[V8] Bleeding the brakes

dsaad@icehouse.net dsaad at icehouse.net
Thu Sep 29 18:09:56 EDT 2005

First off, I really liked the idea of the extra brake fluid resevoir cap with a
tire valve in it. That is a cheap and easy method for any car. Seems less messy

And - let me add some urban mythology to the brake bleeding:

The reason (so I have been told - and it makes sense) that you can damage the
master cylinder by manually pumping the fluid through is that the seals are
forced to travel over parts of the bore that they normally don't reach. After
many years, this ares gets corroded and or gunk builds up there. When the piston
travels over it, the seals get damaged. So - either don't use the full pedal
travel, or make part of your annual brake bleed include depressing the pedal
fully to clean out the bore.
It seems like the second option is actually the best to me, but you may be
taking a risk on an old system in unknown condition.

FWIW, I have been doing the full pedal travel bleed to mine with no apparent


Quoting "Coleman, David" <David.Coleman at blackrock.com>:

> Absolutely you can bleed the brakes w/ a friend working the pedal. The only
> danger is if helper buddy is too brutal when pumping, which can damage the
> master cylinder seals.
> I'd set the car up on 4 jackstands and pull the wheels. WD-40 all bleeders.
> Fill the reservoir -- I use castrol LMA but frankly any house brand dot 3
> will probably suffice. Crack all the bleeders and let gravity work while you
> call a friend, neighbor, or mildly gifted orangutang.
> After the gravity bleed barely does anything after 40 hours of standing
> there, have buddy SLOWLY + GENTLY depress the pedal about 3/4 of the way down
> and hold. Crack the r/r caliper screw to purge, then snug back up. Buddy then
> gently releases. Repeat until the fresh stuff comes out. Move around the car
> to the left rear, r/f, then l/f.  No jumping up and down on the pedal -- just
> down once and hold. After all have been done, you can go back around, to the
> fronts at least, and do the pumping thing, albeit gently...
> DaveC.
> --------------------------
> David A. Coleman
> BlackRock
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