Brake Bleeding: One person bleeding

Posted by Morphius, Jan 31, 2004
Articles: Suspension & Brakes -

  1. Morphius

    Morphius DSM Wiseman

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    This is a how-to on bleeding the brakes by yourself.

    Things needed:
    1. Socket wrench with 13/16 socket (or tire iron)
    2. 10mm box end wrench
    3. quick bleeder (or an empty bottle and 2 ft of 3/16 dia. hose)
    4. Container of Dot 3 brake fluid

    NOTE: The brakes should be bled in the following order - Passenger rear, drivers rear, passenger front, drivers front. Typically, you start with the caliper that is farthest from the master cylinder. Then move to the next shortest line.


    Step I: Remove the wheel
    1. Apply the parking brake.

    2. Using the socket wrench/tire iron loosen the lug nuts

    3. Jack the vehicle up until the tires are off the ground

    4. Remove the lug nuts and remove the wheel.



    Below is a shot of the wheel removed on a 1G DSM.

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    #1
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  2. Morphius

    Morphius DSM Wiseman

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    Step II

    1. Below is a pic of the quick bleeder. It has a magnet on it so it can be attached to anything metallic while you bleed the brakes. Fill the bottle with approximately 1/4 inch of brake fluid before you start.

    2. This bleeder can be found at your nearest auto parts store for around $5.


    NOTE: In place of the bleeder shown below, you could use an empty glass and 2 ft of 3/16 vacuum line. Be sure to fill the glass about 1/4 full. Then submerse one end of the vacuum line in the fluid in the jar.

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  3. Morphius

    Morphius DSM Wiseman

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    Step III

    1. Using the box end of the wrench, put the wrench on the bleeder valve located at the top of the brake caliper.

    2. Put the end of the tubing from the quick bleeder (or 2ft length of tubing) over the tip of the bleeder valve. If using the quick bleeder shown, attach the can w/magnet to something metallic near the caliper. The rotor or caliper body works well.

    3. Rotate the wrench counter-clockwise to open the bleeder valve.

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  4. Morphius

    Morphius DSM Wiseman

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    Step IV

    1. First be sure to top off the brake reservior with Dot 3 fluid.

    2. Next, pump the brakes several times. Check check the level of the fluid in the reservior and the bleeder.

    3. Repeat pumping the brakes if you can still see air bubbles in the line.

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  5. Morphius

    Morphius DSM Wiseman

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    Step V

    1. If no air remains in the line, rotate the wrench clockwise to close the bleeder valve.

    2. Remove the bleeder and tubing from the bleeder valve.


    Note: If there is still air in the line and the bleeder is full, rotate the wrench clockwise to close the bleeder. Remove the container from the bleeder and empty it, leaving 1/4 inch of fluid in it. Likewise for the simplified bleeder of a jar/tubing. Empty the jar leaving it about 1/4 full. Reinstall the bleeder container/jar. Repeat Step IV until no air remains and continue to Step V.

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  6. Morphius

    Morphius DSM Wiseman

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    Step VI

    1. Replace the wheel on the hub.

    2. Using the 13/16 socket/socket wrench, put the lug nuts back on.

    3. Tighten the lug nuts to be snug.

    4. Lower the vehicle down on the jack.

    5. Once the vehicle is on the ground, tighten the lug nuts tightly or to the specified torque in your manual.

    6. Repeat steps I through VI for the remaining 3 wheels.
    #6
  7. Morphius

    Morphius DSM Wiseman

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    Logic why this works with one person.

    Typically, you bleed the brakes with one person in the car and another outside manning the bleeder valve. Apply pressure to the brakes, crack open the bleeder until the fluid stops flowing, close the bleeder, repeat the procedure. You close the bleeder up each time to keep air from getting back into the system.

    I don't know about you, but I don't always have a buddy around to do this.

    So, by putting the end of the tubing in the jar of fluid or using the quick bleeder I showed above(which has an internal tube that connects with the one on the outside and submerses the end in the fluid), air can't get back into the caliper. When you release the pedal, if it does have a suction, it will only pull fluid back up the line. No air.

    Also, remember there is a compensation valve internal to the brake master cylinder (M/C). As you apply the brakes, it blocks the port to the reservior and routes all the fluid in the M/C to the brake lines. Inverse, letting the pedal up, the M/C compensation valve will unplug the port to the reservior. This inturn allows the M/C to draw fluid from the reservior and not the line. Thus, there will be minimal fluid drawn out of the jar/bleeder you use.

    The same process can be applied to the clutch pedal slave cylinder (S/C) for bleeding air.
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