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Maintenance :: Brake Bleed How-To

  #1  
Old 01-23-2003, 09:51 AM
RandyBMC
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Maintenance :: Brake Bleed How-To

After a long track day, or to change the fluid in your MINI, here is how you will want to bleed the brakes.

Tools required:
10mm boxed or line wrench
17mm socket to remove the wheels
hose (preferably clear) that fits over the bleeder screw
small container (and old quart of oil works)
Helper to pump the brakes, or a one person vaccuum bleeder
DOT 4 brake fluid (I prefer Motul or ATE Super Blue)
Jack and stands

Time required:
About 45 minutes to flush the system

1. Jack the car up and use the stands to make the car relatively level.

Here is the best jacking spot we've found - it will lift the entire side so you can utilize the factory jacking points.



2. Remove all four wheels.

3. Make sure the reservoir has fluid to the max line. Remove the reservoir cap to refill as needed during the bleeding process. Continue to check the fluid level throughout the process. Here is a shot of the reservoir and the cap.



4. Start at the farthest caliper from the master cylinder and work toward it. The order would be RR, LR, RF, LF - with left being driver side and right being passenger side.

Here is the rear caliper bleeder screw.



It's on the back side of the caliper, near the top of the caliper.

5. Remove the rubber cap to reveal the bleeder.



6. Place the 10mm wrench on the caliper, then place the hose over the bleeder screw (mine's black, but clear is the way to go - then you can see any air and a color change in the fluid if you are flushing the system with Blue).



7. Have a friend sit in the car and hold the brake pedal down. Crack the bleeder screw open (leftie loosey, righty tighty). The pedal will go to the floor. Then close the bleeder screw. Now have the helper pump the brake pedal back up - five pumps or so. You will want to continue this until there is no longer air bubbles coming out of the line. At a minimum, use five cycles on each caliper. Communication with your helper is key if you don't have a vaccuum bleeder. Use standard phraseology. What works for me is: bleeder - "pump it up" "hold it" helper - "floor" bleeder - "pump it up" and so on. Do not let the helper let off the brake pedal once it is at the floor until you have the bleeder closed again.

8. Move to the front after repeating this procedure on the left rear. Don't forget to check the fluid level!

Use the same procedure on the front as well. Here is the front caliper and bleeder location.







Note that the rubber cap is attached on the front calipers.

9. Let the vehicle sit for about ten minutes, then repeat the procedure.

While we're waiting, here is the fluid I used this time. I alternate between this which is clear, and ATE Super Blue, which is blue. Then you can tell from the color change when you have flushed the old fluid.



10. OK, now that you've done the procedure twice, and your helper's leg hurts, go around and replace all of the rubber caps. Be sure that all of the bleeders are closed and snugged. Don't muscle it shut, just snug it.

11. Replace all of the wheels with the 17mm. Torque them to 100Nm ( trick to do this before letting the car down is to have your helper hold the brakes).

12. Lower the car.

Be very careful when around brake fluid, as it is very corrosive to paint. If you do get some on the paint, rinse it off with water, don't try to wipe it off- this just smears it and makes things worse.

Thanks again to DaveinDenver for the photography and pumping the brakes!

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Randy
720-841-1002
[email protected]

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  #2  
Old 01-23-2003, 10:14 AM
wwwebb
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When I bled my CRX a long time ago, I remember there being an order that they had to be done. I don't remember exactly, but it was something like nearest to master to farthest from master. Is this the case for the MINI?
 
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Old 01-23-2003, 10:20 AM
RandyBMC
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>>When I bled my CRX a long time ago, I remember there being an order that they had to be done. I don't remember exactly, but it was something like nearest to master to farthest from master. Is this the case for the MINI?

I know it probably got lost in the pictures, but if you look in the how-to, it's listed. The order is RR,LR,RF,LF or furthest from the master cylinder to nearest the master cylinder.

Hope that helps!
 
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Old 01-23-2003, 10:20 AM
Azwed
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The usual procedure is that you start with the wheel farthest from the master cylinder and then work towards the wheel that is closest. That makes logical sense too since you will be forcing the most amount of brake fluid and the most amount of air through the longer lines.

Most autoparts stores have one man break bleeder kits so that you can do the job by yourself if you have to. I have one that i use and it works great. Just soooooo very easy.
 
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Old 01-23-2003, 10:28 AM
wwwebb
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>>I know it probably got lost in the pictures, but if you look in the how-to, it's listed. The order is RR,LR,RF,LF or furthest from the master cylinder to nearest the master cylinder.
>>
>>Hope that helps!


Check!. Yes it did get lost. Thanks.
 
  #6  
Old 04-01-2003, 03:21 AM
mn_angrybeats
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Whats the fluid capacity of the brake system. It doesnt say in the manual, well I cannot find it anyway..
 
  #7  
Old 04-01-2003, 05:21 AM
paulmon
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>>Whats the fluid capacity of the brake system. It doesnt say in the manual, well I cannot find it anyway..

I was wondering the same thing. If I wanted to completely replace the stock fluid with Motul or Super Blue how does one do that? How much replacement fluid would I need... Would something like this Mityvac make my life easier? My assumption is you hook this up to the farthest brake from the master cylinder and pump until empty. You then replace with Motul and bleed as per the How-To until the air has been removed.

[edit] by "pump until empty" I meant pump until the new fluid is visable" so in the case of superblue this is easy.[/edit]

Anyone have any tips?

