honda 1300 vtx with brembo brake on the sidecar. line has a quick disconnect at about the midway point under the sidecar frame. bike bleeds fine. disconnect the sidecar brake and the pedal is firm. hook up the sidecar quick disconnect and pedal gets soft. no amount of bleeding has fixed it although i have got it to the point it will work but its still spongy. I've used a vacuum bleeder, a cattle syringe and pushed it back to the m/c, and i've tried the old fashioned way pump it up hold it and release at every fitting and bleed point on the rig. still spongy. i'm thinking of taking the caliper off the s/c and raising it as high as i can and leave it overnight. i feel sure there is a small air bubble that for some reason has found a high point and will not move otherwise. anyone tried this? if it doesn't work i'm flat out of ideas. thanks for any input.
Posted 9/27/2015 11:15 PM (#86325 - in reply to #86324) Subject: Re: problems bleeding brakes
Location: Tacoma, WA, USA
On my last outfit I had the same sort of setup. I would do the reverse syringe, the vacuum, and the old fashioned way all to no avail, until suddenly the bleed would work. Didn't make any sense to me that you could do the identical procedure over and over again with no success, then suddenly SUCCESS! I never tried the "hang 'em high" technique but that would be the next option.
On the old fashioned way, my technique was to place a barbell on the floor under the brake pedal, then run a cord from the barbell over the brake lever then under the car to where I was kneeling next to the sidecar caliper. By pulling the cord I could depress the brake lever, use my other hand to open and close the caliper bleed screw, then release the cord. And repeat (over and over again. lol) That way, I needed no helper.
On the "hang 'em high" technique, you might try leaving the brake lever depressed with some kind of weight or strap the whole time the caliper is elevated.
Posted 9/28/2015 11:09 AM (#86330 - in reply to #86324) Subject: Re: problems bleeding brakes
The brake will never be as firm as it was with just a single brake on it however you should be able to get it to work. One thing we find some times works well is to have the bleeder valve open, push the pedal down, close the bleeder and repeat until you have fluid, then bleed the normal way. You did not say what sidecar you have. On some sidecars I have also taken the caliper off the sidecar and set it on top of a ladder (lots of hose on some sidecars) this way the air is easy to get out. Of course if you do this you need to have some thing in between the brake pads where the rotor would be.
Posted 9/28/2015 1:30 PM (#86336 - in reply to #86330) Subject: Re: problems bleeding brakes
thanks jay. i was gonna call you about this. also need to get the front end rake kit. damn thing is heavy heavy. i live in flat land so its not a big deal here but just got in from the ride in mena where its curves and hills. was afraid it would tire me out to ride it. the thought had occurred to me that the brakes will not be as firm as without the sidecar brake but didn't know for sure thanks. btw the sidecar is a moline and i didn't mention it because not many know even what it is and anyway its a brake i got from you guys and custom installed it. thanks guys johnny
Posted 9/29/2015 10:34 PM (#86362 - in reply to #86324) Subject: RE: problems bleeding brakes
Location: Western Pa
When bleeding the sidecar brake,the bleeder screw must be the highest thing in the circuit and must be pointing up. If it is not the highest point in the system you will have hard time getting it bled.There was a fellow a couple months back having trouble with his system. Posted pictures and the bleeder screw was pointing straight down at the ground. This fellow had purchased the brake kit from Jay. Hope these pointers help in your quest for better brakes.
Posted 9/30/2015 4:44 PM (#86365 - in reply to #86362) Subject: RE: problems bleeding brakes
Location: Tacoma, WA, USA
The other thing is to make sure the pistons in the caliper are pushed back all the way (though I think on your caliper there is just a single piston.) I use two wood shims inserted from opposite directions between the pads then push and push and push until the pistons are all the way back and have squeezed out as much fluid as possible.