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Old 07-03-05, 04:24 PM   #1
MudPie
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Filling and bleeding Hayes HFX-9

I had the opportunity to drain and refill my Hayes HFX-9. I bought the Hayes bleed kit and followed the instructions, but it seemed like it took forever (measured in hours) to get all the air out of the calipers.

Per the instruction, I'd fill the caliper by squeezing the fill bottle for 5 seconds and release. As the bottle returned to it's original shape, I'd see air bubbles being sucked out (this is good). This went on and on, admittedly, the amount of air being removed became less and less. There were times when no more bubbles would appear, then on maybe after the 4th or 5th squeeze, a few bubbles would appear. (It seemed like the calculus problem of approaching zero, but not actually getting to zero.)

All is good now, but after many frustrating hours.

I assume I am doing something wrong. Or is it just the nature of the beast when refilling the HFX-9s? For example, the shape of the caliper housings have pockets where air can get trapped.
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Old 07-03-05, 04:59 PM   #2
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Personally I've gotten so sick of bleeding anything Hayes makes that our shop has the policy now that we pretty much send them back to Hayes anytime anything has to be done. My experience is much the same as yours.
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Old 07-03-05, 07:13 PM   #3
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Geez. I must be missing something here. It's been awhile, but I never had any trouble bleeding any Hayes brake that I worked on. I don't think that I ever spent more than 5 or 10 minutes doing it either.

All that I ever did was to position the bike and brake lever so that the vent points straight up. Stick a piece of hose on that and run it into a little bottle of brake fluid so that no new air can enter. It's easier if you have somebody to hold it. Then I just push brake fluid up through the system with a syringe until I stop getting bubbles out of the vent.
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Old 07-03-05, 10:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Stick a piece of hose on that and run it into a little bottle of brake fluid so that no new air can enter. .

Retro,

In my case, I was refilling the system and then bleeding. The calipers seemed to have quite a bit of entrained air. If I were just bleeding an already filled system, I think I would've had a much easier time, like 5 minutes.

Also, the Hayes instructions say NOT to submerge the exit tube into brake fluid.

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Old 07-03-05, 11:02 PM   #5
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The easiest way to bleed them is to put a small cup with a hose into the hole on the lever, hooked onto the bars with an old spoke. This collects the fluid when it gets pushed through. Then, I take a syringe and fill it up, holding it upside for a little bit to get all the air to the top, and push the air out of the syringe. Then, I quickly attach the hose of the syringe to the bleed hole on the caliper, open the bolt, and push all the fluid through. The front can usually be dont with one full syringe. Sometimes the rear takes two.
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Old 05-28-07, 08:52 AM   #6
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A Different Approach

The tiny plastic plug on the Hayes 9 lever popped out the other day and I ended up here trying to figure out how to bleed these buggers. I bought a Hayes bleed kit-- only option at my LBS and followed the directions. I knew from other postings that the Hayes Bleed Kit left much to be desired-- I agree. After having no luck I went over to my local pharmacy and bought a 60 cc syringe with a 1/8 inch outlet-- cost around $2.00. Then I went to the local auto supply store and bought a couple of cans of DOT 4 brake fluid-- about $4.00 per can. One can ended up being plenty. I again followed the Hayes directions. No luck. After a web search I ended up here, followed the directions from the above posts-- No luck. After the 6th or so attempt my brother came over to give me a hand and suggested another approach-- much more along the lines of the way we have always bled car brakes. Basically we reversed the Hayes directions. Here are the steps we used:
0) Got the bike in the rack, positioned it vertically with lever at highest point. (Would probably be good to loosen brake lever and turn it so that the reservoir was on top.)
1) Filled syringe by drawing fluid into it from the can.
2) Pointed the syringe vertically and shot a little fluid out so that we had no air in the line
3) Attached a hose to the bleed fitting on the caliper and stuck the other end in a can with a piece of wire taped to the side-- hung the can from the rear stay.
4) Attached the syringe to the bladder at the brake handle.
5) Put some pressure on the syringe
6) Opened the bleed fitting on the caliper
7) Pumped brake lever at a normal rate until all air was out of line-- no bubbles coming out.
8) Closed bleed fitting.
9) Removed hose, replaced plastic plug-- what a stupid design!
10) Tried it-- worked perfect-- better than from the factory.

Note-- we left the rear wheel on, brake pads in. I cleaned it up a bit after the procedure using disc brake cleaner from the auto parts store. Brakes are a bit noisy right now-- going to fix that this morning.

If you have the same results as we had, this shouldn't take much more than 30 minutes. Also, here are the parts I would recommend for your bleed kit-- don't buy the Hayes one-- $20 down the drain.

