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My bleeder screws ain't bleedin'!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by corsair, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. corsair
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 287

    corsair
    Member

    Trying to figure out the trouble with my Edsel's brakes, and I need a bit of help. It was leaking like crazy, seemed to be the master cylinder, so I put the spare I had on the car. Now I need to bleed the brakes, but the bleeders don't work. Maybe filled with rust and gunk? Can I just soak them overnight in alcohol? Maybe run a wire brush through? Don't want to screw them up and make a new leak...

    Also, once it's bled, I'd like to check the wheel cylinders for leaks too. Any harm to come from bleeding the brakes with the drums off the car to check for leaks?

    Sorry for the FNG questions, I'm leaning as fast as I can :eek:
     
  2. Keep
    Joined: May 10, 2008
    Posts: 662

    Keep
    Member

    Soak em and use a pick. Then remember to buy some caps so you don't have to do it again.
     
  3. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom
    Member

    if you try to bleed them with the drums off they will leak for sure. the drums keep the wheel cyls from pushing out too far.

    there is a good chance they are plugged with rust and other crap. take them out soak and clean all the holes in them with a small drill bit by hand
     
  4. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,207

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Yep you'll pop the piston right outa the cylinder
     

  5. corsair
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 287

    corsair
    Member

    Yikes. What's the best way to diagnose a leaky cylinder? Pump a few times and take the drum back off?
     
  6. I used to keep a 1/8" drill bit in my tool box just for cleaning out bleeders. I'd take the bleeder out, put it in a bench vise and drill the crud out of it on slow speed. It was hell on the drill bit but it only had one purpose.

    I've also cleaned them out on the car with a cotter pin, just open the cotter pin up, ream the bleeder out with the end with the hook on it.

    Bleeding braker with the drums off will only blow out the wheel cylinders and you'll have a worse problem.

    Bob
     
  7. The wheel cyliders can be bled without drums. Get four ratchet tie downs and wrap around all four shoe sets. You will want to thouroghly clean the wheel cylinders first when lookig fpr leaks. If you don't mind disassembling the brakes, four C clamps will do the trick, too.
     
  8. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,719

    junk yard kid
    Member

    huh i like the tie down trick
     
  9. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,207

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Hadnt heard that one, i like it!
     
  10. bubba57
    Joined: May 12, 2009
    Posts: 144

    bubba57
    Member
    from k

    Take the bleeders out and go to the parts and buy new ones. Otherwise just do as the others said and drill it.
     
  11. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,996

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Yep, new bleeders are cheap...
     
  12. deuces94
    Joined: Jan 24, 2009
    Posts: 171

    deuces94
    BANNED
    from Minnesota

    Great idea! It's this kind of creative thinking that makes this such a great site. Thanks
     
  13. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton
    Member

    You can vacuum bleed with drums off but vacuum bleeding is also it's own controversy and kinda hit or miss.

    Another vote for a drill bit. I use a little hand held pin vise to hold the bit and handle it more like a reamer than a drill.
     
  14. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    I had 2 bleeders on my 53 about 11 years ago (soon after purchase)..they were so dam bad (crusty as hell) was lucky to get them out of the wheel cyl.
    tried like hell to clean em up. no F-ing way..the internal hole was so corroded it closed up (like it swelled shut)
    I just went and bought all new ones..why screw with it when they are not that expensive
     
  15. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307

    onlychevrolets
    Member

    Whats so crazy about that is they can leak when they shouldn't and when you try and make them leak they won't.. . gotta be a female something or other. Yeah drill bit and compressed air....BUT ONLY after you take them out of the wheel cylinder.
     
  16. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    The first thing that I'd do is pop the drums off and peel back the dust boots on the wheel cylinders. If the are wet inside, you need new cylinders. That is how you check W/Cyls. Yes you can rebuild them but new ones are cheap and new ones come with new bleeder screws.

    To clean out dirt packed bleeders, I use a regular drill bit spun between my fingers. I take them completely out so none of the crap gets under the beveled seat on the end. The threads seal nothing. Make sure there is no crap in the hole when you screw it back in.

    You can check for frozen pistons by using 2 good sized screw drivers hooked under the flange on the backing plate with the shaft up against the shoes as levers to limit the shoes movement. (the other 3 drums must be in place). Have the pedal pusher use very little pressure to check to see if either of the pistons are stuck. You can check to see if the bleeder is working this way too but make sure you don't have "sashquatch" on the pedal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  17. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478

    budd
    Member

    oh the ratchet straps is a great idea.

     
  18. 30dodge
    Joined: Jan 3, 2007
    Posts: 464

    30dodge
    Member
    from Pahrump nv

    Torch tip cleaners always worked for me
     
  19. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton
    Member

    BTW if they still don't bleed after drilling the bleeder, remove it entirely and go psycho on the brake pedal til it shoots a stream directly out the wheel cylinder. Reinstall bleeder and begin bleeding. Fairly common issue

    Good luck
     
  20. corsair
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 287

    corsair
    Member


    Great info!! I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bit out of my depth when it comes to drum brakes, pushrods and carburetors. I honestly thought I knew something about cars until I got my hands on this Edsel.

    Thanks guys, I really appreciate you guys helping out with basic questions like this. I know this isn't exactly a newbie board, so I'll do my best to search before asking simple stuff. Nobody in my family is too handy with a wrench, so it be HAMB I can thank when the car is back on the road.
     
  21. Section 8
    Joined: Mar 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,050

    Section 8
    Member
    from AZ

    Brakes are a great place to pinch pennies.
    Especially single pot M/C manual drum brakes on a 5,000 lb car.

    If the bleeders are gunked up, what does that tell you about condition of the MC and the WC's? How many years did that car sit?

    New wheel cylinders are usually less than $10 each. Do we need to take up a collection for you?
     
  22. Section 8
    Joined: Mar 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,050

    Section 8
    Member
    from AZ

    And WHEN you have to replace those $8 wheel cylinders, do ONE SIDE at a time.

    One side to learn on, one side to compare to.

    Resist the newbie urge to tear everything apart and then try to guess where all those springs and cables and various bits go.
     
  23. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,227

    Da Tinman
    Member

    when bleeding brakes I take the bleeders out and put my finger over the hole, just enough pressure to make a ring on the finger tip, and have the pumper go like hell till fluid shoots me in the eye, then re-install bleeder and finish with a few "regular" bleeds
     

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