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Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

Old 02-12-2006, 10:39 PM
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Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

I want to bleed brakes by myself, and have bought a brake bleeder.
But I found these words on the HEL Performance's website:

Don't be tempted to use any of the 'self bleed' gadgets unless you really, positively, nothing else for it, have to. These things allow the nipple to be kept open as they incorporate a non return valve to stop air re-entering the system. But the bleed nipple has a threaded end which screws into the caliper - air can be sucked into the caliper along this route if the nipple is loose in the threaded part of the caliper - it will only be a small amount but why do it in the first place as we are trying to remove air...

Want to know if anyone here have done the bleeding with bleeder easily or have other experiences of bleeding.

Will the bleeder make bleeding easier?
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:57 PM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

I bled my brakes the first time at my friends using a vacuum bleeder device like what you bought. It was good, but my brakes kept getting squishy so I needed to bleed them myself from the comfort of my own garage and I didn't want to fork out for a vacuum bleeder. I got "speedbleeders" for the front calipers and they are fine, they don't leak air into the lines, or at least mine haven't in the year that I've had them. I like them a lot.

The vacuum bleeder that you bought is better than speedbleeders because it sucks the fluid through the system you won't have trouble priming the calipers once all the fluid is drained, so won't risk ingesting brake fluid... but it does take up space in the garage...

I bled air from my front brakes once a week for a month, then rebuilt both front calipers with new seals, which cured the problem of air in my lines. A few months later I installed stainless lines in the front which greatly improved the feel of the front brakes. Since installing the stainless lines there has been no need to bleed my brakes for almost a year. If you don't have stainless lines, go get them, they really help on the superhawk.

As far as things to watch when bleeding, the vacuum bleeder can move a lot of fluid quickly, watch that the fluid reservoir doesn't get empty!
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:33 AM
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Thanks for your answer!

I don't have a vacuum bleeder, I only have the Brake Bleeder Hose from Performance Tool.
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Old 02-13-2006, 08:43 AM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

Originally Posted by bronco78";p=&quot View Post
When brand new the speed bleeders seem to work just fine.after a few uses just like a bleeder screw and vac pump....they will leak some air. I use a few wraps of teflon tape to seal the threads.
Good idea!
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:59 AM
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I hook up the hose, pressurize the brakes by squeelzing the lever, then open and close the bleeder screw.

Problem is, there is usually air at the top of the brake lines. So I remove the brake assembly form the handlbar and angle it so that the return to the master cylinder is angled upward, so the bubble will rise toward it, then push the piston in at the caliper to backflow fluid up the brake lines, forcing the bubble out at the top. Works great.
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:25 AM
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+1 That's what I've always done, it's not like you can't reach the lever. It's old school but it doesn't cost any extra and works every time.
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:35 PM
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The thing that works best is patience and not being reluctant to waste a little fluid.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:28 PM
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Good point Jim, I usually refill my front reservoir 4 to 5 times just to make sure all the air is out.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:30 PM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

I bled the brakes myself using the same technique that I have used on other motorcycles and cars many times. Do a manual bleed. No special tools required other than some tubing to go over the nipple and a can to catch the fluid. Dispose of the brake fluid at your local hazardous waste site. Please don't dump it in the trash.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:36 PM
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^Trash.....I just throw it in the canal behind my house. :wink: j/k
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:23 PM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

I have used one or two of these one man brake bleeders and they are great in my opinion. About $10-15 Australian will get you a few types here. Get one!

Once you have it then follow the tipe given by the other guys here. This tool is not a reason to not be careful with the job. Brake fliud is cheap, don't skimp on it.

There are two tricks I know of to help get air from the top of the system if you are having problems there. If you are installing new sealing washers throughout, bleed the system at the master cylinder by leaving the banjo bolt a bit loose and operating the lever to squeeze any air out. This tip came from a brake system specialist published in a national magazine here in OZ.

The other one is to pressurise your brake lever overnight with a piece of wire or a cable tie etc. Leaving this line uder pressure for a period of time can force the air to the top of the system and into the reservoir.
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Old 02-13-2006, 08:40 PM
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What i usually do is bleed the calipers first and then bleed the master by opening the banjo bolts squeeze, tighten, release, repeat.
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:32 PM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

So that is the trick.
I've been trying to get the last bit of air out with no success. I'll try the master banjos. Thanks!!!

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Old 02-14-2006, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by superhawk22";p=&quot View Post
^Trash.....I just throw it in the canal behind my house. :wink: j/k
I'm very concerned about the pollution implications of dumping brake fluid. So I add it to my son's kool-aid. It gives it a nice flavor and he seems to like it. I feel certain the liver removes all harmful pollutants before he pees it out. Problem solved!
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:32 AM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

Originally Posted by BirdofParadise";p=&quot View Post
So that is the trick.
I've been trying to get the last bit of air out with no success. I'll try the master banjos. Thanks!!!

