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Old 12-05-2017, 04:40 PM   #1
rgrafton
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2002 SC1
Default Brake Fluid change

I have spent the past few hours doing research and watching videos. It seems that doing it alone is not the greatest idea because of the risk of getting air in the system, so I will have my dad around to help me.

Firstly, I was wondering what size hose I would need for the bleeder. so that I can feed all of the old brake fluid into an old bottle... Something like this maybe? https://smile.amazon.com/Duda-Energy...ct_top?ie=UTF8

Next I found that I should start bleeding from Rear Right, then front left, then rear left and then front right. does this sound right for a full flush? Should I do it little at a time? As in, should I go around a few times in this pattern until it's clear? OR should I start at the Rear Right and bleed it until that corner is completely clean/clear and then jump to the front left and do the same and so on for the other 2 wheels?

and yes, I know that I have to get as much old fluid out of the reservoir as possible and fill with fresh fluid and always keep a check on the reservoir and keep it full.

And Yes, i know it's probably a bit time consuming, but I don't really want to pay someone else to do it although i know they probably have some cool tools to do it in minutes.

Thanks!

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Old 12-05-2017, 07:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

As long as you accept all risks and responsibility to perform a complete brake fluid replacement and understand brake fluid replacement procedures with a two man operation, it should take less than an hour. This presumes all bleed screws aren't seized. Removing the bulk of old fluid in the master cylinder reservoir is easy if you use an inexpensive turkey baster or large plastic syringe. Remove as much old fluid and simple refill with fresh DOT-3 brake fluid. A quart is all that's needed for complete fluid replacement. Two if you're in doubt. Once fresh fluid fills the master cylinder, it moves immediately thru half the brake lines, right rear/left front and left rear/right front. Each half of the brake system is flushed with fresh fluid going to the rear and farthest line from the m/c. Pump, hold pedal down, open bleed screw to allow fluid out as the pedal sinks to the floor, close bleed screw, release pedal slowly to allow fresh fluid into the m/c pump. Repeat until fresh (light honey colored) fluid comes out the bleed screw. Keep the m/c topped off at all times to prevent emptying it out and pulling air into the system. Once the right rear is done, the same line feeds fresh fluid to the left front brake for flushing. Right rear and left front are half the brake system and separate from the right front/left rear brake lines, the other half of the brake system. With small diameter brake lines, very little fluid is used to replace all the fluid in a system. Approximately one pint or less fills the lines with the bulk of it as reserve. Old brake fluid is always dark so its easy to tell when fresh fluid comes out bleed screws.

I don't know the hose diameter needed to fit over bleed screws but you can buy pvc hoses from most auto stores and Home Depot. Measure the diameter of the bleed screw rounded portion and use the appropriately sized clear line, about a foot or so to feed into a container.

There are many youtube videos for guidance too.

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Old 12-05-2017, 08:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

I had a tough time getting mine bleed, one trick I found was to put a little (doesn't take much) thick grease around the base of the bleeder screws before opening them.

It prevents air from being sucked in around the threads, made it much easier.

some wheel bearing grease if you have some or just buy a cheap generic jar of petroleum jelly i.e. vasoline would probably work just as well.

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Old 12-05-2017, 09:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

If you plan to keep the car, these are handy.
http://www.speedbleeder.com/

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Old 12-05-2017, 10:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeprz! View Post
I had a tough time getting mine bleed, one trick I found was to put a little (doesn't take much) thick grease around the base of the bleeder screws before opening them.

It prevents air from being sucked in around the threads, made it much easier.

some wheel bearing grease if you have some or just buy a cheap generic jar of petroleum jelly i.e. vasoline would probably work just as well.
Good tip but not necessary I wouldn’t think for the two man method.

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Old 12-05-2017, 10:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
As long as you accept all risks and responsibility to perform a complete brake fluid replacement and understand brake fluid replacement procedures with a two man operation, it should take less than an hour. This presumes all bleed screws aren't seized. Removing the bulk of old fluid in the master cylinder reservoir is easy if you use an inexpensive turkey baster or large plastic syringe. Remove as much old fluid and simple refill with fresh DOT-3 brake fluid. A quart is all that's needed for complete fluid replacement. Two if you're in doubt. Once fresh fluid fills the master cylinder, it moves immediately thru half the brake lines, right rear/left front and left rear/right front. Each half of the brake system is flushed with fresh fluid going to the rear and farthest line from the m/c. Pump, hold pedal down, open bleed screw to allow fluid out as the pedal sinks to the floor, close bleed screw, release pedal slowly to allow fresh fluid into the m/c pump. Repeat until fresh (light honey colored) fluid comes out the bleed screw. Keep the m/c topped off at all times to prevent emptying it out and pulling air into the system. Once the right rear is done, the same line feeds fresh fluid to the left front brake for flushing. Right rear and left front are half the brake system and separate from the right front/left rear brake lines, the other half of the brake system. With small diameter brake lines, very little fluid is used to replace all the fluid in a system. Approximately one pint or less fills the lines with the bulk of it as reserve. Old brake fluid is always dark so its easy to tell when fresh fluid comes out bleed screws.

I don't know the hose diameter needed to fit over bleed screws but you can buy pvc hoses from most auto stores and Home Depot. Measure the diameter of the bleed screw rounded portion and use the appropriately sized clear line, about a foot or so to feed into a container.

