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Thread: Replacing with Spiegler brake line - 2003 K1200GT Top Line Crimps

  1. #1
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    Replacing with Spiegler brake line - 2003 K1200GT Top Line Crimps

    The top brake Line on my 2003 K1200GT had a 80mm riser added and causing a problem. Prior owner and I didn't notice until recently how a left turn puts it under pressure.

    Solution is to order a +2 inch top brake line and replace it. Not urgent other than I want to fix a wrong. A complete kit of the Spiegler Brake and Clutch lines was picked up but now I have questions.

    I am thinking of a short cut to drain the handlebar brake reservoir, unscrew the line/replace the line. Then fill the handlebar reservoir with fluid. Gravity will let the bubbles rise eventually and be good. No bleeding to push the bubbles downward through the ABS and front calipers. Pictures show the end part of the line is on the frame about 10 inches away. I will have air in that line up to the top.

    Full brake and clutch fluids changed 500 miles ago last Fall by my favorited dealer. The current fluid is fresh.

    The following videos on 2003 K12RS was pretty good until part 2 that pulls the battery, deals with F1, F2, F3, R1, R2, etc adding ground down speed bleeders. Uh, not too excited about this process. I like learning, but I prefer to be riding than go giving me ABS issues for several weeks.

    Part 1 Front/rear wheels
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpI05pWUp-Y

    Part 2 ABS circuits
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etex4BpLSKM

    If my short cut method is not practical or a good idea, I guess plan B is to ask my dealer to install them and rebelled everything, Not sure cost, maybe $350 range.

    I don't know. dilemma. Your thoughts welcome.
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    2003 K1200GT

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    Other pictures of the 80mm riser added but not the extended line. Picture 2 showing the new brake line will relax the pressure.
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    2003 K1200GT

  3. #3
    My only thought is fluids are cheap and I'm not a fan of shortcuts when it comes to my braking system. As always YMMV though and we all have different ideas about stuff like that.

    Good on you for going with the Spiegler line - I swear by them for everything - brakes & clutch especially. I won't use anything else!
    --
    Your MOA Digital Media Editor since 2015 | Lifetime Member #87301
    '05 R1200GS | '98 K1200RS + Hannigan Classic sidecar | '19 Indian FTR1200S
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  4. #4
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    Thanks Chiba, I am hunting down parts now. A funnel from BoneYard. Speed bleeders, and finding a wrench I can bend and grind into position.

    I was just hoping to replace the one line and let bubbles float to the top on it, saving me the ABS bleeding lesson. The fifth time through the video, gave me more confidence.
    2003 K1200GT

  5. #5
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    2003 K1200GT - rear brake not pumping

    Made progress with the replacing of my brake lines. I got to the bleeding of the rear brake and the rear pedal has no pumping action. Like a squirt gun empty. Not sure what I did wrong. Any tips?

    I replaced all the rubber lines front and back. For front, I bleed both calipers using the ignition on and the servo as the pumping action. Bubbles out and I have a nice solid handbrake. I went through two or so of the special funnel on the front container in the back. On to the rear brake.

    Switched the funnel to the rear container above the master cylinder. Filled it up, Brake up, ignition on, pedal slowly down with bleeder open. Nothing. Close bleeder, slow release rear brake. Repeat, open bleeder, slowly down, close, release. etc No pumping action.

    I switched to letting the servo pump the fluid through. With the hand front brake lever, it is sync'd to the rear brake, and I can get fluid to bubble out the air in the new lines. Eventually no bubbles. I went through at least two funnels worth of fluid.

    I think the fluid is going down into the Master cylinder to make it's course out to the rear caliper. Just no brake pedal stopping point.

    I didn't get to bleeding the ABS unit, but stuck at this point. In thinking mode. I don't see any leaks or escaping air up close. I guess my next step is to take off the new abs to Master cylinder line and examine the MC up closer.

    Advise welcome.
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    2003 K1200GT

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    K1200GT 2003 - rear brake dead

    Multiple tries of the same routine to bleed the rear brake. No success.

    Long funnel in place on rear reservoir. Filled half way up. Bleeder wrench and drain tube in place. Brake pedal fully up. Ignition on, waited for diagnostics to complete. Touch back brake, servo whirling, no fluid until I open up the bleeder. SLLLLOOOWLY lowering the pedal. No resistance found until bottom. Close bleeder. SLLOOWLY raising the brake pedal. No bubbles seen throughout. I went through two funnel full fluids. Ignition off.

    No pressure on pedal seen. Limp, sucking sound upon return when done manually. No fluids see on lower MC. Nothing on bleeder, new steel line and banjos. Nothing seen on other connectors. The L shaped rubber connecter to the MC is a bit wobbly.

    I put the bike on center stand, 1st gear, motor running. When I apply the front brake handle, the rear wheel slows a bit but not much. Rear brake, has no resistance. Front brake lines were also changed and working ok. Nice a firm ignition or no ignition on. I did not get to the part of bleeding the ABS yet. In theory, I need the rear brake pedal to do the R1, R2, R3 bleeds with the battery removed.

