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Whatever...
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And here, ladies and gentlemen, is why you need to change your brake fluid every two years;



I have posted elsewhere that I have a new-to-me 2005 VTX 1300S. When I changed the brake fluid, what came out looked like coffee. Shortly after changing the fluid, the master cylinder started leaking.:banghead:

I believed that the piston seals were shot, and you can see in the above pic, that they were. :doh:That's what you get when you ignore the bike...

I replaced the brake line with a Galfer D338-1 (~$50), while I was rebuilding the master cylinder with a K&L 722387-AD (~$25). The K&L kit is supposed to be equivalent to the Honda 45530-MN9-305. I had to tweek the angle of the slave cylinder fitting on the Galfer kit in order to keep the brake line from chafing on the 1300S front fender, but this was easy. Both parts seems to work well (so far).

Here is a pic of both new parts;


and here is a closeup of the K&L kit;


I am posting this in the hope that it motivates you to change your fluid often, and for those that have to rebuild, you will have the part numbers that I ordered.
 

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Thank you for the post and the photos....


a few of us have been trying to get the information out.... every 2 years... and your photos explain Why...

pay now ... or pay more later...
 

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gross, looks nasty. I need to change mine, my cylinder started leaking last year. I also need to change my coolant this year. Just waiting for the weather to get a little warmer.
 

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Whatever...
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Discussion Starter #5
If you let it go too long, you also risk having the slave cylinder (a.k.a. caliper) leak. That red-brown stuff is corrosion from the piston. The corrosion (iron oxide) is like having 80 grit abrasive in there. Working the brake lever will abrade the cylinder, and the leak will get worse. The only fix if the cylinder gets worn is to hone the cylinder and go with a larger piston, or replace the master cylinder. Also, brake fluid eats paint very quickly. This stuff gets expensive quick. Changing the fluid every other year is not too much to ask (I do this for my car and truck too!).

Not changing the coolant risks the water pump failing, leaks, and radiator clogging.
 

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Thanks for the heads up!
 

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Whatever...
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Discussion Starter #8
I believe that it was DOT4... I also believe that it was ORIGINAL (10 years old)

ALL brake fluid is hydroscopic, and absorbs moisture from the air.
 

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Good post to remind everyone to change the brake fluid
Just change mine today used Valvoline dot 3/4 brake fluid
 

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I believe that it was DOT4... I also believe that it was ORIGINAL (10 years old)

ALL brake fluid is hydroscopic, and absorbs moisture from the air.
DOT 5 brake fluid will not absorb water and it doesn't ruin your paint. DOT 5 also does not play well with DOT 3/4 brake fluid, thorough flushing required.
 

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DOT 5 brake fluid will not absorb water and it doesn't ruin your paint. DOT 5 also does not play well with DOT 3/4 brake fluid, thorough flushing required.
Even with a torough flushing I would not recommend using DOT 5 in our bikes stay with DOT 4
 

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Whatever...
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Discussion Starter #12
DOT 5 brake fluid will not absorb water and it doesn't ruin your paint. DOT 5 also does not play well with DOT 3/4 brake fluid, thorough flushing required.
There is a great primer on brake fluids here; http://www.gomog.com/allmorgan/brakefluids.html

Here are the salient points;
[SIZE=+1]DOT 3

[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]DOT 3 brake fluid is the "conventional" brake fluid used in most vehicles. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Advantages:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is inexpensive, and available at most gas stations, department stores, and any auto parts store.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is completely compatible with DOT 3 and DOT 5.1.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Disadvantages:[/SIZE]

[SIZE=+1]
It eats paint.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=+1]It absorbs water very readily. Accordingly, once a container of DOT 3 has been opened, it should not be stored for periods much longer than a week before use.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is NOT compatible with Dot 5 whatsoever and should never be mixed. A safe switch from DOT 3/DOT 4/DOT 5.1 to DOT 5 requires a complete flush of the braking system and a change of all seals in the hydraulic system. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Maintenance[/SIZE]
Flush every 2 years.
[SIZE=+1]DOT 4

