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I of the Strom
17-04-11, 12:34
Help - new boy seems to be experiencing an old problem. Just bought a R1100 GS 1994 on 090411 and rode it home and then out on the Sunday totalling around 260 miles. In the following days, first the rear brake failed (fixed by bleeding) then the front one has gone completely, it pumps up but remains soft, then goes again. I can no longer pump it up to any significant pressure. Have bled the system, no better - replaced the piston with a kit procured from J Sherlocks, still soft after much bleeding. Now awaiting the arrival of a Goodridge line kit. Is there anything else I should do before getting a new master cylinder and or callipers ? I bought this bike for a specific trip (commencing 300411) so as not to let friends down but I'm now feeling a bit stitched by the seller as am finding all sorts of wee bits and pieces that lead me to believe he wasn't as truthful as he could have been, eg, there are some very small scratches going round the immediate insides of both brake master cylinders - as if a fine emery has been used on the surface ! The seller is a known name from the race world but I'm starting to think he has bodged this one and I've acted more with heart (keep friends happy) than with sensible head on ! Oh, fluid has little black flecks in it so hoping this is an indication that the pipes are shot and the Goodridges will do the trick.

west coast traveller
17-04-11, 14:26
From what you describe it sounds more like master cylinder or air in the lines. I might be wrong but I don't think you would notice an sudden deterioration in brake performance if it was the brake lines at fault unless they were punctured. As the brakes were presumably working during the 200 odd mile ride you had, it would be unlikely to be the calipers seizing and failure of the caliper seals would allow brake fluid loss which you would notice. There are threads on the forum about problems bleeding the brakes and various solutions such as pressure bleeding. Replacing the lines sounds like a good idea in any event.

Best of luck.

I of the Strom
17-04-11, 18:58
Thanks for that, will find the threads about bleeding the brakes. I didn't expect there to be any problems or specific ways of bleeding the brakes. Should make for some interesting and informative reading. Cheers

I of the Strom
21-04-11, 16:51
I'll start by saying I have bled brakes on cars, bikes and whatever else. I have replaced brake lines before etc etc etc but I've never had problems like this, however, this is the first time I've done a BeEm and ABS to boot, so maybe I'm missing something ! I have read all threads here and elsewhere that I can find, all the excellent advise and model specific sites and based on this research have, having first fitted a front master cylinder piston kit plus a complete set of Goodridge SS lines and put wooden blocks in the callipers, bled the system both from callipers (using a draper bleed kit) and by using a syringe to pump up the system from the callipers; initially as I added a level of brake pipe eg. calliper to 3 way junction, junction to ABS system and then on to the master cylinder. In subsequent bleeding I also attacked from both ends. I now have the semblance of pressure in the system but it's very stodgy and can eventually be pulled into the throttle grip. When I pump the brake lever, on the pull-in there is no noise to be heard in the ABS unit (next to the battery) but on release there is the sound of fluid (I think) passing through something or other inside the unit, is this normal in a 1994 1100 GS ? I have pushed through a good half litre of fluid, pumped the system up, turned the bars so that the master cylinder is high sided and tied back the lever. I ordered some new pads from GSShop on Wednesday but have just been informed that they will not be posted till Saturday ! So with that in mind, is there anything else I can do to make these b b b brakes work ? Also, is there anywhere else (on this site or any other) that I should post this tale to secure guidance that will aid solving my problem ? I'm working to a deadline here as have a bunch of friends to take up the West Coast of Scotland in just over a weeks time arrghh. Also, waiting a week for the pads to be delivered is not what I had in mind.

scotboxer
21-04-11, 16:58
Leave the mc lid loose so that air can escape. Turn the h/bar so that the mc is at the highest possible position. Tie the lever back to the bar with a zip tie or similar. Leave overnight.

Steptoe
21-04-11, 17:11
. I ordered some new pads from GSShop on Wednesday but have just been informed that they will not be posted till Saturday ! .

If you ordered them on weds they will have been sent TODAY by 1st class signed for delivery . Check the posting date when you recieve them for confirmation of the posting date......

Pukmeister
21-04-11, 17:14
Black flecks in the old fluid are almost certainly pieces of pulverised rubber from the old seals in the master and/or slave cylinders as they wear with use.

