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Old 03-31-2011, 11:55 AM
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Bleeding your brakes

Has anyone here bled their brake system? It's on my spring list of things to do and I have no idea how much brake juice to buy. Should I be prepared to replace bleed valves or are they pretty reliable?
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:32 PM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

I bled one wheel after replacing a caliper, the new caliper was easy to bleed, lol. I found out thankfully due to ABS each wheel is independent so there wasnt any need to bleed other wheels, as I tried the other rear caliper and it was rusted shut pretty well. My jeep also has 10 years of salty Minnesota winters under its belt. If you drive in similar conditions be prepared to replace some of the bleeder screws.

If your goal is to flush out all of the old fluid you will need an ABS scan tool to cycle all fluid out of the ABS system. Not sure how much fluid you will need, but its better to have too much than not enough. Either 2 12oz cans or one 32oz, I bought a 32 and used more than 12oz but probably less than 24, but the 32's were less than 2x the cost of a 12oz can.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:50 PM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01grand View Post
I bled one wheel after replacing a caliper, the new caliper was easy to bleed, lol. I found out thankfully due to ABS each wheel is independent so there wasnt any need to bleed other wheels, as I tried the other rear caliper and it was rusted shut pretty well. My jeep also has 10 years of salty Minnesota winters under its belt. If you drive in similar conditions be prepared to replace some of the bleeder screws.

If your goal is to flush out all of the old fluid you will need an ABS scan tool to cycle all fluid out of the ABS system. Not sure how much fluid you will need, but its better to have too much than not enough. Either 2 12oz cans or one 32oz, I bought a 32 and used more than 12oz but probably less than 24, but the 32's were less than 2x the cost of a 12oz can.
Yes, the goal is to flush all old and replace with fresh juice.

Seriously? An ABS scan tool? Forgive my ignorance...I have an Actron code reader, I'm guessing that won't cut it huh?

That sucks...I was hoping to just be able to do the old "wife pumps the pedal" deal in a few weeks. Is this ABS scanner something I can rent from somewhere? What does it do?
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:59 PM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

The scan tool cycles or primes the abs control pump. It usually won't get air in it unless you really have a lot of air in the lines and when it does the ABS light will come on the dashboard. A couple years ago the great weather we get in NY corroded a hole in my rear driver's side hard line.
You can vacuum, gravity or pedal pump to bleed them. You will probably have a hard time getting the bleed screw/valve to turn if it hasn't been done, liquid wrench/pb blaster work well here, just don't get over spray on the pads, rotor, hoses; and when you do make sure to clean it off well since you don't want lubricants where they shouldn't be on the brakes. I use a 6 sided socket to get the valve moving then quickly close it and switch to a proper flare nut wrench to actually bleed them. My WJ has akebono calipers on the front and teves on the rear and one set uses metric and the other uses standard so make sure you are using the correct sizes. Any well stocked auto supply store should have bleeder valves if one is too mangled to go back in, don't buy the crappy speed bleeders although there is supposedly a company that makes good ones they are not usually in stock (by me at least). If you sheer one off you will need to drill/tap it out or replace the caliper. Brake fluid is corrosive and will eat away at paint and help the valves seize again when you are done so clean up any of that that gets where it shouldn't be.
Don't forget to take the cap off the reservoir and keep an eye on the fluid level throughout the process as this will allow the fluid to flow and keep you from sucking in more air.
Also while you can get away with only bleeding the caliper you're working on, I would suggest doing them all, starting with the one farthest from the abs controller (rear passenger, then rear driver, then front pass, and driver) unless you want to have to redo it. This is because any air bubbles not in the caliper that you bleed will be dispersed throughout the system when you re-pressurize (ie: use the brakes) and you'll loose pedal feel and pressure when they find their way back to the calipers. (Ask me how I know...) Finally I try to let the car sit as long as possible (usually over night) before bleeding them so the air bubbles can make their way to the top of the calipers, a slight tap (think of it as burping a baby, don't hammer on it) on the caliper housing can help any stubborn air bubbles find the bleed valve when its open.
I'm probably forgetting or missing something as this is off the top of my head, hopefully some of the others on here will catch it/ fill in.
How's that for a first post? Now if I could only find someone with an intake manifold by this weekend...
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:32 AM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

Thanks man! I think I'm going to get it priced...just to see what the dealer would charge to do a full flush. If it's too much, I'll do it myself without the ABS portion of the job.

