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Between Eternities
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845 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All -

I will be attempting to perform my own brake servicing on my bike for the very first time, and I am curious to know if anyone has any insights or warnings for me as I cross over into this unknown area.

My bike is a 2012, ABS-equipped FLHTK with 30,000 miles.

To-date, aside from periodic inspection of fluid levels in the handlebar master cylinder and half-assed checks of the brake pad thickness up front, there has been no other servicing performed on the brake system. My bike is exactly three years old and the system has not been bled at any point since I took possession on April 1 of 2012.

I have the Shop Manual, this Forum (and other internet-based information sources) and an expired membership to fixmyhog.com (which I may or may not renew depending on the feedback I get here) to use as I do this thing.

So, does anyone have anything they could share with me that would augment or contradict what I am seeing in the formal guidance? Any and all feedback is gratefully appreciated, and as always, many thanks!
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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5,114 Posts
Brake work is pretty straight forward, not a lot of surprises. But whatever you do...COVER YOUR FENDER. Painter's tape is your friend for the sides. I thought of this( got it from Dave63 thread), did it, but wondered why I went through all that...until the 10mm socket slipped out of my hand, hit the garage floor and bounced right against my front fender, which was covered.

Do not loosen the bolts that will split the case on the front caliper, its an easy error to make.

Brakes are not bad to work on at all, you can do it!!
 

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Registered
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5,012 Posts
I remove my calipers and put some material (like one brake pad) between the pistons, then pump the pistons out. Cut strips of rags (old shoelaces work great) and polish the pistons without removing them, they are just extended. I use brake cleaner on the rag. Then push pistons back in and reinstall the caliper. Then I suck out most of the brake fluid from the master cylinder and refill with new, and start bleeding one side at a time. A clear hose on the bleeder nipple and into a container will let you see when the nice new color brake fluid is coming out. Repeat for all calipers. I can do mine by myself, but the left front is kinda awkward. "C" clamps work well for pushing the pistons back into the calipers. A mity-vac or other brake bleeding tool is much easier, but I don't have them.
 

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Retired citizen
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23,359 Posts
By the book, the ABS is supposed to be bled using the shop computer. The computer runs the ABS pump and then resets the ABS module calibrations.
As the pads wear down the ABS module recalibrates for the wear. After new pads are installed the module requires recalibration.
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #6
After new pads are installed the module requires recalibration.
Schmidty, I assume this is a computer that an Indy would have?

Thanks for bringing this to my attention since I have yet to start this work. I foresee a problem with doing the heavy lifting and then appearing at an indy shop asking for nothing ore than calibration services after-the-fact, so I am guessing that having ABS has forced m to have this work done by folks with the computerized tool - amiright?
 

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Retired citizen
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An indy wouldn't have the same computer program that the H-D dealer has BUT, they might have the Daytona Twin Tech program that services the H-D ABS.
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #8
An indy wouldn't have the same computer program that the H-D dealer has BUT, they might have the Daytona Twin Tech program that services the H-D ABS.
Schmidty -

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate your time and advice.

I spoke to a local indy and he told e that he has never recalibrated an ABS brake system after bleeding/flushing/replacing pads. This is a reputable speed shop here in the Shenandoah Valley (Skips Speed & Custom Cycle Shop) so naturally I am confused about the discrepancy between what they are telling me and what you have shared.

May I respectfully just re-confirm with you that your advice is for a 2012 ABS system? I am just wondering if you may have been referring to the new ABS system on the new linked brakes for the 2014+ models....
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #9
Schmidty -

I just did some research and answered my own question, confirming that the DT does need to be used to bleed air from my 2012 ABS system. Thanks again.
 

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Retired citizen
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I always wonder about those shops that say they don't need to run the ABS pump when bleeding the brakes. The brakes themselves will function but the ABS might not when needed.
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #11
I got a quote from a local indy ("Fat Kenny" who just "came down from the mountain" and changed his business from his own personal barn to a custom trike shop in downtown Berryville, VA) for the following:

$90 to flush front and rear and labor to change pads
$50 for each set of pads (two front, one rear, = $150)
$240 total for a complete brake job

The unfortunate thing here is that this does NOT include a recalibration of the ABS module, since Kenny apparently didn't have a DTII system up in the barn all these years.

The quote from the local Harley shop for the same work?

$370

I was assured that would include the ABS recalibration. Unbelievable that hooking up some wires and pressing a few keys can cost as much as $130 these days.

Thanks MoCo. Love you guys!
 

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Retired citizen
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Typical H-D shop charges $90.00 to $100.00 hrly. for labor. Sounds like Fat Kenny only charges about $45.00 hrly.. That always makes a difference.
 

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Asylum Inmate
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11,740 Posts
You can do all the work, including the bleeding.... then take it to the dealer for an ABS calibration. Might save you some bucks....

Get a price for just the ABS calibration from the dealer to see....
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #14
Typical H-D shop charges $90.00 to $100.00 hrly. for labor. Sounds like Fat Kenny only charges about $45.00 hrly.. That always makes a difference.
Fat Kenny keeps all his tools in a 5-gallon bucket. Sharp guy, keeping his overhead low like that.
 
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