My homemade brake bleeding apparatus
Bleeding brakes and clutch systems can be a pain if you don't have a second person to pump the pedal. 20 years ago I bought a Gunson Easy bleed when I was in the U.K. I've used this system on many cars but the bottle is small and has to be refilled if doing all four brakes and it leaks bad.
So I decided to put my own spin on it using a 1 gallon $9.00 pump sprayer. You can buy all this stuff at Lowes or Home Depot.
I realize someone already makes something like this for about $60 but I got about less than $20 in my system and it was easy to make.
There are two parts to this video. I was too lazy to combine them.
Parts describing what is needed:
Apparatus in action: Note there is some leakage around the cap and reservoir but that's because the threads on the reservoir are stripped out a bit so the cap does not screw on very tight.
I need to bleed the brakes on my 68 Ford Fairlane. I the reservoir went empty for some reason (but no leaks to be found) and I think there is air in the system.
Since this car uses a lid instead of a screw on cap, My idea was to use a 1/4" thick piece of aluminum a gasket and thread two hose fittings (one for the front brakes and one for the rear). I was thinking of holding this homemade lid in place with a modified C-clamp. I just have not done it yet.
I used a similar cap to bleed the brakes on my Polaris ATV. notice the small piece of aluminum in the first video.
Here's my other question. I bought my step-son a 2001 Dodge Neon the other day. The owner said it was hard to get into gear which it was. The clutch was not disengaging all the way. Come to find out there is an adjustment between the master cylinder and pedal. All it took was loosening this screw and pulling the pedal back while tightening the screw to reduce the free-play.
I first thought the clutch had air in the system. There is no bleeder screw on the slave cylinder! This system is a sealed system. Meaning you replace both units together.
I looked up the procedure which involves pumping the clutch pedal 100 times (seriously) unbolting the slave cylinder from the transmission and pushing the rod in and out using a ratchet extension about 10 times. You do this while someone observes the reservoir and notes when there are no air bubbles being forced back up into the reservoir. This worked to some extent but the real fix was the adjustment at the clutch pedal.
I got to wondering about something. You've seen people make stuff out of resin and epoxy. They always put the piece in a box and pull a vacuum on it to remove any air bubbles.
If you installed an AC Schrader valve in the reservoir cap and connected an AC vacuum pump to the nipple, would pulling a vacuum on the braking or clutch system cause the air bubbles to collapse and or rise to the reservoir?
Without having to open the bleeder screws at the caliper, wheel cylinder or slave cylinder?
Unless of course your flushing the system out. In that case you would want to open the screws and force the old fluid out. But after that's done I wondering if simply pulling a vacuum would be easier and get all four brakes in one whack.
It would be an interesting experiment to test it using a U shaped glass test tube, trap the air in the tube with brake fluid and see if the air moves through the fluid with a vacuum pump.
You can also use the pump sprayer system described by " jseabolt " to reverse bleed the brake system if you have trouble get the air out of the system, see "Reverse Brake Bleeding by Brooksy99 on this forum.
On the point of the Dodge Neon type sealed system be very careful to follow the correct procedure when changing the clutch. Have a similar system on my Peugeot. When we changed my clutch we did not follow the correct procedure. The release bearing is pulled backward to release the clutch and the throw out arm needs to pulled back to lock it into the release which we did not do. So when I pushed the clutch pedal down there was no pressure on the arm, the M/C piston went to the end of the M/C and stuck. It took a lot of effort to get it working properly again with out changing the complete system
I saw a brake bleeder like that blow brake fluid all over my brothers 39 Ford coupe many years ago and have been scared to use anything like it ever since!
$5 one man bleeder.
Spray down all 4 bleeders with Liquid wrench or other penetrating lubricant.
Grab a plastic 16 or 20 oz soda bottle
Get 10 feet of clear 3/16 hose Cut to 5 feet.
Drill a 1/4 hole into the cap
Fill the bottle with 1" of brake fluid.
Slide the hose into the cap a inch then screw on the cap
Push the hose all the way to the bottom of the bottle
Put the bottom of the bottle above the caliper/cylinder and zip tie it or wedge stuff around it so it stays upright.
Using a socket brake the bleeders free then tighten snug.
Push the other end of the hose over the bleeder screw and loosen 1/4 turn using a wrench.
Walk up to the front of the car, top off the reservoir, then pump the brakes 5 or 6 times.
The lines completely empty or just changing calipers once the air is out of the clear line and it is full of fluid your good to go.
All the air is raised up to the bottle and it can not do anything but pull fluid back in as long as the hose is submerged and bottle is above the bleeder.
Tighten the bleeder screw then put a rag under the hose and have one of your brake fluid containers there to catch the fluid in the hose then move onto the next bleeder.
I can bleed a entire car in under 10 minutes by myself. Doing all the steps above.
Check the car to ensure those dang banjo fittings are sealing proper(some times the machining is poor and surfaces not true). Check any connections or other unions for leaks. Then reverse brake a few times gently before taking the thing for a drive and do some light then hard stopping and recheck for leaks.
When your done cap the end of the hose and throw your bleeder into a corner for next time or just use the other 5 feet that you had left over to make another one next time.
That's pretty cool and I'm sure it works. But I've found the most reliable system, but not fastest, is the one that caused the apple to hit Isaac Newton in the noggin several centuries ago.
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