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View Poll Results: Which method of brake bleeding do you use?
Speedbleeders (check valves installed at each wheel) 1 4.00%
PowerBleeder (device for applying pressure to MC) 10 40.00%
Old Fashioned Two Person Pump and Bleed 11 44.00%
I don't - the dealer does it 3 12.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 10-10-2002, 12:16 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Trenton, NJ
Posts: 248
Brake Bleeding Methods

Which method of brake bleeding do you use?
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Jeff

'87 560SEL 267K (177K on motor) Blue/Blue
'98 Buick LeSebre 60K (wife's car)
'56 Imperial Sedan 124K
Past Cars:
'67 Dodge Monaco 130K (Sold)
'87 Chrysler 5th Ave 245K and going strong (sold)
'73 Plymouth Satillite 175K (sold)
'96 Chrysler LHS 80K (totaled)
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2002, 12:21 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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add another selection

i prefer to do the ultimate old fashioned way. gravity bleed.
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2002, 12:53 PM
LarryBible
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I wish I had the money to put speedbleeders in all my cars, but I don't my pressure bleeder is definitely the next best thing.

Happy bleeding,
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2002, 02:03 PM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,791
I made myself a siphon bleeder.... basically a "hookah" with clear tygon tubing. The vacuum I create sucking on it can bleed the brakes. One advantage with vacuum bleeding is that any bubbles are enlarged and stand a better chance of being drawn out of the system than with pressure-bleeding systems. The main drawback is that 9 times out of 10 too much air will be drawn past the bleeder screw threads to be effective, and I have to resort to the "two-man" system. I understand this air past the threads - if left there - can be a serious problem for a system with ABS.

(I wonder what the neighbors think seeing me doing the brakes with a hookah in my mouth!)
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2002, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 571
Stu Ritter's new book describes pressure bleeding processes for both ABS-equipped and non-ABS-equipped cars.

ABS cars supposedly need 30 lbs. of pressure to bleed properly. These $100 diyer pressure bleeders for the most part cannot exceed 15 lbs.

I remember a reply Stu made some time back about the speedi-bleeder type units being undersized for ABS cars.

I have ABS and a speedi-bleeder(derives pressure from spare tire) and have bleed the system to my satisfication - no spongy pedal.

My 2 cents.
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2002, 02:55 PM
LarryBible
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I think we need to ensure that everyone understands the difference between bleeding and flushing.

Bleeding is the removal of air that exists in the system. Flushing is merely replacing the fluid in an air free system.

The 30PSI from a pressure bleeder is certainly necessary for bleeding, but not necessarily for simply flushing out the old and replacing with new.

Have a great day,
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2002, 03:00 PM
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Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
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Hello,
I use the pressure bleeder device to force all old fluid out and then refill an empty system (ABS and non ABS). Never had any air left behind in the system using 15-20psi.
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2002, 04:44 PM
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Location: Trenton, NJ
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Thanks for everyone's input so far.

I set up this poll to get some idea of what everyone's experiences have been. Personally, I've never done anything on the hydraulic side of the system before and am starting to realize - partly from reading the advice here - that it isn't something that should be ignored. I'm also realizing that it should be something I can easily do myself.

LarryBible raised the question of cost between Speedbleeders and a Powerbleeder which is certainly a consideration that I have been debating. From what I can see, the speedbleeders run $7 each plus $3 S&H or $31 for one car and $28 for each additional car (if you order all at once to minimize shipping). The Powerbleeder starts at $~50 but you may end up having to purchase multiple adapters to fit different vehicles. Right now I have three cars to consider which would need two adapters according to the PowerBleeder website. I'm waiting for them to get back to me with the total package price.

