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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Gang,
I still haven't had the recall done on our '08 Level II. I scheduled it back about a year ago and, well, things just slipped by and, well, yeah, I'll get to it. But, in the meantime, I have read thread after thread after thread on so many riders having issues either trying to bleed the 1800 brakes or, lousy brakes AFTER they've been bled, MULTIPLE TIMES and more. I get that they're a "linked" system and some of the front works with the back and vice versa. And, there's the anti-dive valve that's in play too. But, why did they (Honda) make it so hard to accurately and appropriately bleed the brakes on a GL 1800?

Then, there's the "Rocky" thing about doing something up front that "assists" in correct bleeding of the brakes. I mean, supposedly, even some Honda trained techs have a hard time doing it. I have looked at the Service manual and, there's a fairly outlined procedure for bleeding the brakes. Does the method used in the service manual not work, efficiently? Is special equipment needed for a proper brake bleed on the 1800?
Scott
 

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I just installed speedbleeders on my 2013 and bled the system with no issues, I replaced all of the fluid in both systems, but I never ran either master cylinder down to where air entered the systems from the top, brakes are improved from what they were before the "flush". Speedbleeders make a huge difference, making the process much easier.
 

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If you follow the procedure in Honda's service there shouldn't be any issue with the brakes. I also have speed bleeders installed on my '06. With the assistance of a second person who can listen to and follow instructions as to when to pump the brake pedal or to squeeze the brake lever speed bleeders are not necessary. I never had the recall done. I do flush the brake fluid every year, between 10k and 15k miles. I now have 92k miles on the '06.
 

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But, why did they (Honda) make it so hard to accurately and appropriately bleed the brakes on a GL 1800?

Does the method used in the service manual not work, efficiently? Is special equipment needed for a proper brake bleed on the 1800?
Scott
Other than a wrench, no special equipment is needed. Honda wrote a perfect set of 3 different instructions on how to bleed. One for each bleed method. It's important to remember that a Service Manual is not wrote for a DYI, it is a service/repair field-manual for a professional repair person to read, study, and for guidance in the field. There are assumptions made for anyone using a Service Manual. Basically, that they have studied and read Honda's Common Manual. Beginner level information is learn from there. You will probably find that most members here don't even have one.

More about those 3 bleed instructions. This might be the first time most even have knowledge of 3 procedures and not 1. I've never had a problem, or had to do add'l bleeding. Back to that professional thing. Many professionals have classes in some field of mechanical repair ... those classes can easily be 2-4 years long. Such things learned are the speed at which a brake peddle is pumped, or what's imperative to do once the rear reservoir is sucked dry, and after brake fluid is added. A professional will probably know why 3 bleed sequences are needed and not just 1. Such topics are not discussed in a Service Manual ... it is assumed knowledge, and that lack of knowledge is probably why others have alternative bleed sequences to correct their mistakes by allowing air to enter the system.

Hints:
- be sure to follow the bleed sequence according to your bleed method
- the reason for various bleed bleed methods is because Honda uses a delay valve and a proportioning valve in there braking system
- after sucking out the rear brake m/c and adding fluid back to the reservoir, take a long pair of needle nose pliers and squeeze or pinch the soft, rubber feed line between the reservoir and the m/c. Often you will see air bubble rise in the reservoir.
- it is best to use the OEM bleeders supplied. As will all aftermarket parts, unexpected results may occur.
 

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With all due respect to Greg (I have not read one bad review from Goldwing owners who have had repair work performed by Greg) bleeding brakes, even on a Goldwing, is not rocket science nor overly complicated and it is routinely performed by do-it-yourselfers (DIY) like myself. As to Speed Bleeders, I cannot remember ever reading one bad review from anyone who has installed and used Speed Bleeders. Original equipment, like aftermarket parts, can also give unexpected results. Didn't Honda issue a recall for original equipment brake issues? Why do some of the original equipment transmission gears need replacement with undercut gears? Why do so many riders find a need to upgrade their suspensions with aftermarket parts? Do yourself a favor and invest in the Speed Bleeders. They will make the periodic routine maintenance of flushing and bleeding brake and clutch fluids much easier.
 

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I also have Speed Bleeders (It takes 7, if you include the Clutch) and Bleeding the Brake System and Clutch is made much, much easier as a result. They don't make the Bleeding results any better; but they do make it a whole lot easier and faster. I agree completely with M61A1MECH and jlbc212. FWIW I highly recommend that the recall be performed. The quantity of Brake Fluid that is flushed through the Brake System is significant. The process as well as the quantity of Brake Fluid consumed is critical in order to safely deal with the manufacturing process contamination issue that the recall addresses.
 

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I've only flushed and bled mine twice but the procedure is straightforward as detailed in the service manual and posted elsewhere and nothing particularly difficult about getting desired results.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Hey Gang,
I still haven't had the recall done on our '08 Level II. I scheduled it back about a year ago and, well, things just slipped by and, well, yeah, I'll get to it. But, in the meantime, I have read thread after thread after thread on so many riders having issues either trying to bleed the 1800 brakes or, lousy brakes AFTER they've been bled, MULTIPLE TIMES and more. I get that they're a "linked" system and some of the front works with the back and vice versa. And, there's the anti-dive valve that's in play too. But, why did they (Honda) make it so hard to accurately and appropriately bleed the brakes on a GL 1800?

Then, there's the "Rocky" thing about doing something up front that "assists" in correct bleeding of the brakes. I mean, supposedly, even some Honda trained techs have a hard time doing it. I have looked at the Service manual and, there's a fairly outlined procedure for bleeding the brakes. Does the method used in the service manual not work, efficiently? Is special equipment needed for a proper brake bleed on the 1800?
Scott
The issue you can run into with the 1800 is air getting stuck in the highest point in the rear system. This occurs at the side of the steering stem in a junction. The “Rocky bleed” allows this air to escape directly at the high spot. If the rear system never gets air in it, this won’t be a problem.
 

