Instructables

A DIY Brake Bleeder using either Pressure or Vacuum

Picture of A DIY Brake Bleeder using either Pressure or Vacuum
A brake bleeder is a handy one man device to change the hydraulic fluid in your car or motorbike.

Using either pressure at the reservoir or vacuum at the bleed nipple, turns this fiddly chore into a one man operation, removing the need to have someone in the drivers seat pumping the brake pedal, with all the shouting that accompanies it.
The added bonus is that it works just as easily on the brake or clutch, car or bike, as long as there's hydraulic fluid involved.

Having used both types of systems I have to admit that the vacuum version is superior and uses less components.

Caution:
When working with brake fluid observe the cautionary notices on the brake fluid bottle.

The working pressure for pressure bleeding brakes is approx 15 ~ 20 psi, 100 ~ 135 kPa.

 Exceeding the working pressures on the brake reservoir/master cylinder can destroy/rupture the brake system seals.

The above cautions are unnecessary if you plan on using the vacuum type system.



 
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Step 1: Parts Needed

Picture of Parts Needed
Basically you need the following for the pressure version:
  1. some sort of container to hold pressure and brake fluid.
  2. tubing and connectors ( Tyre tube connectors work well).
  3. an adapter plate/cap for the brake master cylinder/clutch cylinder.
 4 a gauge capable of 0 ~ 20 psi is an option too, I'll be using a compressor with its own built in gauges.

You will need the following for the vacuum version:
  1. a vacuum pump (old fridge motor )
  2. a container to hold expelled brake fluid, prevents the vacuum pump from sucking up the old brake fluid.
  3. tubing and connectors



  I used a windscreen washer pressure bottle from an old VW beetle, this has a max pressure rating of 35psi, more than adequate for our purposes.


Motive Products  at  www.motiveproducts.com/  does the complete range of power brake bleeders for those looking for ideas.

It can be seen that a garden pressure sprayer, with the addition of a gauge would make a dandy makeshift brake bleeder.


petercd (author) 1 year ago
Its only a one man job if you have a one way valve on that clear tubing otherwise the fluid just oscillates back and forth. So now you're pumping the brakes in the drivers seat, how do you see whats going on at the bottle down at the rear wheel passenger side?
Exactly, rather tricky hey!.
However the best method is to use vacuum at the bleed nipple of the wheel, that way you can open and close and see whats going on all on the spot.
What's the advantage to using a power bleeder to push all the junk through your master cylinder when you can just use a Gatorade bottle and some clear tubing that's long enough to stay submerged in fluid contained in the Gatorade bottle? It's still a one man job.
AlexLPD1 year ago
I like your work, I have a similar device for cleaning the reservoir first. Keep the good work =)
triumphman2 years ago
Can I use this to bleed my brakes on a 1993 Toyota 4x4 pickup ? I'm replacing some corroded leaking brake lines as soon as the weather lightens up here in the Northeastern USA !
l8nite4 years ago
thats a great idea !