Paul

 
  #8  
Old 04-01-2003, 10:00 AM
RandyBMC
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Paul,

It takes about 2 500ml bottles of Motul to replace the fuild. The way you suggested would be fine. I have a pressurized bleeder that holds the new fluid, so you can just go to the caliper and see the new fluid coming out while you bleed - very similar in principle to your idea.

If you were going to use Super Blue, I would get 2 cans.

Hope that helps!

Randy
 
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:18 AM
paulmon
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>>Paul,
>>
>>It takes about 2 500ml bottles of Motul to replace the fuild. The way you suggested would be fine. I have a pressurized bleeder that holds the new fluid, so you can just go to the caliper and see the new fluid coming out while you bleed - very similar in principle to your idea.
>>
>>If you were going to use Super Blue, I would get 2 cans.

So I just start pumping out the old while topping off with the new and when I see Blue (for super blue) I'm good? Simple enough and what I expected. Is it best to flush the system on the brake furthest from the master cylindar and then hit the rest in the correct order to make sure I get the old fluid out of their lines. In other words when I see blue on the first I can then proceed to the others?

Never done this before so I want to make sure I get it right the first time.

Paul

 
  #10  
Old 04-01-2003, 11:03 AM
friedduck
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>>I have a pressurized bleeder that holds the new fluid, so you can just go to the caliper and see the new fluid coming out while you bleed

Would you mind telling me where you sourced the tool? I've used vacuum pumps like the mity-vac, and if you have a leak at the slave cylinder (the little zerk you attach the tube to) it's really difficult to tell if you have air in the system.

(Or alternately, any suggestions to eliminate this problem would be really helpful. I've heard speedbleeders work but never tried them.)

TIA,

Jeff
 
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Old 04-01-2003, 11:13 AM
RandyBMC
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I actually sell the pressure bleeder for $45.00, but I don't have it listed on-line. I didn't want to sound like a used car salesman and push it in the previous post though
 
  #12  
Old 05-17-2003, 07:25 AM
Daytona955i
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Did someone want a pressure bleeder?

Also what are the advantages/disadvantages of using a pressure bleeder vs. a vacuum bleeder?
-Chris
 
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Old 10-09-2003, 11:28 AM
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Ok...probably missed it somewhere...but how many BOTTLES of fluid do I need to do the job?
 
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:30 PM
Redskins83
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I read somewhere that if/when you do bleed all the calipers, there is no need to bleed the slave cylinder. Is this true?
I normally always bleed my slave cylinder last in my 944, but I read that on the MCS, you only need to bleed it when changing the unit out.

Thx
 
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:39 PM
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Holy Thread resurrection RedMan!

I think you will be fine as long as you are totally bleeding out the old juice. If you let a bubble in the top, it has to be purged.

Using a turkey baster or anything to get most all of the old stuff out of the reservoir saves some new stuff. Still, Don't go too low as to introduce bubbles. Once you have the nice clear stuff coming out the farthest caliper, you should have all bubbles out. Your pedal will let you know. If it feels rock hard, you are done.

The real thing that is hard to old fluid and bubbles from is the ABS unit. I think you need a special tool (or software) to cycle the system, but you don't have to worry about it unless you can't seem to get things right after taking the ABS apart.
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:13 AM
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any way we can get these photos back again?
 
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:36 PM
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is any DOT4 fluid OK (is OEM fluid DOT4?)
 
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:05 PM
apexer
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Originally Posted by Sidewalksam View Post
is any DOT4 fluid OK (is OEM fluid DOT4?)
DOT 4 is a better choice. Don't know for sure, but I'd bet OEM is DOT 3.
 
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by apexer View Post
DOT 4 is a better choice. Don't know for sure, but I'd bet OEM is DOT 3.
If you drive the car hard I could not agree more but if you don't (like my wife) then DOT 3 even though it has a lower boiling point resists water absorption better and is superior for longer interval use.
 
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Redskins83 View Post
I read somewhere that if/when you do bleed all the calipers, there is no need to bleed the slave cylinder. Is this true?
I normally always bleed my slave cylinder last in my 944, but I read that on the MCS, you only need to bleed it when changing the unit out.

Thx
I've always done the slave cylinder when I did brakes. It is a PIA and you need to be careful as bleed screw as well as slave cyl. is plastic.
 
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:12 PM
apexer
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Originally Posted by Sidewalksam View Post
If you drive the car hard I could not agree more but if you don't (like my wife) then DOT 3 even though it has a lower boiling point resists water absorption better and is superior for longer interval use.
I must disagree, DOT 4 resists water absorption better than DOT 3, Therefore, DOT 4 is a better choice all the way around.
 
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:46 PM
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I need some help to understand what I need to do to make my breaks work right on 2014 Mini Cooper S Clubman! My instrument Panel was telling me I needed to add break fluid I kept forgetting to add fluid finally the breaks got real hard and stopping took a lot of leg power.. I added fluid but the breaks never came back so NOW you knowing all of this can you tell me if simply bleeding the breaks will fix the problem??
 
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Old 08-17-2017, 02:07 PM
Whine not Walnuts
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First, you have a Gen3 car question in the Gen1 area. Our old cars don't have any brake fluid sensors.

You have gotten air into the system that would make the brakes spongy but the bigger question is where the brake fluid went to start with. The next concern is the brake pedal going hard that may mean something is wrong with what I assume would be the brake booster.

If you are not comfortable with wrenches, I would take the car to a mechanic. Brakes are not something to screw around with.
 
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