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Old 12-09-2003, 09:17 PM
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Brake Bleeding Sequence - Which one is correct?

As seen on:

Q: What is the proper sequence in which to bleed my brakes when using the MityvacŪ pump for vacuum brake bleeding?

A: When using the vacuum bleeding method to bleed brake systems on vehicles which are rear wheel drive the sequence should start with the wheel closest to the master cylinder and end with the wheel which is farthest from the master cylinder.

Example: LF wheel, RF wheel, LR wheel, RR wheel

Haynes Manual page 168 (8) says: "11. The primary (front) and secondary (rear) hydraulic brake systems are bled separately. Always bleed the longest line (furthest away from the master cylnder) first.

Which one will you follow? This is a DIY'ers nightmare!

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Old 12-09-2003, 09:33 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 333
The method I have used on mine is to start with the passenger rear, then the driver's rear, then passenger front, then driver front. This method has always worked for me. I have never used the Mityvac for this use though. I use the pump and hold it method.

When replacing the fluid, my father's mechanic said to use the gravity method...take the fill cap off of the resevoir, place buckets under each fitting, open all of the fittings and let it drain out taking care to keep the fluid in the resevoir a the appropriate level so you don't get air into the lines. Let all fluid drain until clear fluid comes out of all of the fittings, then tighten them up. This method has worked for my cars as well as my fathers and between the two of us, we own five of them.


'80 300D
'84 300D
'85 300D
'87 300D
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Old 12-10-2003, 12:45 AM
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Location: central Texas
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In forty years of reading I have never seen anything except the ' farthest first' suggested..... and I think it is logical to evacuate the most old fluid with the first bleeder....
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Old 12-10-2003, 08:17 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New England
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On well maintained systems, RR, LR, RF, LF. On systems where the fluid is old, or on a used car I just aquire, I reverse the order after bleeding the master cylinder. The logic is that you do not want to push all the dirty fluid through the entire system if you don't have to.

If the fluid is very, very bad. I'll disconnect all the lines to drain, disassemble, and inspect the entire system. Brakes are the 1 system in the car that can't be over maintained.

85 300SD, 300K+, anthracite gray
97 S320, 205K black
02 E320 4matic Wagon, 160K green
88 Dodge W100, 160K, 4wd beast
00 C230 Kompressor, 200K silver
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:24 AM
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Location: central Texas
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If the fluid is REALLY bad... then something like a turkey baster should be used to evacuate the ugly stuff from the container, maybe even flush by filling a time or two and doing the same thing.. then putting good stuff in to start the bleeding...
Three years ago I did see an early 80's Buick that I would bet had the original fluid in it... it was BLACK...
I think the rule should read furthest, next furthest... because on some cars the routing is different to the rear..."as the crow flies the RR would be the furthest on left hand drive cars... but I have seen cars with the LR the furthest if you follow the tubes..
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Old 12-10-2003, 07:24 PM
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Oops . Perhaps I should read my reply before sending it. The answer sought by the ASE on the correct procedure for bleeding brakes is: RR, LR. RF, LF. It's the "farthest away" rule that Leathermang pointed out above. The truth of the matter is that any sequence that clears the lines of old fluid and air bubbles seems to get the job done.
I prefer the vaccuum brake bleeding tool since it allows the mechanic to work alone without a "pump and hold" assistant. Powewr bleeders are great until the first time one pops loose and sprays fluid on the paint job.

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