In reality, if I were to bleed the brakes, then go on a drive and do some hard stops (as to activate the ABS), then go back home and re-bleed, I would be accomplishing a full system flush without the need for a scan tool, right?

Also thanks for the heads up on the bleeders and sizes. I've got the same set up as you do with the Teves in the back and the Akeboners in the front. I'll begin the PB blaster treatments well before the bleed date too. I've had a lot of luck with that if I hit something every day for a few days and let it work it's magic.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:03 AM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

You would indeed need a DRB III scan tool (and not the more simple DRB II which you can buy cheap) to bleed the ABS part of the system. When i did the fluid change and bleeding, i also didnīt bother about the ABS part and never felt any difference in the pedal.
One tip i found once on internet from a certified mechanic was to not use the brake pedal to pump out the fluid, but to just let it flow out by gravity. It takes more time, but its for the following reason: The brake pedal in normal use is never pushed until the end of its travel. Depending on how long ago the fluid was changed, quite some moisture could have entered into the fluid and caused corrosion at the metal parts (even on the aluminum MC). The part of the master cylinder where the piston normally never passes, could have become rough due to corrosion or other deposites and damage the piston seals. He also mentioned that by using the pedal any deposits sitting in the MC could go into the lines and finally could plug the very small holes in the ABS module valves and cause problems overthere.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:10 AM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

This job is getting more annoying by the minute....ehhehehe. I think I have a vac pump I could use instead of the pedal method. I'll have to dig around the garage a little.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:23 PM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

It's actually pretty simple, I can bleed all 4 of mine in about a beer or two, usually around an hour. Gravity bleeding works well but I usually don't have the time for it; I use a small hand powered vacuum pump, if you can change a tire you should be able to get through this. Working on the brakes can be a bit intimidating at first but I've found it to be pretty straight forward; it's nice not having to pay for pad and rotor change labor once you get the hang of things (you can spend the extra $ on nicer rotors or more aggressive pads).
Yes, you can just slam on the brakes to cycle the pump then re-bleed, if you go that route expect to have to re-bleed them a couple times to get the pedal nice and firm. Also don't over tighten the bleeder valves they will sheer off if you over do it.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:04 PM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99WJ View Post
It's actually pretty simple, I can bleed all 4 of mine in about a beer or two, usually around an hour. Gravity bleeding works well but I usually don't have the time for it; I use a small hand powered vacuum pump, if you can change a tire you should be able to get through this. Working on the brakes can be a bit intimidating at first but I've found it to be pretty straight forward; it's nice not having to pay for pad and rotor change labor once you get the hang of things (you can spend the extra $ on nicer rotors or more aggressive pads).
Yes, you can just slam on the brakes to cycle the pump then re-bleed, if you go that route expect to have to re-bleed them a couple times to get the pedal nice and firm. Also don't over tighten the bleeder valves they will sheer off if you over do it.
I'm guessing you have an ABS scanner or know someone who does?



Thanks everyone for your input on this thread!
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:28 PM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

Nope my local steelership wanted $100 to plug one in and just cycle the ABS pump, so I found a parking lot with some gravel and re-bled later that day and again about a week or so later. Pretty sure I bled them again a few months after that when I swapped from bendix to stillen pads and I haven't really touched them since.
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:49 PM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

On my 04 GCL I tried to gravity bleed and nothing came out. Than tried the pedal method and nothing came out. Next tried vacuum pump and nothing came out. Went to local tire store and told them my problem and they put it on a lift after taking the cap off the master cyl. They gravity bled with no trouble.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:11 PM
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Re: Bleeding your brakes

Yes, you have to remove the reservoir cap to not create a vacuum and also to check/fill the fluid before air will enter the lines.
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