jlc
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Jeff

'87 560SEL 267K (177K on motor) Blue/Blue
'98 Buick LeSebre 60K (wife's car)
'56 Imperial Sedan 124K
Past Cars:
'67 Dodge Monaco 130K (Sold)
'87 Chrysler 5th Ave 245K and going strong (sold)
'73 Plymouth Satillite 175K (sold)
'96 Chrysler LHS 80K (totaled)
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2002, 05:16 PM
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Location: Bay area, CA
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You need a helper to press on the brake pedal when you are ready to bleed the brake. Start from the farthest wheel to the driver seat. Tell your helper to step on the brake steady. Then you loosen the bleeder screw on the brake cylinder. The pedal will be depressed all the way. Then tighten the bleeder screw. Tell your helper to release the brake pedal. Repeat the process three or four times untill you see no more bubles coming out. Next go to the next wheel. The sequence is 1. Rear passenger side wheel, 2. Rear driver side wheel, 3. Front passenger side, 4. Front driver side. With this method you don't need any fancy tools just a wrent to fit on the bleeder screw.
Make sure to refill your brake fluid after the process.

Fred
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2002, 06:31 PM
RockyS
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I have always used the old-fashioned two person method, never gave it much thought, seemed to work pretty good. Is it worh spending money for a new-fangled system or only if you just cant seem to get all the air out?
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2002, 09:07 PM
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Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
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I use the old fashioned two person method when I have a helper around. I have managed for years to flush and bleed at every pad change without a helper when my kids were too little to be of any help in job like this.

I run the hose from the caliper bleed screw into a jar (after putting a box end wrench over the bleed screw nipple hex), cover the end of the hose with fluid, and then loosen the bleed screw to push the pad/cylinder back without forcing old blackened brake fluid into the system. This usually fills the hose and then some, and then I tighten the bleed screw. Change the old pad with a new one. Like someone already noted, make sure the fluid reservoir is full of new, clean brake fluid. I use Castrol GTX LMA fluid.

I do the other pad, same sequence, and then flush the caliper and line. With the end of the hose covered with fluid, I loosen the bleed screw again, and pump the brake myself. After a few strokes, I tightened the bleed screw, and checked the brakes for sponginess. If it is not nice and firm, refill the reservoir and do the process again. If you don't open the bleed screw to the point where you get no pressure build up (resistance on the downstroke) when you pump the pedal, you get enough fluid to fill the threads on the downstroke and then in the upstroke of the brake pedal the threads stay sealed.

Procedure has worked fine for nearly twenty years. Still does, but I get help these days from my two sons. Good learning experience for them as I believe they will have cars with hydraulic brakes for years to come. Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2002, 10:00 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
Posts: 460
Hello,
I do not use the *pump the pedal* method anymore as the master cylinder pistons (and their seals) are pushed past the normal travel area in the bore. This in itself could cause seal failure as the *unswept* area of the bore may have debris or corrosion.
Just my 0.2 cents
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2002, 10:23 PM
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nachi11744,

I have heard that you can damage the master cylinder seals by driving the piston beyond its normal travel using the "pump the brake pedal" method on this forum in the past. While I believe it is possible and even likely if there are corrosion products building up in the master cylinder, I do not think it is normal. If you flush the system regularly with every pad changeout, or every two years as recommended by the manual for the car, and use good quality brake fluid this issue should not present a problem.

I have yet to replace a brake master cylinder in more than thirty years of owning cars I have driven to more than 250,000 miles, and regularly changed brake fluid with pads. I do not think I am lucky or a statistical anomoly. Corrosion only happens when you let brake fluid get laden with moisture. If you do not let that happen, there is no means to initiate corrosion of the parts. Brake fluid is cheap, and it should not be left to rot away the calipers and master cylinder.

Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2002, 10:34 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
Posts: 460
Hello Jim,
Perhaps I should have clarified that I am a recent transplant to North America and moved from the tropics (3 degree north of equator) so moisture contamination of brake fluid and muck finding its way into brake calipers is a fact of life for me.
I replace brake fluid every year and all other fluids (trans, diff, pas) every two years regardless of *miles*.
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2002, 10:41 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
nachi11744,

And I thought our climate with winters was tough on cars!

Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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