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Old 05-17-2004, 10:29   #1 (permalink)
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D.I.Y. brake bleeding

Is there a way to bleed brakes by yourself? I talked to a colleague and he said to open the master cylinder then starting at the furthest brake open the bleeder. Press once or twice on the pedal and then let it gravity feed the air out, making sure the resivoir never empties (you should be able to see the bubbles), then when the bubbles stop, close the bleeder and work your way to the other brakes.

Would this work?
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Old 05-17-2004, 15:53   #2 (permalink)
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Re: D.I.Y. brake bleeding

No, not quite, Dont pump the pedal, especially if the valves are open, that sucks in air. to gravity bleed all you have to do is open the bleeders and yes watch the master cyl level to make sure it doesnt go dry. Hence the simple term gravity bleeding. and the only way you will see bubbles when gravity bleeding is if you heat up the caliper with a torch and watch the brake fluid boil out. all that happens when gravity bleeding is it will dribble out, yes you will see bubbles when bleeding brakes using a helper putting pressure on the brake while its forced out.
What your friend told you, in the correct order you have written might work if the brake fluid bleeder valve was attached to a airtight hose then submerged in a jar of brakefluid, this way when the pedal came up only brakefluid would enter the valve.
The best way is to first gravity bleed then close all valves. then have a helper slowly press the pedal down untill he feels a solid pedal, at that time he should tell you that he has a firm pedal, then you crack open the bleeder valve just long enough to see the state of the fluid coming out. When theres no air coming out your done, move on to the next wheel.
The order in which you bleed depends on how what sort of system your brakes have, older rear wheel drives still have a independant system in which the rears and fronts are seperate, both rears would be done first, then fronts.
Newer cars sometimes have a diagonally split system where the one wheel at the front shares fluid with the wheel on the opposite side at the back. Again the wheels that share the same fluid should be bleed accordingly as well. Usually gravity bleeding comes in handy when you've just replaced a wheel cyl or caliper, but is hardly necessary for just a quick, bleed, using a helper is the best way, we have a pressure bleeder where i work right now and even after anyone uses it we always do a final check manually with a helper to make sure.
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Old 05-17-2004, 20:50   #3 (permalink)
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Re: D.I.Y. brake bleeding

You could get another resevoir lid, and put a connection into it so that you could feed in compressed air.
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Old 05-17-2004, 21:00   #4 (permalink)
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Re: D.I.Y. brake bleeding

I bought one of those brake bleeding kits from repco and just followed the instructions in the workshop manual which are pretty much furthest brake first etc.... worked a treat. this was for an EA II fairmont
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