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Greg-2008R1200RT

How to bleed brakes when installing ABS module

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Greg-2008R1200RT

Just sent my ABS module off to be repaired....Will probably be 2 weeks before it is back....

Question is what is the proper way to bleed the brakes once the repaired ABS module has been reinstalled?

Do I need to add brake fluid to the module itself once it is back on the bike, before connecting the brake lines to it?

Or just connect the module dry, and bleed from the front and back reservoirs?.....and do I need a diagnostic reader hooked up to the bike and turn

on the bike to engage the brake module to get fluid pumped into the dry module itself?

I am wondering if I will need to trailer it to the dealer and have it done correctly.

Thanks for any replies or a link to a good video

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dirtrider
6 minutes ago, Greg-2008R1200RT said:

Just sent my ABS module off to be repaired....Will probably be 2 weeks before it is back....

Question is what is the proper way to bleed the brakes once the repaired ABS module has been reinstalled?

Do I need to add brake fluid to the module itself once it is back on the bike, before connecting the brake lines to it?

Or just connect the module dry, and bleed from the front and back reservoirs?.....and do I need a diagnostic reader hooked up to the bike and turn

on the bike to engage the brake module to get fluid pumped into the dry module itself?

I am wondering if I will need to trailer it to the dealer and have it done correctly.

Thanks for any replies or a link to a good video

 

Morning  Greg-2008R1200RT

 

You need to define "proper way"-- You can do it yourself at home without a GS-911  but with a totally dry ABS module you will probably fight with it a little on getting the rear circuit air-free.

 

The front circuit will usually bleed out OK by just filling the front reservoir (& keeping it full)  then pumping the hand lever while bleeding at the calipers. Sometimes on a stubborn system you will have to bleed the front "best possible" then ride the motorcycle for a ways, then re-bleed the front. 

 

The rear can be a bit more difficult as the rear brake is applied from two different sources, one from the rear brake pedal & the other from the servo pump via the front brake apply circuit. 

 

You can do a basic rear bleed at the caliper (that gets most of the air out) then spin the rear wheel with the key on while applying the front brake lever as that will exercise the servo pump & hopefully move the remaining air out. Like the front you can then ride it for a while (getting the rear wheel to go into ABS on a gravel or loose dirt  road helps) then re-bleed the rear again. 

 

Bottom line-- you can usually get enough air out of the system with just a basic pump the lever or pedal while bleeding at the calipers to allow riding the motorcycle carefully, then ride the motorcycle for a while, then & re-bleed. 

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Greg-2008R1200RT

Thanks Dirtrider.....I will try and do it all myself and gain the experience....Thanks for the reply

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Greg-2008R1200RT

Dirtrider.....a little afraid I am going to mess up this brake bleed....I just got ABS module back from Module Masters.....do you really think someone with no experience bleeding brakes could pull off this brake bleed?....I am considering taking it to the dealer but don't know how much they would charge......I don't want to do anything that might damage the ABS module again, is that possible?....just don't want to have to start all over from scratch

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dirtrider
56 minutes ago, Greg-2008R1200RT said:

Dirtrider.....a little afraid I am going to mess up this brake bleed....I just got ABS module back from Module Masters.....do you really think someone with no experience bleeding brakes could pull off this brake bleed?....I am considering taking it to the dealer but don't know how much they would charge......I don't want to do anything that might damage the ABS module again, is that possible?....just don't want to have to start all over from scratch

 

Morning Greg

 

I do think that (someone) with no experience can successfully bleed the brakes on a BMW 1200RT, on the other hand I don't think that (everyone) with no experience can successfully bleed the brakes on a BMW 1200RT. Many/many/many BMW riders flush their own brakes on the BMW 1200RT's.

 

If you have the mechanical ability & expertise to remove & re-install the ABS module then you are probably more than capable of bleeding the darn thing. 

 

The things to keep in mind are:

 

Brake fluid is VERY harmful to painted surfaces & especially to some plastics (like your dash plastics) so cover everything that could possibly get splashed or sprayed with brake fluid.   Even be careful around your painted wheels. I usually cover things with plastic garbage bags, then in high problem areas (like under the front master cylinder) I put a few newspapers on top of the plastic bags to absorb any spilled or splashed brake fluid. 

