banjo bolt can only hold so much air.After 5 brake bleedings, or more, and each time getting air out, the banjo bolt cant have that much air in it.
 

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OK, here is the back ground info:
I installed speed bleeders..(even on front brakes and clutch) about two years ago. Brakes worked fine for 6 months or more.

For the last year and a half or so, I have had to bleed my rear brake system about every three weeks or month (depending on how often I ride) because air continues to get into the rear brake system. However, I do NOT loose any fluid...The Front brake system is fine- no air at all.

I have been looking (after every ride) for leaks and signs of brake fluid on rims and bleeders and brake hoses. Even removing right side cover to check rear master cylinder for loss of fluid which I have never had to refill. It is full up to the top line at all times.

I have pumped and pumped and even used a tie down to hold rear brake peddle in down position over night, with the results of no fluid loss, and or no peddle loss during this test.

I have removed the front fender and both front caliper covers and "closely" viewed every bleeder (including the rear caliper bleeders) with magnification and lighting to look for any signs of brake fluid and each bleeder is completely dry.

I then removed both sets of brake pads from front calipers and under good lighting, viewed both front calipers for leaks in pistons, wet brake pads and or signs of any leaks and found NONE..

I removed the rear wheel again and rear brake pads, and under good lighting, looked for signs of leaks on rear pistons only to find NONE.

I have checked the rear brake hose connections above swing arm and everywhere else I could see, and find no leaks.

I never have to re-fill the rear master cylinder..it shows no sign of loosing fluid.


So.........in an effort to eliminate possibilities:
(1) I removed every speed bleeder (in rear brake system only), and carefully used Teflon tape on the threads and reinstalled each one. This effort didn't help at all. I still get air into the system.

(2) I purchased a new rear caliper. The new caliper came with a new brake hose already attached. So once again, I removed the rear tire, removed the old rear caliper by breaking the brake hose line where it connects above the swing-arm or forward part of rear fender area. I then removed the speed bleeders from the old caliper and installed them in the new caliper again using Teflon tape on threads, checked tightness of the new hose connection on the caliper itself since it was already attached by someone else, and then installed the new caliper and bled the brakes again. Two weeks later now and I have air in the system again.....and again, no loss of any fluid....

Last night I removed the speed bleeders from the new caliper and reinstalled the stock bleeders. Today I will bleed the brakes again and see if MAYBE one of the rear caliper speed bleeders has been letting air into the system.

NOTE: the only air that comes out of the rear brake system when I bleed the rear brakes is the TOP bleeder of rear caliper..
I never get any air from any other bleeder except that one top bleeder.

SO what is your opinion........I'm running out of ideas as to what could be the root cause of air getting into the system with no fluid loss..

Oh, and the air trapment in banjo bolt could not be the root cause because I get air out EVERY time I bleed the brakes. The banjo bolt can only hold so much air.After 5 brake bleedings, or more, and each time getting air out, the banjo bolt cant have that much air in it.
WEll ya can wrap teflon till your fingers are sore and it will not do a thing. However never have liked speed bleeders as yes on the up swing, return stroke or whatever you want to call it, air can and does get sucked back into the system. That is one of the deals with the design of such that is supposed to be better than long legs in a mini skirt. ;) When you push down on the pedal all is well positive pressure, when you release for another push it becomes negative and air can and will zip back into the system around the threads.

What works well is a bit of white grease or something like Vaseline gobbed around the threads to stop the transfer of air while bleeding the brakes, then wipe it off when done.

The cone shape of the fitting also is what seals, it is a metal to metal fit like a cone flare only. It is possible for air to enter without fluid exiting.

I learned that long ago putting pressure tests on plumbing systems. Fill them with water and all is well and they pass inspection........air the same system up with 15 psi and the air will leak somewhere so you have to go around and soap each joint to find it. Use that in winter when you cannot fill with water and it is sometimes a pain. An liquid molecule is larger than an air molecule so air can get in even if liquid cannot get out.

Could be a bad cone seat seal........letting air in. Be hard to find though.
 

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Have you considered a leaky piston in the master cylinder?
It is possible you are aspirating air IN at the master cylinder when you release the pedal after a stop.
You do not necessarily have to have a fluid leak.
 

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Speed Bleeders come with thread sealant already applied... If you have worn it off or suspect it is not sealing, then order the sealant and reapply....

http://www.speedbleeder.com/install.htm

From the post, it is probably not the cone seal area, since he replaced the caliper. The banjo joint was mentioned, but it is not clear whether you actually bled the banjo or your just using the speed bleeder.

Check the proportioning valve, known trouble spot.... consider replacing the rear master cylinder or rebuilding it....
 

