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Thread: 1999 R1100RT Front Brake Bleed

  1. #1
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    1999 R1100RT Front Brake Bleed

    So, I took a first shot at bleeding a few weeks back after installing new pads and saw there was no bleed nipple on the right hand caliper. Also, the end result is that after pushing the pistons all the way back in the bores the pads drag a little even after over 500 miles. I have ordered stainless lines and caliper rebuild kits. Just curious about bleeding the right side.
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  2. #2
    Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the plumbing come down to the right hand caliper, then cross over to the left hand caliper with a pipe/hose that connects where the right bleed screw would be if there were one? If so, then bleeding at the left side bleeds the entire system.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  3. #3
    Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the plumbing come down to the right hand caliper, then cross over to the left hand caliper with a pipe/hose that connects where the right bleed screw would be if there were one? If so, then bleeding at the left side bleeds the entire system. If not, then there must be a blanking plug or something in the right caliper where the bleeder would be if there was one.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #4
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Later bikes had a special filler used at the factory to initially charge the braking system** from the right side.
    https://shop.maxbmw.com/fiche/NotesP...12330310_1.pdf
    You can purchase a bleed screw from BMW 34 21 2 330 310 VENT SCREW or you can make your own - see below
    The screws are available at NAPA etc.

    To bleed, remove the grub screw and thread in the bleed screw until it depresses the ball, bleed the system and remove. Replace the grub screw.
    Some people chose to remove the filler and just replace with the bleed screw.

    **this same system is used on 1150/1100S hydraulic clutch actuation systems
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    Thanks!
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  6. #6
    A picture of the right caliper would help.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  7. #7
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  8. #8
    I forgot about that. I took it off my R1150 at the 1st fluid change. It is my K75 that has the crossover hard line.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    I sourced some Stahlbus brake bleeders and replaced the fittings on both the front calipers. I caution that removing the fitting on the right caliper should be done carefully and possibly heated as it looked as if red locktite was used at the factory. Only as I got it moving did I realize this and it was enough force that it could have pulled out the threads in the caliper.
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    Further update here is that I did an experiment and just cleaned up and rebuilt the calipers with the original seals and cups just to see if that would fix the release issue. I also put on Goodridge PTFE/Stainless lines as well. I had already fitted the Stahlbus brake bleeders. The seals in the calipers did look a little worn but they were much smoother when I cleaned and put them back in. Here's what I found with all this including the brake bleeding:

    - Brakes release better but not fully so when I put in new seals and cups this weekend it will be interesting to see how much better they release.
    - The Stahlbus bleeders have two stages; open a little you can push fluid out with the brake lever, open more and you can pull fluid through with vacuum
    - The ABS is easy to bleed, the main culprit for air pockets is the calipers I think. I will try preloading them with fluid from both the line connection and the bleed ports after using air pressure to push the pistons out when I put new parts in them.
    - It really took quite a bit of bleeding at the calipers both vacuum and then classic pull lever etc to finally get some spongy feel. I rode it and engaged the ABS and got more feel.
    - The winner move though was time and pressure! On side stand with full left lock, bound the lever and came back a couple hours later, much better. Did the same overnight and it was done. Did it the next night again just to be sure.

    I am not sure I would replace pads again without taking apart and cleaning the calipers. Perhaps if I can get the exposed piston surfaces clean enough before taking them off it would preclude that. Certainly any time you remove the calipers you need to get the pistons clean before pushing them back into the housing.
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  11. #11
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    Before I push the pistons back in I remove the pads, spray with Simple Green, scrub with an old toothbrush and gently blow dry.
    Then I put the old pads back in place and lever the pistons in.
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  12. #12
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    Before I push the pistons back in I remove the pads, spray with Simple Green, scrub with an old toothbrush and gently blow dry.
    Then I put the old pads back in place and lever the pistons in.
    A touch of 500 grit can be helpful to determine if you have ridges/rolls on the pistons.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

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  13. #13
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    Ok so final on the front brakes. I installed new pistons and seals as well as new pads and new stainless retaining pins. I sanded ridges off the two bolts in each caliper that also act as rails for the pads to ride on and lubed them as well with the silicon grease provided with the rebuild kits. All is good now, full release of the pads from the discs.

    I am also going to rebuild the master cylinder as when I bind down the lever to help get last air out of the system sometimes its soft before I take the binding off which makes me feel fluid is leaking past the seals in the master cylinder. Looks like an easy and inexpensive job to get the whole the system rebuilt. Anton has a nice little instruction I found.

    Thanks for everyone's input. Appreciated for sure.
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