 

In the front master cylinder there is a small take-up hole in the very bottom of the master cylinder reservoir, this hole is open to the master cylinder piston so it CAN squirt brake fluid up through that hole as you work the hand lever. I usually toss a (clean) utility knife blade or even a quarter (25 cent piece) in the bottom of the reservoir as that allows brake fluid flow but prevents the back squirt (actually works pretty darn good).

 

Also use a length of clear small diameter hose on the bleed nipples to allow the bled fluid to flow into a catch container away from the motorcycle. If you run that  bleed hose into a bottle or jar (old water bottle works good) as the fluid level rises above the bottom of the hose then the fluid in the bottle acts as a check valve so you can just pump away on the lever or pedal without closing the bleed screw between each pump. When you get close to having all the major air out of the system then raise that catch bottle to be above the bleed screw height as that prevents all those small (evenly spaced) air bubbles from forming in the bleed hose due to thread leaks at the bleed screw threads.     

 

The BMW procedure calls for removing the front brake pads then using a special BMW spacing/re-setting tool to push back then hold the front caliper pistons back in the caliper bores. If you have well used brake pads this is something to think about.  (at least think about simulating this). With new (thick brake pads it isn't as important but still not a bad idea). 

Personally I just pry the brake pads (& caliper pistons) back off the rotors until the pistons are almost all the way back  into the bores, then shim the brake pads back from the rotors with plastic shims (you can also use wood shims, or even cedar shingle shims)-- anything to hold the caliper pistons mostly back in the caliper bores). This does 2 things, it decreases the  fluid volume behind the pistons but also prevents overfilling the master cylinder at the final top-off of the front master cylinder.

 

The thing that you want to prevent is over-filling the front master cylinder reservoir  to the full mark with worn brake pads. To remove your front wheel in the future  for a tire change you need to push the brake pads back away from the brake rotors. If you over-fill the front reservoir to the full mark with worn brake pads  then the reservoir  will try to overflow when you push the pads back for a tire change.   (the BMW setting tool spaces the pistons at the correct location for a proper fill to the full mark)-- This is un-needed if you are careful to ONLY fill the front reservoir to a fill level that matches the thickness & wear of your front brake pads. 

 

You might also set the front brake lever to maximum stroke as that allows the master cylinder to push more fluid/air out with each lever stroke.  

 

Otherwise it is a fairly straight forward conventional brake bleed that is not complicated or difficult. 

 

Ask any questions on things that you are unsure of  here before starting the bleed project-- It's pretty straight forward as the fluid just passes through the ABS module. 

 

About the only thing you might need  to do (re-do) in installing a dry ABS module is a re-bleed the front & rear after riding the motorcycle for a short while. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greg-2008R1200RT
15 minutes ago, dirtrider said:

 

Morning Greg

About the only thing you might need  to do (re-do) in installing a dry ABS module is a re-bleed the front & rear after riding the motorcycle for a short while. 

 

 

 

 

 

....Ok....thank you....will read this 5 or 10 times again to see if I feel comfortable doing it myself....it has been a fairly long process removing the ABS module and having it repaired and I just don't want to make a mistake here near the end.....thanks for the detailed reply...hopefully someday I can contribute advice back to the forum instead of just being someone looking for advice

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dirtrider
4 minutes ago, Greg-2008R1200RT said:

....Ok....thank you....will read this 5 or 10 times again to see if I feel comfortable doing it myself....it has been a fairly long process removing the ABS module and having it repaired and I just don't want to make a mistake here near the end.....thanks for the detailed reply...hopefully someday I can contribute advice back to the forum instead of just being someone looking for advice

 

Morning Greg

 

The important thing is to not hurry or rush, get a game plan in your head, have all your supplies already assembled (like the long bleed hose & catch container)-- You can usually buy a length of clear hose from a local hardware store or even some auto parts stores.  

 

Yo might also have a bucket of warm soapy water handy as that is about as good as anything to (QUICKLY) remove spilled brake fluid from motorcycle surfaces. 

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dirtrider

Morning Greg

 

Check your messages on this site, I sent you some info on the bleed process. 

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Greg-2008R1200RT
7 minutes ago, dirtrider said:

Morning Greg

 

Check your messages on this site, I sent you some info on the bleed process. 

...thank you....got it

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MikeB60

Greg,

Might want to update your profile, there may be someone local that can offer a helping hand.  That said, there is no better council than  D.R.

 

Mike

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