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I don't have speed bleeders but I have the exact same problem with air in the upper brake lines. The air starts to show at about 6 pumps and is gone at about 12 pumps, (lots and lots of air). The brake fluid is also suddenly darker within this period of 6-12 pumps. I doubt the air is coming from the piston seals, but more upstream. I have to bleed them every 50 miles of riding before the pedal becomes mush again. I've gotten good at bleeding them because I've done it at least 20 times over the last 2 months. It's getting to be a pain in the ass.
Considering of all the people that have to hang weights on the pedal overnight or take apart the brake line, or some mumbo jumbo just "fix" the rear brake, Honda should at least recall the bike. If this happened on a Civic instead of a GW, Honda would be sued.
 

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Have you been using the bleed sequence listed in the shop manual ?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dissecting above responses;

* I have bleed the front and rear brakes per the shop manual MANY times. Because the front brakes are fine, there is no need to touch them. I have to bleed the rear brake (in correct sequence) every month or two depending how much I ride it.

* Banjo bolt...no, I have not bleed the banjo bolt, but when I do bleed the rear brakes (in proper sequence) air only comes out of the top rear caliper bleeder. The rear brakes work GREAT..for about two months..then the peddle is bottomed out and I have to bleed ONLY the rear brakes again and again I get air out of top rear caliper bleeder only. After bleeding the rear brakes as many times as I have, that banjo bolt could not hold the quantity of air I get EVERY time I have to bleed the rear brakes. Air is getting into the rear brake line system over and over. As I mentioned, the brakes work GREAT...(no pumping required at all) for about a month or two depending how much I ride it.

* I have not replace the rear master... this may be a causing culprit..and if so I will be looking for one shortly.

* The caliper pistons have been visually checked for leaks with brake pads removed and under bright lights...no signs of seepage on front or rear calipers / pistons. I did this last month when I changed out the brake pads all around..

* (quote) Check the proportioning valve, known trouble spot...no signs of leaks here..

I will be bleeding the rear brakes again today since I removed the speed bleeders I installed from the rear caliper and using the stock bleeders.. hopefully it is one of the speed bleeders leaking air around the threads..
Once I get the brakes bleed, I will seal one bleeder at a time around the threads with black RTV. The RTV should work to stop air from seeping around the threads of the bleeder as a test. If I get air into the system again, I will have to bleed the rear brakes and then use RTV on both rear caliper bleeders and see if it does it again.



 

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...I will be bleeding the rear brakes again today since I removed the speed bleeders I installed from the rear caliper and using the stock bleeders.. hopefully it is one of the speed bleeders leaking air around the threads..
Once I get the brakes bleed, I will seal one bleeder at a time around the threads with black RTV. The RTV should work to stop air from seeping around the threads of the bleeder as a test. If I get air into the system again, I will have to bleed the rear brakes and then use RTV on both rear caliper bleeders and see if it does it again.
Okay, while I don't have the exact answer to your problem, and since I'm not there to assist in troubleshooting, I'll just provide some long-distance ruminations.

You are not getting air intrusion from around the speed bleeder threads. This is a physical impossibility unless the bleeder seat in the caliper is bad. Think of your garden faucet valve at the side of your house. The packing around the valve handle stem could be completely shot, and when you open the valve water comes gushing out from around the valve stem (the analogy here is the valve stem is the leaking bleeder threads). But when you shut the valve, all leakage stops because the valve is shut and seated. Same with the speed bleeders, or the factory bleeders. Once they are shut, they're shut - zero anything to go up or down past the threads.

The likelihood of a bad bleeder seat is pretty minute. It happens, but pretty rare. Air in the system will travel to the available high point, which in this case is your rear upper bleeder. Sealing with RTV around the bleeder threads won't hurt to perform as a check, but bear in mind the bleeder has a nice open hole at the top that leads down to a hole down by the cone seat, which is below most of your threads. So unless you plan on sealing the bleeder with a big glob of sealant, and then trying to clean it off and out of the bleeder next time you go to use them ...

The thead sealant that comes on speed bleeders is to limit brake fluid from seeping up past the threads and making a mess when you are bleeding the brakes, as once the bleeder is shut no pressure is seen on the threads. It also acts as an anti-suction of air back into the system when pressure on the pedal is relieved. Since you don't have the issue right after you've finished bleeding the system, don't think you're sucking air into the system while bleeding.

End result, I think I'd be looking at a possible master cylinder seal leak, or - based on the symptoms you've described and the location always being the same - you've got a situation of the rear caliper piston seals having an issue where they seal under pressure, but roll slightly when the pressure is relieved which allows air into the system. I've got a similar issue on my T-100 hydraulic pressure calibration system at work. In my case the o-ring area is just enough mis-sized to where the only long-term cure is replacement of the tester. So in that regards I live with it and bleed the system occasionally. Your's might be cured by pulling the calipers and disassembling, cleaning and possibly honing the piston cylinder walls.