    Game plan. Wait for parts. I have some new crush washers for the Banjo connectors inbound. I will change the MC to ABS line to adjust a twist in there. Not related, I think. A used Master Cylinder inbound from Ebay for $40. Maybe that will fix the possible lower L shaped connector. A new MC is $200, so see if the used one works. Another part to disassemble anyway.

    These things aren't too complicated inside the MC. My skilled hands murdered my motorcycle.

    That is the update.
    2003 K1200GT

  7. #7
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Before swapping any more parts, Id suggest you get a copy of the factory service manual and research the procedure for filling the brake system via the grub screw locations. This sounds like you have an airlock in the ABS pump, so the procedure for refilling and bleeding the system after replacing an ABS unit might be applicable..
    Good luck,
    DG
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST 1984 R80 G/S-PD 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C 2010 K1300GT 2018 R1200GS
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    GTrider, you are probably correct on an airlock somewhere.

    Today no success.

    I removed my original master cylinder, sniffed it. Played with the plunger part on the workbench. It didn't look all dried up and junky. Looked normal. Filled it with fluid seeing if it leaks past the rings, etc. Nothing exciting. It didn't pump very much but a small fluid area. Hard to tell if the MC has much pressure when pushed. I guess I can compare it to another MC part inbound. Refilled the MC manually and put it back on the bike. I took off the ABS to MC U shaped line and matched it up with my original line and position. Minor tweaking the angle on the Banjo. Education on parts.

    So air in the U shaped line, fluid full in MC trying to eliminate the MC as an airlock, full rear reservoir. Ignition on, fluid flowing out the bleeder from rear reservoir but no bubbles even though I know air was in the U shape line. No clue where the air went. Probably joined it's friends.

    No leaks on the floor, line connections, frame etc. I was thinking of bleeding the ABS control unit R1, R2 except where the battery is. The only way I get fluid out the rear caliper is to use the ignition and servo motor to push it out. Not sure I wanted to open up the ABS bleeders. Pausing on this step.

    I saw some reverse bleeding techniques using a syringe plunger or pressure device. I think that is a worth while attempt. I have an online Clymer manual or some lighter version of it. I will read on the shop manual suggestion vs this youtube video. See if I can locate a pumping device or syringe.
    2003 K1200GT

  9. #9
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    DGerber
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    I'll first confess to not having looked at all the video links as I just don't have the time right now. Please forgive if I'm covering old issues.

    My experience is that despite claims to the contrary, brake lines don't give up their air bubbles willingly. To get a good, hard brake feel I've always had to force the air out; gravity never did it for me. I have used bleeder systems that push fluid from the slave back UP to the master, but not on ABS bikes, and not certainly not on e-brake bikes. My recommendation is to bite the bullet and do the full, proper bleed. Yeah, it's a PITA, but look at it as a learning experience.

    On the rear brake problem, are you sure you're adding fluid to the proper one of the rear reservoirs?

  11. #11
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    I think the correct one in the far right side under the frame is where I have the funnel for rear bleeding. I got a nice flow of fluid from it to the rear caliper. The front is the inside container and I successfully had a good bleed process there. But thanks for asking the question and confirming.

    I do/did plan on doing a full bleed including the ABS. I forget what PITA stands for but for me Step 1 was the front bleed, step 2 the rear, step 3 is the ABS complicate F1, F2, etc. Front one done ok. Problem is, I got stuck on the the rear brake part. You can't do the ABS R1, R2, R3, with no battery and a floppy unusable rear brake pedal. So that is where I am stuck.

    Today I searched for a professional bleeder pump tool. Great news, Advanced Auto Parts store, lets a customer used a bleeder tool for free for 90 days. It is a fancy vacuum or pusher pump changing the dial. I didn't have to buy one. I did purchase some more cans of DOT4, brake cleaner, clean rags. My shop looks like a murder scene with fluid everywhere.

    I think Pushing or Reverse bleeding, can't work well with the MC likely having a one directional line. Similar to speed bleeders that prevent push back. But worth a try just the same. It is unclear to me why the servo whining can push the fluid separate with the hand brake. Must be a double set of lines attached to the rear brakes. I can put the bike in 1st gear on the stand, run the motor, put on the front brake and the rear wheel slows. With the rear foot pedal, no slowing of the wheel. Something of a double process.

    A guy at the auto store said the same thing DG and you, Jeff, that being and ABS brake system traps air badly. A bunch of air has collected upward. I also lost one of my screws from the top handlebar brake fluid reservoir. That screw and air bubbles are probably hiding together to torment me. New $2 screw inbound from boneyard.

    My plan (more rain this week anyway) is to use the pump to suck the line from the caliper with the tool. See if I can get bubbles. Basically same direction as a normal bleed but not using the brake pedal.

    Failing that Push the fluid from caliper into the line and hope the MC doesn't block it.

