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Bleeding/fluid Replacement On Linked Brakes W/abs On 6Th Generation (The Ultimate Guide)


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My experience,

I did not do the SMC pump, and did have dramas, untill I found this write up a week later.

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This guide was created because I couldn't seem to find one that was very thorough and included pictures of all procedures. This guide requires the use of Speed Bleeders as it makes life so much easie

First off - I'd like to say that IMHO this is one of the most valuable 6th gen guides we have - I'd like to request that it be pinned to the maintenance forum where it's readily accessible.  

^^^this. I've asked for this step to be modified in the guide a few times and many people are missing this important step--close the bleeder between actuating SMC and before refilling with rear pedal.

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  • 3 months later...
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I haven't been here for a while, but I'm glad everyone is making good use of this guide!

For those that are not pumping the SMC manually, that's completely ok, but just remember that the fluid between the SMC and the rear proportional control valve still has old fluid in it! If you're ok with that, then by all means skip that step :D

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  • 5 weeks later...

I haven't been here for a while, but I'm glad everyone is making good use of this guide!

For those that are not pumping the SMC manually, that's completely ok, but just remember that the fluid between the SMC and the rear proportional control valve still has old fluid in it! If you're ok with that, then by all means skip that step :D

From my tests I'm pretty sure the rear pedal pushes fluid THROUGH the SMC and thus also through to the PCV and ultimately all the way to the rear center piston.

Anyway for anyone here having issues with the rear brake forget about mounting the caliper on the disc like in the pictures in the first post. Just zip tie it to the frame so the caliper is as high up as possible and put something between the pads. I couldn't get all the air out until I did that no matter what. I think I literally bled the entire system a dozen times and had no air coming out anywhere. As soon as I zip tied it up there a bunch of air came out of the middle bleed valve and immediately the pedal was rock solid. I forgot where I read this but I'm pretty sure it was here on this forum that someone posted it so I just wanted to re-post it here in the hope it helps someone. Here's a picture:

post-31988-0-36554000-1425113274.jpg

Edited by Balu
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I have a problem with my front brakes: they are blocked, especially on the left side. I bleed the system after i use 3-4 times the brakes. The front wheel blocks a little bit.

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  • 2 months later...
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From my tests I'm pretty sure the rear pedal pushes fluid THROUGH the SMC and thus also through to the PCV and ultimately all the way to the rear center piston.

No. This is incorrect, the SMC does not have a reservoir, so therefore it cannot push new fluid through. It also does not operate from the force of the rear brake pedal, it works with the movement of the front tire and friction of the brakes which causes the SMC to operate. You must do it the way I've listed to bleed it correctly. I've stated this on the front page.

Anyway for anyone here having issues with the rear brake forget about mounting the caliper on the disc like in the pictures in the first post. Just zip tie it to the frame so the caliper is as high up as possible and put something between the pads. I couldn't get all the air out until I did that no matter what. I think I literally bled the entire system a dozen times and had no air coming out anywhere. As soon as I zip tied it up there a bunch of air came out of the middle bleed valve and immediately the pedal was rock solid. I forgot where I read this but I'm pretty sure it was here on this forum that someone posted it so I just wanted to re-post it here in the hope it helps someone. Here's a picture:

The caliper does not have to be high up, the bleed screw has to be facing up. That's all that's required, just like in the main tutorial picture.

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I am having an issue with my gen 5 that seems to fit in with this chain of posts. My rear brake seizes when I use the rear brake pedal only. I can push on the rear brake lever 2-3 times and then the rear brake seizes. I can release the pressure by either bleeding a little fluid out of the LPCV (only PCV on the gen 5) or by bleeding a little fluid out of the center bleeder on the rear brake. Opening the more forward bleeder on the rear brake does not release the pads. I can manually push / release the SMC, feel the rear brake engage and release over and over without it locking up. The front lever seems to work the front brakes well but do not seem to do anything to the rear brakes.

