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  1. #1
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    Elixir bleed problems.... HELP!

    My front brakes needed bleeding so I started doing the whole procedure as shown in the pinkbike video:

    Technical Tuesday: How To Bleed Your Avid Elixir Brakes - Pinkbike

    When bleeding the levers (around 11.30 minutes on the video) I run into some serious trouble. When pulling back on the syringe in order to remove any air bubbles from the system, I could see bubbles coming out constantly, as if there is a leak somewhere on the levers. When pushing in on the syringe, I could see drops of oil coming out of the levers into the floor. Sh..t!

    So I guess my levers are not air tight... do I need to buy new brakes or is there a way to fix the problem?

    Thanks
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Reputation: RustyIron's Avatar
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    There are plenty of places on the "levers" where you can have leaks. You need to look at it and see where the fluid is originating. The first place you should look is fitting on your syringe that screws into the lever. Make sure the o-ring is intact that it's sealing properly.

  3. #3
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    Spots you can leak on the lever: the hydraulic hose fitting (move the rubber boot down the hose), the piston assembly (comes from opposite the hydro hose on the lever body) or, as RustyIron suggested, even the bleed fitting on your syringe!

    Sram/Avid produce seal/rebuild kits for all of their modern brakes, so do some research and check...can you get a new [comparable] brake for less than the seal kit? And if you can't, are you willing to take apart the entire lever assembly to replace the seals?

  4. #4
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    I've found that giving the syringe threaded into the bleed port on the lever a little torque with some pliers helped with that exact problem. Not too much torque though!

    If that's not it than it's a seal within the worm gear. Not too hard to replace but requires a ton of bleeding and fluid.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I had a closer look at my brakes. The syringe is tight, no leaks. The hydraulic hose is also OK. The problem must be the piston assembly.

    I did bleeding again to observe where the leak is. When I push on the syringe sometimes I see drops of oil coming out of the piston assembly (opposite of the hydraulic hose on the lever body). When pull out on the syringe I see bubbles coming in the syringe.

    Strange thing is that this is not always happening! It seems to happen when the lever is slightly pulled out (as opposed to pushed in when you are braking). When you push the lever then you brake. But if you pull the lever in the opposite direction (i.e. pull out) then there is normally a position 2-3mm where you hear a 'click' and the lever cannot go further out. It's in that position that I have the leaking. Just to give you an idea, when I did the bleeding the last time I was very careful not to pull the lever out when I finished. I just checked the brakes 2 days later and no problem! But I am sure that if I accidentally pull the lever out, even slightly, when I carry the bike here and there then immediately I will lose the pressure and a few drops of oil. Of course pulling the lever out is not something you normally do, but sometimes when you crash, or when you carry the bike around on the bike stand,then you might accidentally do this. Even the slight outward pressure will cause leak.

    Any suggestions?

    I am not afraid to take the assembly apart if there is a chance to fix the problem....

    Thanks, Mike

  6. #6
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    Sounds like an issue with the assembly. How old is it? That position of the lever (where it clicks into place when pushed instead of pulled) is for when you have removed the wheel during transport. It keeps the lever from depressing and closing your calipers.

  7. #7
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    My brakes are about 4 years old...

  8. #8
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    Then I would say it is a good time to grab a rebuild kit for the levers (and maybe the calipers). It is very possible that the seals have degraded.

    Of course, you could try calling Sram/Avid and see what they say/can do for you.

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