Bleeding brakes
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  1. #1
    al
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    Default Bleeding brakes

    I've never done this before, but the Haynes speaks of putting some hose over the bleed valve, and then immersing the other end of that in fluid...

    Is this the best way to do it? I've seen it done a few times, and i don't recall anybody ever using hose or a jar.

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    Anyway, sorry if this is a stupid question.
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    1000+ Posts edgedweller's Avatar
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    Hey Al,

    the environmentally friendly way is to use a clear plastic tube and glass jar. This, of course, stops brake fluid from leaking onto concrete, paint or any other surface that you may not wish tio have stained or poluted.

    Small added advantage here of being able to see exactly what is coming out of you caliper, paticulate matter, water, rust etc., and being able to judge when air is completely clear of circuit.

    A bit fussy for some but a natural technique for others.

    Would be appropriate if you were going to flush sustem.

    ed ge

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    Default My favourite thing

    One of my favourite homemade tools for this job is the old Kikkoman soy sauce jar and the clear plastic tube. The narrow top gives excellent control over the hose, and if you wrap a bit of coathanger around the neck of the jar you can hang the assembly from nearest coil spring or brake hose. This helps because now you don't kick it over when fumbling about to get to the bleed nipple.

    Hoges

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    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Al,
    If you are doing this job Solo, you can get bleed kits form supracheeeep, these have a one way valve at the end of the tube and don't let air back into the system.
    What car are you bleeding brakes on?


    When I had my R17 years ago, I made up a second resivoir cap with a tyre valve on it which you attached to a low pressure air line, which allowed me to bleed the brakes solo also. I attached the airline to the cap, applied light pressure to the resivoir and went around from wheel to wheel and bled the brakes, making sure the fluid level didn't get too low.
    Have fun,
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    The hose and jar method is great.Not only do you miss out on a shower of fluid in your eyes while lying under the car, you can see clearer when the air is out, there is no splash on your nice clean driveway, none gets on the paintwork, and you don't need to shut off the bleed valve between brake pumps if the end of the tube is under the fluid, as it can't suck any air in.
    Never used to do it until recently, but wouldn't do it any other way now.
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    1000+ Posts Gamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY
    Al,
    If you are doing this job Solo, you can get bleed kits form supracheeeep, these have a one way valve at the end of the tube and don't let air back into the system.
    What car are you bleeding brakes on?


    When I had my R17 years ago, I made up a second resivoir cap with a tyre valve on it which you attached to a low pressure air line, which allowed me to bleed the brakes solo also. I attached the airline to the cap, applied light pressure to the resivoir and went around from wheel to wheel and bled the brakes, making sure the fluid level didn't get too low.
    Have fun,
    Chris.
    I used a similar system to the mini brakes, (bicycle pump).
    I assume since you have a French car you have the odd friend, 9some very odd).

    Firstly either have spare callipers or access to a spare car, (a broken bleed nipple is a not unusual occurrence in a system that has not been bleed for a long time).

    The week before doing said bleed soak the nipples in PENETREEN [sic] (rust lubricant type stuff) or similar to help in the unscrewing. This also familiarises you with their location and other bits that will be in the way.

    Go out and buy a set of good hydraulic line spanners and ring spanners to suit the lines in and the nipples. (Trust me, itís worth it).

    Clear plastic tube, (2 foot long), (the type not eaten by brake fluid) and a clear jar, (Vegemite, with lid). Drill a hole in the lid so that the tube is a neat fit, put a little fluid in the bottom of the jar to cover the end of the tube. With the wheel off and the car on good stands and extra support. "Crack" the nipple, (just get it undone). Put the tube over the nipple with the ring spanner on the hex with enough swing to get the nipple undone a quarter to half turn.

    Now with one body in the driverís seat and another at the nipple, (love that word), apply the brake with moderate force and hold it on. The person at the nipple end then slightly opens the nipple and allows the fluid to progress up the tube and into the jar. The pedal person will find the pedal going to the floor and should keep the slight pressure up until the pedal nearly gets to the floor when they say "close" or "done" or some other word to indicate to the nipple person to tighten the nipple up. The nipple person when having tightened the nipple will say "right" and the pedal person will then lift their foot off the pedal allowing the reservoir to refill the master cylinder. Repeat this until all the air and general [email protected] has been flushed out of the system. This for each wheel, in turn, starting with the wheel with the shortest line from the master cylinder, (usually the drivers side front) and finishing with the one furtherest away. (Not the spare).

