Lorna came outside to help me bleed the brakes again tonight. A few more bubbles came out and I think we managed to improve things. However, the pedal still goes down to the floor on the first push. On the second pump the pedal seems firm and goes down about half way. A bit of a plus point, but it has to be said that a two-pump operating schedule is probably not ideal for your average fifty-miles-per-hour-towards-children-or-cliff situation.
So clearly something is wrong. But what? My adjusters are wound in tightly and there are no leaks. After much searching on the Internet I found a possible explanation…
By the looks of this photo I took the other day after refurbing the brakes, I have placed the leading pad on the back and the trailing pad on the front. Wrong way round. Apparently a slight difference in the shape of the two pads means the cylinders need to move further to actuate the brakes – thus the excessive brake travel on the first pump.
So, next job is to strip the back brakes down and swap things back to the way they should be. Fingers crossed this sorts things out!
After a little digging through the millions of photos in my “Duke” directory, I found a photo which shows that the pads on the other side are the right way round. Less work to do but possibly proof that this isn’t the only cause of the problem. Watch this space!