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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As Ive said in my fork rebuild thread, I'm getting air in my 2010 Vegas rear brake system.
Just re recap...I noticed last week that my rear brake pedal was getting spongy and innefective.
Thinking it was the fault of old brake fluid I flush bled new fluid through the system using poor man's speed-bleeder of a hose over the bleeder valve suspended in a jar of brake fluid and pumped it through till the old fluid was replaced with new Dot4 fluid.
Went on a 350 mile Victory /Indian riders run and tried to use my front brakes a lot more than I do , but by the end of the day when I got home I had to bleed the rear brakes again.
Every time I bleed them theres air, not a lot but enough to make the rear brake largely innefective.
A bit of history,.I bought the bike 18 months ago with 14,400kms on the clock, at a shade under 40,000kms I replaced the rear pads with LYNDALS pads, and Im extremely happy with them.
Now at 68,400 kms theres still plenty of pad left, but the hydraulic system is making air somewhere.
As I ride every day I end up bleeding it every day.
It responds well to uncapping the reservoir and cracking the bleeder a 1/4 turn and just releasing the air, let it dribble for a minute, topping up the reservoir, then lock the bleeder, tap the pedal then crack the bleeder again and the pedal is good again once done up.
Today I rode to my local brake service shop who I've dealt with for the last 30 years, the boss there has over 50 years experience in brakes and has assisted me in getting many older vehicles stopping well for their age.
There's a pipe from the reservoir to the master that has several crimped joins in it, there was a suggestion on here that one of those joins could be letting in air but not leaking outwardly.
I brought this up with my brake man, Steve, he replied if the air was getting in there that it would rise to the top of the line and out through the reservoir...air rises..makes sense.
Steve thinks that cos Im so easily and instantly getting air at the rear caliper bleeder valve when I bleed it that the problem lies inside the caliper at the seals, he says it could be sucking air in there and not necessarily leaking fluid.
Also that if it was the master at fault that bleeding the line at the master would show air there.
I rang the local dealer/workshop today and the mechanic can find no parts listing for a brake caliper rebuild kit.
He is going to investigate and get back to me.
It'd be a sad state of affairs if one had to buy a new caliper as opposed to renewing the seals inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Most of my experience is with HD and performance machine calipers.
Never had to do my vic cause it is brand new.
Living on a dirt road I used to have a heck of time with the calipers on my 2004 hd. Sometimes I would have issues with the 13" six piston pm caliper on my shovel too.

HD's were made without any type of dust shield on the piston.
Performance machines are the same way. Because of that dirt builds up on the side of the pistons and causes some of them to stick.
When the performance of the brakes would start to go away I would pull the caliper, leave the pads in place and pump the pistons out as they would go with the pads in.
Then pull the pads out and pump the pistons out further one set at a time by blocking the other pistons back with spacers made from stuff around the shop. Then when I got the pistons out as far as I dared I would wash the pistons really good with chlorinated brake cleaner.
On the HD's the pistons won't come out too far. But that is no guaranty that Vic is the same.

I'd work a pair of pistons out wash them then pry them back and forth cleaning as necessary till they both moved freely and begin again on another set of pistons.

You have to watch you don't run the reservoir dry or over fill it while your jerking around with the caliper.

I'm guessing that Victory calipers are just like everyone else's and there is no magic involved but I honestly don't know, as my bike is too new.

If your pistons have enough build up on them it isn't inconceivable that they have dirt dragged into the orings just like your fork seals did.

Also keep in mind you could have a bad hose or connection.
Maybe someone at some time dropped the caliper while doing a tire change and damaged the hose at the swage fitting. My vic hoses are cheap looking things. Haven't had a problem with them yet though. Maybe they are tougher than they look.?
But it isn't hard to imagine one getting damaged if it did a free fall.

I use one of these when the brakes on anything are giving me serious fits. [ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00265M9SS/ref=pd_luc_rh_bxgy_01_01_t_img_lh?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]

If you can't find the leak any other way you can disconnect the line from the master cylinder at the master cylinder. Next pull a vacuum on the hose and caliper and see if it holds. If it does it is the master cylinder. If it doesn't, isolate the caliper, pull a vacuum on it and see if it holds. If not it is the caliper. If it holds the hose is leaking at the crimped on ends.

Air will go through holes too small for fluid. So it can be a bugger to find the problem sometimes.
Wish I could be more positive. I'd troubleshoot it out before I started throwing expensive parts at it. Especially since shipping is so high for you there. I'd guess your brake guy has a vacuum pump like that one and for a small fee would check your pieces for you. The pumps are a good investment because if you ever need to check a vacuum advance or anything vacuum related on a car or truck your set.
Those pumps are pretty cheap up here. Might not be the same where you live.
Anyway good luck. Again no actual experience on vic's unfortunately.
 