I'm not familiar with the older ABS system on earlier beemers but I have always had success with using a MITYVAC vacuum bleeder bought from Hein-Gericke when my old Yamaha Thundercat brakes gave me grief (notoriously difficult to fully bleed). Best method allegedly is to draw in fresh fluid a via tube fitted to the caliper bleed nipple and suck it up into the system with the mityvac up to the handlebar reservoir until full, this is meant to avoid any entrapped air.

Personally I used gravity feed and attached the Mityvac on the caliper in the conventional method and it worked well. I did use about a litre of fresh fluid though just to be sure there were no air bubbles present.

I of the Strom
21-04-11, 18:35
If you ordered them on weds they will have been sent TODAY by 1st class signed for delivery . Check the posting date when you recieve them for confirmation of the posting date......

Just repeating what I was told today when asking about my brake/ABS unit noises

I of the Strom
21-04-11, 18:40
Leave the mc lid loose so that air can escape. Turn the h/bar so that the mc is at the highest possible position. Tie the lever back to the bar with a zip tie or similar. Leave overnight.

Will loose off the lid tonight after I've had another go at it. Currently using a syringe to push fluid up from the callipers on the principle that air will want to move in hat direction ! Also, should push any air away from the unions near the headstock.

Will keep posting progress. Does anyone know if 'Big Den' ever solved his problem with bleeding brake ?

I of the Strom
21-04-11, 18:52
[QUOTE=Pukmeister;2697718]Black flecks in the old fluid are almost certainly pieces of pulverised rubber from the old seals in the master and/or slave cylinders as they wear with use.

Was hoping that the bits of rubber were from the old pipes and that by replacing them and flushing the system would solve the problem, so far no more flecks in nice new clean fluid...

Stewart H
21-04-11, 19:56
Have you bled the ABS points under the tank ? I use the bottom up bleeding syringe job too, :thumb2 pretty effective usually.

Steptoe
22-04-11, 08:38
Just repeating what I was told today when asking about my brake/ABS unit noises

You asked me on the phone late on thursday afternoon (before easter friday) how long would it take to recieve them if you ordered a set of brake pads. I replied i would post them off on the saturday, as easter friday the post office is closed.

I had no idea you had already ordered and i'd already posted them as i didn't know who i was speaking to on the telephone about their brake problem, i'm not a mind reader :D
Mind you, even if you did say who you were i doubt i'd still know without having that days list of all the orders and names in front of me. :D

Steptoe
22-04-11, 08:39
Will keep posting progress. Does anyone know if 'Big Den' ever solved his problem with bleeding brake ?

It was the calipers.....

I of the Strom
22-04-11, 10:47
You asked me on the phone late on thursday afternoon (before easter friday) how long would it take to recieve them if you ordered a set of brake pads. I replied i would post them off on the saturday, as easter friday the post office is closed.

I had no idea you had already ordered and i'd already posted them as i didn't know who i was speaking to on the telephone about their brake problem, i'm not a mind reader :D
Mind you, even if you did say who you were i doubt i'd still know without having that days list of all the orders and names in front of me. :D

Stated when I ordered them, stated where I got your details from; that I was a newby to site and model and that considering this and the fact that I'd never owned an ABS'd bike before, all I needed was to know if the sounds coming from the ABS unit upon release of the front brake lever were normal - if you recall. I was just hoping to have a moment of your time and access to what appears (on this site) to be your considerable knowledge and expertise of the Boxers/GS. The question about the pads was not the reason for the call but seemed appropriate to ask whilst on the phone. It was not my intention to be a bother to you on the Thursday before the Easter Weekend. You appear on this site as the person to know all so who better to ask as your business details are readily available. If I caused you any inconvenience or frustration then I apologise.

Thank you for the info. regarding 'Big Den' and the outcome there. Having spent another late night in the garage I now have a stonking rear brake (not checked this morning however!) and did a lot more bleeding (up and down) ABS unit and callipers. Reservoir lid left loose, bars to the left and lever tied back (all a bit witchcraftish). Just off to find out the state of play. Don't know if I'll find out anything more than what others appear to know about bleeding these brakes but will keep posting developments. Just hopes its not the callipers...

