gravity brake bleed and flush (long) - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2003, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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gravity brake bleed and flush (long)

I had a problem with spongy brakes recently and I have never flushed my brake system so I figured I'd kill 2 birds and do a gravity flush and bleed. It's easier then a pressure bleed- but more time consuming so plan this around something else you'll be working on.

materials: 1 32 oz container of dotx fluid
3/8 combination wrench
about 8-12 inches of hose(I forget the diameter)
2 drain containers-they don't have to be that big

remove all the wheels(good time to rotate tires). I think the trep is a cross system (rite front and left rear brake 1 system) so I did rite front rite rear at the same time cuz the rears drain too slowly when u open the front opposite side.

remove the cap from the resevoir

wipe the bottom of the resevoir with something small and lint free(don't do this if u have abs)

attach the hose to the rear bleed valve and aim it to your container. just place the other container under the front brake.

open the bleed valves til you get a steady drip- not a stream but a good drip rate.

now all you have to do is keep the resevoir full. that's the time consuming part- you have to check it continuously to make sure its stays full(try not to let it get too much below the max line) I found that keeping it at or near the very top works best. but i did have time to split a load of wood and check the mail between checks- so it doesn't go that fast.

when the fluid coming out of the bleed valves is clean, swap sides and do the other side. of course you can do all of them at the same time- but I only had 1 hose and the rears dripped too slowly so....

thats it, this will bleed and purge the whole system. the most important part is making sure the res stays full- if it gets empty ur defeating the purpose and introducing more air into the system.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2003, 04:13 AM
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I still prefer the 2 person method.
PUSH, open, close, release.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2003, 04:27 AM
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Hmm, gonna have to give that a try. My brother always bitches and moans when I ask him to help me bleed the brakes...even when I'm working on HIS car!!! Thanks for the write-up.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2003, 09:17 PM
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One reason I have "speed bleeders' on all three cars is not having to ask for help. Simple and fast one man operation. Just my $0.02.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2003, 10:36 PM
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Or you can use a vacuum pump set up and do it quickly without help also...
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2003, 10:13 AM
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my buddies got a machine thats the size of a backpack. Fill it with fluid, take the cap off the res, strap this hose and plug into the hole and turn it on.
it pressurizes the system using clean brake fuild, all you gotta do is go around and open the bleeder valves
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2003, 08:24 AM
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Another way for one person to bleed a brake system (or any
hydraulic system):
1: Open and fill the master cylinder
2: Slip clear aquarium-type tubing over the right rear wheel
bleed valve.
3: Put the other end of the tubing in a small clear jar that's
about 1/2 full of new fluid.
4: Open that bleed valve, then depress the brake pedal
slowly to full travel, watching for bubbles after the tubing
air is purged. Continue until no more bubbles appear.
Check the fliud level to keep the master cylinder full.
5: Close bleed valve.
6: repeat procedure for remaining wheel cylinders.

There is no need to close the bleed valve after every pedal
push, because only fluid is drawn back into the wheel cylinder.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2003, 07:00 PM
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alarkyokie's method

That gets the air our, if that's all you want. Only problem with that approach is you're drawing some of the old moisture and contamination laden fluid back in every time you release the brake pedal. Good way to allow the calipers and wheel cylinders to rust and pit. Much better to use a method that replaces all of the old fluid with fresh stuff.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2003, 12:48 AM
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I would suggest the method outlined by alarkyokie listed below. However, I just barely open the bleeder valve so as to minimize the backflow of air when the brake pedal is released. I press on the brake pedal and release it slowly. After 10 to 12 cycles, while the brake is pressed all the way in, I insert a stick just long enough to reach from the brake pedal to the steering wheel. This holds the pedal down and prevents any possible back flow of air into the system while I check to make sure the fluid comming out of the wheel cylinder is clear (new fluid) and to make sure the master cylinder fluid level is not depleated. If I need to continue bleeding, I slowly release the stick and continue. If the wheel cylinder fluid is clear, I tighten the bleeder outlet and move on to the next wheel.
I feel it is important to remove all old fluid in the master cylinder reservoir prior to bleeding. Use a cooking baster device dedicated just for brake fluid. Stir up to old fluid first by sucking and pushing out the old fluid into the master cylinder reservoir. Finally suck out all the old debris-laden fluid and add new.
I have found that this procedure never lets air back into the system and does not take a long time to do.
I bleed the brake fluid in my cars/trucks ever two years. It eliminates moisture in the system which will eventually rust the wheel cylinder wall and cause leakage of fluid.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2003, 10:47 AM
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I don't understand. Where is there any chance of air entering the system if the tubing is inserted in a jar of brake fluid? Also, I'll stand by my original statement that you're sucking some of the old fluid back into the system. It may be diluted quite a bit by new fluid, but I fail to see how this is the best way to do it.
Certainly, flushing the system every couple of years or so is an excellent idea, though.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2003, 03:44 PM
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Nope; What I described was a method for one person to bleed brakes, like , after maintenance...not necessarily after a system flush...
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2003, 01:02 AM
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Duane: If you bleed brakes with clear tubing (tygon tubing) and open up the bleening valve several turns, you will see air entering the system through the threads of the bleeding screw as the brake pedal is allowed to return. That is why I suggested turning the valve just enough to allow the fluid to escape. This allows no or a minimal amount of bubbles into the area next to the bleeding valve. With a lot of air next to the bleeding valve, there is the possibility for air to get back into the wheel cylinder. The procedure that I recommended specified pumping the brakes to clear the line then holding the brake pedal down with a stick wedged against the steering wheel and the brake pedal. Fluid or air will not back flush into the system when the brake pedal is held in the down position. I they check to make sure the fluid is clear (new fluid being expelled and the system flushed). If it is not, I continue with several more pushed on the brake pedal. If the fluid is clear, I tighten the bleeding valve then release the brake pedal by removing the stick. I might add that I do extend the bleeding tube into a container that has brake fluid in it as you suggest.
I am not suggesting gravity bleeding is bad. In fact, it may be the best method. I am impatient and do not want to wait that long for the system to slowly bleed by gravity. Likewise, pumping (sucking) the fluid out of the wheel cylinders would be an excellent method. I do not want to buy a pump just to bleed my brakes every two years.
Thanks for your suggestions and comments!:bigsmile:
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