Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Still not dead
Bled the front brakes. Actually this is a story unto itself. I have one of these vacuum pumps for brake bleeding. I hook it up on the left caliper, open the master cylinder reservoir, removing both the top and a plastic thing. You know how there is a seal to help keep air out? That thing. So I pump some of the old, brown fluid out (the new stuff is clear and colorless), and it's getting firmer, and I'm not getting the clank. And I'm watching the fluid level and adding more. Then the brakes go completely soft. After staring at it awhile I realize the problem: The seal I removed? The thing that keeps the air out? That wasn't it. That was just a plastic spacer to keep the seal in place. The rubber seal was still in there, sucked all the way down to the bottom, and I was just pouring brake fluid in on top of it. Once I got that out, and refilled the master cylinder, and pumped it about, oh, two or three hundred times to get the air out of it, then I could start bleeding the calipers. I ended up going with the traditional method of holding the brake, opening and closing the bleed valve, and repeating until the fluid ran clear with no bubbles. This is impossible to do by yourself on a car, which is why I had the vacuum pump to begin with, but easy on a motorcycle. Now the front brake is nice and firm. The rear brake is a little soft, and I should change the fluid there too, but soft brakes on the back wheel is not such a bad thing. Went for a good 30-mile or so ride. A lot of the carburetor problems are clearing up, or are only an issue when it's cold. I've got some Gumout Regane in it now, which I bought, in part, because it was free after mail-in rebate at AutoZone. I got most of the way home and looked down and suddenly my speedometer wasn't working. Rode carefully the rest of the way home. The housing was kind of loose on the axle, looser than I thought it should be. I decide to pull the front wheel but discover that the front axle was not screwed in as tight as it should have been, and this is why there was extra play in the speedometer housing. This is actually a really good engineering design feature, because if your axle is getting unscrewed, your speedometer stops working before the front wheel actually falls off and you die. I'm pretty sure I didn't have it in far enough, rather than it loosening up due to loose clamp bolts or something, because that play was present when I had put it all back together. It didn't look right but it wasn't obvious what the problem was. I also decided to give Eagle One NanoWax Spray a try. It looks pretty watery when you spray it on, but as you wipe, it gets more... waxy. They recommend using a microfiber cloth to polish it, which I haven't done yet, but so far it looks pretty good. There's no dry, white stuff to wipe off either.