|Michigan 3SI Tech/Info Pages|
Bleeding The Brakes
"How-To" by Ken Middaugh
NOTE: Before bleeding your brakes, please make sure that you understand all of the steps in the process. If you have any questions, please email me. Good luck!
Brake bleeding or slave cylinder bleeding is really easy. It is necessary for a few reasons:
Bleeding replaces the old, dirty, water-saturated, and
air-bubble-ridden fluid with new clean fluid. It should always be done
whenever the 'closed' hydraulic system is opened such as a brake job,
caliper or slave cylinder rebuild or replacement, hose replacement, etc.
It should also be done as preventative maintenance.
On our ABS cars, you're supposed to bleed the brakes with the car running. The order is (sitting in the drivers seat): right rear, left front, left rear, right front.
To bleed the clutch slave cylinder, you need to remove the battery & windshield washer fluid bottle. The slave cylinder is on top of the transmission between the engine and the firewall.
Usually, you need two people to bleed hydraulic systems -- one to open & close the bleed screws, the other to press the pedal. Here are the steps for brakes or clutches:
Actually, you don't have to do step 2 with every pedal press. Usually
you can go 5 to 10 pedal presses before you have to fill the reservoir.
Just be sure to not let the fluid drain completely out since this will
introduce air bubbles into the lines; the very reason you're bleeding is
to remove the bubbles. Also, empty the catch can often. When the fluid
entering the catch can is clean, you can stop repeating the steps and move
on to the next caliper.
If you want to do this alone, there are one-person bleeder products available, such as hoses with checkvalves. This means that you can open the bleed screw and not have to close it with each pedal push. Hence, one person can bleed their clutch/brakes unassisted.
My favorite of this type of product is Speedbleeder bleed screws-- I installed them on the brakes & the slave cylinder.