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Discussion Starter #1
First off, I've got a '11 RGU with 62k miles. I bought it new so I know everything thats been done to it.
I was out for a short ride when the front brake lever got extremely hard to pull. I was able to free it up if I pulled hard enough. It'd be normal for a few miles then go back to hard to pull. I brought it to my indy, who is an excellent mechanic & has a great rep. in the area, he rebuilt the master cylinder, tried bleeding the system but found the ABS module valves weren't functioning correctly. He advised me to take it to the dealership because its a dealer only item, or I could bypass the ABS system altogether.
I decided not to deal with the dealership as I don't trust them, but I picked up a used ABS module from a '13 Ultra w/ 16k miles. The mechanic ended up draining the brake fluid several times to clear all the crap out of the lines. He also pulled both calipers & cleaned/lubricated them. this seemed to fix the issues, I picked it up & only got a couple miles down the road when the front brakes started grabbing so much i had to down shift just to maintain speed. I brought it right back, after it cools down he re-bleeds the brakes, everything seems to work fine until it gets back on the road & heats up, brakes start closing off again.

any tips on what to try next before I have him delete the ABS all together?

:(:(
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How many times since you bought the bike have you had the brake system flushed?
It's never had the system bled until now. & only found out about the recall while dealing with all this. Dealership serviced the bike for the first 4 yrs & never even suggested it when i'd ask for a full service.

If you didn't buy a new module then you bought someone else's problem.
The module I bought works fine while hooked up to the bleeding machine. The original wouldn't function at all. The part came off a bike that was totaled from a minor accident, not from a braking issue.
 

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It's never had the system bled until now. & only found out about the recall while dealing with all this. Dealership serviced the bike for the first 4 yrs & never even suggested it when i'd ask for a full service.
That is what I was guessing when I asked the question but let's not worry about that part anymore as it is over and done with.

When your indy replaced the module did he replace all the brake lines as well and do you know if he used DOT 4 brake fluid when he flushed and re-filled the system? If ANY of the rubber components have been contaminated with another type of brake fluid that will cause problems.
 

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Might should have given the dealer a shot before getting this far. When the ABS unit on my 10 took a shit the MoCo volunteered to covered the replacement cost of the unit ... And the bike was several years out of warranty at the time..
 

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How was he bleeding the brakes and making the abs module function? Does he have a tech 2?

Without that, bleeding abs is a crap shoot, almost impossible if you start replacing modules or complete sections of line. I was successful twice after caliper replacements without taking it to the dealer. When I replaced the lines with stainless, not a chance. Luckily I spoke with the dealer when the abs recall came out and they said they would bleed it while doing the recall and didn't care if I just replaced the lines. So I bled it enough to ride to the dealer but it wasn't bled very well. Without a tech 2 and the ability the pulse the abs module, you will not have very good luck bleeding it.
 

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Oh yeah, I am with you on not trusting the dealer. The free abs flush was the only reason I went. Got the bike back and the radio didn't work. They washed it with water and the rubber aux plug was not in the radio. 1 hour later I was on my way. Got on the highway and the brakes sucked bad. That extra hour they kept me put me right in rush hour traffic, I just rode home pissed. Called them and said I was bringing it back first thing in the morning. 4 hours later, bike was back and brakes worked, they said they couldn't find a problem but the brakes magically worked. Then, my abs light wouldn't go off, they said the sensor is probably bad. Wtf wasn't it on before all of this?!?! I am tempted to bypass all the abs bs as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That is what I was guessing when I asked the question but let's not worry about that part anymore as it is over and done with.

When your indy replaced the module did he replace all the brake lines as well and do you know if he used DOT 4 brake fluid when he flushed and re-filled the system? If ANY of the rubber components have been contaminated with another type of brake fluid that will cause problems.
didn't replace any lines, i'm thinking the inside of the lines are deteriorating and blocking flow back

Might should have given the dealer a shot before getting this far. When the ABS unit on my 10 took a shit the MoCo volunteered to covered the replacement cost of the unit ... And the bike was several years out of warranty at the time..
The MoCo has already given the solid no on helping. even though my warranty just ended last Jan.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How was he bleeding the brakes and making the abs module function? Does he have a tech 2?

