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With car calipers you should almost never mount them with the bleed valve pointing down, and always point them up! Pointing down will leave air trapped in the calipers, and you'll never get a hard brake pedal without removing the caliper and turning it over to bleed.
I had to mount my Austin's calipers with bleed down to get the hose routing I wanted, but I use a vacuum bleeder, so I simply pull the two caliper bolts and turn the calipers upside down, and bleed them. Then bolt them back on and they're fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #362 ·
Thanks Vall. I wish some of these builds would cross over!
With car calipers you should almost never mount them with the bleed valve pointing down, and always point them up! Pointing down will leave air trapped in the calipers, and you'll never get a hard brake pedal without removing the caliper and turning it over to bleed.
I had to mount my Austin's calipers with bleed down to get the hose routing I wanted, but I use a vacuum bleeder, so I simply pull the two caliper bolts and turn the calipers upside down, and bleed them. Then bolt them back on and they're fine.
 

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Your remark about the brakes on bikes caught my attention because I'd never heard that about "never, ever" mount the calipers with the bleeder valve in the up position. I've done brake upgrades and swaps on many bikes and always the bleeder valve was in the up position. I just went out and looked at the brakes on both my Harleys. The 88 has the Performance Machine brakes front and rear with the bleeders up and my 2005 FLH with stock brakes also has the bleeders up. Do you remember why you were told that because I'm really curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #364 ·
Ya know, I do not remember where I heard that. I have used harley softail rear calipers on all my choppers and the only way I ever got them to bleed was down. Hell, apparently I have been doing it wrong all these years. But I never had luck with them pointing up.
Your remark about the brakes on bikes caught my attention because I'd never heard that about "never, ever" mount the calipers with the bleeder valve in the up position. I've done brake upgrades and swaps on many bikes and always the bleeder valve was in the up position. I just went out and looked at the brakes on both my Harleys. The 88 has the Performance Machine brakes front and rear with the bleeders up and my 2005 FLH with stock brakes also has the bleeders up. Do you remember why you were told that because I'm really curious.
 

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I have worked on a lot of bikes in my day japan, american, Italian only one that I saw with the bleed screw down was the Honda V45 Interceptor...you had to put a piece of wood between the pads and also had to do it removed and bleeder tipped up...my Ranger has them up side down for fitment...don't matter as long as you can bleed them some way
 

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I've had a couple friends ask me how I can bleed the brakes on my Austin when the calipers are upside down. I usually just tell them it's tops secret, and I can't tell them. One works at a Les Schwab as a front end and brake guy, and surprised me he wouldn't know how to bleed brakes when mounted upside down?
 

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Factory calipers and hoses are always on top so that’s how I would install them Dave. I never experimented like Vall or Lash. Hope all goes well with the knee problem. Glad you got HF to take care of the warranty. I’m willing to bet it’s a module of some sort that won’t switch current.
keep up the great work you’re doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #368 ·
OK, got my calipers mounted. I had to mount them in front because it was getting a little hairy with the steering arms and all, but I managed to make them work. I have to say the Speedway's instructions are for shit. I finally found a video on their website that shed some light on how they go on. and I looked at Brandon's pictures to help me think my way through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #370 ·
The instructions I got had pictures of different calipers, the instructions said you could use either caliper on either side. My calipers have a clearly marked L and R on them and a bunch of clips that show up nowhere on the instructions. So I pulled up the gasser front end kit instructions and they just have a bunch of generic pictures. Very frustrating, but I finally got them on so it was a good moment for me. I do not like brakes and bleeding so I do not have a lot of experience with them. As a matter of fact, I am scared to death running my brake lines, but it has to be done.
What was the issue with Speedway's instructions Dave?
 

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Great advice. Amen
 

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Dave, If flaring brake lines makes you nervous there are options. More costly than flaring your own, but much simpler, and no flaring needed. I've known a couple guys who simply bought pre-made lines with fittings on the ends, and assembled them using a tubing bender to bend them. Local chain auto parts stores carry lines in all different lengths, along with T's and couplers. So you can buy straight sections in various lengths to end up getting the lines the total you want. My local parts stores have them in 6', 4', 3', 18", and 6" lengths. Usually a 6' and a 3' or 4' will get from master to the rear. Then whatever is needed to get from master to a T and then to both sides.
These premade speed the process up a lot, if you don't mind the price difference. Will generally end up around $60 or so, vs. under $25 for a kit with easy bend brake tubing and assortment of fittings ordered online.
I prefer this style bender myself. It wont bend as close to the end as the one Steve linked, but easy for me to do nice bends.


 

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I guess I should have added that combined with the regular style bender (of which I have 2 different designs) these pliers are almost a necessity if you need to make bends close to the fittings or tweaks down the line. The pliers can be used to bend the tube almost where the tube exits the fitting for really tight spaces.
 

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I guess I should have added that combined with the regular style bender (of which I have 2 different designs) these pliers are almost a necessity if you need to make bends close to the fittings or tweaks down the line. The pliers can be used to bend the tube almost where the tube exits the fitting for really tight spaces.
On occasion I've had to put the fitting on the cross bar of my bender instead of putting it just past the bar like normally. Might have to look into a pair of those pliers for tweaking tighter bends if I ever do another set of brake lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #376 ·
I have the pliers, but I also like what Vall has as well. I think the way to go for me is the premade ones. Stopping the car is pretty high on the list, so I do not want to take chances.
 

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Are you going stainless or regular steel? Do you have a double flare tool?
stainless will take a single flare and the steel gets a double flare. Summit sells the tube nut kit you would need with adapters for the master cylinder.
 

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I usually use copper nickel line kits as they bend and flare much easier. Plus they withstand road salts and corrosion much better. The difference when bending and flaring is amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #379 ·
I bought some of the copper/nickel line, but I think I am gonna head the pre-made route.

On a good note, I have to give props to harbor freight. 13 months after I bought it, they are sending me a brand new welder. Just got the notice today that it is on its way.
 
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