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Thread: Why am I getting only 25mpg?

  1. #61
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Hel vs spiegler brake lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott.lambert View Post
    Ok. Um, I'm going to ignore the alarm bells going off in my head about it not starting after a tech took a test ride.

    I'm going to focus on the idea that the brakes are stuck on.

    This is entirely possible.
    The age of the bike is about right for the original rubber brake hoses to be swollen and broken down.
    As I probably mentioned, since I mention it in nearly every thread, you should change out the rubber brake hoses in favor of stainless / teflon like the ones I got from Spiegler.
    This is a safety issue, I'm not just bragging about my ss brake lines.
    On my RT the line going to the right front caliper split - while I was backing out of a parking spot.
    It also "locked" - I had to loosen the bleeder relieve the pressure so I could push it around.
    So between the split and the piston the hose was swollen shut.
    I replaced it with an OEM part. Then I discovered that I could NOT bleed air out of the left caliper.
    The left hose was swollen shut as well.
    Now the factor making this happen is just age, not mileage, so even as low miles as you have this is probably an issue.
    So got a phone message from mechanic, he says he 99% sure it's the front brake lines breaking down and swelling inside preventing the fluid from evacuating from the calipers, wants to change out the lines.

    I was planning to eventually put stainless steel lines on the bike anyway, what gets me is that I just paid them $1000 to fix everything on the bike which included a new front brake master cylinder, flushing and replacing the brake fluid and adjusting the brakes...is it unreasonable of me to expect that they should have found or suspected this issue then? Now I'm paying for the brake work all over again, and this is on top of them charging me a $100 diagnostic fee to figure this out.

    I don't want to go with their OEM lines and I see Beemer owners touting HEL and Spiegler, with many claiming Hel's SS banjo's being better than Spiegler's aluminum. ANY THOUGHTS?
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  2. #62
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    I would think that the '$100.00 diagnostic fee' would be waived if you have them do the brake line repair. I can't imagine them objecting to putting aftermarket SS lines on for you. If you take the bike and don't have them do the repairs, then yes, you should pay for their 'diagnosis', but 100 bucks sounds a little steep.
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
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    1998 R1100RT

  3. #63
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Hel vs spiegler brake lines?

    I'll know tomorrow if they will be willing to install the brake lines I supply them. Probably wont know if they will credit e the diagnostic fee till I pick up the bike.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  4. #64
    Nickname: Droid
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    If they did the brake system flush using the old method of pumping the brake lever to push the fluid down to the calipers it probably would have felt normal. If they had used a vacuum system to draw fluid down from the master cylinder it "may" had become evident there was some problem with the brake hoses. I agree, the brake hoses are well worth changing to modern SS wrapped style.

    BUT. ANY time work is done on a brake system, a test ride is mandatory to confirm everything is functioning normally. IF the hoses are the issue and the brakes could not fully release, the brakes may have felt normal, but buildup of heat on the brake discs would have been obvious. This is something else they should have checked to make sure was correct before completing the service.

    Did they confirm the voltage signal at the TPS? A slight voltage change at the TPS does have significant impact on fuel mileage. It requires an accurate VOM but even I could do it in my garage and I'm no mechanic, just a home wrench.

  5. #65
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    I'm not so sure they would have known anything was wrong with the lines even during a short test ride.
    I mean, I know it seems like it would be obvious, but I'm just not sure what to expect from a technician.

    In my case I rode from Joplin, MO to Crane, MO for a little Rally the Springfield club has every year, with NO issues.
    During this phase of the day I hardly needed the brakes at all.
    I got on the bike to leave and was back-pedaling my way down a slight slope, and grabbed a little front brake to keep the speed minimal, and the lever went clear to the bar as the hose split.

    I felt very blessed to have been going zero mph when this happened.

    It could be that it creeps up on you but needs a triggering amount of heat buildup to finally close off. I really wasn't mashing the lever that hard, I think that the swelling reached a point where it was making its own pressure.

