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Old August 22nd, 2014   #11
chaissos
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

So, if the rebuild "kit" is the same for all model years, then it should be safe to assume at least the installation cahnnel is the same. If that's true, then you should actually be able to dremel out the required slot to look like the newer unit.

Honestly, with proper maintenance (yearly clean-out, and regular wash-clean) of the unit, I see no reason it should pose an issue. From what I've seen, these very minor mods are made over time due to the fact that most owners won't perform routine maintenance, and will only fix things when they break.

It leaves me to wonder....what was the condition of the rest of the brake system on those bikes where this device failed, and locked the rear wheel? How did the fluid appear? Was it solid black, which would be indicative of an ignored brake system?
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Old August 22nd, 2014   #12
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaissos View Post
It leaves me to wonder....what was the condition of the rest of the brake system on those bikes where this device failed, and locked the rear wheel? How did the fluid appear? Was it solid black, which would be indicative of an ignored brake system?
I discovered my bad SMC a few days after I bought it (the wheel took some effort to turn by hand and would only spin about a 1/2 revolution + or - when flicked with my foot). I got in a hurry when I picked it up in Lubbock and didn't spin the rear wheel to check for a bad SMC because it was 106 to 109 degrees that day and I just wanted to get on the road and get the hell out of there and closer to the coast where it was cooler. Besides that, I was lulled into inattention to details such as that (very uncharacteristic of me) because the bike only had 7500 miles on it and I was getting it for a very good price.

By the way, I think it's probably rare for the rear wheel to actually lock up while riding when the SMC has gone bad unless you fail to heed the warning signs (hard to spin rear wheel, rear disc getting hot, etc.) and keep riding it.

As to the condition of the rest of the brake system, everything else "seemed" great. I did a test drive before handing over the cash and the brakes worked incredibly well, no noticeable brake drag, and they were way more responsive than the brakes on the ST1100. I suspect that the rear brake wasn't dragging much on the 600 mile ride home because I got very good gas mileage. The trip home may have somehow accelerated the SMC problem.

The brake fluid in the front reservoir looked used but not horribly discolored. When I did a brake bleed upon arriving home however, what I got was pretty dark looking stuff, not at all as good looking as the fluid in the front reservoir (not sure how that happened). This bike had sat stored for a long time.
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Old August 22nd, 2014   #13
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

Yet another testimonial for changing brake fluid regularly, and using a new, sealed container.

Sorry, Echo, I'm pretty damned sure you're the ONLY one who subscribes to the "Store it for later" philosophy. It's just not worth the $5 you have to spend if you're going to do all that work.
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Old August 22nd, 2014   #14
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

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Yet another testimonial for changing brake fluid regularly, and using a new, sealed container.
I always swap out brake fluid once a year on my bikes, always have. And yes, even though I'm frugal, I don't pinch pennies when it comes to safety items such as brakes, so I always use a fresh container of Brake Fluid. The fluid is relatively cheap so why fret over it? The $3 worth of leftover brake fluid that I dispose of each year is not going to damage my finances.
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Old August 23rd, 2014   #15
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaissos View Post
Yet another testimonial for changing brake fluid regularly, and using a new, sealed container.

Sorry, Echo, I'm pretty damned sure you're the ONLY one who subscribes to the "Store it for later" philosophy. It's just not worth the $5 you have to spend if you're going to do all that work.
Its not the saving of money that's the point.

What I argue is there is no difference between a can of brake fluid you buy in the store and a can of opened brake fluid kept in a tightly sealed container that's been in your garage for a couple of years.

If I am right then given two ST13s having their brake fluid changed one with an unopened fresh from the store can and with an opened but sealed can you could not ride the bikes and tell them apart. Neither could you find water in the opened but sealed container.

Cans of brake fluid do not have expiration dates on them. (yet!)

Also in the same vein I would love to see people ride identical motorcycles with different tires then pick the one with the tire they claim is the best.

Not knowing which motorcycle has what tire.
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Last edited by echo; August 23rd, 2014 at 10:06 AM.
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Old August 23rd, 2014   #16
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

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What I argue is there is no difference between a can of brake fluid you buy in the store and a can of opened brake fluid kept in a tightly sealed container
True if one could guarantee that the container is actually "tightly sealed" to the point of being air tight. Since brake fluid is hygroscopic, it's going to acquire moisture from the air over time if it is present.


Quote:
If I am right then given two ST13s having their brake fluid changed one with an unopened fresh from the store can and with an opened but sealed can you could not ride the bikes and tell them apart. Neither could you find water in the opened but sealed container.
Probably not but the corrosion that could take place in the brake system as a result of moisture laden brake fluid is going to occur slowly so you might not notice any adverse effects for quite a while, maybe years.

Because I'm a worrier about things affecting my bike's condition, especially safety systems, I choose to just use fresh brake fluid every time. Even though Honda recommends a fluid change every two years, I swap it out once a year because it gives me a chance to bleed any air out of the brake circuit.

I'm no chemist but I suspect that you could probably get away with using fluid from an opened container for a while if it's really sealed tightly but why chance it with our expensive toys,... the stuff is cheap. I chose to just eat the extra 3 or 4 bucks a year to make sure my brake system is healthy and ready to go to work for me.

It would be interesting to see if there have been any studies of water absorption of brake fluid standing open to the atmosphere and another of how much it absorbs via a normally sealed, opened container.
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Old August 23rd, 2014   #17
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

At gas stations, we used to have brake fluid in pump containers that were not sealed.
They could sit for months, or years.

But, that was before ABS and sealed brake systems came to be.
Probably used less aluminum then, too.

I just tossed out a moving blanket from the 70's but I won't keep brake fluid, after
opening.

The smell bothers me, too. Just another migraine trigger, for me.
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Old August 24th, 2014   #18
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

Quote:
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As far as I can tell the actual Piston Set, the rebuild "kit", has only had a change in the last three of it's part number. In the past this has been something as simple as a change in manufacture, Honda has a new vendor. Superseded parts are always shown as a change in the last three, G01 to G04. This particular part started out as a G01 in 2003 by 2007 it was a G03 and today it carries a G04 last three. In the past if there has been a actual function change in the part is is issued a new part number, you can see these of some of the on-line parts sellers as they will have two lines for the same part the only difference being the number. The Honda parts system always uses the latest superseded number when the dealer orders the part.
The last digit should refer to the subcontractor, not to a design change (the first two of the last three digits should refer to that). Honda's printed Parts Catalogues used to have a section in the front regarding the breakdown of part numbers, and this was what was written there. However, the latest (well, last ten years or so) Parts Catalogues do not include a "how to read part numbers" section, and it was around this time that letters began to appear in the last section of the part number, so Honda may have changed the way their part numbers function.

FWIW, the new version looks like it has a NISSIN-style diameter marking "14", while the earlier versions stamp the 14 in a very un-NISSIN way, suggesting to me that the manufacturer was indeed changed to NISSIN recently.

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Old August 24th, 2014   #19
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

Please, please don't start up the sealed tin/not sealed tin in this thread - we are discussing the SMC valve here.
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Old August 24th, 2014   #20
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Default Re: SMC - Upgraded? SMC

Quote:
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It would be interesting to see if there have been any studies of water absorption of brake fluid standing open to the atmosphere and another of how much it absorbs via a normally sealed, opened container.
There are test strips which turn color to test brake fluid for water. These are used by fleet operators who test brake fluid for water and replace it when it reaches a certain level.

Also there are instruments made to do the same thing.
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