Good luck with your issue, I'll follow this thread so I can learn something from it. But I really don't think it's your bleeder threads leaking by.
 

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What year is your Wing?
This may be a long shot, but is it possible that heat could be causing your problem?
I don't recall what year Honda added the heat shield for the rear brake lines, but maybe yours does not have one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What year is your Wing?
This may be a long shot, but is it possible that heat could be causing your problem?
I don't recall what year Honda added the heat shield for the rear brake lines, but maybe yours does not have one.


I have a 2002 model 1800 with ABS.
Not sure if I have the heat shield or not. All recalls have been done to this bike.
Please make note that I seldom even use the rear brake.. I always use just the front unless I have to stop quickly...

Rear caliper is new and was just replaced last month and I removed the stock bleeders and installed speed bleeders when I installed the new rear caliper.
Yesterday, I removed the old speed bleeders and installed the stock bleeders back in the new rear caliper
This morning, I bled the rear brakes again and once again I have a firm rear brake peddle.
I do not have to pump the rear brake peddle at all, no air is in the line at present time. Brakes are like they were when I first bought the bike 6 years ago. Front brakes work like a champ!!
ABS system works like it is supposed to.

I rode the bike up into TN and put about 130 miles on it today. When I pulled back into my garage this evening, I still had a firm peddle.


I will begin searching for a rear master cylinder just in case air gets back into the system.


Many thanks for the opinions and ideas on what to look for. I have about run out of thoughts on this one.
 

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I would try plumbers putty not RTV< IMHO.

But....Teflon tape has always worked for me also, contrary to statements made above.


Good luck.

Dissecting above responses;

* I have bleed the front and rear brakes per the shop manual MANY times. Because the front brakes are fine, there is no need to touch them. I have to bleed the rear brake (in correct sequence) every month or two depending how much I ride it.

* Banjo bolt...no, I have not bleed the banjo bolt, but when I do bleed the rear brakes (in proper sequence) air only comes out of the top rear caliper bleeder. The rear brakes work GREAT..for about two months..then the peddle is bottomed out and I have to bleed ONLY the rear brakes again and again I get air out of top rear caliper bleeder only. After bleeding the rear brakes as many times as I have, that banjo bolt could not hold the quantity of air I get EVERY time I have to bleed the rear brakes. Air is getting into the rear brake line system over and over. As I mentioned, the brakes work GREAT...(no pumping required at all) for about a month or two depending how much I ride it.

* I have not replace the rear master... this may be a causing culprit..and if so I will be looking for one shortly.

* The caliper pistons have been visually checked for leaks with brake pads removed and under bright lights...no signs of seepage on front or rear calipers / pistons. I did this last month when I changed out the brake pads all around..

* (quote) Check the proportioning valve, known trouble spot...no signs of leaks here..

I will be bleeding the rear brakes again today since I removed the speed bleeders I installed from the rear caliper and using the stock bleeders.. hopefully it is one of the speed bleeders leaking air around the threads..
Once I get the brakes bleed, I will seal one bleeder at a time around the threads with black RTV. The RTV should work to stop air from seeping around the threads of the bleeder as a test. If I get air into the system again, I will have to bleed the rear brakes and then use RTV on both rear caliper bleeders and see if it does it again.



 

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ok I am confused...


These are speed bleeders from ebay for the GL1800 (since I don't get how "speed bleeders" are better, maybe I got the wrong image). No amount of tape or any other substance on the threads will provide any seal as the seal is provided by the pointed end (toward the top of the image) that physically plugs a hole in the caliper the fluid will drain from.

If the seat (on the caliper side) is damaged, wrong angle, has crap in it - leaks. Same for the bleeder.

What am I missing?
...gene
 

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I have a 2002 model 1800 with ABS.
Not sure if I have the heat shield or not. All recalls have been done to this bike.
Please make note that I seldom even use the rear brake.. I always use just the front unless I have to stop quickly...

Rear caliper is new and was just replaced last month and I removed the stock bleeders and installed speed bleeders when I installed the new rear caliper.
Yesterday, I removed the old speed bleeders and installed the stock bleeders back in the new rear caliper
This morning, I bled the rear brakes again and once again I have a firm rear brake peddle.
I do not have to pump the rear brake peddle at all, no air is in the line at present time. Brakes are like they were when I first bought the bike 6 years ago. Front brakes work like a champ!!
ABS system works like it is supposed to.

I rode the bike up into TN and put about 130 miles on it today. When I pulled back into my garage this evening, I still had a firm peddle.


I will begin searching for a rear master cylinder just in case air gets back into the system.


