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· Mew Nember
49 Posts
FWIRW, if you just want to quickly bleed your brakes solo, press the pedal to the floor or as far as it'll go, then wedge a piece of wood that's long enough to stay on the pedal and can be wedged to the bottom of the seat bracket. If need be, use a second piece of wood if it's a nicer interior and wedge tightly against that.

Pump the brakes, hold, wedge the wood on the pedal. Crack the bleeder. Go back and pump again. Repeat. After a couple pumps, it'll firm up enough that the wood might drop when cracking. If the wood is wedged tightly, it'll preload the pedal a bit. Brake pedals don't need to move super far to get air out of the lines. Takes 10 minutes doing it this way.

· Bowtie Supply, RIP
244 Posts
One of the most frustrating things to do on a vehicle is to bleed the brakes. You have to first find someone to help and then have to communicate back and forth as you pump the brakes and work the bleeder screw. This process is slow and sometimes inefficient.

Probably the best way to bleed your brakes is with a pressure bleeder. Almost all the dealerships use it for speed and quality. It only takes one person and you can completely flush your brake system with new fluid in a matter of minutes.

Here is a quick how to on how to build a simple portable pressure bleeder. I can’t take credit for this as I found the original plans on someone else’s site. This is my take on it though. The unit can be built for about $25.00 and a few hours work.

How to: Build a Pressure Bleeder

1. Buy a small tank sprayer like the ones used for spraying insecticide around the house. This will be used as your compressor and tank.

2. First thing you’ll want to do is to install a pressure gauge so that you’ll be able to tell how much pressure you have in your tank. This is important because high pressure can hurt certain parts of your braking system. Drill a hole slightly smaller then the thread diameter of your pressure gauge. This way you can thread the gauge into the hole and not have to use a nut to attach it on the inside.

3. You’ll want to put a gasket between the tank and the gauge so that air can’t escape. For this I used a leftover piece of my toolbox liner. Put the gasket on first, then a washer to help seal, and finally thread the gauge in until it is snug. Do not over tighten and strip the threads, since they are only plastic.

4. Set the tank aside. Next you’ll want to get another brake fluid reservoir cap that will fit your vehicle. These can be found in junkyards cheap or can be found in the “HELP” section of any automotive parts store. (This works perfectly fine with the older style snap on covers as well.) Go ahead and drill a hole in the middle of the cap. This hole will be slightly smaller then the diameter of the male hose fitting found in the next step.

5. You’ll need one male hose fitting with threads on the other side. It should look similar to this. Try and get the same diameter of hose fitting as what is on the tank output(where you would normally install your sprayer nozzle).

6. Thread the fitting into the hole in the cap just as you did with the tank and pressure gauge. Tighten down until its snug.

7. Since this will get bent and moved around a lot, I installed a nut on the inside to tighten it down. It seems as thought the plastic would’ve stripped easily with all the movement.

8. Next, you’ll want to buy about 5’ of clear tubing to fit over the male end of your hose fitting. For mine, I used ¼” tubing. Attach the hose to the fitting with a small hose clamp.

9. Attach the other end of your hose to the output nozzle on your tank. If you got the right size hose, it should just slide on.

10. You can either use another hose clamp or the original clamp to tighten the hose onto the fitting.

11. Double check that everything is tight. Put your thumb over the open end of the cap and start pumping. You should see the pressure rise. Stop pumping and check for leaks around the gauge or hose fittings. If you have a small leak, it is fine. You’ll just want to be able to keep pressure in the tank for about 15 seconds.

Hooking it up to your truck

Let say you want to flush all that old dirty brake fluid out of your system. After the vehicle is situated, pump the brake pedal with the engine off until the brake pedal becomes hard. Jack up the rear, take off the wheels and set the truck down on jackstands. Get the correct 6-point box end wrench that will fit the bleeder screws. Break the bleeder valves loose and work them back and forth a few times so that they move freely. After this is done, tighten the bleeder screw up and install a clear hose over the end of the bleeder screw. Put the other end into a container. A small Gatorade bottle with a hole in the lid works excellent for this. Now you are ready in back.

Go to the front and take off the cap on your master cylinder reservoir. Add brake fluid into the reservoir until it is about 7/8 full. Install your pressure bleeder cap you made onto the reservoir. Pump your tank up to about 5-8psi. You don’t want to go over 10psi as that may cause damage to some of the parts in the braking system. After you reach 8 psi, go to the back and open the bleeder screw. You should see the fluid rush out through the clear hose. While you have the screw open listen to the sound of the pressure escaping back at the mastercylinder. (All mastercylinder caps have a tiny groove on the underside of them. This is to allow air in as the fluid level goes down.) The air rushing past this groove will make a whistle. It will start out loud but will quickly quiet down as the pressure decreases in the tank. Be sure to tighten/close the bleeder valve before this whistle becomes too quiet. Generally you’ll get about 10 seconds of flow, before you run out of pressure.

Go back up to the front and check the fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. If it is under halfway full, add more fluid. Be sure not to let the reservoir go dry.

Repeat this process until you have all the air out and the fluid become clear at the bleeder screw. Then work your way, wheel to wheel towards the mastercylinder, repeating the entire process. You’ll want to go in this order: PS rear, DS rear, PS front, DS front.

After you are finished, double check everything is tight, remove the pressure bleeder, top off the brake fluid in the reservoir and put the cap back on, put the wheels back on, and lower it back down. Start up the vehicle and pump the brakes several time to see how the pedal feels. If it feels good, test the vehicle out on safe open road at low speed.
Is there any advantage to using this vs a Mity-Vac clone or vise-versa? I think a Mity-Vac is a one-person job, I have the knock-off that has a heavy duty squeeze-gun of steel for like $15-$20 as well as a kit with the blow-molded plastic case from banggood.com too. You can pull over 23 inches of mercury without a problem, and come with many adapters and a small bottle.
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