Front Brake Bleed Still Spongy

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by NYHarley, May 16, 2013.

  1. NYHarley

    NYHarley Active Member

    I changed my bars, and ran russel hard lines, and did a master cylinder rebuild. I added my new fluid, got all the air bubbles out bleeding, but it still feels a bit soft / spongy. Any ideas?
  2. Taildraggerdave

    Taildraggerdave Active Member

    You can always try this:
    Turn your bars so the front brake master cylinder is at its highest point.
    Squeeze the front brake lever and tie off with a zip tie or whatever you have available to the front grip.
    Leave it like that over night and come back tomorrow and slowly release the front brake lever.

    All of the bubbles should have risen up the brake lines to the top and are waiting for you to let them back in the master cylinder :)

    Take care,
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    This is a very good tried and trued method for bleeding, you can also shake the brake hose or hoses with dual discs, this will help to work out air bubbles:D
  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I have found over the years that most of the fancy bleeding systems leave the bleeder open during the bleeding procedure as the seal is created by the cone shape on the end of the bleeder it is then possible that air can be drawn into the system through the threads of the bleeder
    The method i have found that works for me is to apply pressure to the brake leaver then open the bleeder 1/2 turn see the fluid come out close bleeder and release pressure on the brake leaver with a clear plastic tube on the end of the bleeder you can watch the fluid for bubbles carry on with the bleeding procedure till no more bubbles of air in the fluid
    This procedure can be carried out by 1 man however with each year it is getting harder to reach everything on my own
    One day i might get the dog trained to help me

  5. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

  6. Taildraggerdave

    Taildraggerdave Active Member

    I'll have to take a look at my front caliper on my Fatboy. It's always had excessive lever travel/spongy feel.

    Thanks for the link.

  7. gator508

    gator508 Well-Known Member


    Also had a spongy front brake until I tried this. $19 at a local parts house. Made sure the reservoir was full with bike on jiffy, pulled ~ 25" of vacuum and released bleeder. Did this X 3 to flush the entire system, worked great.

    Attached Files:

  8. Taildraggerdave

    Taildraggerdave Active Member

    I took the front caliper off of the Fatboy and found I had sticking pistons also. Applied the brakes while the caliper was in my hand and it took a while to get all the pistons out equally. Cleaned them with contact cleaner since I figure it would be safe for the seals.

    Had to work at it a bit but got everything cleaned. Opened the pads up with a putty knife and installed over the rotor. The front brake lever now starts to work immediately, not travel 2 inches before the brakes start to apply...

    Very happy.

    Take care,