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Changing/buying steel front brake line (Read 340 times)
georgekathe
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Changing/buying steel front brake line
08/07/06 at 23:08:53
 
Though these have been mentioned on what I now think is a defunct site, nobody here appears to have written much on fitting steel brake lines with steel fittings, though they do help to "beef up" the Savage's "average" braking & some/many seem to use them, judging from the "add-ons" they list on their bikes when answering a posting.

Sooo....

I bought a set from HEL. They are inexpensive (compare to Spiegler) @ $50 including shipping, new bolts & (essential) new copper washers, made in the USA. Their site is www.helusa.com, though you can contact a very nice bloke Craig Nehls on craig@helusa.com, phone 561-844-0374, fax 561-848-9388.

Though they have no 800 # to call to order/ask questions (their catalog is currently unavailable) if you call Craig he'll call back on his dime to talk & discuss, take orders, etc. They took less than a week to arrive in CO from FL. Warranted for life. For about $75 (I think) you can also get Titanium fittings, but I was on a bit of a budget.

Available in many cool colors (I chose a carbon fiber look) with many colors of fittings (I was advised plain). Unlike some other sources these have stainless steel fittings, which I understand has advantages (can't recall them - ask Craig!)

They come ready made for Savages (stipulate year & confirm type of bars), but as I have lower bars on a '96 which used to have pullbacks I stipulated 1" shorter than stock (should have made it another 1 -1 & 1/2 shorter - ah well, just don't get them too short!)

Before this sounds like an ad for HEL -

They are easy to fit (undo old union fitting @ bottom of hose @ caliper, having a jar underneath with a rag under that, to catch all the old fluid, having taken off the reservoir top @ the bars' end so the fluid runs through (NOTE put rags all over paint on tank/mudguard etc - brake fluid eats stuff!)

Before you take the reservoir top off clean around it & don't damage the diaphram under it. One of the screws on mine wouldn't budge so I had to drill it & use an extractor. Took more time than the rest of the job combined!!

Then undo the top union fitting (really watching for weaps going anywhere they shouldn't) to a) get rest of old fluid out of system b) take line off, taking it out of its clips (you have to take off the clip on the lower yoke - not the one on the fork leg itself to do this).

Now fit new union fittings top & bottom, with new washers each side & torque to recommended settings (14-18 ft.-lb., or 20-25N.m per Clymers), first making sure line @ bottom is clearing the bleed valve area (under the little rubber cap on the caliper.)

Now bleed brakes using NEW brake fluid (they say even fluid in a bottle that has been used before absorbs air over a period). For a few $$ for a new can I'm not risking my front lever going to the bar when I brake & my not having the main stopper when I need it due to air in the system!

As the line is thinner than the previous one the fittings that held the old line on won't hold it, so use about 1 & 1/4 of 5/16 (7.9 mm) fuel emission line slit lengthways as a "gromit"/sleeve to go around the line & fit it that way through the clips. Use little color coordinated (!) - black in my case - cable ties top & bottom to help hold them in place, though they are quite tight in the clips (even more so if you carefully bend the clips to hold them).

I'm not going into bleeding brakes here (it'd go on a long while after an already long posting) but will if I need to in another posting - let me know.

Though replacing the line can be a solo flight, this bleeding is, incidently a 2 person job - my (new) mate Thumperclone came along to help/observe while , a buddy who is a FWD nut, and an old hand @ brake bleeding/line changing/ pad changing gave advice & expert hands where needed.

Please comment if I've missed something out or I am unclear but it was an easy job that seems to have made for a firmer feel @ the lever (though can't try it yet as muffler is off while I replace it with one of Lancer's & get seat recovered. Bikeless for a week - darn it!!

George  Grin
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klx650sm2002
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Re: Changing/buying steel front brake line
Reply #1 - 08/08/06 at 02:34:42
 
I have s/s braided brake lines front and back on KLX, well worth it.

Clive W  Cheesy
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Savage_Rob
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Re: Changing/buying steel front brake line
Reply #2 - 08/08/06 at 07:10:29
 
Several of us have done this and it does improve it.  I also used HEL and later found out that Lancer markets another brand, so you might compare.  There are discussions concerning this but no documented procedures I'm aware of until yours.  Thanks.  If you took any pictures during this process, they're always helpful.  The one note I'd add (from a previous discussion) is that you're better off bleeding the brakes using the old-fashioned "pump the handle" method than using the Mity-Vac.  The Mity-Vac is great for cars but moves fluid too quickly for this application.
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1998|MAC muffler|ceramic coated header|K&N air filter|Amal Mk2 carb|Odyssey battery|iridium plug|NC windshield|Dunlop 491s|Superbrace|EBC brake rotor|12.5" Progressive shocks|Kuryakyn ISO grips
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