How to Bleed a Hydraulic Brake System

Bleeding the hydraulic system has always been a bothersome job especially since you have to con someone into pumping while you open and close the bleeder valves. And then there’s that damned clutch line that won’t purge itself on two dozen strokes of the pedal. Rejoice! For the past year I have been using (quite successfully) a pressurized bleeding system that’s quick, simple, and requires only one person to operate.

The system consists of a standard BMW fluid reservoir cap which has a standard tire valve installed in its center and a D.C. powered portable air compressor (made by Coleman and advertised in R&T and Auto-week).

To use the pressurized bleeder the standard reservoir cap and screen-float assembly are removed. Fill the reservoir with fresh fluid and install the modified cap. Loosen the bleeder valve on the appropriate wheel cylinder and install the usual tube and drain bottle. Then plug in the pump (in the cigar lighter) and wait for clean fluid to appear in the drain tube. Be sure to check that the reservoir doesn’t drain completely. When it appears, close the bleeder and shut off the pump. Refill the reservoir and repeat. It’s the only way to do it.

Author: Jim Craig


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