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Got to bed and remembered that you will have a brake light switch in that line too most likely. I have had the unfortunate experience of having one rupture a diaphragm and leak air years ago.

Modern manufacturing techniques have pretty much ended that but Chinese manufacturing may have brought it back.:rolleyes:
Just keep it in mind too when you are looking for places that air can get into the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Joe, plenty of food for thought there.
Ill try the brake-clean spray on my exposed part of the pistons first.
Thankfully its only the rear brake and I can still ride ok using the front
 

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Motorbikerx

witchdoctor has video on how to take a part.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Motorbikerx

witchdoctor has video on how to take a part.
According to this video on the 'Brembo' brake caliper, it tells me what I fear may be the case also with the 'Victory' brand caliper.
That there is NO REBUILD KIT AVAILABLE :confused:
 

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According to this video on the 'Brembo' brake caliper, it tells me what I fear may be the case also with the 'Victory' brand caliper.
That there is NO REBUILD KIT AVAILABLE :confused:

When you have exhausted other options.
If you find you have damaged orings/sqcut rings in the caliper dig the bad rings out of the caliper and stop a reputable hydraulics repair place.
Their distributors get their ORings and square cut orings from the same places that the OEM's do. It's a small industry. If the rubber available isn't compatible with Dot 4 you may be able to just switch to Dot 5 by rebuilding the master cylinder which there probably is a kit for.

You don't loose any performance with DOT5 it is just more difficult to bleed on a new system. Never shake the can.:)

Hopefully you won't have to go there. Someone somewhere has those rings in stock.... Maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When you have exhausted other options.
If you find you have damaged orings/sqcut rings in the caliper dig the bad rings out of the caliper and stop a reputable hydraulics repair place.
Their distributors get their ORings and square cut orings from the same places that the OEM's do. It's a small industry. If the rubber available isn't compatible with Dot 4 you may be able to just switch to Dot 5 by rebuilding the master cylinder which there probably is a kit for.

You don't loose any performance with DOT5 it is just more difficult to bleed on a new system. Never shake the can.:)

Hopefully you won't have to go there. Someone somewhere has those rings in stock.... Maybe.

Paulie at Honda East Toledo got back to me saying he's had no luck sourcing a brake caliper rebuild kit either..
BUT
May have some good news !
last time I bled the rear caliper I also pumped up pressure and cracked the line open at the master cylinder banjo fitting and repeated that twice, fluid came out,didn't notice any air.
Since then Ive had a good brake pedal !!:)
I'll do a few hundred more miles before I'm completely satisfied its ok...but my guess is the banjo fitting out of the master cylinder was in need of a re-tightening.

Also a friend here that races Ducatis said that he had trouble getting caliper rebuild kits for them till he found a local hydraulic repair supplies place that matched up his caliper o-rings and seals, so theres hope there if my fix-it dont hold.
Fingers crossed

Stay tuned, got a big ride planned for this Sunday with the American Motorcycle Club (remember they're the guys that reckon Victory's are Canadian!)

So far the rear brake is holding, so anyone else gets air in their brake systems, undo and retighten the banjo fittings while you got the pressure on em:)
 

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Motorbikerx

if your out chasing around by a dealer stop in and buy 2 banjo washers. You might have a bad washer now that is not letting the banjo bolt tighten up all the way
 

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Paulie at Honda East Toledo got back to me saying he's had no luck sourcing a brake caliper rebuild kit either..
BUT
May have some good news !
last time I bled the rear caliper I also pumped up pressure and cracked the line open at the master cylinder banjo fitting and repeated that twice, fluid came out,didn't notice any air.
Since then Ive had a good brake pedal !!:)
I'll do a few hundred more miles before I'm completely satisfied its ok...but my guess is the banjo fitting out of the master cylinder was in need of a re-tightening.

Also a friend here that races Ducatis said that he had trouble getting caliper rebuild kits for them till he found a local hydraulic repair supplies place that matched up his caliper o-rings and seals, so theres hope there if my fix-it dont hold.
Fingers crossed

Stay tuned, got a big ride planned for this Sunday with the American Motorcycle Club (remember they're the guys that reckon Victory's are Canadian!)

So far the rear brake is holding, so anyone else gets air in their brake systems, undo and retighten the banjo fittings while you got the pressure on em:)
You probably got it.
 

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Cheap option to try before you tear your calipers apart,
Just had a similar issue on my brothers bike, air in rear brake, couldn't find any fluid leaks and had just rebuilt calipers with new seals and replaced hoses with brand new braided ones. Checked everything a dozen times stripped and checked the master cylinder and still couldn't stop the brake from letting in air.

