A little cryptic title for my long-overdue first post in 2013, but I’ll quickly explain. Having a wisdom tooth removed is not an experience I would wish on many people, yet is something I had to go through this past week. A couple of weeks ago I got a pain at the back of my [...]
One-man brake fluid bleeding on an early Evo/DSM
A bit of a how-to for you folks out there with an early Evo (and also 1G/2G DSM). There aren’t too many guides on how to bleed/change brake fluid on these cars alone and, although the procedures are fairly similar between cars, a specific guide is also helpful. I will write up a 2-man version in the near future, but the one-man procedure is very simple to follow. Don’t want to be condescending in this guide but I’m going to try and explain everything as simply as I can. I want this guide to be as user-friendly as possible.
Your brake system is an enclosed system but it can get air bubbles in it sometimes, and through hard braking the brake fluid can boil, causing it to become much less effective. I would recommend bleeding or indeed flushing the whole system every 6 to 12 months. I will give instructions on how to bleed the system, and then give some additional info about flushing the system at the end. Brake fluid is also hydroscopic, which means it absolutely loves water and absorbs it, making it much less effective. For this reason, when you put new brake fluid into the system it is much better to use fluid straight out of an unopened container. Additionally, it’s best not to do this procedure when it’s raining or damp.
Right, onto business. First thing are the things you need for this, and fortunately you don’t need any specialist tools. But you will need the following:
Wheel brace (my wheel nuts are 21mm but yours may be different. Most likely you have this already)
60cm of rubber tubing, 5mm inside diameter and preferably see-through
Small container (a old jar or something will do)
Brake fluid, DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 if you are a big-spender
With all those things ready, let’s get to it.
- Go to the passenger side rear wheel and loosen the wheel nuts a little. Do not remove the wheel nuts at this stage though.
- Jack up the car and take the wheel off. You should see something a little similar to this greeting you (note that this picture shows the front brake, but the principal is the same).
- You see the small nipple circled in green? That’s your brake bleeder nipple. It might have a plastic cap on it (my front two nipples did). If that is the case then pull it off and put one end of the hosing onto it.
- Fill your small container about 1/4 full of brake fluid and insert the other end of the rubber hose into it. Your setup should look a little like this now:
- Take your wrench and unscrew the 10mm nut around the bleeder nipple. One full turn anti-clockwise should do it.
- Now go to your engine bay and open the cap to the brake fluid reservoir. Make sure the reservoir is filled with brake fluid.
- Go inside the car and pump the brake pedal slowly and firmly. About 5-8 pumps should do.
- Head back out to passenger side rear wheel and have a look at the hosing. You’re looking for air bubbles, or hopefully a lack of them. If you see no air bubbles, congratulations! You can tighten the bleeder nut again, pull off the rubber hosing and move on. If there are bubbles, check there is still brake fluid in the reservoir and pump the brakes again a few times. Keep doing this until there are no more air bubbles. Make sure the brake fluid reservoir does not empty; if it does then air will start entering the system.
- Put wheel back on, hand-tighten the wheel nuts and bring the car back down. Tighten the wheel nuts with the brace and move on. If your jar of brake fluid starts to get full when you’ve finished a wheel, empty it down to 1/4 full according to your country’s rules for disposing of brake fluid.
And that’s all there is to it! The next wheel you should jack up is the driver’s side front, followed by the driver’s side rear, and finally the passenger side front. When you’ve done all four, make sure the brake fluid reservoir is filled up to the max level on the side and the top is screwed on securely.
So that’s the procedure for bleeding the brakes. In order to flush the system, it’s an almost identical procedure. Just bleed an entire reservoir of fluid through the system for each brake. Once again, make sure the reservoir is never completely empty. For this you’ll probably need 1-1.5l of brake fluid.
I think that covers everything. If this has helped you or you have any questions, do let me know. Will try to write more of these guides if people tell me what they want to read.
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