How-To: Manual Brake Bleeding

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OB
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How-To: Manual Brake Bleeding

Post by OB » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:30 pm

Very simple procedure. Can be done effectively in less than an hour once you get the hang of things. This procedure is taken from the factory service manual, and covers all non-abs neons. Though the abs procedure is surely very similar, do not consider using this write-up before confirming. Here's a list of what you'll need and a picture to go with it.



A friend
2-4' 3/8" clear rubber line
Small container
Funnel
8mm open end wrench (rear)
10mm open end wrench (front)
New brake fluid


Image

STEP 1

Raise the vehicle and support on jackstands. All four wheels must be removed to do this, so be sure to support the car properly. Remove all four wheels and set them aside. You may need to remove your strut tower brace if eqipped, so go ahead and do that now. Pour about 2" of clean new brake fluid into the container and replace the cap.


STEP 2

Start on the left rear. Remove the bleeder nipple cover and attach the 3/8" bleeder hose to the nipple. Submerse the other end of the bleeder hose in the new brake fluid in the container. Make sure the container and bleeder hose wont be knocked over. It helps to support the container to keep the hose from wiggling out.

Rear brakes, setup to bleed:
Image

Image


STEP 3

Now have your friend get in the drivers seat and pump the brake pedal 3-4 times. Make sure they hold it down on the last pump, and do not allow them to release it until you are done.

Turn the hex nut on the nipple counter-clockwise about 1/4 turn, allowing the brake fluid from the lines into the container. MAKE SURE THE BLEEDER HOSE DOES NOT COME OUT OF THE NEW FLUID.

After about 5 seconds, tighten the hex nut and have your friend release the brake pedal. Be sure to keep the bleeder hose submerged the entire time you are working on one of the brake fluid circuits. Repeat the above procedure 3-5 times until no more air comes out when you open the bleeder nipple. Tighten the hex and allow the fluid in your bleeder line to drain into the container. It is OK to remove the hose from the new fluid now.


STEP 4

Have your friend pop the hood. Remove the master cylinder cap and fill the reservoir. Be sure not to let this reservoir go dry at anytime during the procedure. Seal the cap and move to the next step.

Image


STEP 5

Move to the right front circuit. Repeat all prep instructions from STEPS 2 and 3. Repeat the bleeding procedure from STEP 3. Once finished, be sure to refer to STEP 4.

Image

Image


STEP 6

Move to the right rear circuit. Repeat all prep instructions from STEPS 2 and 3. Repeat the bleeding procedure from STEP 3. Once finished, be sure to refer to STEP 4.


STEP 7

Move to the left front circuit. Repeat all prep instructions from STEPS 2 and 3. Repeat the bleeding procedure from STEP 3. Once finished, be sure to refer to STEP 4.


You can repeat the above steps as many times as needed to bleed the lines. I usually go around the entire vehicle twice to be sure the air is out. If you are using this procedure to change to new fluid or DOT4 fluid, be sure to go around the car at least 3 times to make sure all the old fluid is out. Refer to the color of the fluid in the master cylinder to determine whether the new fluid has fully flushed the old fluid out.

That's it, you're done!
-Derek

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mdibarrajr
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Post by mdibarrajr » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:10 am

great how to

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Post by jT » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:13 pm

n00b question, probably a common sense answer too.......... you do this with the car off as opposed to the key in the on position?

also about how much fluid is needed to do a pretty complete flush?

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Post by OB » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:20 pm

The key does not need to be on to do this. Brake booster vacuum accumulation is only good for about 3 pumps once the engine is turned off, if that's why you were asking.

As far as the fluid goes, it all depends on how dirty the system is, and how long you spend flushing the system. I usually buy 1-2 standard fluid containers, or one big one. I always flush with cheaper DOT3, then once the fluid is coming out clear I switch to DOT4 and proceed as normal. Since it doesn't matter if air gets in while flushing, you can save time by opening the bleeder and pumping several times per corner. This may introduce air into the system, but it will purge fluid way faster than doing it the conventional 3-pump way. Once the system is clean, add the fluid of your choice and bleed as normal.
-Derek

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bone-yard-racing
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Post by bone-yard-racing » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:04 pm

Why do you pull the wheels? Ive always found it quicker without. A tip if you are going to flush the system, a drop or 2 of food coloring makes the fluid easier to see and wont cause any problems.
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Post by GreeNeons03 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:15 pm

bone-yard-racing wrote:A tip if you are going to flush the system, a drop or 2 of food coloring makes the fluid easier to see and wont cause any problems.
In the new or old fluid?
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OB
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Post by OB » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:24 pm

bone-yard-racing wrote:Why do you pull the wheels? Ive always found it quicker without. A tip if you are going to flush the system, a drop or 2 of food coloring makes the fluid easier to see and wont cause any problems.
Because it takes an extra 5 mins and makes things 100 times easier.