    Anyway I wanted to say:
    • Even though new BMWs come with SS lines, I don't think they offer them for 1999 models.
    • There's nothing else really wrong with the OEM lines, if you want to go back with new OEM they should last another 10 years...
    • The Spieglers were about 1/3 the cost of OEM.
    • I think any of the SS lines offered are a quantum leap in quality over the OEM lines, I wouldn't agonize over which one is best, you're splitting hairs over superlatives.


    The dealership should be able to order and install the SS lines for you, although they probably will want to add it to your bill.
    I hesitate to weigh in on whether their current effort has been worth $1000 (and climbing) - my advice would be to try to keep it friendly as long as possible.

    (edit) There are claims made that aluminum fittings are "bad" because of galvanic corrosion - that's just not true in your brake system.
    First of all the aluminum is anodized (essentially a ceramic coating).
    Second there's no water or other electrolyte in there. Brake fluide absorbs water (turning brown in the process).
    Third there are additives in DOT 4 that resist corrosion of all kinds.
    Fourth, look at the master cylinder; look at the caliper. Aluminum.
    The choice between aluminum, stainless, or ugly chromated steel fittings is totally an aesthetic one.
    Last edited by scott.lambert; 07-19-2013 at 03:10 PM. Reason: aluminum

  6. #66
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Did they confirm the voltage signal at the TPS? A slight voltage change at the TPS does have significant impact on fuel mileage. It requires an accurate VOM but even I could do it in my garage and I'm no mechanic, just a home wrench.
    The service agent got a little gruffy when I mentioned suggestions from the fora. I'm just going to try to sweet talk them to finesse the labor costs down when I go in to pickup and pay. I don't think either of the two agents have ever been subjected to a good old fashioned "Jewish guilt trip".
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  7. #67
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott.lambert View Post
    I'm not so sure they would have known anything was wrong with the lines even during a short test ride.
    I mean, I know it seems like it would be obvious, but I'm just not sure what to expect from a technician.
    What he said, I have seen this on cars, but it is VERY rare from my experience. I have suggested it on the forums before because it is very easy to miss, and usually only caught after calipers and master cyl have been replaced or rebuilt.

    And yes if they pump bled them, and possibly even with a vacuum, as long as they let some fluid through there would be no way to tell.

    But, after dropping A GeeWizz on repairs, I would think they would give you a little break, whether obligated of not, happy customers are the cheapest advertising any business can have.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
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  8. #68
    Nickname: Droid
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    I have to respond to these comments, quoted from an earlier post:

    "Anyway I wanted to say: Even though new BMWs come with SS lines, I don't think they offer them for 1999 models.
    There's nothing else really wrong with the OEM lines, if you want to go back with new OEM they should last another 10 years..."

    Wrong. Never waste the money on OEM brake hoses. While I agreee that new rubber OEM lines "could" last another 10 years I would never waste the high price of OEM (rubber) brake lines. It is not entirely true there is nothing "wrong" with OEM rubber brake hoses, they are the cheapest built brake hoses available. Stock OEM rubber brake hoses are the minimum spec hoses that meet the FMVSS requirements. I have been in the hydraulic hose business since 95, worked for Imperial Eastman, Dayco and now Parker Hannifin as a field engineer. I am very familiar with the construction of brake hoses, and the OEM rubber brake hoses simply are NOT worth the cost compared to the MUCH better teflon-lined/SS braided hoses. Other than retaining stock looks there is simply no reason to install new OEM rubber brake hoses, period.