    Failing that a Push of fluid from the caliper and open up R1 bleeder on the ABS with a tube on it. Then try R2, then R3. See if I can get some bubbles of it out. It is not the proper bleed doing the R1, R2, R3, R1 steps as suggested. Adding all new lines, I definitely added lots of air.

    More another time.
    2003 K1200GT

  12. #12
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    I believe you confirmed the operational process of BMW's linked brakes: the front lever activates both front and rear brakes; the rear pedal works only the rear brake.
    Not telling you anything you don't now know, but I deserve some credit for using both a colon and a semi-colon in the same sentence!

    PITA = Pain In The Ass

    FWIW, last time I did a full bleed (on the same model bike) I also had trouble getting the rear brake to stiffen. Unlike yours, mine started as working, but spongey. I rode it a bit as-is, then finally went back in and rebled the rear, eventually getting a hard pedal.

    Otherwise, good luck. Keep us posted.

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    Update. Or should I say a repeat of the same ineffective process 20 times over with the same result. That pump is #%$#$.

    I did move on to bleeding the ABS controller 7 bleeders hoping to get air out. Now I know the true meaning of PITA. However, $80 to trailer my bike to the dealer and $98 per hour for them to fix my project adds incentive to not give up yet.

    Good learning experience to know I needed better homemade tools. With limited tools (no bent 7mm wrenches from movie), my idea to use a socket didn't work out well. The bleeder tube didn't fit inside the 1/4 socket. Plan destroyed. A 3/8 socket fits the tube but not the tight space. I bought a few 7mm wrenches to bend up. The professional pump also was a challenge getting a solid vacuum or air pressure. I did get the Filler, F1, F2, F3, sort of working. Hard to tell if the air bubbles coming out were from the ABS or just a leaking tube connection using the pump to pull the fluid. I went through the process for the first time and didn't break anything or lose any more parts.

    I did find out that brake fluid on my work clothes stink up the Miss's nice washing machine. I employed Rule #2, played ignorant.

    I did receive in the mail today two front brake reservoir screws $2 each to replace the one lost in the frame somewhere. It fits with one extra for future drops. Also a new (used) rear master cylinder from ebay $33 arrived. I noticed on the bottom there is a plastic L shaped connection on mine that is wobbly, and this new one is solid.

    I suspect my original MC got damaged and can't hold pressure. High hopes now that the new MC will get me back on track.

    I have a few days of other home emergencies (mow lawn, fix sump pump, etc) to take care of before working on the bike again. I need a break from it anyway.
    2003 K1200GT

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    Update, success on getting the rear brake to firm up.

    A miracle occurred on R1 bleed. With no battery, I didn't expect much but using on the limp rear brake, some fluid started coming out. Eureka ! No bubbles but I could tell the rear brake peddle was pushing it out some. Weak but some. The MC must be doing something.

    Earlier, I put in a replacement Master Cylinder from Ebay ($33) and performed the basic rear bleeds. Still no pressure. So I can't tell you if my old one with the wobbly L shaped connector contributed or not. The ebay one is in better shape, so I kept it on.

    I repeated bleed the rear brake with the battery in. Got some flow with the battery in and servo doing the action. Brake pedal floppy and decided enough to move on to the ABS. If nothing tonight, I am sending the bike to the dealer.

    New 7mm box end wrench for Menards was melted and bent into a U shape for the R2 bleeder along with R1 and F1. Those bleeders are hard to get too.

    Battery out, repeated the Front ABS bleeds. Discovered that the front reservoir squirts about 10 inches in the air. Quarter added to reservoir and slowed down the front brake pumping. Filler bleed perfect. F1, perfect. F2 and F3 ok, F1, ok. No bubbles. Front firm anyway. I got a lot of dark junk out of F3 that shouldn't have since it was performed 500 miles ago, in theory by a dealer.

    Anyway, off to R1 and to my surprise, the rear peddle actually pushed some fluid about a 1/4 inch down the tube. Next pump I got 1/2 inch. I kept at it and then the rear brake peddle firmed up. Bubbles galore came out. I really couldn't tell if it was from a leaking tube attached or the air in the line. Went through a funnel or two. Then moved to R2, more bubbles. The bent wrench sort of worked. F3 also had a lot of dark fluid in it. By now the rear brake was very firm. Back fo F1 and a few bubbles left over.

    Called it a night. Put the battery back in. Tomorrow give it a test ride for leaks and abs warnings before putting the plastic back on.

    So my answer is simply, it is ok to have a limp rear brake during the manual bleed. Do it as best as you can on the manual bleed, then move on to the ABS process without the battery. If you see a push of fluid on R1, it will firm up after the bubbles. Have patience.

    Most of the videos are working with bikes that have not been screwed with. The fluid system is sealed and they are only replacing existing fluid. They have a firm brake peddle during the manual bleed.

    My case was new lines and the seal is opened up. When replacing the lines, expect the fronts to be ok on the manual bleed and the rear brake to be limp until later.
    2003 K1200GT

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