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Discussion Starter #1
Is there something special about bleeding the antilock brake system on a Cross bike??

When I first got this bike (brand new) the fluid was a little dark, and the handle was a little soft, but not a real problem. Over the last 6 or so months and 5,500 miles the fluid got unexpectedly dark and the lever very soft… to the point the where the lever squeezes my index finger when I squeeze the brakes good, and I have to pump it to get a solid lever. Yes, I use 2 fingers (middle and ring) for braking.

Well today I finally got around to changing out the fluid. I have worked on brake systems too many times to count, on numerous cars, trucks, and bikes… replacing calipers, boosters, master cylinders. But none of them had anti-lock.

This time I could not for the life of me get the desired results. I used my trusty MityVac and pulled ¾ of a quart of fresh Valvoline DOT 4 fluid through. No bubbles came out of the master cylinder at any time (per my helper). Lever is still soft and gets harder when it is pumped… classic air in the system feel.

I changed the fluid on my last XC with zero problems. So, what’s the deal?!?!?
 

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Quite common on automobiles that the ABS pump needs to be cycled for full bleeding. Valves opened and closed accordingly. From my car experience it usually happens if the system has run dry, not if you plugged and replaced only. However on a Jeep we had the problem in my shop even with that and it required a dealer scan tool to cycle them correctly. Live and learn...

I'd check with a dealer and see if you need the same here or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dealer sent me a PDF of the 2013 shop manual section for the brake system. There is no mention of cycling the ABS, or how this would be accomplished. There is no bleeder valve on the ABS modules either.

I'm going to buy some more fluid and try the reverse bleed idea this weekend. If I can't get it to work right I guess I will have to let the dealer work on it.

Any other ideas???

By the way... The manual has a brake inspection section. Set the dial to the lowest position and squeeze at 35 pounds, lever should not touch the handle. Well, it does at far less than 35 pounds of force.


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My only thoughts from one who does brakes is to just open up the bleeder nipples on the caliper and let it gravity bleed for a bit. Pour it in up top, let it drain and it should purge any air in the caliper by itself. Maybe you got some air by way of the vacuum pump- seen it happen as it can aerate the fluid. Just don't pull the lever while open or you'll suck the fluid/air back into the caliper.
 

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opening bleeder and let gravity bleed will not get the air out. Air always go to the highest point.

What you could have is bad O=Rings in the calipers. The o-Ring is spouse to hold piston out.
If the piston or O-Ring is wrong size it will let the piston slide back in to far. You would be best to let dealer do the checking on that.
 

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You can bleed breaks for ever but if the O-Ring or pistion is bad your just waisting your time
 

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BeoBob,
I’m not sure why you’re having the issues with dark fluid, etc. especially on a new bike… I’ve changed out fluid on a few bikes, with a few years and miles on them and they have never been that dark. Of course out here in the desert we don’t have the humidity problems like other places.

After my 12 XCT was rear-ended a few months ago they had to replace my ABS module and the kinked brake lines. I also checked my manual for bleeding procedures because I was curious (my HD manual had specific procedures for the HD Ultra system). Anyhow, I asked the Tech if they had specific procedures for bleeding the Vic’s ABS system and he just looked at me a little weird and said no. OK, so after I got the bike back I took it out and purposely activated the system several times to ensure everything was a go, so for so good, no issues.

That said, if I ever had to replace any lines, module, etc. I would simply fill up the system, do the normal bleed thing, take it out and activate the system, bleed and refill again. I would probably do this a third time just for good measure.
 

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opening bleeder and let gravity bleed will not get the air out. Air always go to the highest point.

What you could have is bad O=Rings in the calipers. The o-Ring is spouse to hold piston out.
If the piston or O-Ring is wrong size it will let the piston slide back in to far. You would be best to let dealer do the checking on that.

Which would be the bleeder....I'll just bow out gracefully from this conversation. Being a builder of custom brake kits for 20yrs I've got a pretty good idea how things work tho.

Good luck to the OP, I truly hope you get things ironed out soon so you can go ride!
 

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Try pumping the lever till it goes hard and then tie the lever in under pressure and leave overnight. Sometimes this helps air bubbles to rise to the top.

tom
 

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Try pumping the lever till it goes hard and then tie the lever in under pressure and leave overnight. Sometimes this helps air bubbles to rise to the top.

tom
NO it does not.
If you put pressure on the lever it forces the air down. Turning bars to left so master cylinder is at it highest point that where the air will go.
Next time you have a bottle of pop or water turn it up side down and see where the air goes. To the top
 

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NO it does not.
If you put pressure on the lever it forces the air down. Turning bars to left so master cylinder is at it highest point that where the air will go.
Next time you have a bottle of pop or water turn it up side down and see where the air goes. To the top
I agree. I just don't understand where I said that bubbles don't rise to the top. Once any bubbles in the system have been forced down and the lever tied the bubbles will still try to rise to the top. Being under pressure the bubbles will be smaller (this is why the lever is soft when you first pull on it, the force compresses any air in the system first). Smaller bubbles go through smaller spaces so giving them a better chance of rising to the master cylinder.

tom
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Still haven't found time to try again.

Gravity bleed sounds like a good way to get more air in there, not gona try that one.


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Discussion Starter #14
Well, ran another half quart through... a little improvement but not much. Bike is only 6 months and 5,500 miles old. I'm going to let the dealer "deal" with it.


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Discussion Starter #16
What ever came of this?
Funny someone would ask.

Back when this thread was fresh I called the dealer. They did supposedly did a “Ask Polaris”. The Polaris response was “It is normal.” Met with the tech, he showed me the action on a couple of bikes, and convinced me it was normal.

Then about a month ago I was in a situation where I had to go from 80mph to a full stop it a short distance. A grabbed the lever and squeezed hard, leaving my index finger under the lever as I often do. I crushed the heck out of the first knuckle… black, blue, purple, green, and every color in between. It should be noted the antilock brakes on these bikes work fantastically well. There is no way I could have stopped that quick without ABS.

So I started asking questions again. A few Cross bike owners on Facebook stated that their lever was fine and they had no problems. So I contacted the dealer again… and found out the whole service crew was new. The new guys looked up my records and couldn’t find anything about the ask Polaris on this and another pending issue.

So I ended up getting the dealer to take a look at the brakes and get that something else fixed. While I was there I squeezed every lever in the showroom, new and used. This is apparently the way the Victory antilock is. Brand new 1 mile bikes exhibited similar soft feel and pump-up as mine… not quite as pronounced, but definitely there. Used bikes were exactly the same as mine. New and used bikes without the ABS had a rock hard lever with zero pump-up action.

So yeah, it appears to be just another quirk of the machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was considering removing the antilock from the front by having a custom hose made to go from the lever directly to the distribution block. But all of suddend I like ABS.
 

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You could fill the master cylinder with new fluid. Put cap on. Now have someone pump the lever good and hold it down. Now you open bleeder. Do this till you have new fluid coming out and no air. When you get new fluid out of each break your done.
When you close bleeder have them let lever up and pump it again and hold it down.
 
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