  9. #69
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    I
    Wrong. Never waste the money on OEM brake hoses. While I agreee that new rubber OEM lines "could" last another 10 years I would never waste the high price of OEM (rubber) brake lines. It is not entirely true there is nothing "wrong" with OEM rubber brake hoses, they are the cheapest built brake hoses available. Stock OEM rubber brake hoses are the minimum spec hoses that meet the FMVSS requirements. I have been in the hydraulic hose business since 95, worked for Imperial Eastman, Dayco and now Parker Hannifin as a field engineer. I am very familiar with the construction of brake hoses, and the OEM rubber brake hoses simply are NOT worth the cost compared to the MUCH better teflon-lined/SS braided hoses. Other than retaining stock looks there is simply no reason to install new OEM rubber brake hoses, period.
    I agree! That's why I'm going with stainless steel. In fact I had a great conversation with Jim at HEL-USA, I'm having the BMW service guy pull all the brake lines and then I'm shipping it HEL, they are going to fabricate a duplicate system along with SS fittings and banjo's for me to install.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  10. #70
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    Its really about time rubber brake lines permanently disappeared on any type of performance machinery- they fail all too easily. But also beware of cheap, uncovered stainless braid aftermarket stuff. That braid is a saw when it touches anything else and vibrates. Also, uncovered, it permits grit to penetrate to the teflon liner and eventually damage it. Good stainless lines are covered externally so braid isn't felt. Uncovered stainless braid lines are only fit for applications at race tracks where machinery is constantly inspected and rebuilt, not for street applications.

    An example of yet another flaw of rubber brake lines appeared a few years ago when Ford built a fast Mustang model for which it was predictable some owners would take it for track play. At least 2 owners got killed (1 at Summit Point turn 1 into the berm there, forget the others) because they used rubber brake hoses up front with inadequate lengths of steel hose to lead in- so the hoses simply melted from the heat coming off rotors. (The stock Mustang is really far too heavy for track play so generates enormous brake heat as well as overwhelming its tires in only a few laps- 4 laps at VIR, for example). Heat isn't going to kill hoses on a bike, however. But...
    Any stainless/teflon is far more heat resistant than rubber

  11. #71
    RD'nNH&AZ rdhudson's Avatar
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    Question How about Galfer?

    I see these http://www.ebay.com/itm/92-01-BMW-R-...66fcbc&vxp=mtr for sale on flee bay which are Galfer kits all made up for both front and back. Anybody have experience with this kit/brand/retailer?
    2002 F650GS, 1998 R1100R 75th anniversary edition, 1983 R80RT (just sold), 1959 R60 (in restoration), Honda CT90
    If you must make a mistake, make a new one each time.

  12. #72
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Anodizing

    On a bit of a tangent, but to clear up some misconceptions about anodizing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anodizing

  13. #73
    Nickname: Droid
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    A bit of background on the rubber brake hose vs SS/Teflon hose:
    The main reason the older rubber hose persisted was due to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 (FMVSS108) which stipulated OEM brake hoses had to be labelled/identified in a way that was not possible with then current SS/Teflon hose. Again, this applied only to OEM supplied brake hoses, installed on a vehicle to insure it was federally compliant for ON-HIGHWAY use. But any vehicle owner could install brake hoses, better or worse, for OFF-HIGHWAY use only. Like installing high powered, non-legal, off-road lights, a vehicle owner could install aftermarket non-legal/off-road brake hoses that even though they were higher quality better performing brake hoses were essentially not legal for on-highway use because the hose did not meet the FMVSS108 std.

    More currently, the labelling has been applied on SS/Teflon hose either by printing the data on the wire braid or on a clear/colored overlay onto the SS braid, thereby "legalizing" the OEM supplied hose for ON-HIGHWAY use. So it was the FMVSS108 standard that delayed use of SS/Teflon hose for on-highway vehicle.

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  15. #75
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    Hi WineGuy

    I am not far away from you, over the bridge and a bit north. If you are looking for an alternative dealer, I would suggest that you call Max BMW of Danbury. (actually Brookfield now, but who's counting). They aren't perfect, but they are well liked and their shop does a good job for a fair price.

    Let me know if you need any more details.

    Scott
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

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