I have rebuilt the rear caliper, it was in pretty good shape to begin with, replaced the rear pads and bled the system using this thread. Any thoughts before I just start changing rear lines PCV.......

So I realized that applying the front brake shouldn't do anything to the rear brakes unless the bike is moving via the secondary master cylinder.

After giving this some thought all I can think is that somehow rear master cylinder fluid is pushing through the secondary master cylinder, getting into the rear caliper center piston but because of the failure of or how the SMC is made that excess fluid cannot get back to the RMC. This would explain why the SMC seems to work fine but once seized by the rear petal I can free the rear wheel by bleeding fluid out of the rear center bleeder or the PCV. So I will start with rebuilding the SMC unless someone has a better suggestion.

Edited by lemonsandwich
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  • 2 months later...

Wondering if air in the smc can create pulsating movement in the caliper when braking.

When removing the left front caliper and taking out the lower bolt first, it is resulting in severe movement in the smc when removing the upper bolt.

could air get in from pulling out the cylinder?

I got some nasty vibration when angaging brakes. both light and firm braking.

but it goes away when i slow down and there is no movement in brake lever/handle.

I have measured my rotordiscs and they are within specs.

changed steeringhead bearings and tighten to the limit of free movement.

new front wheel bearings.

new brembo brake pads.

new bushing and seals in forks. (did the vtr rod and cap swap as well. with compression gold valve and re-shimming rebound valve)

ordered new Galfer brake discs today just to be sure.

Going to try some brake bleeding tomorrow.

Help!!

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Wondering if air in the smc can create pulsating movement in the caliper when braking.

When removing the left front caliper and taking out the lower bolt first, it is resulting in severe movement in the smc when removing the upper bolt.

could air get in from pulling out the cylinder?

I got some nasty vibration when angaging brakes. both light and firm braking.

but it goes away when i slow down and there is no movement in brake lever/handle.

I have measured my rotordiscs and they are within specs.

changed steeringhead bearings and tighten to the limit of free movement.

new front wheel bearings.

new brembo brake pads.

new bushing and seals in forks. (did the vtr rod and cap swap as well. with compression gold valve and re-shimming rebound valve)

ordered new Galfer brake discs today just to be sure.

Going to try some brake bleeding tomorrow.

Help!!

I have experienced a little vibration at the front left caliper when lightly pressing the rear brake pedal, but lightly adding braking from the front brake lever or applying more pressure on the rear pedal usually quells it. My guess is that the center piston is not giving enough even pressure on the entire brake pad when triggered from just the rear brake pedal, this allowing the pad to vibrate due to uneven pressure on the pad. Adding the braking from the front lever "evens out" pressure across the whole pad and thus remove the vibration. More pressure from the rear pedal just pushes the pad tighter to the rotor and provides the similar "relief" to the vibration. At least that is how I theorized it.

I am curious as to your statement, "could air get in from pulling out the cylinder?" What do you mean by this? Did you remove one of the caliper pistons? What cylinder are you referring to? In either case, I would have to say pulling anything out could introduce air into a system, if what is pulled out is part of the fluid containment in that system.

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when removing the upper bolt of left caliper, and the lower bolt is removed, the Secondary master CYLINDER gets,pulled out and snapping just as the bolt gets loosened..

Sorry if my english is bad, but I do my best. (norwegian)

mabye I have to look at som dravings of the smc to see if there even is a possebility of the smc to get out and in again just like that.

collecting air in the prosess.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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when removing the upper bolt of left caliper, and the lower bolt is removed, the Secondary master CYLINDER gets,pulled out and snapping just as the bolt gets loosened..