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Bleeding is easy. Bleeding after dealers mess up the whole system durning the recall "fix" is another story.
 

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Question for Techdude2000 on rear master cylinder and bleeding. When servicing the clutch and front brake master cylinder, I usually like to mity vac the fluid in the masters almost all the way out so I can clean it of any gunk before adding new brake fluid and then flushing the entire line. Both of those are at the highest spot in the system so I'm assuming little chance of air entering line as long as I dont touch the levers. Since the rear master seems to not be at the lowest, can I temporarily clamp the hose that exits the rear master to make sure it is cleaned of any gunk before new fluid added? Do I risk any damage to that hose by doing that?
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Question for Techdude2000 on rear master cylinder and bleeding. When servicing the clutch and front brake master cylinder, I usually like to mity vac the fluid in the masters almost all the way out so I can clean it of any gunk before adding new brake fluid and then flushing the entire line. Both of those are at the highest spot in the system so I'm assuming little chance of air entering line as long as I dont touch the levers. Since the rear master seems to not be at the lowest, can I temporarily clamp the hose that exits the rear master to make sure it is cleaned of any gunk before new fluid added? Do I risk any damage to that hose by doing that?
You risk damaging the hose and your Mity Vac will probably still suck air into the line. I would carefully suck the fluid out of the reservoir, wipe it down, then fill with new fluid. Then use the vac to pull the new fluid into the lines as you bleed it. As long as you don’t pump the pedal or move a lever with the reservoir empty, you shouldn’t get air into the system.
 

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You risk damaging the hose and your Mity Vac will probably still suck air into the line. I would carefully suck the fluid out of the reservoir, wipe it down, then fill with new fluid. Then use the vac to pull the new fluid into the lines as you bleed it. As long as you don’t pump the pedal or move a lever with the reservoir empty, you shouldn’t get air into the system.

That's what I meant about sucking the fluid out of the master cylinders. I am not always completely clear in my explanations. I stick the tube of the mity vac directly into the master cylinder to suck out most of the old fluid first to be able to clean them prior to adding new fluid so I dont risk sucking any crud into llines.I will skip the clamping of the line and just clean the master cylinder out first then. Thank you to Techdude2000 for replying back.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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That's what I meant about sucking the fluid out of the master cylinders. I am not always completely clear in my explanations. I stick the tube of the mity vac directly into the master cylinder to suck out most of the old fluid first to be able to clean them prior to adding new fluid so I dont risk sucking any crud into llines.I will skip the clamping of the line and just clean the master cylinder out first then. Thank you to Techdude2000 for replying back.
:thumbup:
 

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I am far from being mechanically inclined; however, bleeding the brakes is not hard. Of course, as almost everyone suggested, put speed bleeders on your bike. They make a simple job simpler. And yes, follow the sequencing in the service manual.
 

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I just had the rear brake recall done on my new-to-me 2010. When I got the bike back, it didn’t take me long to figure out that there was air in the rear brake system. With the help of my 8 year old son, I bled the brakes as per the service manual. When I did the top bleed valve on the rear caliper, the colour of the fluid looked off, and there were a ton of air bubbles in it. I suspect that the dealer tech didn’t bleed the top caliper valve at all, probably cause it’s the toughest one to get to... After I bled them, the rear brake worked great. The entire thing took me about 45 minutes, and I took my time since I didn’t know what I was doing.

I think it’s pretty sad that a regular schmo like me and my 8 year old can do a better job than a guy who’s job it is to do these types of things.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just had the rear brake recall done on my new-to-me 2010. When I got the bike back, it didn’t take me long to figure out that there was air in the rear brake system. With the help of my 8 year old son, I bled the brakes as per the service manual. When I did the top bleed valve on the rear caliper, the colour of the fluid looked off, and there were a ton of air bubbles in it. I suspect that the dealer tech didn’t bleed the top caliper valve at all, probably cause it’s the toughest one to get to... After I bled them, the rear brake worked great. The entire thing took me about 45 minutes, and I took my time since I didn’t know what I was doing.

I think it’s pretty sad that a regular schmo like me and my 8 year old can do a better job than a guy who’s job it is to do these types of things.
You know, I've been a DIY type for decades and, I can usually figure out what's needed in a job like this. But, as I stated, it (the infamous brake bleeding job of the 1800) seems to trip up quite a few. I'm really glad to see that a regular guy, along with an 8 year old's supervision, (ha ha) can get this job done. We're on a short trip right now and, I might just dive into changing the rear brake fluid when I get home or, I also might get ahold of the local Honda service center and line up the recall service that's still needed on ours. Thanks to all who've responded to this. Very much appreciated.
Scott
 

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You know, I've been a DIY type for decades and, I can usually figure out what's needed in a job like this. But, as I stated, it (the infamous brake bleeding job of the 1800) seems to trip up quite a few. I'm really glad to see that a regular guy, along with an 8 year old's supervision, (ha ha) can get this job done. We're on a short trip right now and, I might just dive into changing the rear brake fluid when I get home or, I also might get ahold of the local Honda service center and line up the recall service that's still needed on ours. Thanks to all who've responded to this. Very much appreciated.
Scott
Whatever you choose to do, be sure that the clutch fluid gets replaced too.
 

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Flat rate mechanics take shortcuts. They probably give them too little time to do proper job. Honda Flat rate is probably pretty Chintzy so they don't get burned on Warranty claims. I would also suggest you talk to the dealer and let them know you has to re-bleed both systems yourself with your kid to get brakes working properly and put some comments on their website to get their attention. LOL IMVHO
 
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