I of the Strom
22-04-11, 11:54
If you ordered them on weds they will have been sent TODAY by 1st class signed for delivery . Check the posting date when you recieve them for confirmation of the posting date......

Post service working in Scotland today. Pads just arrived, ordered Weds, posted Thurs, arrived Fri, thank you.

Packer
22-04-11, 12:25
My experience is with the later servo ABS on 1150's but StewartH asked above if you had bled the abs unit under the tank so it may have bleed points there like the later ones. You'll struggle to get a good brake if it has and you haven't IYKWIM:)

Steptoe's a legend on this site and will often go the extra mile for people so I'm not surprised your pads arrived today. Having said that he has a reputation he likes to maintain, the grumpiest old git west of Wimbledon Common.:D :bow

I of the Strom
22-04-11, 17:22
If you ordered them on weds they will have been sent TODAY by 1st class signed for delivery . Check the posting date when you recieve them for confirmation of the posting date......

Post service working in Scotland today. Pads just arrived, ordered Weds, posted Thurs, arrived Fri, thank you.

I of the Strom
22-04-11, 17:33
My experience is with the later servo ABS on 1150's but StewartH asked above if you had bled the abs unit under the tank so it may have bleed points there like the later ones. You'll struggle to get a good brake if it has and you haven't IYKWIM:)

Steptoe's a legend on this site and will often go the extra mile for people so I'm not surprised your pads arrived today. Having said that he has a reputation he likes to maintain, the grumpiest old git west of Wimbledon Common.:D :bow

Thanks for the insight on both counts. I've been bleedin' bleedin' brakes from every bleedin' point ! Totally sorted now for installing new pads and then trying a wee ride out to see what happens - as some have suggested elsewhere on this site.
As for Steptoe, his reputation is maintained - on all counts !

craig10
23-04-11, 18:55
I found that it made a difference backing off the banjos slightly on top of the ABS unit whilst pressurising the system via the levers. As they sit at an angle, air can get trapped in the annular space of the banjo where it can't get out without being slacked off and pushed out by the fluid from the lever pressure.

I of the Strom
23-04-11, 20:24
New lines, new pads, EU brake fluid lake pumped, sucked and pushed through the system and having worked well into the early hours last night, left it trussed up as required. The brakes had a bit of spongey resistance in them so off this evening for the test run to hopefully achieve the improvement implied in some previous threads. As I proceed along the test route the pressure in the front brake diminishes to zero resistance (no little smilies express how I felt/feel). Back brake good enough to lock up the wheel (ABS still not up and running yet as need to fit new senor ring).
Pump front back up and it stops you, wait a bit and away it goes, pump back up and excellent stoppers, then pressure slowly fades away. Pulling on the lever is like squeezing a wee rubber ball in the palm of your hand - I have never felt anything like this so far down the brake bleeding process before. Its like air but there is no air in any of the pipes -neither calliper nor ABS box- when I bleed the system. Where can the pressure be going ? I see no leaks, and apart from the noise in the ABS 'box' when the lever is released, I hear no air or fluid moving into or out of the system. What next, where do I go from here ? Is it a case of replacing more parts and if so which and can it be done before departure date 300411 ?

I of the Strom
23-04-11, 20:27
I found that it made a difference backing off the banjos slightly on top of the ABS unit whilst pressurising the system via the levers. As they sit at an angle, air can get trapped in the annular space of the banjo where it can't get out without being slacked off and pushed out by the fluid from the lever pressure.

Thanks for that. What symptoms does this problem display, ie. does my issue sound familiar, or am I in a whole big heap of ....... ?

Steptoe
24-04-11, 11:01
When you replaced the master cylinder piston did put the new one back in the right way around ? - it is easy to put it in back to front which gives the symptoms you now have.

I of the Strom
24-04-11, 12:05
When you replaced the master cylinder piston did put the new one back in the right way around ? - it is easy to put it in back to front which gives the symptoms you now have.

