Almost time for a test drive, but still a bit of work to do with reinstalling the calipers, master cylinders, brake lines, and bleeding the brakes first.
It all begins at the rear wheel since the rear wheel needs to be reinstalled before the rear caliper can go back on and I couldn’t get the rear wheel back on without removing the front wheel… There was one more thing I wanted to do before putting the rear wheel back on and that was to adjust the preload of the rear shocks. The shocks have preload settings from 1 to 5 with 1 being the factory setting. The previous owner had the preload setting on 5 so I wanted to reset this back to 1 before reinstalling the rear wheel.
I don’t have the official tool for adjusting the preload setting, but I found that a bicycle tool that I have for tightening the lock ring on older generation bicycle bottom brackets did the trick.
And back to setting 1.
With that out of the way, I could get the rear wheel fitted back to the shaft drive and add the spacers and caliper bracket to hold the rear caliper.
Then, I could raise the front end back up again to reinstall the front wheel and front caliper.
Then it was time for the master cylinders. Both are pretty straight forward to reinstall. On the front, I reconnected the brake light switch before installing the master cylinder to the handlebar which allowed me to hold the lever upside down and not lose the tiny plastic, copper, and springy parts.
I upgraded the original equipment brake lines that were 33 years old and supposed to be replaced every two years with Spiegler braided stainless steel lines that are DOT approved and will not need to be replaced again. There are cheaper alternatives including making your own brake lines, but I would rather have them constructed and pressure tested by an expert. You tell Spiegler what brake line length and fittings you need, and they get you the brake lines in just a few days. They also include the crush washers and a tool to align the fittings so that you don’t need to have twisted lines to make them fit.
I went with smoke color since I wanted to see the braided hose that I paid for.
Routing the brake lines and making the connections wasn’t too bad. On each hose I had to use the included tool to twist the fitting at one end since they needed to be opposed to each other approximately 90° and they arrived parallel.
For the connection at the rear master cylinder, I also had to remove the battery and lower the regulator/rectifier unit to get access to the banjo bolt with a long socket extension.
Before getting to the brake bleeding I made sure all of the bolts and fittings were to the correct torque settings. There is no way you will get these fasteners to the correct torque until they are back on the bike. Similarly when breaking down the components, loosen every fastener before removing them from the bike or you will never get them loose later without reinstalling them temporarily or trying to put them in some kind of vise.
Now that everything is back in place and torqued to specification, it is time to add the brake fluid and bleed the brakes. When I removed the caliper pistons previously for cleaning, I used the hydraulic pressure from the front master cylinder, but I had to re-prime the front master cylinder to accomplish this and it took some time to get the brake fluid back through the master cylinder, So I decided to try a vacuum bleed system. The Mityvac MV8000.
It has plenty of hose and fittings to perform a brake bleed along with a users manual describing all of the other things yo can do with it.
It worked pretty well to pull brake fluid though the system to remove the trapped air bubbles. On the front caliper I somehow sucked brake fluid past the catch can into the vacuum device which did not have a good result. I’ll need to clear all of the brake fluid out of the device before I can use it again.
Time to ride…