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  1. #1
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    Avid bleed problems

    Yes I did read and you tube vid but still having problems.......the problem im having is pushing the fluid through, i have the brake lever strapped as directed removed all the air. Ive taken the line off at the brale lever and pushed fluid through, once I attach the line to the brake I cannot push the fluid through the line even when im sucking with the sringe at the brake lever........ Frustrated as hell..... Any advice?

  2. #2
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    I manage a bike shop and bleed brakes quite often, I hate Avid. Here is the best video I have found on the subject. not sure if its the same one you saw.
    Shop Tech Video: Bleeding Avid Elixir Brakes « Mountain Flyer Magazine

  3. #3
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    exactly what step are you having trouble with. bleeding is essentially a 3 step process. 1- caliper, 2- line, and 3- lever. My advise as I have only just recently learned how to do it and took me a couple hours although I did have to address not only the bleed, but issues with stuck piston(s).

    "the problem im having is pushing the fluid through, i have the brake lever strapped as directed removed all the air. Ive taken the line off at the brale lever and pushed fluid through, once I attach the line to the brake I cannot push the fluid through the line even when im sucking with the sringe at the brake lever"

    OK, so it sounds like you did the caliper, and even did the line. I think where your having problems is you don't "attach line to the brake" only for the first part, bleeding the caliper. Once your done with that part you take the line off the brake and it stays open for the remaining steps (i.e., bleeding the line and bleeding the lever). I happen to like the Park Tool instructions, here:

    Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Avid® Juicy Caliper Brake Bleed Service
    Last edited by Jetta2010; 01-26-2013 at 03:36 PM.
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8

  4. #4
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    Do they have bite or contact adjust? If so dont close the adjustment all the way as directed, leave it open a turn.

  5. #5
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    If you have the lever taped down, you won't be able to push fluid thru because the piston is past the port to let the fluid out...and it's being held there.

    You'd tape the lever down to degas the fluid in the caliper and in the line. And it'd be good to have the lever lower than the caliper during this step.

    Here, mod your steps like this:
    I'll assume the worse possible case...your system is entirely dry. Make sure you have either the piston block in or the pads along w/ the red plastic spacer in before you do this...
    - Attach both syringes, 60% full on the caliper and 20% full at the lever
    - lever NOT taped down, push fluid back and forth.
    **if you can't get fluid thru, pull up and push on the lever a touch while you push from the caliper and see if this frees up things.
    - once you've cycled the fluid thru the system a bit to fill the caliper, line, and lever, push all but 20% of the fluid at the caliper syringe to the lever syringe and tape down the lever. You won't need to use the red hose clip on the lever syringe if you have the lever taped.
    - Degas the caliper and line by pulling a vacuum several times w/ the caliper syringe. Once you're satisfied w/ the degassing, button up the caliper and untape the lever. Give the lever syringe a push to fill the lever.
    - Swap syringes so the one from the caliper w/ only 20% of the fluid is now at the lever. Once attached, degas the lever. This step typically takes me about 15 - 20 mins before I'm satisfied w/ the amount of dissolved gases are out. You'll also degas the caliper and line again doing this so be patient. Pump the lever while you've pulled a vacuum. If you're bottoming it against the bar, keep repeating pulling a vacuum and pushing fluid back in. When it's close, you'll be able to pull a vacuum and the lever won't bottom, but will barely able to be pulled when you've let off on the vacuum.

    This takes a while, but you'll get a super solid bleed this way. The front will take you about 15 mins. The rear will take you about 45 mins.
    Last edited by Pau11y; 01-26-2013 at 05:16 PM.
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  6. #6
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    The other thing that isn't being mentioned here is to be careful with the syringes. It is pretty easy to suck air in where the clear hose joins the thread-in fitting while you are doing the vacuuming part....and it wants to go right back into the caliper/lever because of the negative pressure at that point. It's a bit of a tug of war. You'll see what I mean.

