Brake Flush Bleeder Bolt Adapters?

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I did a brake flush yesterday, by myself for the second time, on my 91 Civic LX (176k miles). I use the Mity-Vac system ( a hand-held vacuum pump, connecting to a small
container to collect fluid, tubing, and adapters). It went much more quickly. One concern I have is that, while the kit has a well-fitting adapter for the front bleeder bolts, it does not have a good one for the rears. The front setup holds a vacuum really well as I bleed fluid. By contrast, on the rears, massive air bubbling occurs, and I have to continuously pump to maintain vacuum.
I think it's because the rear adapters fit so loosely that, when I draw a vacuum with the pump, it sucks air in at the adapters.
I am thinking of buying a set of those one-way (that is, check) bleeder valves that Pep Boys, for one, sells, to (1) maybe get a better fit from adapter to valve; and (2) minimize air introduction into the rear brake system.
Can anyone make other suggestions?
I want to stick with the Mity-Vac approach, as opposed to getting a friend to push the brake pedal while I bleed at each wheel. The Mity Vac system works really well on the front. I am optimistic that some brainiac here can help me getting the rears working better, or I'll stumble onto an improvement for the rears.
A few comments for the archives: -- I used a 32 oz ( = two pints) container of Valvoline "exceeds DOT 3 and 4 requirements" brake fluid for the flush. I had a second container ready, in case I found a lot of dirt etc. in the fluid I bled. I did not. It seemed pretty dirt free.
-- About 1.8 years and 22k miles have elapsed since the last flush. The Owner's Manual recommended interval is 2 years and 30k miles. I see a lot of folks here do a brake system flush once a year. I was thinking of switching to a one-year interval, but think I'll stick with two years using the more expensive, supposedly more moisture resistant Valvoline brake fluid. I live in a low humidity part of the country, to boot.
-- The brake pedal travel before and after the flush still seems a little large. I'm thinking it's because in fact I am not getting all the air out of the system, and if any part is to blame, its the rear bleeder bolt/adapter set-up I'm using. Or possibly it's the fact that yesterday just before the flush I disassembled, cleaned, lubed, and inspected, then re-installed the rear brake shoe assemblies, and so they weren't quite seated right.
-- I do not see symptoms of a leaky master cylinder (e.g. the brake pedal does not keep going down after I first hit what seems "bottom").
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Elle wrote:

--------------------------------------
Pressure bleeding is the way to go if you don't have a good helper. You build a rig that attaches to the reservoir cap and away you go. I'm going to use the 'insecticide sprayer' style when i get around to it. Google it. Gets out air. Vacuum method is confusing because, as you mention, lots of 'local' air confuses whether you're really getting out the 'internal' air. A well-trained helper is even better, if you can get one. :-)
If you yell at her, you won't get supper.
'Curly'
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I second the pressure bleeding method... I bought one of the bug sprayer models a few years ago and it seriously could not be easier. No helper necessary. Besides, I've read in several posts that the helper pumping method can sometimes ruin the seals on your master cylinder if there's corrosion on the plunger.
One caution if you get the bug sprayer bleeder ... be sure to release the pressure in the bottle before you undo the fitting on your master cylinder resevoir or you'll get a nasty mess. Brake fluid will spray EVERYWHERE.
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If there's corrosion on the master cylinder plunger or MC bore,the MC already needs replacing or rebuilding.

Does the "bug sprayer" keep the reservoir filled so air does not enter the MC?
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

damned right!!! fear of not using the full cylinder stroke in case of encountering this problem blows my mind. this is the #1 safety component of the vehicle. better make sure it's 100%.

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Yes... there is a cap with rubber gasket that fits over the MC res. A hose extends from the pressure bottle to the cap. When you open the bleeder screws, fresh fluid is forced from the bug sprayer bottle into the MC res and through the system. You just secure the cap on the MC res, fill the pressure bottle with a bottle of fluid, tighten the lid and pump until the pressure gauge reaches the appropriate psi. The pressure bottle is about a gallon in size, more than enough to bleed most brake systems. I usually use a turkey baster to empty the MC res before starting just to make sure I'm not circulating crap through the lines. Takes less than 15 mins total to bleed the entire car.
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Can these be rented from a local tool rental store? Any brand names I should ask for?
(I appreciate the reply,but it's nice and proper to include the text of the post you responded to.)
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Pressure bleeding is quite convenient for me, and I haven't tried my MityVac for brake bleeding purpose. I use Motive Product's "Power Bleeder":
http://www.motiveproducts.com /
I see the price has gone up since the ~$49 days. I use 1qt of brake fluid for each flush. Castrol GT LMA DOT-3/4.
Speed bleeders use the teflon seals (a tube is provided with the kit) on the threads to prevent air from getting past the bleeder threads. You might want to use the same stuff if going the MityVac route, or the teflon tape others mentioned.
You can read the instructions on the Motive site and see if you want to go the pressure bleeder route.
http://www.motiveproducts.com/10instruct.html
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Elle wrote:

i took off the bleeder screws and wrapped the threads with teflon tape.
home depot/lowes should have some vinyl hose that will tightly slip on the nipple.
otherwise, i know there are rubber 90 degree bleeder arms that would work, and that should have come with your mityvac set.
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Yes, there are several 90-degree nipples, but none that fit the rears. I am using one of the cone-shaped ones, and it's a poor fit into the bleeder bolt.
I like the HD/Lowes idea. I'll go looking for a good fit soon and use some of the adapters to go from small tube diameter to the larger diameter hose that came with the Mity-Vac kit.
To the others: I want to stick with the Mity-Vac approach a bit longer.
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Elle wrote:

who knows? the small tube might "interference fit" inside the mityvac tubing.

i like my mityvac. unscrew the bleeder, pump it a couple times, eye on the brake fluid reservoir. once it starts coming out "straw colored", im done.
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Maybe so.

