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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Brand new wheel cylinders. Hoses look ok, I don't see any leaks. I know there was pressure on the system before I removed everything. I filled the reservoir and I've been bleeding them for an hour. Gone through at least 2 cups of fluid. Still seeing air come out. Can't get the handle bars to pressurize when the reservoir is full. The handle brake just goes to teh handlebar, no air coming out in the reservoir any more. So I'm at a loss. With a full reservoir and a vacuum pump, there is a continuous stream of air bubbles out of the brake bleeder no matter how long I bleed.


WTF is the problem here?

They are activating, but there is ZERO resistance in the handle and it doesnt hold the drums well. Master cylinder rebuild?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I have the brakes firmed up a little. Maybe I just dont know how hydraulic brakes feel. I can pull the handle all the way back and bottom it out. The brakes are engaged. It's not like my rear brake where there is a definitely 'stop' feel in the handle. How should the front hydraulic brakes 'feel' in the handlebar? I have all of the air out of the cylinder, and no more bubbles are coming up in the reservoir.
 

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Have you read the 'sticky' on bleeding brakes? Have a look, try it out and report back here let us know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmmm....I have not. I bled them according to the service manual. Pump the handle a lot until no bubbles come out of the reservoir. Then I bled the right and left as noted in the sticky (and service manual). I ordered rebuild kit of the MC. The rubber looks OK in it, and I get some pressure to the brakes, but even with the handle all the way to the bar, I can still turn the wheels, although its difficult. I see no more air, but I am wondering if the seals in MC are leaking and not letting it really build up. Also, when I removed my brake drums, my cylinders extend and retract with the handle bar. That's wierd to me, because that pulls them away from the drum a lot. I thought they should extend and just kinda relax there.
 

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most likely cause , 1 , your brake shoes need adjustment , 2 , the drum is worn past useable specs , 3 , you still have air in the system > pinch the hose off right at the master cylinder and pull the lever , it should get hard in a couple of pumps , solid as a rock and not touching the handle bars , if you have it pinched off good , then the master cylinder is bad
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My shoes are new. I have put a micrometer on my drums and they are within spec. I DID have to use brake cylinders from a different model of Honda, but another user has done the same and had no issue. They look identical aside from an alignment pin. I disassembled the MC for inspection. May as well rebuild it to eliminate that. Perhaps the kids acttuating the MC with no fluid in it wore out the Seals. I'll replace and re-test.

Also, any chance my shoes are upside down? They look very symetrical, but they are not the same and I'm not sure which way they go now that I think about it. I think the part that goes against the cylinder and the adjusters is longer on top or bottom, but not sure which way they are supposed to be oriented.
 

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did you pinch the hose and try to achieve pressure ? sure fire , quick easy way to 1, see if master is any good and also it will bleed the master internally and get it flowing ------------------------------- new shoes don't matter = are they adjusted , if not then the wheel cylinder will reach it's max travel before the shoes make firm contact and you won't get a firm lever ------ if all else fails try and get in touch with the guy that did the parts from a different model with no problems
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I have not pinched the line as my MC is torn apart. Ill reassembly and test tomorrow...but...a couple of things. I cannot tell if my shoes are upside down. FISHFILES made a post for another guy that had the same problem, but his pads look different than mine. Mine have pad to the top AND bottom. The only thing that is different is the little ears in the shoe frame itself. The top and bottom are different, but I have no clue which way they actually go. This is how mine is. I know the spring clip is upside down, but that shouldn't matter to operation. Also, the adjusters in the pic are fully retracted. Pic was before I adjusted.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/W...Nu48dSD9Ytcq4LGnNrgRH4XYU4CLW8rr=w535-h950-no
 

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Notice how the shoes are not centered on the backer plate? The shoes are low on the plate... bigger space above them than below them.

I'm not 100% sure but it looks like those shoes are upside down. One anchor on each shoe is squared and the other anchor is cut back at an angle, so as to allow a "rocking" point for the only moving part in there (the wheel cylinder piston) to extend without putting side loads on the piston and causing it to bind... Makes sense in my mind anyway... if I were the designer I would have put that relief angle on the piston end too.

Try flipping them both... and don't forget to adjust the brakes on each drum (tighten each star wheel until the shoe drags tightly on the drum, then back off that star wheel 3 clicks) before you pull on the brake handle.

Let us know what you think...
 

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Also, forgot to mention... when you take your shoes off to flip them, put them in the drum and verify that they match the drum diameter. Just in case those shoes are the wrong set.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes. It shoes the shoes like I have them.

I out my MC back together. with vice grips on the line a few inches from the MC, the handle is hard and holds.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I dont know WTF is wrong.

Here is where I am: The handle no longer goes to the handlebar, I can make it go there pretty easily, but it readily wants to stop about halfway through its pull. Again, teh adjusters are such that the pads are against the drum. Is this as good as it gets? IS this how the brake should feel? It is never hard unless I have it clamped on the main hose AT the split. If I take it off there, the handle sinks.