    Take your time and pay attention to that area of the syringe while you are doing this. I suspect that a lot of folks don't notice this happening and get air in the system again, despite following procedure to a T for the most part.

    Avid's are a real PITA, but with a good bleed they do feel pretty good.
    Stay aware of those who hide in plain sight.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    If you have the lever taped down, you won't be able to push fluid thru because the piston is past the port to let the fluid out...and it's being held there.
    I agree, and think this is where op is getting hung up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    You'd tape the lever down to degas the fluid in the caliper and in the line. And it'd be good to have the lever lower than the caliper during this step.
    Yes, you tape lever down to do caliper, but not line. If you tape the lever down, you won't be able to push fluid from caliper syringe to lever syringe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    Here, mod your steps like this:
    I'll assume the worse possible case...your system is entirely dry. Make sure you have either the piston block in or the pads along w/ the red plastic spacer in before you do this...
    - Attach both syringes, 60% full on the caliper and 20% full at the lever
    - lever NOT taped down, push fluid back and forth.
    **if you can't get fluid thru, pull up and push on the lever a touch while you push from the caliper and see if this frees up things.
    - once you've cycled the fluid thru the system a bit to fill the caliper, line, and lever, push all but 20% of the fluid at the caliper syringe to the lever syringe and tape down the lever. You won't need to use the red hose clip on the lever syringe if you have the lever taped.
    - Degas the caliper and line by pulling a vacuum several times w/ the caliper syringe. Once you're satisfied w/ the degassing, button up the caliper and untape the lever. Give the lever syringe a push to fill the lever.
    - Swap syringes so the one from the caliper w/ only 20% of the fluid is now at the lever. Once attached, degas the lever. This step typically takes me about 15 - 20 mins before I'm satisfied w/ the amount of dissolved gases are out. You'll also degas the caliper and line again doing this so be patient. Pump the lever while you've pulled a vacuum. If you're bottoming it against the bar, keep repeating pulling a vacuum and pushing fluid back in. When it's close, you'll be able to pull a vacuum and the lever won't bottom, but will barely able to be pulled when you've let off on the vacuum.

    This takes a while, but you'll get a super solid bleed this way. The front will take you about 15 mins. The rear will take you about 45 mins.
    I don't like this mod and think at best it is unnecessary and at worst, possibly damaging as your pushing contamination and/or air back into the system.


    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    The other thing that isn't being mentioned here is to be careful with the syringes. It is pretty easy to suck air in where the clear hose joins the thread-in fitting while you are doing the vacuuming part....and it wants to go right back into the caliper/lever because of the negative pressure at that point. It's a bit of a tug of war. You'll see what I mean.

    Take your time and pay attention to that area of the syringe while you are doing this. I suspect that a lot of folks don't notice this happening and get air in the system again, despite following procedure to a T for the most part.

    Avid's are a real PITA, but with a good bleed they do feel pretty good.
    This is not true as when pulling vacuum on syringe, if the connection between syringe tubing and fitting is not tight, you will just pull more air into syringe, which can create a problem, but not what you describe.
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta2010 View Post

    This is not true as when pulling vacuum on syringe, if the connection between syringe tubing and fitting is not tight, you will just pull more air into syringe, which can create a problem, but not what you describe.
    It most certainly is true, and does happen when doing the push/pull with the lever. If you aren't careful to let the bubbles get into the main part of the syringe, there is a risk of them being drawn into the caliper.

    It also happens if and when you are pulling lightly on the syringe a few times to dislodge any remaining bubbles before you remove the syringe to replace the screw. This step may be unneccesary, but there are usually a few bubbles that come out at this time. It does not take much negative pressure on the syringe to get the POS tubing interface to leak air.
    Last edited by jochribs; 01-26-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    It most certainly is true, and does happen when doing the push/pull with the lever. If you aren't careful to let the bubbles get into the main part of the syringe, there is a risk of them being drawn into the caliper.

