Reverse Pressure Brake Bleeding with ABS

Posted by Nayr747, Apr 18, 2012
Handling Tech - 4G63 suspension, steering, brakes, tires, lightweight wheels, bushings, etc.

  1. Nayr747

    Nayr747 Proven Member

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    Couldn't find an answer so I thought I'd start a thread. I'm just changing pads and rotors and heard (http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/newbie-forum/1127-brake-rotor-vfaq.html#post7645) that you can't compress the pistons since it forces fluid back up into the ABS unit and damages it. Supposedly, in order to compress the caliper pistons you have to open the bleeder and then bleed the whole system. I can't seem to find any other reliable info that backs this up though. I just wanted to do the pads and rotors and be done with it but I guess I probably should flush and bleed the fluid anyway.


    So I was looking at using something like this that forces the fluid and trapped air up the system rather than down so that the air is moving up and out of the system like it would naturally want to. They say it works fine with ABS. What do you guys think?
    MAXPRO Reverse Brake Bleeder - YouTube
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  2. bryanwheat

    bryanwheat DSM Wiseman

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    Just open the bleeder on the caliper and compress it. You won't have to bleed the whole system, just the caliper.
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  3. Nayr747

    Nayr747 Proven Member

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    Cool, thanks for the help. What about when I need to bleed the whole system though? Can I use the reverse pressure bleeding technique with ABS or will it screw up the accumulator? I was planning on flushing it first the normal way, then doing the reverse bleeding. So there should be fewer contaminants to be forced into the ABS unit.
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  4. ACM

    ACM Supporting Member

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    Never reverse bleed an ABS system; never push fluid back up the lines on an ABS system. Personally I would extent these rules to include any car with a conventional type proportioning valve.

    The reason is that there are incredibly tiny passages in the ABS unit, if there is any debris in the fluid - which there usually is down at the caliper end of the system - that debris will flow up the lines and into the ABS unit, where there is a good chance it will block a passage or impair the function of one of the solenoids.

    If an additional half hour of your time is more valuable than the $1200 ABS unit, by all means reverse bleed - however since you're playing with a 13 year-old car on your own dime, I'm guessing you don't make $2,400 an hour :)

    The same holds true for the prop valve - that also can get compromised by the same debris.
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  5. Nayr747

    Nayr747 Proven Member

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    Holly sh**, is it really 13 years old now?! OMG Didn't even realize. The reason I was trying to reverse bleed wasn't the time, it was the fact that air rises so it's supposed to be a much better method of getting all the air out of the system. What method would you go with instead? I could do speed bleeders, but that's around $40 for four of them (the good ones, at least). Or I could use one of these Motive Products #1 Selling DIY Brake Bleeder which pressurizes the system from the MC. I would just do the old fashioned two person method, but I don't have anyone to help me.
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  6. ACM

    ACM Supporting Member

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    Really :) I have to remind myself of that each time I curse a seized bolt...

    I've tried a couple of the master-cylinder-pressurising bleeders - imo they are the best tools I've ever come across for spraying $16/pt brake fluid all over everything in sight - if I ever want to paint my car I'll fill one of these with paint and try bleeding my brakes - because none of the fluid ever makes it into the actual brake system !

    With the exception of the clutch, speed bleeders seem to do a decent job, the only problem I've encountered is the red goop that seals the threads only works a few times, then brake fluid dribbles down the calipers.
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  7. eclipsegsx1736

    eclipsegsx1736 Supporting VIP

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    I have the Motive power bleeder and I love it. I bought a new OEM MC cap and sent it to the to have made into an adapter kit (which I could have done.. they just drilled and tapped a barb fitting into the cap and threw in a big rubber gasket). This makes the job really easy. With this cap I haven't had any leaks yet. I can flush the fluid on all 4 corners in about 15 minutes once the tires are off. It's a huge timesaver and totally 1-person. Pedal pressure is perfect.

    I flush the brakes before every event. I alternate between ATE Superblue (blue) and ATE Type 200 (same recipe but yellow) which makes flushing the system a no-brainer.
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  8. Nayr747

    Nayr747 Proven Member

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    Where did you get the OEM MC cap? I was thinking about doing the same thing but couldn't find just the cap on eBay. Can you post a picture of how you have it modified?

    Love your car btw. Interesting tow hook placement. :p
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  9. nickk90

    nickk90 Proven Member

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    So motive dose not offer a cap for or car?
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  10. eclipsegsx1736

    eclipsegsx1736 Supporting VIP

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    Not that I'm aware of. That's why I bought a new OEM cap and sent it to them to be made into a kit. The new cap is because they're plastic and it needs to fit TIGHT for this kit since you're pressurising the system including the cap to 10-15 psi.

    Beau
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  11. nickk90

    nickk90 Proven Member

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    How much did the cap cost you? have you used it for bleeding the clutch as well?
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  12. eclipsegsx1736

    eclipsegsx1736 Supporting VIP

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    Cap was $17 from STM. The clutch master has a different reservoir, and therefore cap, so it of course won't work. Anyway, I gravity bleed the clutch, so no need.

    Beau
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  13. Nayr747

    Nayr747 Proven Member

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    Another good way to bleed the clutch, especially if you've replaced some components and the system is completely full of air, is to do sort of what the video I posted shows. Get an oiler (this one worked pretty well for me Amazon.com: Tooluxe 9 Oz High Pressure Oiler for Lubricants: Home Improvement), fill it with brake fluid, attach a clear tube (Home Depot) to the nozzle and the other end to the bleeder valve on the slave cylinder, open the bleeder and start pumping the oiler. Watch the fluid level in the reservoir. This method is good because air wants to rise, and there's no ABS stuff to damage.
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