Oh I hope your right but I believe I put it in the right way round. It came with some white grease in the end for the push rod to locate into (I assumed) and therefore put it in that way round. However, I now can't remember which way the 'blades' of the seals were facing so will probably start by taking the master cylinder apart before ripping the callipers apart. Am also going to try the easing off of the banjos at the ABS but I think the problem may be bigger than that. I have various makes of bikes stretching from '76' to '06' plates and have never experienced this level of problem with brake bleeding - honest I'm not completely handless but appear to be making a right a**e of this ! :nenau

I of the Strom
24-04-11, 14:14
Looking on Flea Bay and there are some callipers and master cylinder off a 2002 1150 GS for sale. Will these be compatible with the 1100 GS set up.

So far only items not changed are the callipers, master cylinder and the ABS unit.

Desperation and lack of funds make for desperate measures.

I of the Strom
25-04-11, 00:03
Ok It could be any one of a number of things causing my problem. I have acted on all advice given but to no avail. So, I own a couple of modern CCM's that have nice Brembo master cylinders at one end and Brembo callipers at the other end of a nice long length of quality braided brake hose. These brake are working perfectly so components from here are safe to use in the 'elimination' of variables in the beemers front brake system.

Take one nice long piece of hose and attach it to the Beemers master cylinder and then to first one and then the other front calliper, bleeding the system and checking for brakes as you go. Bingo, both master cylinder and the callipers worked just fine and I was able to produce excellent lever movement and firm brake pressure in both callipers. The problem has to lie elsewhere. Good, I have eliminated potential sources of the problem - bad as I still don't know where the problem lies but have an idea now where to look. Either air is sitting in the brake lines and all those connections or the ABS unit under the tank is FUBB'd and is doing likewise to my front brakes. I ask, is the noise that my ABS unit makes when I release the pressure on the lever normal - I can here it sucking/blowing even with the tank in situ ?
Tomorrow after checking that there has been no deterioration in the pressure overnight I am going to tidy all ends up and then take the bike for a test drive and see if the simplified single line system works under road use pressure - first one then the other. This way I'll know that at least I have the means of creating a working brake system minus all the connections and the ABS unit. Anybody else running single lines for front brakes, if so, what length did you have made up ?

I of the Strom
25-04-11, 14:19
Been out for the test ride and all works as it should however, a Note of Warning to anyone that considers doing similar. I closed off the calliper that wasn't connected to the master cylinder with two nipples. The residue fluid and air mixture built up sufficient heat related pressure to activate the calliper sufficient enough for me to nearly loose the front end pulling away at some traffic lights. Opened valves released pressure, no problems. The brakes worked well with a single calliper easily pulling the bike up to a safe and controlled stop from 60mph. I would therefore expect that with both working with direct lines the brake capabilities would be more than adequate.
I am now going to start the bleeding process for the 'natural' brake system all over again but this time starting with new pads in place and callipers minus blocks of wood fitted in situ and ready to work against the discs. I will ease off banjos and connectors as I go and hopefully make progress. 'magin' having to do this in the back of beyond - this hassle plus a front mudguard that gets in the way of wheel removal, fuel lines that need clipped back etc etc - hardly the go anywhere bike as made out !!! As a back up, does GS SHOP carry the parts for bypassing the ABS unit and providing a direct link between master cylinder and callipers ?

Stewart H
25-04-11, 14:53
Sounds drastic when all you need to do is get the bleeding right.

I of the Strom
26-04-11, 18:36
Sounds drastic when all you need to do is get the bleeding right.

Ach well proved that the components are ok. Think its going to be off to the dealers in Bishopbriggs as don't know what else to do as have bled and bled these brakes but have never seen anything like this nor had this much trouble.

I of the Strom
29-04-11, 23:00
:clapGood brakes both back and front but no active ABS - can live without that as I'm off on my hols !!!! :clap Thanks to all for their input and especially Michael at Bishopbriggs Motorrad for his patience and guidance.:clap Still don't know why the brakes just ceased to work/exist nor why after the first rebuild and bleedings they would disappear completely on the test ride, but, they're good and strong now. The bike goes and stops as and when required and that'll do for now. Off up the west coast:flag so I'll find out how to load up pics when I get back. Oh, hope you all enjoyed the royal wedding - me ? I was riding my bike...:roll