Help with Brake Fluid
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Hooked
2006 Piaggio Fly 150
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 379
Location: On Your Six!
Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:53 am quote
I need help with brake fluid. For reasons that do not bear describing, I disconnected the hose running to my front brake. Thus, I lost all of my brake fluid.

My question is can I just add brake fluid and ride on or is there a better way?
Molto Verboso
GT60
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 1381
Location: Fraser Valley, BC
Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:06 am quote
You'll need to bleed the air from your brake line. Harnadem just did this , and got some advice from paulyd on this thread:

http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23570

The fact that you asked about this suggests that you should possibly get some help, or at least get somebody who has done this to walk you through it...

good luck
Moderator
2006 LX150 "Amadora"
Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 7129

Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:12 am quote
Re: Help with Brake Fluid
scootr74 wrote:
I need help with brake fluid. For reasons that do not bear describing, I disconnected the hose running to my front brake. Thus, I lost all of my brake fluid.

My question is can I just add brake fluid and ride on or is there a better way?
You have likely introduced air into the line, and will now have to bleed the brakes, or risk having them fail on you when you need them. I learned that this wasn't as difficult as I had thought, but it takes some time. If you don't feel comfortable about doing so yourself, take it into a service dealership and have them do it for you.

(From memory) On my LX150, this involved having:

- a small metric wrench (8mm?) that fit the bleeder nipple on the front wheel brake line
- a 2-3 foot length of 3/16" clear fuel line
- a slightly larger hose clamp to hold the plastic line onto the nipple. The bleeder nipple will cause the hose to expand, and you need the clamp to make sure the hose does not pop off.
- a catch container that has some new brake fluid in it
- DOT 4 brake fluid
- lots of clean cloths to cover up your body work because brake fluid is bad for the paint.

Steps to follow (from memory)
-Attach all together, but keep the bleeder valve closed
-Remove headset to expose the brake fluid reservoir
-Carefully remove the lid to the reservoir.
-Carefully fill reservoir with brake fluid - I used a plastic cup that I could form into a spout - it made drips less likely to occur
-With one hand, open the bleeder valve, and then slowly squeeze brake handle until it comes all the way back to the handlebar. This is a slow single squeeze and not pumping. While doing this, watch the fluid level in the reservoir and do not let it fall below the minimum indicator - or else you will need to start over.
-Close bleeder valve
-Top up brake fluid in reservoir
-Pump brake lever until it pressurizes
-Repeat the "open bleeder nipple, squeeze handle, watch fluid level, close nipple" process until you see the fluid come out of the brake mechanism, through the clear hose, and into the catch container.
-Close the bleeder nipple, and make sure reservoir is topped up
-Put everything back together and check for leaks

In a nutshell, and relying upon my sketchy memory, that is basically what I did. There may likely be some steps missing. And keep in mind, that I had flushed my system but there was still the old fluid present, so I did not have to start with air in the line.

And it took a while, but was pretty easy to reach all the parts while standing in front of the scooter.

When I have a chance to night, I'll see about posting pictures of the set up I used.
Moderator
2006 LX150 "Amadora"
Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 7129

Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:23 pm quote
Now with photos
Derek - I was finally able to resize and upload my photos. First, I wanted to clarify one of the steps I outlined above. You need to pump the brakes to ensure that all air bubbles are out of the reservoir. Then, squeeze and hold the brake lever, and while doing that, reach down with your other hand to open the bleed nipple. Once the lever compresses back to the handlebar, close the nipple, and then release the handle.

If you release the handle before you close the nipple, you may cause a suction effect and have air enter the system.

Okay, now the photos.

dirty_brake_fluid.jpg
the hose to the right shows just how dark (black) the old brake fluid became. Remember, that is a clear hose!

brake_reservoir_exposed.jpg
Head set plastic off showing the exposed brake fluid reservoir. I errored on the side of caution when covering my paint.

hose_and_clamp.jpg
This photo shows how the clamp is used to keep the hose connected to the bleeder nipple

bottle_and_hose.jpg
I used a clear nalgene bottle that I drilled a hole in. Then I slid the clear hose all the way in. When flushing the line, remember to put some new brake fluid in the bottle to make a sealed system

Hooked
2006 Piaggio Fly 150
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 379
Location: On Your Six!
Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:17 am quote
Re: Now with photos
harnadem wrote:
Derek - I was finally able to resize and upload my photos.
Thanks.

I actually did not see these 'til this morning. I bled the brakes last night. I have a Haynes manual for the Fly 150. But I also wanted to solicit hands on experience.

Thanks for posting the pics. If anyone else has the same question down the line, this post should help them greatly!
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