[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Advantages:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is available at most auto parts stores, and gas stations and department stores.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It does not absorb water as readily as DOT 3 fluid.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It has a higher boiling point than DOT 3 fluid, making it more suitable for high performance applications where the brake systems are expected to get hot.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is completely compatible with DOT 3 and DOT 5.1.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Disadvantages:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It eats paint. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is about 50% more expensive than DOT 3 fluid. (One brand is the easily found Castrol LMA)[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is NOT compatible with Dot 5 whatsoever and should never be mixed. A safe switch from DOT 3/DOT 4/DOT 5.1 to DOT 5 requires a complete flush of the braking system and a change of all seals in the hydraulic system. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Maintenance[/SIZE]
Flush every 2 years.
[SIZE=+1]DOT 5

[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]DOT 5 brake fluid is also known as "silicone" brake fluid. It was designed for the US Army, who has requested permission to stop using it.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Advantages:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It does not eat paint or skin.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It does not absorb water (BUT!!! See more on this under disadvantages, below.)[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It has a higher boiling point than DOT 3 and DOT 4. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is compatible with all rubber formulations. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is a good choice for Concours cars which are rarely driven and/or never driven hard.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Disadvantages:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It does NOT mix with DOT3 or DOT 4 or DOT 5.1. Most reported problems with DOT 5 are probably due to some degree of mixing with other fluid types. A residue of the former non-compatible fluid is sufficient to cause serious issues. The best way to convert to DOT 5 is to totally rebuild the hydraulic system. Additionally, the same advice applies if switching from Dot 5 to any of the other fluids.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Since DOT 5 does not absorb water, any moisture in the hydraulic system will "puddle" in one place. This can cause localized corrosion in the hydraulics.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Careful bleeding is required to get all of the air out of the system. It is hard to you without introducing bubbles and thus results in soft pedal feel. These small bubbles will form large bubbles over time. It may be necessary to do a series of bleeds.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]DOT 5 is less compressible (often creating a slightly softer pedal). It is not recommended for racing application. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is hard to pour without introducing bubbles and thus results in soft pedal feel,[/SIZE]

[SIZE=+1]It is not recommended by the brake manufacturer, especially for ABS brakes.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is about twice as expensive as DOT 4 fluid. [/SIZE]
So silicone fluid aerates easily. Harley-Davison, one of the sole current OEM users of silicone fluid, warns buyers to let the fluid sit at least an hour before using it. If shaken on the way home, it will aerate enough to look like a freshly poured soft drink. Silicone fluid is also slightly more compressible than glycol fluid, and does not change color to tip the user to its moisture content, and worst of all, neither accepts or disperses moisture, making systems using it more corrosion prone, and requiring much more frequent fluid changes. Silicone brake fluid also lacks glycol fluid's naturally occurring lubricity, making it incompatible with the mechanical valving in some anti-lock braking systems.
[SIZE=+1]Dot 5.1
[/SIZE]


[SIZE=+1]DOT5.1 is a relatively new brake fluid that is causing no end of confusion amongst mechanics. The DOT could avoided a lot of confusion by giving this new fluid a different designation. The 5.1 designation could lead one to believe that it's a modification of silicone-based DOT 5 brake fluid. Calling it 4.1 or 6 might have been more appropriate since it's a glycol-based fluid like the DOT 3 and 4 types, not silicone-based like DOT 5 fluid. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=+1] As far as the basic behavior of 5.1 fluids, they are much like "high performance" DOT 4 fluids.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Advantages:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It provides superior performance over all the other brake fluids discussed here. It has a higher boiling point, either dry or wet, than DOT 3 or 4 or even DOT 5. In fact, its dry boiling point (about 275 degrees C) is almost as high as racing fluid (about 300 degrees C) and 5.1's wet boiling point (about 175 to 200 degrees C) is naturally much higher than racing's (about 145 C).[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is compatible with all rubber formulations.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is completely compatible with DOT 3 and DOT 4 making an upgrade from either easy..[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]Disadvantages:[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It will absorb water.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It will eat paint.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is more difficult to find for sale, typically at very few auto parts stores. Try NAPA #NBF51012[/SIZE]
[SIZE=+1]It is mildly more expensive than DOT3 or DOT4.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=+1]It is NOT compatible with Dot 5 whatsoever and should NEVER be mixed. A safe switch from DOT 3/DOT 4/DOT 5.1 to DOT 5 requires a complete flush of the braking system and a change of all seals in the hydraulic system. [/SIZE]
I am using DOT 3/4 and plan to flush every 2 years.
 