Also, when the pads are adjusted as per the manual, the handle can easily be pulled to the handlbar. Its not right.
 

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That sounds like air is still in the wheel cylinder(s) or somewhere below your master cylinder. They can be a bugger to bleed sometimes...
 

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sometimes it is very hard to get the air out , try this , pinch the hose where it stops 90% or so of the flow , it is hard to explain , but what you are doing is keeping a hard lever and still letting some fluid go past , pump the lever till hard , while holding in on the lever , release the pinch then pinch it again , do the same thing again but this time crack the bleeder valve just enough to let out some fluid and air , do that a couple of times , then pinch off the side you bleed at the tee and go to the other side , I have got the lever to get harder doing this crazy sting of events , it is like force feeding it
 

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@retro, is it possible to back bleed the brakes on a Honda ATV at all?
Early Land Rovers can be a right pain to bleed at times and we back bleed them, cures the issue straight away.
@agdodge4x4 have you tried locking off the right side brake with vice grips and just attempting to bleed the left side?
Also, if you have a spare MC cap/lid you could drill it and force the fluid through with compressed air, just don't let the MC run out of fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have everything back together for testing. The front brakes will not lock up going forward. Its good enough considering the back breaks are really good.

Now....If I clamp off both lines near the cylinders, I get a hard handle. Really great, so that removes the brake lines and MC as the isue. It MUST be air in the lines OR the new cylinders will not work on this bike, but physically on the outside, they look the same volumetrically.

Knowing this, is fishfiles still teh way to go?
 

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@SamUK,

Yeah, any method for bleeding works. I've used pressure bleeders (works for most vehicles really well), vacuum pumps, back bleeding using pressure bleeder, etc. Sometimes a system will hold trapped air for no explainable reason and drive ya nuts though! When one of those rare buggers gets me by the short hairs, I usually go to the suspected area in the system and start cracking open brake line fittings while the system is slightly pressurized by a pressure bleeder. I'm generally a winner by the time I've cracked open most of the brake lines and fittings on the vehicle... still doesn't help ease the cussing though...

I remember a small GM car (can't remember the model) with the early GM anti-lock brake system that drove me crazy for hours trying to get the brake system bled. Nothing worked... I tryed everything I could think of and failed. I finally took a long break to cool off my hot head and think about it... when I walked back to that car after my break I put the front subframe on the end of the hoist and chained it! Then I took that sucker up for a ride on the hoist until the frontend of the car was at about a 25-30 degree angle inclined, with the rear bumper almost touching the floor. I began opening bleeders and one of the front calipers blew some air! Problem solved.... never had that happen to me ever again.
 

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@SamUK,

Yeah, any method for bleeding works. I've used pressure bleeders (works for most vehicles really well), vacuum pumps, back bleeding using pressure bleeder, etc. Sometimes a system will hold trapped air for no explainable reason and drive ya nuts though! When one of those rare buggers gets me by the short hairs, I usually go to the suspected area in the system and start cracking open brake line fittings while the system is slightly pressurized by a pressure bleeder. I'm generally a winner by the time I've cracked open most of the brake lines and fittings on the vehicle... still doesn't help ease the cussing though...

I remember a small GM car (can't remember the model) with the early GM anti-lock brake system that drove me crazy for hours trying to get the brake system bled. Nothing worked... I tryed everything I could think of and failed. I finally took a long break to cool off my hot head and think about it... when I walked back to that car after my break I put the front subframe on the end of the hoist and chained it! Then I took that sucker up for a ride on the hoist until the frontend of the car was at about a 25-30 degree angle inclined, with the rear bumper almost touching the floor. I began opening bleeders and one of the front calipers blew some air! Problem solved.... never had that happen to me ever again.
Hey, that's a good idea using the hoist. Made me think that standing an ATV upright on its rear carrier may do the same job.
 

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Hey, that's a good idea using the hoist. Made me think that standing an ATV upright on its rear carrier may do the same job.
Ya, thats the thinking goin' on behind those schemes... Some cars nowadays (and some snowmobiles, maybe other vehicles as well) require the mechanic to jack the frontend of the vehicle up a certain distance to enable air to bleed out of the cooling system. Some vehicles even have more than one antifreeze bleeder (at each end of the motor or on an isolated component generally) to allow trapped air to escape. Some are quite time consuming too, taking up to half an hour to burp all the air out. Troublesome air pockets may even require a cooldown period and a second attempt...

Air pockets can exist anywhere that a volume is greater than the supply/exhaust line (or hose), so sometimes just lifting one side of the vehicle up (or the front, or rear etc.) will allow an air pocket to move to another location within the closed system... which hopefully is right where you want them to be... at or near a bleeder valve.

Frustrating stuff...
 
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