Banjo bolt working its way loose - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-27-2018, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Banjo bolt working its way loose

I have searched the forum but I was not able to find any threads on this issue I am having. I would really appreciate some feedback though and find out if other people have had the same problem and how they resolved it.

Essentially it is a brake fluid leakage of the front brake, leading to brake failure. Not very confidence inspiring…
The issue is on my wife’s DL650 2011 model (ABS) and the distributor (described as joint in the parts catalogue) that splits the brake hose to (I assume) the ABS unit and front brake callipers. The problem is that the union bolt (also described as a banjo bolt) becomes loose and brake fluid pisses out. You don’t notice the leak until you operate the front brakes and there is nothing there…
Not surprisingly it has a tendency to happen on dirt roads, so vibration is a contributing factor to the bolt coming loose. Murphy’s law being the other factor because it always happens in the middle of nowhere on a stinking hot day

The first time it happened, I tightened it up, we bled the brakes and off we went. I thought it was a one-off freak occurrence. However, it just happened again. It must have gradually worked its way loose whilst being on the road and as soon as we hit the dirt road, within 5km, the front brakes were gone and fluid leaking from the distributor/joint. We drove to the next town without brakes and made repairs with what was available at the local hardware and mower shop, which were felt washers that did stop the leaking.

Also looking at the parts catalogue I have noticed that the distributor should be mounted to the underside of the front fork assembly. The bolt and bracket must have got lost on some dirt road and the distributor on the bike is just hanging mid air, suspended by the brake hoses. However, it is hard to think of a better way to insulate the distributor from shock than to suspend it by rubber hoses, which is essentially how it is hanging there at the moment. So I find it hard to imagine that not having the distributor fixed to the fork assembly would contribute to the union bolt working loose.

It is easy enough to reinstall the correct washers and mount the distributor to the front fork, but I need to stop it from coming loose again, any ideas?
I was thinking of adding a serrated washer under the bolt head but it would change the alignment of the fluid holes in the bolt with the brake hoses and it might jeopardize the seal. I don’t know if the misalignment would be enough to matter? Also, the serrated washer might help but it is not foolproof. I would really like to secure that union bolt in place so that it cannot move.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-27-2018, 08:36 PM
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It probably wasn't vibration but the pendulum action of the loose part that creates a problem. Restore everything to stock configuration and you should be fine. Stock bikes don't have your problem. Be careful with the banjo bolts. Since they are hollow, the torque required to get them properly set and the torque that will break them are not widely separated.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-27-2018, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Greywolf, much appreciated. I have read about your track record with Banjo bolts already in a different brake thread, so I will be super careful.
To be honest I find it hard to imagine the pendulum action could cause the bolt to come loose, but I guess something has to be causing it. To return it to original condition is a good plan. If stock bikes haven't got that problem then that should fix it. As my wife bought that bike second hand, I might take the whole distributor part in to the dealer to make sure it is all original.
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