What's the purpose of the food coloring? If you can't see brake fluid you need to see an eye doctor :lol:
-Derek

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bone-yard-racing
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Post by bone-yard-racing » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:02 pm

Some of our MCs are old and yellowed and yes I should see an eye doctor :lol:

Perhaps its because I have no friends but I like using the $2 one man bleeder kit from harbor freight, its pretty much a magnetic bottle that goes on the end of the hose.
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Post by jT » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:06 pm

was asking about the key on/off because i was thinking to myself that with the key on you wouldnt really know if the peddle sank down or not as like when the key is off and you push the peddle a few times to lock it up and then turn the key on it sinks..

i got some speed bleeders so that i can do it myself without any help from another person pumping the brakes.... so with that in mind i'm not sure how i'd want to proceed.. i imagine that i could leave the key on for everything since air wont get back into the system regardless... and that way i can quickly pump fluid through and clean it out

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Post by occasional demons » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:08 pm

By key on, do you mean engine running? Because the pedal shouldn't sink down, just by keying on. Starting the engine, yes.
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Post by jT » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:57 am

yeah i guess running.. i thought it would sink with just being 'on'

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Post by OB » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:24 am

jT wrote:yeah i guess running.. i thought it would sink with just being 'on'
It's gonna sink regardless of the key position. You could do this with the engine running if you really wanted to (though I don't recommend it at all). Bleeding is a mechanical/hydraulic procedure, it has nothing to do with engine vacuum or the brake booster. If you use speed bleeders, all that means is you can leave the bleeder screw open when you release the brake pedal after pumping. They use a 1-way check ball to prevent air from being sucked back in once you release hydraulic pressure. This allows you to be two places at once, essentially.
-Derek

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Post by jT » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:57 am

right so if i want to continuously pump new fluid and flush the system not having to worry about air getting back in, i can do that with the car off or on?

i just want to basically pump pump pump pump pump pump pump pump pump the brake until new fluid has been going through for a little bit and then call it a day.. refilling the fluid as needed.

i guess i'm just confused because the only thing i know about the brakes is when you pump it with the car off the brake peddle locks up and then doesnt free up until the car is turned on.. so i'm unsure how the bleeding affects that so that you can keep bleeding over and over...... if that makes any sense.

i guess when i do it ill figure it out

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Post by occasional demons » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:24 pm

What you are referring to is the vacuum assist letting the pedal sink further (when not bleeding them). It feels like it locks because that is the difference in force you can apply w/out the vacuum assist. It will make no difference if the engine is running or not. With the bleeder open, the pedal will sink very easily with the engine off. There will be no pressure to hold the pedal against your foot.
Hope that clears it up.
Bill
Probably shouldn't listen to anything your penis says, that guy's a dick.
Patience, of course, is a very powerful weapon, but sometimes I start to regret that it is not a firearm.
Too much time spent here is a sign of a bad case of Ownaneonvirus.

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Post by jT » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:03 pm

yeah that helps, thanks!

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Post by OB » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:29 am

A lot of people think that the brake locks when the accumulator runs out of assist vacuum. I like to relate it to power steering. If you take off your P/S belt thus making the pump inoperative, the steering gear doesn't lock, it just gets much harder to turn the wheel. This is mainly resistance from the tires, but also resistance from the fluid in the gear. When you apply the brake, you are applying direct hydraulic pressure via the master cylinder and brake lines. When you pump the pedal with the engine off a few times, you lose your leftover accumulated pressure, and now you are not being assisted in the pedal application. That is how hard you have to press the brake in the event you lose assist. My engine died one time last summer due to a vacuum issue and I had to slam on the brake just to slow down a tiny bit. Very scary when you're not used to using full force to stop.
-Derek

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the $2 one man bleeder kit from harbor freight

Post by jT » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:15 pm

bone-yard-racing wrote: Perhaps its because I have no friends but I like using the $2 one man bleeder kit from harbor freight, its pretty much a magnetic bottle that goes on the end of the hose.
Image

so i picked one of these up today since my speed bleeders didnt work out.... this thing doesnt exactly have a one way valve does it? to prevent air going back into the lines? have you had any problems with that?

also i dont quite understand exactly how this is supposed to be used... youre supposed to jam one of the ends of the needle ends into the bleeder screw? and it doesnt fall out/leak out from around it/get air back in?

and is there any use for the other piece with the 3 prongs?

thanks for the info !

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Post by occasional demons » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:24 pm

Hmmm, never seen one like that.

My guess is the magnet holds in in place, and you would slip the hose over your bleeder screw. Also you would fill the bottle part way to keep it from sucking air in. I'm assuming it has a tube that extends down on the inside.

The other parts would be for w/ever.
Bill
Probably shouldn't listen to anything your penis says, that guy's a dick.
Patience, of course, is a very powerful weapon, but sometimes I start to regret that it is not a firearm.
Too much time spent here is a sign of a bad case of Ownaneonvirus.

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Post by GWing » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:33 pm

GREAT STUFF MAN!!!! Love these how to's help me out alot! Now im just waiting for someone to make a how to on replacing rear brake shoes on drum breaks along with the springs inside the drums. hint hint
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Post by hansken_yo » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:38 pm

hehehe... I used a iced venti starbucks cup for my fluid and ran the hose through the straw opening on the lid :rofl:


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Post by occasional demons » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:23 pm

GWing wrote:GREAT STUFF MAN!!!! Love these how to's help me out alot! Now im just waiting for someone to make a how to on replacing rear brake shoes on drum breaks along with the springs inside the drums. hint hint
Too late, did mine last summer.
They really aren't that difficult tho.
Bill
Probably shouldn't listen to anything your penis says, that guy's a dick.
Patience, of course, is a very powerful weapon, but sometimes I start to regret that it is not a firearm.
Too much time spent here is a sign of a bad case of Ownaneonvirus.

2000 Neon MTX swap with '02 R/T PCM
1999 neon coupe 2.4 swap

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Post by fox02neon » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:46 am

This is always fun!
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