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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings, fellow Strommers!

In anticipation of adding some moderate-sized risers, I ordered up a 2" extended front brake line from Richland Rich. Yes, I've read plenty of posts from others who said that with up to 20mm risers, there was no real need to extend the line...but I'm going to err on the side of caution.

While installation looks pretty simple, I have a couple of questions...

My only other experience with an ABS-equipped bike was an '04 BMW R1150GS...the one with the lovely whining "power assist" ABS pump! I learned how to cycle the brake fluid in that, which, while not difficult, was a bit of a drawn-out process. It appears the Suzuki system is altogether different.

- Top round connection to the front master cylinder, no (apparent) problemo.

- The bottom square 90 degree connector bolts up under the front triple tree, above the radiator; I can see the line going back to the pump, running back under the fuel tank.. That's the "in" line from the front master cylinder; line on other side goes down to the caliper, and then "y's" off to the wrap-around line for the other front caliper.

#1: Is there any slack in that line that goes back to the pump, to where I can get some wrenches on it to disconnect the existing line from the existing block, or am I going to have to remove a bunch of stuff to get to it?

#2: On the front end of that pump line, will the connection simply unscrew from the existing block or will I have to resort to winding the block end of that new line onto the pump line itself?

#3: When I crack that line that comes from the ABS pump to that front block, is that going to introduce air into the ABS pump itself? Will a bunch of fluid drain out of the the pump through that line, or, with the battery disconnected and no electrical connection, do internal valves prevent an air introduction / substantial fluid loss from the pump?

#4: I have the actual Suzuki service manual and went through the section that involved cycling brake fluid. It appears that while you can bleed from the front / rear lines, master cylinders to the respective calipers, there is no need to bleed the pump itself?

If I install the new line and bleed the front caliper, when I fire the bike up, is that going to replenish any fluid loss (if any) from the pump itself? If so, I'm assuming that I'll need to recheck the front master cylinder level after running the bike in case some fluid was drawn into the pump from the front m/c itself?

Cheers!
 

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Bendmac, it's good practice to bleed the brake(or clutch if youre working on it) system ANYTIME you open a hydraulic line or fitting. It's best to use line wrenches, or line crowsfoot line wrenches when servicing lines or fittings.
Open-end wrenches or crescent wrenches can round off a fitting, and the crowsfoot wrenches allow you to use ratchets and extensions for ease of access. I use 1/4" and 3/8" metric crowsfoot wrenches when servicing hydraulics.
I've flushed and bleed motorcycle ABS systems, nothing special here, except it's best to operate the ABS pump by performing a mild ABS stop. This will activate the solenoids and valves in the pump. I have bled pumps that do not have a self-bleeding program in the HU/pump assembly. Just bleed it as you would a non-ABS model. With crowsfoot line wrenches you can slightly loosen the lines-one at a time- and bleed air there as well.
Firing up the bike wont make any difference, it'll fill the pump as you bleed the system, and always recheck and fill the master cylinder reservoir(s).
 

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#1: Is there any slack in that line that goes back to the pump, to where I can get some wrenches on it to disconnect the existing line from the existing block, or am I going to have to remove a bunch of stuff to get to it? The lines are solid pipes and there is little give. I have not done the swap, so cant comment on access and on #2

#2: On the front end of that pump line, will the connection simply unscrew from the existing block or will I have to resort to winding the block end of that new line onto the pump line itself?

#3: When I crack that line that comes from the ABS pump to that front block, is that going to introduce air into the ABS pump itself? Will a bunch of fluid drain out of the the pump through that line, or, with the battery disconnected and no electrical connection, do internal valves prevent an air introduction / substantial fluid loss from the pump? I think the pump is lower so the pump (ABS module) should not drain.