Without that, bleeding abs is a crap shoot, almost impossible if you start replacing modules or complete sections of line. I was successful twice after caliper replacements without taking it to the dealer. When I replaced the lines with stainless, not a chance. Luckily I spoke with the dealer when the abs recall came out and they said they would bleed it while doing the recall and didn't care if I just replaced the lines. So I bled it enough to ride to the dealer but it wasn't bled very well. Without a tech 2 and the ability the pulse the abs module, you will not have very good luck bleeding it.
Yes he has the right equipment, I'm probably going to ask him to change the lines.
 

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I kind of skimmed through all of the threads but if you mixed the brake fluids with two different types or used the wrong type everything there’s rubber HAS TO BE REPLACED. Without a doubt everything rubber has to be replaced. I am a Harley technician through Harley Davidson school in Arizona. The brakes should have been serviced before the mileage you have on it now. I’d say what’s done is done replace everything rubber flush it out and use the correct fluid.


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How was he bleeding the brakes and making the abs module function? Does he have a tech 2?

Without that, bleeding abs is a crap shoot, almost impossible if you start replacing modules or complete sections of line. I was successful twice after caliper replacements without taking it to the dealer. When I replaced the lines with stainless, not a chance. Luckily I spoke with the dealer when the abs recall came out and they said they would bleed it while doing the recall and didn't care if I just replaced the lines. So I bled it enough to ride to the dealer but it wasn't bled very well. Without a tech 2 and the ability the pulse the abs module, you will not have very good luck bleeding it.
Tech 2....is that a code reader? Can you make the module cycle with a code reader? I only work on Air brake ABS so I don’t know shit about hyd ABS. Want to help a friend change some calipers and lines though and not have to go to the dealer for a bleeding.
 

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Tech 2....is that a code reader? Can you make the module cycle with a code reader? I only work on Air brake ABS so I don’t know shit about hyd ABS. Want to help a friend change some calipers and lines though and not have to go to the dealer for a bleeding.
I believe that's the name of the fancy Harley diagnostic computer. I was able to bleed mine twice when it was just a caliper swap. Full line replacement and not a chance. Hell, my local dealer couldn't even get it bled right the first time and that was during the recall. Second time it worked.
 

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Brake fluid must be replaced every two years or it will lock up the ABS or any other system.

Unfortunately only the dealer has the means to properly bleed and service the ABS Module


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Tech 2....is that a code reader? Can you make the module cycle with a code reader? I only work on Air brake ABS so I don’t know shit about hyd ABS. Want to help a friend change some calipers and lines though and not have to go to the dealer for a bleeding.
Hey MW, there are some backyard work-arounds, but at this point the general consensus is that a proper bleed of the ABS brake system requires the DT diagnostic equipment (read fancy laptop with proprietary Harley software on it). The Digital Tech can pulse the ABS module effectively evacuating any old brake fluid that can be sitting idle up in the ABS module. I haven't had the same horror stories that other people have after swapping lines though. I do most of my own work myself and after I finished my brake line extension, I bled the brakes per any other "normal" brake bleeding procedure (albeit using my vacuum bleeder). Then I took it to the dealer with a bottle of my preferred brake fluid and they finished things up with the DT.

However, even after I did the initial bleed in my garage, I didn't throw any error codes nor did I have any issues with the brakes. They worked just fine (didn't have to try any panic stops though :))
 

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https://youtu.be/YQfxNbmibmo


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—I’m going to preface this by saying that I’m referring to non ABS as this video is also displaying a non ABS bike.—

C’mon dude! That was a 2007 bike with, probably, 10 year old fluid in it. Is it recommended to change the brake fluid every two years, yes. Is it a good idea to change every two years, yes. Is it absolutely necessary or your brakes will lock up, NO. Should you wait ten years, no. I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from changing their brake fluid but to say the brakes ARE going to lock up after two years without a flush is just wrong. Hell, Brhodea went 7 years and is just now having an issue. He could have flushed his at 5 years and been fine. He didn’t lock up and die at two years.
To reiterate my point it’s a recommendation, a good one, but not always a necessity.
 

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Let’s get back to basics before jumping to expensive conclusions. When the brakes are hanging up loosen to fitting at the master cylinder. If they free up your problem is there. If not move to the next connection closer to the caliper/s and repeat until they are fee. If they never free up it’s the calipers. After isolating faulty components, inspect carefully for swollen rubber parts. If found, contamination is suspect and every single part of the brake system containg rubber will need replaced.
 

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I'm glad I don't have ABS brakes on my bike. :grin:
 
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