Honda CX 500 Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I’m hoping to get some advice on replacing my master cylinder and brake line on an 81CX500, which I am quite eager to render safe and fully roadworthy. The existing master cylinder is a sun-rotted mess, though it is perfectly functional at this time. It just needs to go.

I went and purchased a good new master cylinder from 4into1 and I bought a matching stainless steel braided brake line from JDA enterprises, as well as new EBC brake pads to change out while I’m at it. Oh, and plenty of DOT3 brake fluid. I also understand that brake fluid + paint = bad as well. :)

It should be noted that I’m a very inexperienced mechanic, but I’m eager to learn and grow with my new bike.

I feel reasonably good about getting them installed and connected from a mechanical perspective, but frankly, the prospect of filling them with brake fluid and getting them bled is daunting.

I understand the basic principle that air in brake lines = bad. Where I’m hoping to ask for your advice is in figuring out the best way for me to properly get them bled. I’ve been doing some research, and I’ve seen a few different methods, such as creating some kind of vacuum system from a mason jar to using a set of needle nose pliers to crimp the brake line (which seems like a bad idea with stainless steel braid) and form some kind of one-way valve, though that seemed to be more relevant to doing a brakeline flush.

I’ve seen several “brake line bleeder kits” on Amazon, but I have no way of knowing if they would even have the right fittings to attach to the system. I really dont want to spend $100 on a vacuum kit if I don’t have to, and while I have essential tools, I’m not equipped to fabricate a custom banjo bolt (for use with a large syringe) as seen in Larry Cargill’s video on this subject.

Can you fine folks give me some advice? Can I just dump brake fluid in and alternate pumping the lever with releasing the bleeder valve? I would be most grateful for your wisdom, advice, and tips!

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Please recognise your eventual expertise is reflected in your present eagerness to learn. Don't be daunted!

Pages 21-5 and 21-6 in the Factory Workshop Manual for your bike ( https://motovillage.org/wiki/hondacxgl/index.php?title=Factory_Service_Manual ) have a very clear procedure for bleeding your front brakes without any unusual tools.

It's an easy job, really. But brake fluid is weird stuff, so I will add, if you've not played with brake fluid, before: Cover your fuel tank and any painted surfaces in the area with plastic. Brake fluid eats paint and, given time, etches chrome. Have soapy water, a roll of paper towels, and a bucket of clean rinse water, in case you spill any. Use a fresh paper towel for every wipe. Keep the bottle of fluid and your hands clean. Use stable, well supported containers so you don't accidentally knock anything over and spill any fluid. Work methodically. This is all because you don't want it on your hands or spilled on your floor--or worse, your bike. When you're done, wash everything from the master cylinder reservoir cap, on downward, even if you don't think you leaked or spilled anything.

Never reuse old brake fluid for anything. Take it for disposal in a clearly labeled, tightly-closed container. Store an opened bottle of fresh brake fluid in a sealed plastic bag, since those bottles have been known to leak around their caps.

And be sure not to pump the brake hand lever if the cap is off the reservoir! There will be a pinpoint jet of brake fluid shooting toward the sky, looking for paint to land on!

Forward!
 
  • Like
Reactions: lukaspriest

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,267 Posts
Can't beat a deal like that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lukaspriest

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
I'm a complete noob myself. I have an '81 Custom just like you. When I bought it the front brake was completely shot. I rebuilt the caliper (with the help of Thumper), rebuilt the master cylinder, installed a new SS brake line, and then successfully bled the line. It worked and the front brake is now fully functional.

I've found if you do the research, follow the FSM, and ask for help when you need it, you can restore these cool old bikes (and '81 Customs are the coolest if you ask me).

IMG_1118.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks you all. Nolimitz, that would be positively wonderful, the only catch is that my brake line hasn't shown up yet...I ordered it on 7/28 but haven't gotten a shipping notification yet. :-( All that being said, I would be delighted to be able to work on it with your expertise close at hand!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Man, I just can't believe how unbelievably kind and giving everyone here on this forum is!!!!! Last weekend Nolimitz came over and tested my stator and gave me a grand tour and evaluation of my bike, and he came bearing a gorgeous instrument cluster provided by MobileAZN.....this community is so wonderful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,804 Posts
I'm a complete noob myself. I have an '81 Custom just like you. When I bought it the front brake was completely shot. I rebuilt the caliper (with the help of Thumper), rebuilt the master cylinder, installed a new SS brake line, and then successfully bled the line. It worked and the front brake is now fully functional.

I've found if you do the research, follow the FSM, and ask for help when you need it, you can restore these cool old bikes (and '81 Customs are the coolest if you ask me).

View attachment 173551
Larry, does it have an anti-gravity battery in it so it can be parked on the ceiling like that? :vs_party2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
...parked on the ceiling like that...
It's the Australian model. They drive on the wrong side of the planet.


Boise??? Just saw the news. Watch out for the goats!
 
  • Like
Reactions: OCR
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top