#4: I have the actual Suzuki service manual and went through the section that involved cycling brake fluid. It appears that while you can bleed from the front / rear lines, master cylinders to the respective calipers, there is no need to bleed the pump itself? For the job you are planning I would try to re-fill the system by a pressurizing syringe from the caliper. The air bubbles want to rise and trying to get them out from the MC to the caliper will be difficult
 

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I did this (1"-2" extension line - Adventure Tech kit) and had plenty of slack to work with (reason was I added 2" up / back bar raisers plus I raised the fender). It helps to take out the block's frame anchoring bolts so it can sag down away from the frame and provide enough clearance to make the swap out easy. At least with mine, I couldn't use all of the OEM stuff but the kit provided what I needed. After the lines were firmly secured to the block, then I anchored the block and finished the plumbing at the wheel. Bled the system afterwards and that was a year ago - all good.
 

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#1 No, there is no slack. You will not be able to pull the line forward for easier access. I found it neccessary to drop the radiator to allow my hands adequate access.

#2 Yes, the flare nut will turn.

#3 Yes, brake fluid will run out, and air will go into the line, when you break the connection. Pump the fluid out prior to replacing the line. No air was introduced to the pump when I did this.

#4 I had no issue with the pump introducing air into the lines the first time I activated ABS after doing a line and fluid swap. Use speed bleeders.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone for the replies...shouldn't be too bad of a job, it appears.

Bikehigh...On #3 in your reply...I'm assuming you mean drain the line from that "junction block" above the radiator that runs down to the caliper, and NOT drain the entire ABS pump, correct? Is that as simple as simply removing the bottom of the old line, letting it drain and then proceeding to install the new extended line?

Cheers!
 

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Thanks to everyone for the replies...shouldn't be too bad of a job, it appears.

Bikehigh...On #3 in your reply...I'm assuming you mean drain the line from that "junction block" above the radiator that runs down to the caliper, and NOT drain the entire ABS pump, correct? Is that as simple as simply removing the bottom of the old line, letting it drain and then proceeding to install the new extended line?

Cheers!
Nah, I meant drain the entire front brake system. You're going to be installing a new upper hose, so you're introducing a whole hose full of air anyway. There's really no reason not to replace all the fluid. After 5 years it kind of needs it. Just attach a hose over the bleeder, crack it, and start pumping the brake lever till there's no more fluid coming out. Then switch to the other caliper and repeat. Swap in some speed bleeders prior to refilling with DOT 5.1 fluid and life will be good. I understand your worry after dealing with the BMW system, but there's really no reason for concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the clarification...

I was an "engineer" (glorified mechanic) in the Coast Guard YEARS ago, so I'm always a little inquisitive as to WHY things work the way they do instead of simply settling for, "Because that's how they designed it!" LOL...sorry if this makes me come across as a bit of a dunce...

So when I've replaced the line and completely bled the front system to where I have pressure on the brake lever, when I fire the bike up, is that going to drop the level in the master cylinder at all? Since there are electrical solenoids inside the pump, when those get activated when I start the bike, it seems fluid would get sucked into either the line I replaced or back into the pump itself. Or, do those solenoids and such only activate if the system senses the need to pulse ABS to whichever caliper needs it?

Lastly...manual calls for DOT 4 and you suggested DOT 5.1...those compatible with each other?

Thanks again for patience and advice!

Cheers...
 

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Bendmac, I suggest using the specified DOT4 fluid unless your specific needs call for it.

Here are the differences:What is the Difference between DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid? | Epic Bleed Solutions.

Unless youre playing "SpeedWrench", I dont see the need for speedbleeders. A proper wrench on the bleeder screw, a hand on the lever or pedal, 15 seconds per caliper is all you need.

Actually, I apply an air-powered vacuum bleeder to the screw just to save a mess, open it til the reservoir is just above empty then close the screw. Fill the reservoir, repeat....and DONE. A quick opening of the hose junction banjo bolts while under slight lever or pedal pressure, look for bubbles, tighten the banjo bolts finish at the bleeder screws, refill the reservoir, and that's all there is to it. Nothing special. After youve done it the 1st time youll wonder what all the fuss was about.
 

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Yes, DOT 5.1 is completely compatible and interchangeable with DOT 4 fluid. I went with 5.1 because of the advertised higher boiling point. I tend to ride pretty aggressively in the twisties, sometimes with my sweety on the back. And while I have never had an issue with fluid boiling during one of these sessions, the extra headroom doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.

