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Pelican Technical Article:

Speed Bleeding Brakes

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$7 to $50

Talent:

**

Tools:

Appropriate flared nut wrenches, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

Speed Bleeders, brake fluid

Hot Tip:

Use different-colored brake fluid so you know when your system is flushed

Performance Gain:

Quicker, firmer stopping

Complementary Modification:

Rebuild brake calipers

Bleeding and flushing your brakes is a very important part of the maintenance of your braking system and should never be ignored. The problem used to be that bleeding brakes required two people or the use of a costly brake bleeder. Not anymore. With Speed Bleeders it is now possible to bleed your brakes, quickly, efficiently and by yourself.

Speed Bleeders have a built in check valve that allows the brake fluid to flow out one direction while preventing air from entering the system. Speed Bleeders come in different sizes so make sure to check when ordering and get the correct bleeders for your vehicle.

If you are going to bleed your brakes, now is a good time to give the system a flush. One easy way to help in flushing the system is to use a different color brake fluid than you presently have in the vehicle. That way when the new colored fluid comes out from the caliper you know you have gotten all of the old brake fluid out. Make sure you have enough new fluid on hand and check with your manufacturer for the appropriate brake fluid needed for your vehicle.

One thing to remember when working on your brakes is that brake fluid is extremely caustic. Any brake fluid spilled on paint will permanently mar the surface, so be very careful not to touch the car if you have it on your hands and clothing. You should wear rubber gloves to help protect yourself from getting it on your hands. If you do get a spot on your paint, make sure that you blot it with a paper towel--don't wipe or smear it, then quickly rinse with plenty of water. It's also important not to try to clean it off with any chemical or other cleaning solutions.

Check before ordering to ensure that you have the correct Speed Bleeders for you vehicle.
Figure 1

Check before ordering to ensure that you have the correct Speed Bleeders for you vehicle.

Begin by cleaning the area around the bleed screw (red arrow) with some brake cleaner and a wire brush if necessary.
Figure 2

Begin by cleaning the area around the bleed screw (red arrow) with some brake cleaner and a wire brush if necessary. Use the appropriate sized flared nut wrench for the bleed screw in your caliper and remove the old bleed screw (yellow arrow).

Remove the old bleed screw and protective cap (red arrow) from the caliper (red arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the old bleed screw and protective cap (red arrow) from the caliper (red arrow). Brake fluid will leak out from the caliper so be prepared to catch it and dispose of it in accordance with the regulations in your area.

Insert the new Speed Bleeder valve into the caliper.
Figure 4

Insert the new Speed Bleeder valve into the caliper. You can see the patented thread sealer on the Speed Bleeder that prevents air from getting back into the brake system (red arrow).

Be sure to seat the bleeder fully into the caliper (red arrow) and install all the Speed Bleeders into all the calipers before you begin the bleeding process.
Figure 5

Be sure to seat the bleeder fully into the caliper (red arrow) and install all the Speed Bleeders into all the calipers before you begin the bleeding process.

Using a clear hose and catch bottle (red arrow) attach the hose to the end of the Speed Bleeder.
Figure 6

Using a clear hose and catch bottle (red arrow) attach the hose to the end of the Speed Bleeder. Using the proper sized wrench turn the bleeder 1/4 turn open.

You are going to go into the vehicle and pump the brake pedal, so make sure the catch bottle cannot spill (red arrow).
Figure 7

You are going to go into the vehicle and pump the brake pedal, so make sure the catch bottle cannot spill (red arrow). You do not want brake fluid spilling around the vehicle or getting into the ground.

If you are going to flush the system start on the right rear caliper.
Figure 8

If you are going to flush the system start on the right rear caliper. Pump the brake pedal slowly several times and then get out and check for air in the clear line and catch bottle. It will usually take five to six pumps of the pedal per caliper to clear the air and more if you are flushing the system. Remember to constantly check the level of the brake fluid in the reservoir and top up as needed. Close the bleeder valve after the new fluid starts coming out and when there is no air in the system.

During the bleeding process, it's very easy to forget to check your master cylinder reservoir.
Figure 9

During the bleeding process, it's very easy to forget to check your master cylinder reservoir. As you are removing fluid from the calipers, it will be emptying the master cylinder reservoir. Always make sure that the fluid line stays towards the full line (red arrow) and never let it get below the low line (yellow arrow). If the reservoir goes empty, then you will most certainly add some air bubbles in to the system, and you will have to start all over. When you are done be sure to check the fluid level and don't forget to refill it. Make sure that you always put the cap back on the reservoir.

Make sure all of the bleeders are closed completely and place the protective caps over the end of the bleeders (red arrow).
Figure 10

Make sure all of the bleeders are closed completely and place the protective caps over the end of the bleeders (red arrow).


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