When it comes to stopping your machine you need to have good brakes that work properly. In this how-to, we will show you how to replace your brake pads and replace the stock lines with longer ones. The need for longer brake lines comes when you add longer A-arms or a longer steering stem and bars. When you add these parts to any machine, your stock lines can get stretched and the braking power will decrease. For new, extended brake lines we contacted Streamline and got a set of +2-inch-longer lines for $89.99 and $29.99 brake line clamps for our Honda TRX400X, and went with DP Brakes for front ($39.95) and rear ($41.95) pads on our Yamaha YFZ450R.
STEP 1: Decide where you are going to start, whether it be the front left or right or at the rear. For the front you will have to remove the wheels and set them out of the way. 64 STEP 2: Locate the caliper mounting bolts and loosen them, but don’t completely remove them yet. Next, loosen the pins holding the brakes pads in place; on our YFZ we had to use an Allen wrench to do this STEP 3: After you loosened all the necessary bolts, you can remove the caliper from the spindle. With the caliper removed you can now take the old pads out, but remember the order in which they came out as the new pads will go in the same way STEP 4: With worn-out pads the pistons on the caliper push the pads into the rotor. To compress the pistons back in, we suggest you use a C-clamp and the old pad to push the pistons in. After you get the piston compressed in you can begin to install the new pads into the caliper STEP 5: When you have the new pads installed, you can now reinstall the keeper pins. Your next STEP would be to install the caliper onto the spindle; make sure the pads have clearance to slide over the rotor. With the caliper in place you can reinstall the two bolts that attach it to the spindle. STEP 6: Torque all the bolts to the recommended factory specs and reinstall the front wheels. You can now start on the rear brakes and follow steps two through five. BRAKE LINES
STEP 1: Before you start, make sure you have drain pans to catch the fluid that will drain from the lines. Next, you can start removing the front wheels and any necessary bodywork that will be in the way; on our 400X we only had to remove the middle nosepiece. STEP 2: Follow the existing brake lines and determine all the mounting points; you will need to remove any bolts holding the lines in place. When all mounting bolts are removed and drain pans in place, you can now start with loosening the banjo bolts on the calipers. STEP 3: With the brake lines removed from the calipers, allow gravity to drain the lines. You can remove the reservoir cover to speed up the process to drain the fluid. This may take 5–10 minutes to fully drain. STEP 4: After the lines and reservoir are fully drained you can begin removing the stock line from the reservoir and feeding the line through the frame. Keep note of how the stock line is routed, as you’ll want to route the new lines in the same path. STEP 5: Lay out the new lines to determine which line goes where. When you know the placement of the lines, begin routing them the same way you removed the stock ones. STEP 6: To attach the lines to the reservoir you will want to install one brass crush washer on each side of the line fitting. These crush washers act as gaskets to prevent the banjo bolt from leaking when installed and torqued properly. STEP 7: Route the lines to the caliper, make sure to clear any moving parts and won’t get snagged by objects on the trail. With the lines routed to the brake calipers you can now install them using the supplied banjo bolts and crush washers like you did to the reservoir. STEP 8: To secure the lines to the A-arms we picked up a pair of billet-aluminum brake line clamps from Streamline. When installing the clamps turn the wheel left to right to make sure the line has free movement without binding. They come in multiple colors and simply clamp around the A-arm with a rubber sleeve to prevent scratches. STEP 9: With all the lines securely fastened and torqued, you can now start to fill the brake system with fluid. Start with filling the reservoir and cracking the bleeder screws. This will allow gravity to fill the system, so keep an eye on the fluid level as you don’t want the reservoir to become empty. STEP 10: After the lines have filled with fluid you may now close all bleeder screws and start bleeding the brakes. You will want to start at the furthest caliper from the master cylinder. STEP 11: When bleeding the brakes we used an old water bottle and zip-tied it to the spindle and then ran a clear hose from the bleeder screw into the bottle. You will want to fill the bottles with a small amount of fluid to submerge the hose to prevent any air suction STEP 12: Pump the brakes 8–10 times, then hold the lever in the depressed position. Now you can have your helper crack then reseal the bleeder screw momentarily to release any air in the lines. You will have to do this several times before the lines are completely free of air. On the front end we rotated between the right and left side each time. During this process you will have to refill the reservoir to prevent it from allowing any air back into the system.
With all the air out of the lines, you should now have a good feel in the brake lever. Now start reinstalling the wheels and any other parts you removed. When you have everything back in place you can take your machine for a test run. We recommend double-checking all fittings and fluid levels after your first ride.