Kit:
1) 60 cc syringe with 1/8 inch outlet tube ($2.00)
2) 1 foot clear 1/8 ID plastic tubing-- cut it into two pieces, one for the syringe side, one for the caliper side ($1.00)
3) 1/2 inch long piece of about 1/8 OD brass tubing for putting into the fluid bladder and attaching to the tuning going to the syringe ($1.00)
4) Can with wire taped to the side for catching fluid from caliper (Free)
5) 7 mm wrench for bleed fitting
6) Can of DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid ($4.00)
7) Alcohol or brake cleaner
8) Paper towels-- hopefully fewer than I used.
9) Duct tape to tape over the stupid little plastic bladder plug so it doesn't come out again.

Good luck-- would like to know if this helped.
Cheers
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Old 05-28-07, 09:00 AM   #7
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+1 on building your own bleed kit.

My first experience with hydraulic discs was with bleeding Hayes brakes...now everything else seems easy in comparison.
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Old 05-28-07, 03:07 PM   #8
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Wow, I started this thread a couple of years ago. It does bring back memories of the challenges I had as I tried to follow the instructions. Fortuanately, I haven't had an opportunity to bleed anymore Hayes HFX 9s. However, if I do, I shall follow the above instructions.
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Old 07-02-07, 01:22 PM   #9
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This is a useful thread. I'm trying to figure out how to bleed my hayes brakes also. So far I've had bad luck, but this thread will help.

Thanks.
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Old 07-13-07, 11:47 AM   #10
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I am going to put together a bleed kit but was wondering if there is anything I cant get at the hardware store? Is there a specific adapter to attach the syringe?
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Old 07-16-07, 07:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by reddpoint
I am going to put together a bleed kit but was wondering if there is anything I cant get at the hardware store? Is there a specific adapter to attach the syringe?
The clear tubing should just slip over the end of the syringe and form a nice fit by itself.


I used the hayes kit but a syringe instead of the stupid squeeze bottle. Everything worked out really easily.
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Old 07-16-07, 10:10 AM   #12
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There are a couple of adaptors to fit the tubing to the MC. Depends on the model.
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Old 08-19-07, 06:03 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the posts to this thread. It helped me no end today to get the brakes bled.

Like Jholcomb I also set up a home made rig and got great results.

I bled mine by feeding the fluid in at the lever end and bleeding out the caliper end.

I used a disposable plastic pippette (which is a labratory supply for transferring smally qtys of liquid). I cut the top of the bulb off one which then became a funnel that I filled with brake fluid.

the method I used was:

1. Swung the lever around on the bar so the filling point pointed up

2. Unsrewwed the filler screw and screwed in a plastic disposable pippette (with the end cut off)

3. I filled the pippette with fluid expelleing as much air as I could by tapping the pippette.

4. I placed a plastic tube on the bleed nipple on the caliper which emptied into a container.

5. Then , like bleeding a cars brakes, I applied the brake lever then opened the bleed nipple to expell the fluid out through the tube, closing the nipple prior to releasing the brake lever.

6. I did this several times making sure that the fluid in the Pippette funnel did not run out.

7. Once no more bubbles were seen leaving the bleed nipple, I tighened the nipple, removed the funnel and reinstalled the screw.

8. a good clean up is required to stop the brake fluid from attackking the paint on the brake units.

Good luck to all.

Cheers

Phil
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Old 11-03-08, 10:44 AM   #14
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Bleeding Hayes 9

I too searched the above topic and was directed here.

Glad I was, very useful.

Piece of pipe and small syringe and few tools is all it took, and I did it reverse of Hayes instructions

1) Loosen lever so reservoir horizontal
2) Put tube over nipple on calliper other end in bottle to catch fluid.
3) Remove plastic plug
4) I used syringe like a funnel and pored in fluid (careful of spills)
5) open nipple at calliper and pump lever, you will see fluid in tube.
6) continue topping syringe until system bled of old fluid and bubbles.

Voila 10 mins and 15 saved.
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Old 07-15-11, 03:48 PM   #15
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Very helpful thread that helped me to bleed my Hayes Sole brakes.

With the posts above I was able to put together a bleed kit which consists of items I found around the house, except for the syringe:

- 60cc syringe purchased off ebay $4
- 1/8" tubing, 6"
- 1/4" tubing, 1'
- inflation needle (the kind that inflates balls)
- Dot 3 brake fluid

Attach the inflation needle to the 1/4" tubing, and stick the needle into the bleed valve on the brake lever (lever faces up to prevent air from entering the bladder). The end of the 1/4" tubing goes into a container such as an old water bottle.

The 1/8" tubing connects to the syringe. Fill the syringe w/ brake fluid; release any air bubbles by turning upside down and tapping. Attach the 1/8" tube and syringe to the bleed bolt on the caliper. Open up the bleed bolt, quarter turn, and start injecting the brake fluid.

I tried the other method where the fluid is pumped through the lever but I made a huge mess.

My DIY kit is very similar to this kit found on ebay:


Last edited by bifo; 07-16-11 at 03:51 PM.
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