bleed the brakes?
my 56 Dodge D300 brakes are squishy feeling when I push the pedal, I get almost no response until it is almost floored. everyone I have asked says to bleed the brakes, there is probobly air buildup in the lines. Makes sense to me, but heres the problem...
I dont know how to bleed the brakes! can someone help this newbie out?
its big drum brakes all around.
well, you need to crack open all the wheel cylinders bleeders first, then tighten them back up, then grab someone to be the pedal pusher, have them pump up the pedal, then hold it, open the bleeder, fluid and air should come out ( if air is the problem ) close the bleeder, do it until there is no air for each wheel cylinder, also adjust all the brakes using the star ajuster until there is a slight drag on the drum from the shoes contacting, this can also make a low pedal if they are ajusted too far in, the wheel cylinder pistions have to travle farther b4 they can build preassure.
the best way to bleed the brakes reequires 2 people. a pedal pusher and a bleeder. first off. make sure your brake shoe adjustment (shoe to drum clearance) is not way out, like matti says, there should be some drag when you spin the wheel. if not, then you're going to have to adjust your clearance with a brake adjusting tool on the adjusting star that it behind the oval rubber plug on your backing plate. by turning the star you will expand your shoes and bring them closer to the drum. when you're sure you have the right amount of drag on all four wheels you can start the bleeding process. first, open the lid of the reservoir and make sure it is full. the best way to visually see air leaving the system is to get a tall glass and fill it half way with brake fluid. next get a length of clear plastic tubing that will fit over the bleeder fitting and run the hose down into the glass. start with the wheel furthest from the master cyl and have your pedal pumper depress the pedal slowly to the floor 4 times and hold it to the floor while you crack open the bleeder fitting and watch all of the air bubbles rush into your glass of brake fluid. with the pedal still down on the floor, tighten up the bleeder valve. you do this until no more air comes out of the plastic tubing. periodically you will have to check the level of fluid in the master cylinder so it does not empty out during the bleeding process. next, you go to the 3rd furthest wheel from the master cyl. and do the same process till you get the same results, checking the fluid level as you go. then the 2nd furthest and finally the closest. typically it will be right rear, left rear, right front and left front in that order. if that doesn't solve your problem you probably need some new parts. good luck.
Good advice offered here.
One important thing to remember:
When bleeding the brakes make sure to keep and eye on the brake fluid level in the master cylinder.
If it goes dry......... you now get to start all over again at the farthest point from the master cylinder.
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