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.