How to Bleed Brakes - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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How to Bleed Brakes

Note that many people disagree with my method, so judge for yourself.

Taught to me by semi-famous Toyota engineer, who built championship winning cars and bikes.

1. Get Sears brake bleed kit (canister, hoses, adaptors for bleed valves) and their hand vacuum pump. Kits there have both components. Inexpensive.

2. Pour a little b/f in canister, hook up hoses and use the tightest adaptor you can.

3. Pump vacuum to 20-25Ē with bleeder valve closed.

4. Tap caliper with small hammer or similar. This releases the air bubbles clinging to the caliper into the stream. WHATEVER method you use, DONíT skip this step.

5. Open bleed valve.

6. When vacuum is almost gone, close bleed valve.

7. Check level in master cylinder. Do this often.

8. Repeat as needed.

Benefits:

*Never got a firmer pedal using any other method.

*Requires only one person. Your wife/so will thank us both.

*You will not be pushing the piston in m/c into the rough area normally unused, thereby not prematurely wearing that seal. (Clutch m/cs are always used to full range.)

Note: On my Elise, I neednít even remove the wheels.

Yeah, yeah, people use pressure bleeders, but my racecar mechanic friends donít like these.

Yeah, I know about speed bleeders.

The above is my opinion. No responsibility for screw ups, injuries, maiming or deaths.

Take it, leave it. OK with me.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 08:37 AM
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your thoughts on needing to reposition front calipers to remove air bubbles on the elise? necessary or not?

2005 Magnetic Blue Elise, Factory twin oil coolers, Sport pack with LSS wheels with 6.5 fronts, and touring pack with matching hardtop and insulated soft top. OEM stage II exhaust, carbon fiber intake, HID's, 5.25 and 6.5 Polks with JL Stealthbox and Alpine PDX-5 amp, Sony DSX-S310BTX head unit with Bluetooth, sector111 bootie and aluminum carpet buttons, OEM embellisher rings, shower cap and outdoor cover, factory painted console and AC shroud, battery cut off switch, factory starshield.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 08:39 AM
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Is the sears kit universal and how much did it cost? I'm using the motiv kit and it works great but not a fan of buying new caps for my other cars so I do it the old school way for those. Very time consuming.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gooberschnot View Post
your thoughts on needing to reposition front calipers to remove air bubbles on the elise? necessary or not?
I've never had to do it. But, I've not let all the fluid out of the system.


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Originally Posted by Nessal View Post
Is the sears kit universal and how much did it cost? I'm using the motiv kit and it works great but not a fan of buying new caps for my other cars so I do it the old school way for those. Very time consuming.
This is what internet/google are for. I paid ~$30 but years ago.

How much can caps be?

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 10:23 AM
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I sell the Eezibleed with a dedicated Lotus cap and have available a multipurpose cap that fits most sizes.
Michael
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 12:02 PM
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Very nice...thank you
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 02:06 PM
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Typically in a fluid-delivery system it is best to have the higher pressure on the side where you want the fluid to go when there's a leak. If you would rather air be introduced into the liquid lines in the event of a leak, you want the liquid to be at a lower than ambient pressure. If you want the liquid to leak out instead, put it at higher pressure. When changing brake fluid, I prefer to see the leak and avoid introducing air into the system so I like to put it under pressure.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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OK
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05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 02:41 PM
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In my 25 years as a mechanic I never heard of air bubbles clinging to the caliper but not saying that it couldn't happen.

I replaced the master cylinder and hydraulic booster {$$$} on my S6 Audi and it feels like I have air trapped somewhere even though I bleed it numerous times.

The pedal pumps up but on first push sinks pretty low. Think I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for the tip glb.

Robert
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Please let us know how this works for you.

Thx.
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05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-09-2014, 07:42 AM
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dont you need to turn the front calipers upside down to bleed them properly due to their design unless you use a pressure bleeder

Quote:
Originally Posted by glb View Post

Yeah, yeah, people use pressure bleeders, but my racecar mechanic friends don’t like these.

.
why on earth not,they do exactly as they are designed to do,never heard such rubbish,ive been in many pit garages and they all use them
I was in sebastian vettel's garage during the melbourne f1 grand prix this year and they were using one lol

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-09-2014, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me73 View Post
Typically in a fluid-delivery system it is best to have the higher pressure on the side where you want the fluid to go when there's a leak. If you would rather air be introduced into the liquid lines in the event of a leak, you want the liquid to be at a lower than ambient pressure. If you want the liquid to leak out instead, put it at higher pressure. When changing brake fluid, I prefer to see the leak and avoid introducing air into the system so I like to put it under pressure.
This is an interesting observation I'd never considered.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-09-2014, 07:58 AM
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Warning about pressure bleeders.

Everytime I needed to use the pressure bleeder it was usually empty because the person who used it before me was to lazy to fill it up.

Once when I went to use it of course it felt empty. As a precautionary measure I alway's removed the Schrader valve to relieve any pressure on the bladder no matter what.

One day after replacing the master cylinder on my old Audi 80Q, tired and just wanted to get out of the shop I didn't do that. I looked at the gauge and it was reading '0' not thinking safe I opened it.

Brake fluid shot out like a geyser in my face and went all over the place. NEVER trust what the gauge reads.

Robert
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-09-2014, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QWIKK View Post
dont you need to turn the front calipers upside down to bleed them properly due to their design unless you use a pressure bleeder


why on earth not,they do exactly as they are designed to do,never heard such rubbish,ive been in many pit garages and they all use them
I was in sebastian vettel's garage during the melbourne f1 grand prix this year and they were using one lol
Nope. Never had need to upend the calipers.

I can't remember why these guys didn't like pressure bleeding. Too long ago. Sorry.

They may have worried about introducing air into the system, but I can't really speak for them.

F1:

Well, now we know why Vettel is doing poorly, right?

I'll have to have a word with his mechanics.


(OK, truth is that I own a lot of Sears stock.....)

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Another pretty big benefit:

When changing brake fluid (annually for me, biannually for others), we want to get the fluid out quickly.

So, with the bleeder valve open, I just keep pumping the hand vacuum. All the old fluid comes out fast.

But, remember to check the m/c level often.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 01:11 PM
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Just in case anyone comes across this thread rather than another- for regular bleeds I really don't think you need to turn the calipers upside down. If you've introduced air into the system, either from letting the fluid in the M/c get too low or because you're trading the lines for SS ones, absolutely rotate the calipers.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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I changed to SS lines and did not have to turn calipers upside down with this method.

But, thanks.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 03:23 PM
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I believe that will work just fine for the lines, except the abs system itself. Special tool for that. Or so I was told by Lotus USA

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, apparently a proprietary machine/computer.

Some ppl bleed, cycle the ABS on the road and rebleed. I've not done that.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 02:58 PM
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Order?

Is there any particular order you bleed the wheels? I was taught to start w/ left front, then opposite side rear, then right front and opposite rear. Does it really matter?
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