Front Brakes Only Work when I pump them - Honda ATV Forum
Brakes & Suspension Have a question about your brakes? Need some suspension advice? Try this section for answers

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Front Brakes Only Work when I pump them

I have a 2003 Foreman 450 ES, and the front breaks are driving me nuts. If you pull the break lever one time it goes straight back to handle with no pressure, not working at all. If you pump the lever quickly 3 or 4 time pressure builds up and they are rock solid and work great until you release the handle, so I have to pump the handle a few times each time I break. I replaced the pads and got a vacuum bleeder and bled them, but no change, still doing same thing. any ideas?

Front breaks are stock drums.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 10:53 AM
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Joe: Welcome to the forum. If you need to pump your brakes to get them to work, then you have air in the brake line. There are a number of good threads on this forum which will tell you how to properly bleed your brakes.



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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 11:36 AM
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Try bleeding them using the bleeders, or if you aren't going to ride it for a couple of days zip tie the handle back and leave it. A lot of the time the air will gradually work it's way up to the M/C if you zip tie the handle back.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 06:44 AM
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How is the adjustment on your break shoes? If they are too loose you will have a similiar issue. When you jack up the wheel and spin it, you should have a slight drag on the brakes. Not enough to feel, but enough to hear.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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Ok guys thanks. I have been doing constant adjustments on the breaks trying to get better results, I adjusted them tighter to where I could feel the pull on em when I turn wheel then I backed the adjuster down a half turn.. I will try the zip tie method. and I have vacuum bled them 3 times now but I am sucking air in around that little nipple on the left side inner break drum somehow. I tried putting Teflon tape around it but I am still getting air in around the connecter on the end of the vacuum bleeder. I have the tightest fitting connecter that will go around it on there

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Since I am sucking air in around the bleeder fitting you think it might work better by bleeding without it? try pumping up pressure and opening the bleeder valve on the back of drums a little at a time and keep repeating for each side? oh and what side should I start with and do first? Master cylinder is on the right side.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 06:25 AM
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it really don't matter what side you start bleeding with as the travel route of the fluid is exactly the same , it goes thru one hose from the master to a tee and the hoses from there are the same length , people will say do the right side first as in an automobile , truck and equipment the master is to one side the vehicle and the brake tubing is longer on the opposite side of the vehicle --------- pinch the hose coming right out the master and pump it against the blockage , it should get hard one pump , if not the master is bad , if it does get hard then look up bleeding brakes on this site and do the pich bleed method
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 07:01 AM
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JoeJoeF420 - How did this turn out for you ? I am having the exact same problem and am not sure what direction to go. I have heard to bleed them and I have heard that the master cylinder is bad.

2004 Honda Foreman Rubicon
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 03:36 PM
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The adjusters nuts have knocks that are set in place by the adjuster lock. Tighten the brake until it stops the wheel the back off three knocks. You also have two adjusters per wheel, do the same adjustment to both.

Honda ATV Parts 2003 TRX450FE A FRONT BRAKE PANEL Diagram
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 09:49 PM
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Where is the adjustment ? Do you have to pull the hub to get to them ? I see the plunger hole but am unsure of what direction to adjust with the screwdriver.

2004 Honda Foreman Rubicon
TRX500
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