Regarding the pump dropping the level of the fluid in the master cylinder, I don't think it does, but if it does, it's not an appreciable amount. To tell you the truth, I haven't opened the lid since I refilled the fluid and did the initial bleed. The brakes have been rock solid, both before and after the ABS system activated. The sight glass shows full, so I haven't felt the need to open things up and look.

Whether or not you use speed bleeders or a vacuum pump is up to you. Hell, even doing it the old fashioned way will work too. I just know the speed bleeders work beautifully.
 

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Yes, DOT 5.1 is completely compatible and interchangeable with DOT 4 fluid. I went with 5.1 because of the advertised higher boiling point.
I reverse bleed now and find it gets/keeps air out of the system better. As for the compatibility between DOT 3, 4, Super DOT 4 and 5.1, I was under the impression based on what I read that they were all interchangeable and "assumed" that meant that you can mix and match. Later I was told that these fluids are compatible with all systems designed for glycol based fluids...BUT they may or may not be compatible mixed with themselves in the same system. In other words the addition of one type into the system occupied by another without doing a complete flush can/may cause total failures. The failures are caused by certain chemicals in each of the different fluids combining to form a different chemical that can be can damage the soft parts in the systems.

I am a big fan of Super DOT 4 and 5.1 and after reading up on them I decided to not take a chance and do a thorough flush when changing types of fluids.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the great info!

Any idea of the correct size for speedbleeders for the calipers?

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not to belabor the point...

So with that crossover line on the front brakes, should bleeding take place on just one side or on both calipers? Seems if I reverse bleed from the front left, that would cover everything from the calipers up to the master cylinder?

Good wrenching would suggest doing it from both sides...just a little extra time and fluid...

It's cold and icy and I'm bored!

Cheers!
 

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Bleed BOTH. You can't know where or if there is any air in the system unless you do.
Also, air can hide in the banjo bolt fittings at callipers, master cylinders, and any hose/pipe connecting junction point.
When bleeding brakes, I start at the master cylinder and crack the fitting open while applying slight pressure to the handle or lever. Look for bubbles, and be sure to keep a cloth below the fitting to avoid brake fluid from contacting a painted surface(any brake fluid on paint should be cleaned immediately by flushing the surface with clean water). Next do the hose banjo bolt at the caliper or next fitting in line, then finally at the caliper. Be sure to keep an eye on the master cylinder reservoir level to avoid the fluid dropping below the bottom, which can draw air into the system and defeat the whole idea of bleeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pictorial to folow

Rick and others...

I sorta made a big splashy deal out of this when there really wasn't a need to, but what the hey...it's how we learn!

I'll probably end up doing the replacement over Christmas, so I'll take some photos and post them in case others have questions. Getting to that upper end (the pipe from the ABS pump to the block above the radiator) looks like it'll be a chore, so perhaps I can provide some help on the easiest way to swap the line.

Merry Christmas to all...and yes, it MIGHT be unPC these days to say that, but I celebrate Christmas, so hope no one is offended...:)
 

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" Getting to that upper end (the pipe from the ABS pump to the block above the radiator) looks like it'll be a chore, so perhaps I can provide some help on the easiest way to swap the line."

Bendmac...
It's just nut and bolts. How hard can it be?
 

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" Getting to that upper end (the pipe from the ABS pump to the block above the radiator) looks like it'll be a chore, so perhaps I can provide some help on the easiest way to swap the line."

Bendmac...
It's just nut and bolts. How hard can it be?
If the Adventure Tech hose is like the Galfer hose, which I'm going to assume it is, then there's one additional tiny piece involved. That piece is essentially a brass or bronze o-ring that must be inserted into the block and oriented correctly while the solid line is attached and tightened down. This o-ring is needed to invert the surface inside the block, so the flared end of the metal line can seal against it. This inverter is quite small, could be easily dropped, and if not aligned properly could be easily damaged. Given the lack of room to work, and the way things are oriented, it makes the job a bit more interesting than connecting the supply line to a new commode. Part of the reason I found it neccessary to drop the radiator a bit, and even then it's pretty tight.
 
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