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*TECH* Making a one-man brake bleeder that really works well!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1950ChevySuburban, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    OK, here's my take on the many different ways to bleed brakes when you're by yourself.
    Buying expensive equipment sucks money.
    Doing the bleeder hose into the bottle works, but sucks air in around the bleeder threads.

    This setup has worked well with me over the years, and it's cheap!:D

    Here's what you need:
    Glass jar with a sealing lid. Spag sauce, pickles,...
    10' piece of 3/32 clear tubing, like fishtank stuff. Ace has it.
    5' section of 3/8 fuel line.
    A 1/4" barb to male pipe fitting.
    A 3/8 barb to male pipe fitting.
    Good silicone sealer ( I use Right Stuff by Permatex.)
    Stiff wire to hang this with.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  2. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Drill two appropriate sized holes to snugly fit the brass fittings into....
     

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  3. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Make sure not to mount them too close to the edge, so the container seals tight. Use the silicone and some washers to make it airtight. I also added some brass that I found that threaded up on the backside.....
     

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  4. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Assemble the jar and bend your wire hanger......
     

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  5. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Attach the two hoses. The fuel hose connects to your PCV line, or if you don't have PCV, use a nearby car that runs. Start car when connected...
     

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  6. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    For clarity, I used this OT van. Connect to bleeder, crack bleeder open, and watch fluid flow....
     

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  7. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Notice I hang this with the suction hose higher. I've NEVER had a problem with brake fluid getting sucked into the engine. Also note that whenever a bleeder is open, small bits of air sneak in around the threads. This way, however, they sneak in and go right to the jar, not stuck inside the brake system as with the bottle trick.

    As you go around the car, it's easy to monitor the levels in both the master and the jar. If the fluid you suck out is new, you can add it back into the master.

    Easy, cheap and functional. Took about 1/2 hour to build.
     
  8. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Don't forget the basics still apply: Start with furthest wheel first and work forward from there. Jar hangs easy from exhaust, etc.... and keep it so you can monitor how full it gets. Usually you'll empty the master before you need to empty the jar.
     
  9. Simple but effective..........That's what Like. I'm gonna give it a try.Thanks for posting.
     
  10. maniac
    Joined: Jul 11, 2005
    Posts: 539

    maniac
    Member

    Thanks for posting, I'm gonna try that.
     
  11. Stukka
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 64

    Stukka
    Member
    from SoCal

    Perfect timing. The handle on my stupid plastic mityvac pump thing broke this weekend. I'll try it.
     
  12. caseyscustoms
    Joined: May 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,031

    caseyscustoms
    BANNED
    from st.joe, MO

    very nice tech. i dig it
     
  13. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,302

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is a good system. Just be sure that if intending to pour the 'still new' fluid back into the master, you examine the fluid visually for bubbles! Tiny bubbles! (look like a 'foaming') They contain air.
    Pour that bubbly fluid into another glass vessel for a couple of days, use it only when it is free from bubbles!
    Or you start over with air in the lines.
     
  14. tunram2quad
    Joined: Mar 16, 2007
    Posts: 168

    tunram2quad
    Member

    Thanks for the Tech and pics
     
  15. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Good point, Mike. Thanks!
     
  16. dave s
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 354

    dave s
    Member

    thats a great idea!
     
  17. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 911

    chevyfordman
    Member

    Remember this though, if a fitting is leaking, the suction is always pulling in air at the leak so to detect a leak you must pressurize the system by pushing on the pedal or another means. The way to stop the bubbles at the bleeder is to wrap the threads with plenty of teflon tape.
     
  18. dragsta
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 589

    dragsta
    BANNED

    i'm thinking of using a fish tank pump...
     
  19. choptvan
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 2,161

    choptvan
    Member

    Awesome. Truly caveman, but aswesome.

    A tip to remember, if you back out your bleeder to far, it will cause this type of system to suck air as well. It does with my high priced equipment anyway.
     
  20. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,252

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    dragsta, I'm not sure a fish tank pump is going to generate enough vacuum. Plus getting at the vacuum side of a fish tank pump might be tricky, since they are designed to "blow" air into the fish tank.
     
  21. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    Simple and effective..sweet
     
  22. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    To me, using an external vacuum pump defeats the whole simplicity thing. Those cars that either don't run, or don't have PCV are usually parked near one that does!
     
  23. dragsta
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 589

    dragsta
    BANNED

    ebbsspeed: you may be right. i have to replace a slave cylinder soon though so i'm looking for an aquarium pump now. if it works, i'll post it..... previously, i've been bleeding by wedging a 2x4 between the brake peddle and the steering wheel or seat. i then go turn the bleed screw out slowly then quickly snug it before it sucks air. i repeat until no bubbles are evident and the peddle firm. this method works in a pinch when no one is around to pump the brakes.

    is that simple enough, 50Chevy?
     
  24. hemi man
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 83

    hemi man
    Member

    HAVE YOU EVER TRY USING A SPEED BLEEDER.GO to speedbleeder.com
     

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  25. Century
    Joined: May 28, 2009
    Posts: 176

    Century
    Member

    How about a cheap-o $20 shop vac?
     
  26. Fred Kuhn
    Joined: Jul 13, 2010
    Posts: 87

    Fred Kuhn
    Member
    from So. Nevada

    BRILLIANT!!! I going to try it I have had enough bleeding battles in my life this looks to simple but it will work in principal. Will try it on my 49 chevy pickup with frame mounted master cylinder. these can be a real bitch to bleed when the master is lower than the wheel cylinders.
     
  27. Deadbird
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,117

    Deadbird
    Member

  28. dragsta
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 589

    dragsta
    BANNED

    i'm going to buy some speed bleeders asap.
     
  29. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,721

    sawzall
    Member

    one job I detest!

    I'll be trying this trick out soon..
    thanks for the tip
     

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