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My service manual recommends DOT4. '03 VTX 1300
Just looked at it after reading this article so I could make an educated guess at what was in there before I work on it. thnx for the thread!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yesterday I changed the brake fluid in the front cylinder after 2 years. It wasn't bad, and nowhere near as bad as it was when I started this thread.

However, I also changed the fluid in my car that had been changed by a dealer a year earlier (2014). When the guy at the dealer changed the fluid, he neglected to tighten the left rear bleed screw, and brake fluid dripped out, and ruined the clearcoat on my rear wheel. I had the dealer re-clear coat it. Yesterday when I bled the lines it became apparent that the ONLY line that the "mechanic" drained was the left rear. Once again, I drained coffee - well more like strong tea - from each of the four wheel calipers and the master cylinder. Bottom line is that the dealer only drained ONE brake line.

Once again - THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO WORK ON YOUR OWN BIKE (and car). If you find a good - honest mechanic (it will not be at a dealer) treat them well!

Also - The upgraded non OEM parts mentioned in the OP have performed flawlessly over the past two years.
 

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Yesterday I changed the brake fluid in the front cylinder after 2 years. It wasn't bad, and nowhere near as bad as it was when I started this thread.

However, I also changed the fluid in my car that had been changed by a dealer a year earlier (2014). When the guy at the dealer changed the fluid, he neglected to tighten the left rear bleed screw, and brake fluid dripped out, and ruined the clearcoat on my rear wheel. I had the dealer re-clear coat it. Yesterday when I bled the lines it became apparent that the ONLY line that the "mechanic" drained was the left rear. Once again, I drained coffee - well more like strong tea - from each of the four wheel calipers and the master cylinder. Bottom line is that the dealer only drained ONE brake line.

Once again - THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO WORK ON YOUR OWN BIKE (and car). If you find a good - honest mechanic (it will not be at a dealer) treat them well!

Also - The upgraded non OEM parts mentioned in the OP have performed flawlessly over the past two years.
from a retired mechanic.. I thank you.. YES, I have Quit a few places because of Managers/owners.
 

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One of the first things I had to do to my VTX was change the brake fluid. The dealer said it was fully serviced. I had sludge in there. It was a royal PITA to get it cleaned up, but it got cleaned up. Clutch fluid as well. May have been original fluid. Brakes work good now. Imagine that.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
REPOSTING this post from 2015 because PhotoBucket SUCKS!

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is why you need to change your brake fluid every two years;




I have posted elsewhere that I have a new-to-me 2005 VTX 1300S. When I changed the brake fluid, what came out looked like coffee. Shortly after changing the fluid, the master cylinder started leaking.:banghead:

I believed that the piston seals were shot, and you can see in the above pic, that they were. :doh:That's what you get when you ignore the bike...

I replaced the brake line with a Galfer D338-1 (~$50), while I was rebuilding the master cylinder with a K&L 722387-AD (~$25). The K&L kit is supposed to be equivalent to the Honda 45530-MN9-305. I had to tweek the angle of the slave cylinder fitting on the Galfer kit in order to keep the brake line from chafing on the 1300S front fender, but this was easy. Both parts seems to work well (so far).

Here is a pic of both new parts;


and here is a closeup of the K&L kit;


I am posting this in the hope that it motivates you to change your fluid often, and for those that have to rebuild, you will have the part numbers that I ordered.

UPDATE: it is now 2019 and the front brake is still working perfectly.
 

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