Sorry if my english is bad, but I do my best. (norwegian)

mabye I have to look at som dravings of the smc to see if there even is a possebility of the smc to get out and in again just like that.

collecting air in the prosess.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

It wasn't your English, that is just fine by the way, I just wasn't sure which/where the cylinder you were talking about. My recollection is that the SMC is similar to the MC on the handle bar, in that all the bolt on part is doing is acting like the lever. Under the rubber boot of the SMC is essentially what is behind the lever of the main MC, where you are just pressing in a piston to drive fluid to the rear brake proportional valve. Unless you remove the retaining clip, the actual piston remains in the assembly and therefore no air should be able to enter the system. I hope this makes sense.
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  • 4 months later...

Thanks jay-d for the pics and write-up.

Used this weekend to change pads and flush/bleed all of system. Did not have speed bleeders or mightyvac and did old school way but had helper (a must) and seemed to work fine. Does take some time and patience but not as bad as I anticipated.

One tip I could add is to use part of the spanner wrench in factory tool kit as a spacer to put in between the pads while front caliper is removed. It is almost the same width as rotor and fits nicely in there. Saves time from trying to find some piece of scrap material that is correct width to use.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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post-31913-0-02039100-1453079341.jpg

I'm following jay-d's awesome guide, but have hit a snag. I can't access the bolt indicated above. The issue for me is that the nearest banjo bolt (is that the linked brake line?) impinges on my socket driver such that I can't properly align the socket. I tried a deep socket to move the driver head "above" the banjo bolt, but then that's too long due to the proximity of the rear hub assembly pictured in the bottom left. Disconnecting the brake lines from the caliper would solve my access issue, but that seems like a bad idea on multiple fronts.

Buying more tools is totally on the table, but it's not obvious to me that I can easily find another socket or small adapter that is the magic length.

Am I missing something obvious? Is there a smarter way to do this?

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Buying more tools is totally on the table, but it's not obvious to me that I can easily find another socket or small adapter that is the magic length.

post-31913-0-84923800-1453084186.jpg

Picked up an assortment of miscellaneous bits from the hardware store and got lucky. A 1.5-inch extender did the trick.

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  • 3 months later...
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On 1/17/2016 at 9:30 PM, RobF said:

Buying more tools is totally on the table, but it's not obvious to me that I can easily find another socket or small adapter that is the magic length.

 

[attachment=47363:extend.jpg]

 

Picked up an assortment of miscellaneous bits from the hardware store and got lucky. A 1.5-inch extender did the trick.

An old school wrench will do the trick 

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  • 5 months later...

I am new to this thread. I have taken off the left caliper and am trying to see if pushing on the rear pedal will push out the SMC--it cannot no mater what I try. Suggestions??

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  • 4 months later...

Hello All, I wanted to say Thank You to Jay-D! I used this guide and was able to Easily flush and bleed the entire braking system on my '07 ABS. I printed this article and used it as my guide in conjunction with the Honda Manual. My 14 year old Daughter was my helper, working carefully we did the job in roughly an hour. I DID change all the valves to Speed Bleeders(from Wire My Bike) before hand. Super clean and simple in both phases.

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  • 2 months later...
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14 minutes ago, StormShadow2 said:

i cant for the life of me find any bleed valve on the opposite battery side like the pictures have, found the junction box under the shroud but nothings on it.. 2011 vfr800 vtec. 

This only applies to bikes with ABS

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On 2/28/2015 at 8:46 AM, Balu said:

From my tests I'm pretty sure the rear pedal pushes fluid THROUGH the SMC and thus also through to the PCV and ultimately all the way to the rear center piston.

Anyway for anyone here having issues with the rear brake forget about mounting the caliper on the disc like in the pictures in the first post. Just zip tie it to the frame so the caliper is as high up as possible and put something between the pads. I couldn't get all the air out until I did that no matter what. I think I literally bled the entire system a dozen times and had no air coming out anywhere. As soon as I zip tied it up there a bunch of air came out of the middle bleed valve and immediately the pedal was rock solid. I forgot where I read this but I'm pretty sure it was here on this forum that someone posted it so I just wanted to re-post it here in the hope it helps someone. Here's a picture:

post-31988-0-36554000-1425113274.jpg

 

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