    It also happens if and when you are pulling lightly on the syringe a few times to dislodge any remaining bubbles before you remove the syringe to replace the screw. This step may be unneccesary, but there are usually a few bubbles that come out at this time. It does not take much negative pressure on the syringe to get the POS tubing interface to leak air.
    Agreed w/ both posts above!

    Sorry, I forgot to mention the care needed to deal w/ the Luer-lock interface. I've been using Avid's Pro bleed kit and there's a different interface there. So for the Leur-lock, twist it on tight when you assemble the syringes. But if you see bubbles being pulled into the syringe during (-) pressures, loosen it just a touch...and you'll un-distort the threads/interface. I've had good luck w/ this tweak, but your mileage may vary. All else fails, wrap the little read piece w/ some plumber's tape and see if that helps.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    The other thing that isn't being mentioned here is to be careful with the syringes. It is pretty easy to suck air in where the clear hose joins the thread-in fitting while you are doing the vacuuming part....and it wants to go right back into the caliper/lever because of the negative pressure at that point. It's a bit of a tug of war. You'll see what I mean.
    Oh yeah! But you can help w/ a better seal by tying some waxed dental floss around the tubing and between the barbs, or between the barb and the textured flange thingie.

    I got sick of fixing their cheapie bleed kit so I dropped some coin on the pro version...I have 6 sets of Avids so I feel justified
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    It most certainly is true, and does happen when doing the push/pull with the lever. If you aren't careful to let the bubbles get into the main part of the syringe, there is a risk of them being drawn into the caliper.

    It also happens if and when you are pulling lightly on the syringe a few times to dislodge any remaining bubbles before you remove the syringe to replace the screw. This step may be unneccesary, but there are usually a few bubbles that come out at this time. It does not take much negative pressure on the syringe to get the POS tubing interface to leak air.
    I think I understand what you mean, however, it is not what the op is describing as his problem, and that is what I was trying to focus on. If I understand you correctly, you are talking about when you pull the plunger and create vacuum, you may suck air in through the interface between the fitting and the hose, and then when you release the plunger and it goes back to neutral pressure the air moves from the tube and into the brake system. That can be an issue and I agree that to create a better seal at that location, you can use a very thin piece of teflon tape wrapped around the fitting threads.

    Still though, my goal was to focus on the op's issues without giving him any thing else to confuse him further. It's all good
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta2010 View Post
    I don't like this mod and think at best it is unnecessary and at worst, possibly damaging as your pushing contamination and/or air back into the system.
    Cite specifics plz. I'm open to learning/tweaking my methods...

    Are you talking about pushing from caliper up to lever? Did you catch the worse case assumption statement that the system is entirely dry? The basis for this is I replace every Avid hose w/ Goodridge, so I often have full empty lines and MCs.

    Edit: I did recently have a situation where the fluid pushed from caliper to MC had yogurt chunks in the upper syringe (I think a mix of DOT 4 from recycled line used for a set of Hayes w/ DOT 5.1...results in white precipitated chunks of silicon...?). In this case, I just removed the upper syringe and replace the fluid. Then, taped the lever down and pulled a vacuum at the caliper, then released the lever w/ clean upper syringe. Problem solved; contamination purged.
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  13. #13
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    When the lever is clamped down, you aren't supposed to push fluid through. At that point you only remove air from the caliper.

    I bled my Juicy 7's just last night and after sucking air from the caliper into the lower syringe, I removed the rubber band from the lever pushed the lower syringe plunger and released the lever slowly at the same time. I could feel the pressure from the lower syringe work its way through the caliper and hose to the piston, which pushed the lever.

    So you just need to release the lever to push fluid through.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta2010 View Post

    Still though, my goal was to focus on the op's issues without giving him any thing else to confuse him further. It's all good
    Oh, I hear ya brother. No worries, we're all just trying to help in here...
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  15. #15
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    Thanks, its all good now!!

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    Glad to hear you got it working my friend. As I mentioned, my first time bleeding my Avid's I was struggling with albeit a different issue, but just stick with it and don't be afraid of posting back if you run afoul again
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8

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