Forum home Road cycling forum Workshop

Filling Campagnolo H11 disc brakes

js14js14 Posts: 190
New to the disc brake game, so need a little expertise...

I'm trying to fill the Campagnolo hydraulic system using the official Campagnolo bleed kit and following the method in the official Campagnolo video.

The front brake went OK, but the back is giving me problems. Oil is leaking from the bleed valve when I push oil into the system, despite carefully only opening the valve a quarter turn with an 8mm spanner as instructed in the video. This means that when I suck oil back into the bottom syringe to try and remove any trapped air in the caliper, I am sucking air in at the bleed valve, so I can't bleed the system.

I suspect that the seal at the valve is faulty or even missing. However I don't want to unscrew the valve any further or it might be difficult to make a warranty claim. Any Campag experts who could help me diagnose the problem please? If I can avoid dismantling the back brake and control lever, removing the derailleur cable and returning all to the online shop in Germany for verification and exchange, I will save a lot of hassle and time.


  • jeffbwoodjeffbwood Posts: 53
    It does sound like it's the fast bleed valve that is leaking. But just to check, have you definitely still got the o-ring on the syringe at the caliper and it's not just leaking from there?

    It's fiddly i know but other than that have you tried closing off the 8mm slightly to see if you can still draw through any fluid; say only open 1/8th of turn. One way to check if there is a leak at the caliper bleed valve would be nip it up to the recommended torque and then push fluid through from the top syringe. This will at least make sure that you can get a full seal.

    I've just looked at the replacement cost of the fast bleed if there is an issue it would be worth opening up some dialogue before you strip and send back. They may offer to cover costs of LBS assessing/repairing.
  • js14js14 Posts: 190
    Thanks for the suggestions. The leak is definitely from the outside of the bleed valve and not around the O-ring of the syringe. If I tighten the 8 mm bleed valve completely, there is no fluid that leaks, and opening it a 1/8 turn or less allows the oil to leak out under pressure or the air to get in under suction. The fact that even the smallest slackening of the bleed valve allows fluid to leak is what makes me think the seal is completely ineffective. I would love to find an exploded diagram showing how the caliper is put together but no luck there. It seems the only Campagnolo spare part is the whole brake caliper, so the seal is not considered replaceable.

    The German online shop has now asked me to get it checked by a professional before they'll exchange it, which is reasonable to exclude the possibility of some amateurish error. I contacted the nearest Campagnolo Pro-Shop by phone (over 100 miles away) as per the Campagnolo guarantee procedure and they basically told to f$@k off because I had bought the parts on Internet. It's no wonder Shimano rules the waves with Campagnolo dealers like that. I know a good local repair shop that isn't bothered about the make or place you bought the bike, so I'll go there instead.
  • jeffbwoodjeffbwood Posts: 53
    The fast bleed valve can be replaced but it looks to retail for around £40. It is part number EC-DB014. Exploded views are available from the Campagnolo technical section. You will want the 2018 spare parts catalogue part A.

    Good luck with the LBS.
  • david37david37 Posts: 156
    Ricky @ pankhurst cycles in pangbourne knows more about this stuff than its worth knowing. try him.

    The problem is that any bike shop is going to charge for providing the service you want, and youll need to get there. The new part costs £40.

    The original supplier is who you have to deal with. Dont suggest it might be faulty, tell them its faulty and return the product for a refund or replacement. or just buy the replacement part.

    And its not just Campag, I had some muppet from Shimano / Madison telling me that before I could return a faulty DA cassette (with a broken carrier) that i would need to pay a local bike shop to inspect that id fitted it properly and that it was a false economy buying from disreputable online suppliers (wiggle....) what a tool. i sent it back to wiggle who sent it back to madison who replaced it. DA has a 3 year warranty.

    Anyway that aside it depends on your financial situation and how much your time is worth to you but if you know the faulty part and its £40 id be tempted to buy it and return the duff one .