There are many youtube videos for guidance too.
Sounds about right. I’ve bled brakes when replacing calipers, so I know the risks of getting air in the system if foot is taken off pedal while bleeder is open. Thanks for compiling it all in one paragraph.

...
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

I used 1/4 hosing, but it was a tight fit which shouldnt have been possible, but only because plastic can flex around things. So, use like 3/8 hosing.

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Old 12-06-2017, 03:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonasan308 View Post
I used 1/4 hosing, but it was a tight fit which shouldnt have been possible, but only because plastic can flex around things. So, use like 3/8 hosing.
yeah alright. the hose i'm looking at should work then. The outer diameter is 3/8 and inner is 1/4"

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Old 12-06-2017, 08:50 AM   #9
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 SL2
Default Re: Brake Fluid change

You can buy a cheap bleed kit from the autostores or just use a length of clear hose and a jam jar. It's not complicated, it's not rocket science, just being methodical. Don't over think or over complicate the whole thing. There is a tendency for posters on this forum to make a simple job a complicated job.

You need an assistant in the car to be the brake pedal pusher. The other opens the bleed nipple and watches the fluid pass into the jam jar.

If you do not know the condition of the bleed nipples, then before you start this job, get them so they open easily. If they haven't been opened at all or for a while and they are rusted up, then you'll need to give them some releasing fluid over a day or so to get them free. Be prepared that if they are in poor condition, you may have to replace one of two.

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Old 12-06-2017, 12:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
You need an assistant in the car to be the brake pedal pusher.
Not if you plan ahead and stop at the hardware store for a 2.5ish foot long 2x4 or railing rod/dowel or similar. It's easier to swap your foot for the wood with an automatic with the sun sized brake pedal but it's not too hard with the proper sized one either. If you have leather seats or are otherwise worried about marking up the seat then get at least a 4"x4" square of tile or plywood to put on the end of the board on the seat end.

If somehow you end up with 2 calipers for the same side of the car and no option to buy the right one you can use another short length of wood as the "rotor" so the bleeder on the caliper is right side up to get the air out, then you can put it on upside down with no worries

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Old 12-06-2017, 10:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Not if you plan ahead and stop at the hardware store for a 2.5ish foot long 2x4 or railing rod/dowel or similar. It's easier to swap your foot for the wood with an automatic with the sun sized brake pedal but it's not too hard with the proper sized one either. If you have leather seats or are otherwise worried about marking up the seat then get at least a 4"x4" square of tile or plywood to put on the end of the board on the seat end.

If somehow you end up with 2 calipers for the same side of the car and no option to buy the right one you can use another short length of wood as the "rotor" so the bleeder on the caliper is right side up to get the air out, then you can put it on upside down with no worries
haha not a bad idea if you're trying to do it by yourself.

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Old 12-07-2017, 06:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

I use a separation tank and a vacuum pump.

A hose goes from the bleed nipple to the bottom of the tank, then a line goes from the top of the tank to the vacuum pump.

Start pump, open bleed nipple. Keep pouring in fresh fluid in the master cylinder.

When you're done with all four wheels, it's fully changed and air free.

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Old 12-09-2017, 05:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Brake Fluid change

I've done many times. In the deep South, brake fluid seems to become gunked up sooner than I like (humidity).

I use an old Coke bottle, sometimes glued to a small piece of 2x6, so it won't tip over so easily.

I also spray PB Blaster into the bleeder screws the day before. To make sure they open and close easily.

Good luck, not hard to do

Have done it myself, by the way. Use a piece of 1x2 to prop the brake pedal down, against the steering wheel. A little time-consuming but ya do what ya gotta do.

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Old 12-13-2017, 10:13 AM   #14
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Brake Fluid change

Just to chime in, I just completed this procedure on my 2002 SL2. You're correct as to the order - rear left, front right, rear right, front left I believe.

To make it easier, I'd get all the wheels off and put the car on jackstands. Much easier to move from wheel-to-wheel.

Words of caution:

WD-40 or similar penetrant on the bleeders, well in advance. I'd suggest it on all the bolts, multiple times. They're very small and can be VERY SEIZED. Mine almost felt like I'd snap the head, and that's after 3-4 WD-40 soaks starting 20-30 minutes before bleeding. I had to ease off and wait. I'd take time to make sure this is done. Use brake cleaner after on the rotors if there's any overspray.

I'd flush the fluid out of each caliper until no more air bubbles come out. Air is compressibility, compressibility is bad=sponginess. Even tiny, tiny ones. That means the fluid isn't new, as well, if there's air in it.

Make SURE you keep the master cylinder topped up. That one's an obvious one.

If you have a bleed kit/solvent-resistant syringes, you can properly remove air from the fluid as well. I don't know if it's very beneficial in automotive due to air being in the master cylinder resevior, but in performance mountain biking with hydraulic brake systems it's necessary. Take a syringe with the fluid, half full. Clamp the syringe, and pull on it to create negative pressure. You'll see a large amount of air bubbles coming out of the fluid, and they'll deposit in the syringe as air. Then expel the air and repeat the process. It improves the incompressibility of the fluid. Not necessary, but could help.

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