It sure seemed easy this second time around. Though I have a new floor jack and now four jack stands, and that helped.
About how much brake fluid do you tend to end up using on a flush?
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Elle wrote:

its been a while, but i remember buying (2) 32oz bottles of it. i think i used all of one, and part of another. i still probably have the "part of another" in the garage, and it probably needs to be tossed by now. or my brother can use it in his chevy truck, which has java-colored brake fluid.
but hey- its his life, and his truck. i cant be chief maintenance tech for everyone i know. tho i HAVE offered to help teach him how to do a bleed/flush. oh well. hes got better things to do.
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Elle wrote:

Hi Elle. No answers, but a few ? Where is a good source to buy the Mity-Vac?

I'm getting ready to do a flush. Any trouble getting the bleeders off? I don't know when mine were last touched, & hope they don't cause trouble.
.... I used a 32 oz ( = two pints) container of Valvoline

I plan on using Motul Dot 5.1 fluid. Anyone have any comments on this?
Mike
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The Mity-Vac (metal pump) kit I bought for around $40 is the following: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber 68
It's on sale for about $40 now. Take a printout of the site above with you to the store to get the sale price.
Harbor Freight also sells a plastic pump version for around $32. It is probably just fine.
From googling more on this, a lot of people have had "one person brake bleed/flush" success with "Speed Bleeder valves." One removes the old bleeder bolts and installs these in their place. See site www.speedbleeder.com . Pep Boys sells these one way (= check) valves, too.

No, though if it's been awhile, I'd spray down the threads as best I could with the penetrating oil "PB Blaster" (around $4 for a big spray can). Great stuff.
I think I have read of people overtorquing and so breaking these tiny bolts, though. Only 7 ft-lbs. is specified in the manual for my 91 Civic.

Isn't that silicone brake fluid (to be distinguished from the "synthetic" DOT 3 and 4 brake fluids)? It doesn't mix with the DOT 3 and 4, as I understand it. I don't think there's much reason to use other than DOT 3 and 4. Googling for {"Brake fluid" silicone "DOT 3"} etc. turns up a lot. E.g. see http://www.afcoracing.com/tech_pages/fluid.shtml
Let the group know how it goes... :-) I found it a little tricky the first time but the second time was a breeze, like I said, though I hope to improve on the rear brakes' bleed part.
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Elle wrote:

woo hoo... thats mine as well!

i dunno bout that. the plastic gauge cover on mine cracked due to exposure to brake fluid, parts cleaner, and god-knows-what. not sure an all-plastic version would last that long in my hands :)

even with speed bleeders, id use teflon tape so air doesnt get thru the threads. also functions as an anti-sieze.

it says its compatible, and long life. id probably be extra thorough with the bleeding. motul is good stuff. used their oil for years in a kawasaki i had, and even after 24k miles, the compression was great and it ran like new.

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Elle wrote

IIRC it was because of your suggestion that I bought this.
I bought the super-duper one because the thing can do more than bleed brakes. E.g. vacuum testing yada. So looking ahead, I wanted something sturdy.

Noted. I just have a vague memory of a Usenet post where someone said he had the plastic one and it was fine.
Understood about the teflon tape. If you could see the crummy fit I have with the cone-shaped Mity-Vac fittings for the rear brakes, I think you might be focused on them, too. I don't use teflon tape on the fronts, and they seem to bleed fine and very quick.
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I'm sure everybody in this thread has it covered, but for the benefit of casual readers: make sure the teflon tape stays on the threads and doesn't overlap the nose of the nipple at all. Getting teflon debris in brakes doesn't work well.
Mike
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.....

Not silicone, but synthetic. Here's a PDF with info & specs. http://www.motorspot.com/itm_img/DOT_5%5B1%5D.1_Brake_Fluid_8070_ (GB).pdf
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Mike Doyle wrote:

i think i got mine at harbor freight. its one of the few things they sell that isnt made of stinky chinese or indian metal/rubber/plastic, and i paid full price... $40, i think for the kit.
any auto parts store should carry it as well. mine came with an interesting 1970/80s era booklet that told how to diagnose problems, like headlight doors that dont open. how quaint!

they shouldnt, hopefully. i dont know how prone they are to seizing in the rust belt, if thats where you are.

never used it, but it should work. i just used regular stuff but change it every 3 years. something like that i might change every 5yrs, if at all.

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