Finally after eliminating everything else we replaced the bleed nipple on the caliper - bingo problem fixed! The old nipple didn't look badly worn or damaged and there was no fluid leaking out, but it was letting in air.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Discussion Starter #16
Think so :) still got a decent pedal ,days later.
problem persists but till I take the bike off the road and pull the caliper down and try to locate o-rings etc, well Ill just keep bleeding it every time it gets too spongy to operate.
Reckon Ill switch out the front pads for Lyndals to improve the retardation from the front brake, now Im relying on it its not really up to it with stock pads.
Rode a new Streetbob yesterday it had great brakes, better the devil you know though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Removed rear caliper this arvo, even though the manual says it cant be removed without removing rear wheel it can by jiggling and forcing it past the pin that it swivels on.
pumped the pistons out and washed it all in water then went hunting for parts....local brake man said "too small wont have anything" and suggested another place that may have parts.
Rang Victory and the mechanic told me I can get a kit comprising pistons and o-rings for the front caliper but theres no kit available for the rears:confused:....a sad state of affairs!
New caliper around $400 Aust.
Though he did seem to think a KTM 950 Adventure could have the same Nissin caliper and hence a kit:cool:
Rang KTM parts and arranged to go see em tomorrow.
Local brake man commented on marks on my pistons, one in particular, said they were stuffed but if I wanted to buff em up on his wire wheel they may be still serviceable in a pinch.
Grabbed a bottle of fresh Dot4 fluid and some rubber-grease off him too and went home to the shed to try something, got a bottle of methylated spirits too to clean everything prior to reassembly.
after washing the caliper internals and wire buffed pistons in metho I dried them off and got some rubber-grease on my finger , gave the insides of the caliper and o-rings a good smear of it and same with the pistons before popping them back in.
Had a bit of trouble remembering where the little clip went that goes in before the pads, its a bit different to the witchdoctors vid part, but think I worked it out (shoulda took a pic before dissaembly:crzy:)
Refitted the caliper, slipped the pads back in and tighted everything then bled the system.....slipped arse over head in brake fluid silly me!
gonna be sore tomorrow:mad:
Went for a good ride despite the night-time and rain and wet roads went over the mountain behind my place and back, about 30 miles in total, really over using the rear brake trying give it a good test.
It passed with flying colours and is still working well.
Ill give a a few hundred miles more before I pronounce it fixed though, and carry on my investigations into brake parts for future reference.
 

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good for you. :)
Never heard of rubber grease. We always coat the o-rings and pistons with brake fluid lots of it.
keep an eye on it for sure. Honda might be a place for parts.

we all rave about how great Victory is but truth be told they suck. Victory must be the only company that doesn't offer a rebuild parts
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
good for you. :)
Never heard of rubber grease. We always coat the o-rings and pistons with brake fluid lots of it.
keep an eye on it for sure. Honda might be a place for parts.

we all rave about how great Victory is but truth be told they suck. Victory must be the only company that doesn't offer a rebuild parts
They do for the front calipers.
I followed that lead on the KTM950 rear caliper got onto a forum where there was lots of rear brake problems with making air, theyrr an off roadish bike subject to hard use in dirty wet conditions.
My Vegas gets hard usage in sometimes crappy cinditions but no underwater creek crossings or mud bogs!
Seems the answer is very regular fluid changes and regular cleaning of the system via dissasembly and cleaning.
Worked so far on mine and it couldve had 5 yr old fluid in it when it started playing up!
Brake fluid is hydroscopic it absorbs water.
Water lying in the system creates corrosion.
Regular changing of brake fluid is neccrssary and even moreso in heavy duty applications.
Hard riding, two up, all weathers, crap flung up off the road.
That little two piston caliper does lotsa hard work!
Testing continues.....

Oh and rubber grease we usrd to use when I was in the power brake booter repair and reco industry to assembly coat insides of brake parts that may be destined to sit on a shelf for a while...yeah its common practice to assemble with brake fluid but I've used rubber grease and its special stuff that is compatible with brake rubbers.
Done a bit of research on that too.
More about that later.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
a few hundred miles later the rear brake pedals starting to go spongy again.:(
at least Ive isolated the problem to the caliper as freshening it up got me a few days of it working.
Gonna get prices on a brand new caliper complete, as well as aftermarket (something that IS rebuildable)
Also Ill see if the KTM (Nissin) caliper is the same internally as there is a rebuild kit for them.
My front brake is a lot better now its got LYNDALs pads:)
but on a long fast downhill run two up the other day the brake had good initial bite but was heating up by the bottom but it was a severely steep drop and I was hard on em before bends then back on the power when not braking, actually accelerating down the steep drop then back heavy on the brakes, really working em hard.
Single front disc isnt really up to that task, tho it didnt quite fade on me.
 
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