    Note- a third person can be employed to ensure that the reservoir is always toped up otherwise it may empty and you are saying things your mother would not approve of and starting again.

    This is only a brief description and the finer points and pitfalls are not fully covered. Have a go and keep us posted.
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    al
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    Thanks for the good advice so far...

    Another question though - what is the most efficiant way of draining the reservoir? The haynes sais to use a turkey baster, (lol) but somehow i can't see mechanics doing it this way...
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    Maybe you cant see a mechanic doing it that way but thats what peter my mechanic does.
    you can just pump it out with the hose/jar method but youll take all day to get the air out of the lines if you get all that air in.

    the best way is to pump untill its nearly empty then keep topping up with new fluid untill you see it come out the clear tubing.
    the new fluid will be clear and the old murky looking.
    i have a one man bleed kit you can use or ill give you a hand yo bleed it.
    remember to follow the swquence of bleeding in the haines.
    starting with the furthest line away from resevoir to closest.
    its mentioned in the haines.
    i change my fluid every 2 years.
    the last lot looked really murky and green when i got it out.
    it was yuk and i felt instant improvement.
    ps go for dot 5 if you can afford it.-BAZZ

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    al
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    The baster it is then...

    And what is the difference between dot 4 and 5? I ask because i was given a bottle of 4 by a mate who didn't need it, and i also picked up some last week. So i kinda have plenty lying around...
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    Default bleedin' brakes.

    Dr Doom here,
    A little warning when using the "pump the pedal" bleeding method. Doing it this way the master cyl piston travels further than usual. This can cause piston seal damage on a ridge of dirt etc that accumulates in the cylinder.
    You might find you'll need to overhaul the master cyl in a short time!

    Pressure bleeding using compressed air as others have suggested is best.

    For a bleeder bottle I have a small glass drink bottle with a hole punched in the lid large enough for the clear hose. When the job is finished I push the hose into the bottle. This prevents the hose from hardening. Leave a small amount of fluid in the bottle.:2cents x 25.

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    1000+ Posts Gamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazgti
    Maybe you cant see a mechanic doing it that way but thats what peter my mechanic does.
    you can just pump it out with the hose/jar method but youll take all day to get the air out of the lines if you get all that air in.

    the best way is to pump untill its nearly empty then keep topping up with new fluid untill you see it come out the clear tubing.
    the new fluid will be clear and the old murky looking.
    i have a one man bleed kit you can use or ill give you a hand yo bleed it.
    remember to follow the swquence of bleeding in the haines.
    starting with the furthest line away from resevoir to closest.
    its mentioned in the haines.
    i change my fluid every 2 years.
    the last lot looked really murky and green when i got it out.
    it was yuk and i felt instant improvement.
    ps go for dot 5 if you can afford it.-BAZZ
    Agreed. a good start is to change the fluid.
    Why start from the furthest away nipple???

    I use a BIG syringe (60ml), to suck out the old fliud, (throw away at end of work).
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    al
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    Fair enough Wilde.

    Do most still use the pedal pumping method though?
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    Fellow Frogger! Ralph's Avatar
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    Icon7

    I also try to use different coloured brake fluid to what is already in the system. That way you can see when the fresh stuff is coming out of the nipples. Mmmm nipples.

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    Al,
    Wildebeest raises some good points. I had n't thought of the master cyl problem doing it that way. Definatly Dr Doom stuff.
    Different colour b/fluid isn't always necessary because it could be so old it's black anyway
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    Default bleedin' brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by al
    Fair enough Wilde.

    Do most still use the pedal pumping method though?
    Al,
    I would bet your money on it that most do.

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    Here's one I made earlier...

    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/sho...472#post131472

    Stuey


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    Quote Originally Posted by al
    The baster it is then...

    And what is the difference between dot 4 and 5? I ask because i was given a bottle of 4 by a mate who didn't need it, and i also picked up some last week. So i kinda have plenty lying around...
    Not sure if DOT (US Department Of Transport) 4 & 5 are just different specs for brake fluid. However I did have a Toyota once that had a large warning label on it saying USE DOT 4 ONLY. So double check with your handbook or manufacturer.
    Dom

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    I've always sucked the old fluid from the reservoir with a big oil syringe before starting bleeding. Also always used the bottle on a bent coat hanger with some fluid in it too as others have suggested. Works a treat. On one occasion I used a clean rag to soak the old fluid out of the reservoir first too. Keep a jug of fresh water handy to pour on any brake fluid spills on your car. Brake fluid readily mixes with water and easily washes off paint work this way. Don't ever wipe it offf with a rag,it just makes a bigger bare patch.
    Dom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamma
    Agreed. a good start is to change the fluid.
    Why start from the furthest away nipple???

