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Old 05-08-2003, 12:11 PM
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glenmore glenmore is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 963

I just learned how to do the brake fluid bleed and or flush. I am a rank novice at this so check the archives for additional tips. The basics apply to just about any car. After I did my MBZ, I went ahead and did my wifeís Mercury Villager. It is quick and easy and good for your brake system. I replaced the stock bleed screws on my MBZ with speedbleeders. The old ones had a bit of corrosion on them. Flushing your system at timely intervals will surely keep it healthy. Flushing is just replacing your old fluid with new. Bleeding is eliminating any air that may have gotten into your brake lines from a repair.

Youíll need about 1 quart of brake fluid, jack, jack stands, plastic tubing to fit over the bleed screws, some metric wrenches 8mm,9mm,10mm and a catch basin. This might be a good time to get speedbleeders:

The MBZ size is SB8125LL, $7 each, total $32 and well worth it in my opinion. These allow you to bleed or flush your brakes yourself. Otherwise you need a helper.

Chock front wheels. Crack all rear wheel lug bolts. Jack up rear. (One wheel at a time or use jack stands so you can do both rear at the same time). Remove wheels. Bleed calipers in this order , right rear, left rear, right front, left front. Thoroughly clean around the bleed screw with a rag like you were shining shoes. Crack bleed screw and get a feel for loosening and tightening it. Some fluid will come out. The bleeder is hollow so DONíT OVER do it. As you can see from, it is a tapered fitting. At this point, if you have the new speedbleeders, just swap out the old ones. Attach tubing over the fitting and direct to your catch basin. You might have several lengths of tubing handy. Open up your fluid reservoir and to make things go quicker, suck almost all the old fluid out. Fill with fresh fluid. IMPORTANT! Make sure all compartments of the reservoir are filled with fluid. The reservoir is segmented into 4 parts, one for each caliper. And the front part of the reservoir may look full when the back part is empty. So fill to the brim with fluid and make sure fluid makes it way to the rear compartments. With speedbleeders, open them one at a time, pump your brakes a few times. Youíll hear the fluid squirting into your catch basin. Inside the speedbleeder is a valve that opens on your downstroke and seals on your upstroke. Keep pumping, and replenishing your reservoir as necessary until clean fluid comes out the bleeder. This does not take long as the brake lines are very thin. Tighten your bleeder and wipe up any fluid. CAUTION! Clean any spilled brake fluid on a painted surface immediately! It will curdle your paint in no time! Without speedbleeders, your helper steps on the brake, you open the bleed screw, fluid comes out, your helper will feel the brakes go to the floor, you close the screw, and your helper does NOT let up on the pedal until you say so (after you close the screw). He lets up on the pedal, drawing fluid from the reservoir, he presses, you open bleeder, pedal drops and he holds pedal down, you close bleeder, you say OK and he lets up on the pedal. Repeat until clear fluid comes out the bleeder. Close your bleed screw, wipe up and move to the next caliper. Your helper should keep even pressure on the pedal and should not push the pedal too hard particularly at the bottom of the downstroke. One excellent tip from members is that after finishing any work on your brake system, WHILE you are in your driveway, stomp on your brake pedal, with BOTH feet. If anything blows, better it be in your driveway.
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