  • js14js14 Posts: 190
    edited 16 March
    Thanks for all the really helpful advice. I hadn't seen the fast bleed valve was a spare part, but for the price I wonder if it is gold-plated! When you look at a photo of it, it is difficult to see why Campagnolo say it shouldn't be undone more than a quarter turn. Maybe there is a risk of unseating the seal as it is unscrewed.

    Anyway the bike shop found the same leak as me, but were less worried about it. There again, they had never seen a Campag disc brake, only Shimano and SRAM. They thought it was enough to push fluid in at the caliper and expel the air at the lever. I found pushing fluid down from the lever and out of the brake helped remove some more trapped air. It looks to me as though the calipers don't move evenly, which maybe indicates trapped air. The guy at the bike shop judged the bike was rideable with this limited bleed method so I took it for a spin at the weekend. The rear brake works but seems less effective than the front. It's difficult for me to judge if this is normal as I've never ridden a disc brake bike before.

    I have ordered the fast bleed valve, they are hard to find in stock, so it's coming from Germany: 32€ plus 15€ for the delivery. Once it arrives I will try replacing the valve that I think is faulty. If it solves the bleed problem for good, I will try and recover the cost from the original seller. For £43 I'd rather ride the bike now and not have to dismantle the lever and brake, send it all back, wait a few weeks and then reinstall everything.

    Incidentally, between the 2018 and 2020 spare parts catalogues, I see the brake pads have been modified although the caliper keeps the same reference. The latest pads come with a small spring spreader. Does anyone know why Campag made this change?
  • jeffbwoodjeffbwood Posts: 53
    I suspect it's exactly as you say with regard to unseating/damaging the seal if unscrewed too far. I also struggled to bleed the rear caliper first time round but once it's done the performance is fantastic.

    I can't help with your spring question sorry. However, I have switched to Swissstop RS pads anyway as they are cheaper, far quieter in all conditions and perform equally as well, if not better, than the Campagnolo pads.

    If you're interested it's the Disc 30 RS pads that you will need which are badged up as for Magura.
  • js14js14 Posts: 190
    edited 20 March
    Thanks for the tip on the SwissStop pads. On the SwissStop site they do indeed state they are compatible with Campagnolo road.
  • js14js14 Posts: 190
    edited 10 April
    Just to tell you, I found and fixed the problem thanks to the helpful advice here.

    The o-ring on the fast bleed valve was faulty. It was either a manufacturing fault or maybe the caliper had been hanging around on some wholesaler's shelf for too long without any fluid and had stuck to the bore. When I took the fast bleed valve out, the o-ring had a missing piece transforming it into a 'c-ring'. I put the new bleed valve in (Campagnolo part EC-DB014), and hey presto no more leaks. Then I just followed the same Campag hydraulic brake filling and bleeding procedure as before and the job was finished in less than 30 minutes.

    It cost me a bit more than I thought to fix the problem because the first place in Germany decided it was out of stock after I ordered. Finally I found an Australian bike shop that could ship to Europe but it ended up costing me another 20 quid in customs duty and DHL's administration fees. The repair could have been done for pennies if I had the o-ring reference. The old broken one has a cross-section of around 0.9 mm and the inside diameter looks to be around 4.2 mm but is difficult to measure as the remains are not so round anymore. It may be a metric size 4 x 1 mm. (I didn't want to touch the new valve at the price that it cost me.) It's easier to measure the groove on the bleed valve ~1.4 mm by 3.54 mm diameter, which means the groove depth is ~0.76 mm. The box is labelled "Made In Germany" so I guess it is made by or for Magura.
  • jeffbwoodjeffbwood Posts: 53
    Glad you got it sorted @js14 though it's a shame you had to go around the houses (and the world) to fix such a tiny part!

    Campagnolo collaborated with Magura to develop their disc brakes so it's highly likely they use some Magura parts.
Sign In or Register to comment.