    I use a BIG syringe (60ml), to suck out the old fliud, (throw away at end of work).

    it mentions in the haines a certain sequence which starts at the line thats the furtherest away from the res and then to the closest.
    i 'THINK 'because of the way the air moves around when bleeding or something.
    they recomend
    1st-right rear wheel
    2nd-left front
    3rd-left rear
    4th-right front
    so there you go.

    al-dot 5 is racing brake fluid but its VERY expensive and not worth it in a street car.i was being asmart armpit ,sorry.
    it takes a lot more heat before boiling but its pricey as hell.
    dot 4 is good for the type of driving we do in these cars.
    available most service stations.
    i just use castrol dot 4 but you can buy expensive european brands that are basically the same thing if you prefer.
    unless someone else has more input of brands of fluid and their recomendations.
    -BAZZ

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    bob
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    I had an outfit like Stuey's years ago but the feeding cylinder was a very big vegemite jar - so that I could see how much fluid was in it. In those days the vege jars had metal lids so it was simple to solder a feeder tube in the lid and an air valve setup from an old tube. Fill it up with fluid, give it 10-20 lbs with the old foot pump and away you go, easy as on your own. For the master cylinder end you used to be able to get caps for just about any vehicle with the entry pipe already in it for a song - they were made for a commercial article that did the same job but for a lot more £ than a modified vegemite jar.
    And, we always started from the wheel that was farthest from the master cylinder. Why ? because we always did !!
    Last edited by bob; 14th November 2005 at 11:38 PM.

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    DOT 4 & 5 are not compatible, Dot 5 is silicon fluid ( you can polish your car with it.) It should only be used after a COMPLETE brake rebuild. It also has its own problems in that it doesn't absorb moisture so any moisture that does get in will boil in it's own right, rather than lowering the boiling piont of the brake fluid. It also makes that moisture very hard to remove from the system. Stick with quality DOT 4 and change it every year if you're anal about such things, (saves a lot of brake rebuilds if you do) Oh and dont try polishing your car with DOT 4, unless you like the bare metal look. While i'm at it it's best to use fresh fluid and not just some that you have lying around, it's cheap at the price, it really IS hygroscopic.
    Cheers
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    I was going to reply in my last post to say that DOT5 was silicone based, but had some doubts about my memory. Cheers Mike.

    Stuey


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren25
    DOT 4 & 5 are not compatible, Dot 5 is silicon fluid ( you can polish your car with it.) It should only be used after a COMPLETE brake rebuild. It also has its own problems in that it doesn't absorb moisture so any moisture that does get in will boil in it's own right, rather than lowering the boiling piont of the brake fluid. It also makes that moisture very hard to remove from the system. Stick with quality DOT 4 and change it every year if you're anal about such things, (saves a lot of brake rebuilds if you do) Oh and dont try polishing your car with DOT 4, unless you like the bare metal look. While i'm at it it's best to use fresh fluid and not just some that you have lying around, it's cheap at the price, it really IS hygroscopic.
    Cheers
    Mike
    Silicon brake fluid can be excellent depending on climat, i suppose (i live in Melbourne). I had it in a car for 10 years and 200 thousnad K without changing. Finally i couldn't contain my curiosity and pulled everthing apart to check. All the bores were perfect.
    Also put it into our two R19 as i can't be bothered stuffing with fluid changes.
    While there probably are draw backs using this stuff (can't use it in ABS systems i think)in track cars i seem to remember that Moffat used it in the Mazda Rotary.

    Also there are different types of Silicon fluid and some rubbers are not compatible with the stuff.
    I use Raycore or somthing sounding like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoBo
    Silicon brake fluid can be excellent depending on climat, i suppose (i live in Melbourne). I had it in a car for 10 years and 200 thousnad K without changing. Finally i couldn't contain my curiosity and pulled everthing apart to check. All the bores were perfect.
    Also put it into our two R19 as i can't be bothered stuffing with fluid changes.
    While there probably are draw backs using this stuff (can't use it in ABS systems i think)in track cars i seem to remember that Moffat used it in the Mazda Rotary.

    Also there are different types of Silicon fluid and some rubbers are not compatible with the stuff.
    I use Raycore or somthing sounding like it.
    Bellray?
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    Yeah, now that you mention it, it's Belray

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