ONE MAN BRAKE BLEED
A Tool That Takes "Pump 'Em Up" Out of the Garage
Text and lmages By Josh Bolger
2326 5th Street
Berkeley, California 947 10
I f you have ever had to bleed your Bleeder cap. For earlier model cars, a First remove the master cylinder cover and
I Mustang's brakes, you probably had to plate and chains are used as a cap. The install the Power Bleeder top on the master
I ask a friend to come over and "pump Power Bleeder forces fluid through your cylinder. Motive supplies four'1" bolts, nuts
up" the brakes while you fumbled around Mustang's brake system under pressure, and washers, and two pieces of chain to strap
under the car with the bleeder valves. On it down.
which means no air in the line.
a car with power-assisted brakes you Motive sells most of their kits for less
would have to have the engine running than $60. For our project they sent us
and then you would have to yell, "Pump both the early model and late model
'em up" over the rumble of the dual adapter caps, which added $20 to the
exhaust. No fun and not really the picture total. So, if you have both early and late
of OHSA safety procedures either. model cars you'll spend about $80. lf you
Well, those days of begging help and own a shop, Motive also makes a Power
yelling "pump 'em up" are over thanks to Bleeder Magnum that comes with three
the folks at Motive Products and their different adapters and a one-gallon tank.
handy little Power Bleeder. The Power The Power Bleeder also works on
Bleeder is a simple two-quart polyethyl- hydraulic clutches like those found on
ene tank with an integral pump and pres- Ford Trucks.
sure gauge that connects to your Follow along as we bleed the brakes
Mustang's master cylinder with a sup- on a 1970 Mustang that needed a little
plied cap. For late model owners, the help after sitting for an extended period. I After you get it on, you'll need to test it dry by
Power Bleeder is extremely simple-just "begged" my friend Billy Houston to help pressurizing the Power Bleeder to 10psi-if
remove the cap and screw on the Power out while I took the ohotos. jlt?' there are no leaks you're good to go.
6O Mustang Times September 2OO4
WHY YOU SHOULD FLUSH YOUR
The Power Bleeder BRAKE FLUID-OFTEN
is supplied with a The most common brake fluid found in a
foot-long clear plas- Mustang is DOT3. DOT3 and DOT4 and
tic tube that will go DOTS.1 are a polyalkylene glycol ether fluid
over the bleeder that is by nature hygroscopic. meaning that
valve on most cars. the fluid will absorb water or moisture.
For our 1970
Water in the braking system means that the
Mustang, the bleed-
er valves were to
boiling point of the fluid is greatly reduced.
big to easily fit the As an example, the minimum boiling point
tube over so we standard for brake fluid, as defined by the
used a piece of 9132- Department of Transportation, for DOT3 is,
inch vacuum line. (lt 401oF dry and2840 F wet. What is the differ-
is better to use clear ence between wet and dry boiling points?
tubing to see the Dry is defined as 0-percent water and wet as
fluid as it comes
3-percent. The Society of Automotive
out,) We then used
the empty brake Engineers reports that most new cars that are
fluid bottle as a about one year old have water content of 2-
After the dry run we released the pressure "catch can." We just percent. With just 3-percent water content the
and added two quarts of new clean brake drilled a hole in the boiling point will be reduced 1170 F or 28-per-
fluid and pumped the Power Bleeder back up cap and stuck the cent. Plus as the water boils and turns to
to 1Oosi. tube through, steam air is introduced into the system. Why
is this important to you? Because it can cause
brake failure when you need to brakes
most-in a panic stop.
Most brake systems contain a majority
of steel products; the lines, calipers and or
wheel cvlinders are almost all steel and
iron. Water trapped in the brake system
means that these parts are subject to rust.
Water in the brake fluid will cause the pis-
tons in calipers and wheel cylinders to
stick, which most likely means replace-
ment. For older cars that are not driven
daily this is a serious concern because you
don't want a brake failure to distract from
your fun time-or worse.
You don't have to take the wheels off to bleed
lf Vou want to use DOTS fluid which is sili-
the brakes, just slip the tube over the bleeder
con based and hydrophobic or not prone to
valve then loosen the valve; the pressurized
fluid in the Power Bleeder does the rest-forc- absorb water-beware that silicon based
ing the old dirty fluid out. (Note: Consult a shop fluid is more compressible than polyalkylene
manual for the correct bleeding sequence for glycol ether fluids and may cause a spongy
your car. Generally you start at the wheel the feeling in your braking system. DOTS does
farthest away from the master cylinder. We did On the opposite side of the car we removed have a higher boiling point however, 500oF
not show the rear brakes, which we did first.) the wheel to show how simple and clean it is. dry and 356oF wet. DOT5.1 has an even
higher boiling point, 518"F dry and 375oF
wet but it is a polyalkylene glycol ether fluid.
Annual flushing of the brake fluid is one
way to minimize the possibility of corrosion,
just add it to your list of maintenance like oil
changes. lfyou change your oil every three
months or 3,000 miles, just add "Flush Brake
Fluid" to your maintenance schedule every
fourth oil change or once a vear.
More and more MCA members are dis-
covering the thrill of open track events. High-
spirited driving pushes the limits of contami-
nated brake fluid to its limits. From oersonal
experience, I highly recommend anyone
planning to pafiicipate in an open track
event flush their Mustang's brake fluid
before going to the track. Bad fluid will fail
For late model cars it is even easier, just and without much warning. lf you pull a trail-
remove the factory cap and install the Power eL don't forget your truck's brake fluid either.
All done, New. clean. clear fluid is now in the Bleeder cap, then bleed the brakes in Better to be safe than sorry.
system-ready for another year. sequence as specified by the factory manual. Josh Bolger
62 Mustang Times September 2OO4