Please cover your tank & plastics. (trash bags, old towels, etc)
Have a wet rag ready to wipe off any brake fluid that gets on anything. Get it cleaned up fast!!!
That fluid is bad stuff... ruins paint & plastics FAST !

Don't get any water in the hydraulic system tho....very bad thing to happen !
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:09 AM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

One trick that I have used when I wasn't in a hurry is to bleed the system like others describe and if there is a little air left rig up something to hold the brake lever depressed overnight - this it allows the air to escape back up into the reservoir. The rear brake takes some creativity to come up with something to hold it depressed but it did work great on my old FZR... the vacuum bleeder kits seem to work real well in my experiences.
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:21 PM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

CNI Dawg raises a good point.

If you are not used to the effects of brake fluid on paint, look out! A mate and myself were doing the brakes on his Ford once, and during filling up the brakes system one drip of fluid droped on the mudguard, which was painted in two pack paint. He had a rag sitting on the guard. He wiped up the drip and there was bare metal underneath. This was after a about 3 seconds. No kidding. Not suggesting this will happen every time, but it is nasty stuff!! This is another good reason to use one of the one man brake bleeders, as the chances of making a mess are far reduced in my experiences.

Containers of brake fluid are one use only. Don't put a partly used container in the cupboard for use another day. Brake fluid is hydroscopic, whicj means it will absorb water, and will be no good when you want to use it next time. I keep my half used containers but only use the fluid for flushing brake components etc. Always use a fresh container.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:53 PM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

Superhawk22, if you want to be an a-hole that's up to you. I guess you don't care much about poisoning the environment? You just want the easiest way possible to dispose of your chemicals...right? Doesn't matter who you hurt...right?
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:08 PM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

I read "j/k" (JUST/KIDDING), at the end of his post.

Can't we all just get along?
Sheesh!
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:46 PM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

Originally Posted by Les";p=&quot View Post
Superhawk22, if you want to be an a-hole that's up to you. I guess you don't care much about poisoning the environment? You just want the easiest way possible to dispose of your chemicals...right? Doesn't matter who you hurt...right?
WOW! Hey Les, at least you've got principles and passion too. I guess it's hard to read sarcasm in writting....right? Maybe I deserve an apology....right? j/k You don't have to I'm just being facetious. Besides I like my fish with 3 eyes don't you?
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jschmidt";p=&quot View Post
I'm very concerned about the pollution implications of dumping brake fluid. So I add it to my son's kool-aid. It gives it a nice flavor and he seems to like it. I feel certain the liver removes all harmful pollutants before he pees it out. Problem solved!
I didn't see that one Jim, now that's funny!! I wonder what Les would think of you. Sorry Les, I had to do it.
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:52 AM
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I usually go the the animal shelter and pick up a stray dog. Then I feed him the used brake fluid. Then I go get a new dog. But, it's whatever is easiest to you. Easy on the environment too.
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:56 AM
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Re: Did anyone bleed the brake himself?

And don't forget, if you ingest brake fluid:

For patients presenting early with ethylene glycol poisoning treatment with ethanol is preferred. Ethanol acts by competing with ethylene glycol for the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase thus limiting the formation of toxic metabolites.

http://emj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/19/3/267
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:09 AM
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I just throw the dog in the canal behind my house.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:22 AM
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I also let the dog drink engine coolant too (they prefer the green blend). They fall in the canal all by themselves. No muss, no fuss.
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:06 AM
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Superbling raises a good point. There are too many stray dogs out there, and we are letting this special ability go to waste. For those of you with full coolant system flushes and brake changes, you may want to pick up a dog with a larger capacity, otherwise you will need two smaller ones, and that just seems weird to me.
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:38 AM
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25 years ago I was surprised to find out the antifreeze antidote for my buddies dog was grain alcohol....yep, had to get the dog drunk with some vodka so her kidneys didn't quit working. Somehow flushes the glycol out of them.
She drank the glycol out of a drain pan before we could stop her.
I think it tastes sweet or something....she loved it & lapped it up hurriedly till we got her away from the pan.
She survived to live many more years.
She finally died when she got out of the yard & was hit by a car running across a busy street. Sad day. She was a good dog...smart clever crafty loyal friendly...oh well... you get the idea
Oh ya....she would sing with you (in her own howling way)
Hmmmm.....Or was I that bad a singer?????

This is not her but she looked kinda like this:
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Old 02-15-2006, 03:07 PM
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Well this thread took a strange turn.
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:52 PM
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Kinda like that chick on the R1...
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