Many thanks for the opinions and ideas on what to look for. I have about run out of thoughts on this one.
I don't believe that the 02s had the heat shield, and I also do not think that there was a bulletin on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

These are speed bleeders from ebay for the GL1800 (since I don't get how "speed bleeders" are better, maybe I got the wrong image). No amount of tape or any other substance on the threads will provide any seal as the seal is provided by the pointed end (toward the top of the image) that physically plugs a hole in the caliper the fluid will drain from.

If the seat (on the caliper side) is damaged, wrong angle, has crap in it - leaks. Same for the bleeder.



What am I missing?
The rationale as to why speed-bleeder manufacturing applies a thread seal to the threads as shown in your attached pics. If what you state is true, then they application of the sealant by the manufacturer is worthless. Maybe they apply a thread "lubricant" and not a thread sealer...Hum...
 

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These are speed bleeders from ebay for the GL1800 (since I don't get how "speed bleeders" are better, maybe I got the wrong image). No amount of tape or any other substance on the threads will provide any seal as the seal is provided by the pointed end (toward the top of the image) that physically plugs a hole in the caliper the fluid will drain from.

If the seat (on the caliper side) is damaged, wrong angle, has crap in it - leaks. Same for the bleeder.



What am I missing?
The rationale as to why speed-bleeder manufacturing applies a thread seal to the threads as shown in your attached pics. If what you state is true, then they application of the sealant by the manufacturer is worthless. Maybe they apply a thread "lubricant" and not a thread sealer...Hum...
That is but insurance for vibration and such, to help prevent the fitting from getting loose and keeping it secure. Common sense simply says that any thread sealer turned and opened and closed various times will not seal any thread, but will help with vibration and the pounding from the road surface through the suspension to the wheel and calipers.

Will air suck in past the threads, that depends on the operator, if not closed on the down stroke or bleed stroke yes air will suck in as the brakes return.

If the cone sealing surface does not mate perfectly to the caliper tapping then yes air can also return into the system in that manner.

But the thread lock........which is what it really is.....thread lock is there to help secure the fittings.
 

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Brakes leaking

If you are going to replace the rear caliper, they are very easy and cheap to come by. Any trike shop will have a ton of them brand new for next to nothing. Worth a shot.
 

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That is but insurance for vibration and such, to help prevent the fitting from getting loose and keeping it secure. Common sense simply says that any thread sealer turned and opened and closed various times will not seal any thread, but will help with vibration and the pounding from the road surface through the suspension to the wheel and calipers.

Will air suck in past the threads, that depends on the operator, if not closed on the down stroke or bleed stroke yes air will suck in as the brakes return.

If the cone sealing surface does not mate perfectly to the caliper tapping then yes air can also return into the system in that manner.

But the thread lock........which is what it really is.....thread lock is there to help secure the fittings.
Kit and others. Speed bleeders are SUPPOSED to be left OPEN on the return stroke; the check ball is supposed to stop back flow, but the threads MUST be sealed or air WILL be sucked in past them. Teflon tape is a viable substitute for the red thread sealer that comes on them. If you must use a grease instead, use brake parts grease which will not contaminate the fluid if it gets sucked in.

Air may be getting into your fluid in the master reservoir if the fluid can slosh about. That is why the rubber seal is make like a bellow. That seal should be in contact with the fluid when you put the lid back on eliminating or greatly reducing air in the reservoir. The bellow expands as the pads wear and lower the fluid level. The little white plastic "surf boards" in the handle bar reservoirs fight slosh too since there is some air in there between them and the bellow seals.

Other than that, I would suspect the seal washers at one of the banjo fittings.

prs
 

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These are speed bleeders from ebay for the GL1800 (since I don't get how "speed bleeders" are better, maybe I got the wrong image). No amount of tape or any other substance on the threads will provide any seal as the seal is provided by the pointed end (toward the top of the image) that physically plugs a hole in the caliper the fluid will drain from.

If the seat (on the caliper side) is damaged, wrong angle, has crap in it - leaks. Same for the bleeder.



What am I missing?
The rationale as to why speed-bleeder manufacturing applies a thread seal to the threads as shown in your attached pics. If what you state is true, then they application of the sealant by the manufacturer is worthless. Maybe they apply a thread "lubricant" and not a thread sealer...Hum...


Agree...have had quite a number of brake jobs with problems because of leakage around the threads, but I will admit, I have not used speed bleeders.

Anyway, for me, it is now routine to seal the threads before taking the time to bleed the systems.
 

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ahhh

the check ball is supposed to stop back flow, but the threads MUST be sealed or air WILL be sucked in past them.

prs
Check ball - oh my, that makes sense. It's not noted in the adds.

For me, a 1/4 twist is OK. So I don't think I will invest in speed bleeders.
...gene
 
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