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How to Bleed your Brakes

Bleeding your Brakes

Part #:

Wether you are installing new brake lines as part of your new lift, installing new brake lines because you ripped one off on the trail, doing some work that just requires you to disconnect the brake lines, or you want to flush out the old fluids in your brake lines your going to need to bleed the brakes. If you don't bleed your b rakes you will have air trapped in your brake system. This can lead to poor or worst case no brakes. You may feel like the brake pedal is soft, or worse have it hit the floor when your trying to brake. Now if you haven't worked on your brakes and this happens you need to stop and immediately check for problems. As always make sure you set your emergency brake, put the Jeep in gear or park and block your tires. You are going to be laying under a heavy vehicle. If your not confident doing this job, have the dealership or local mechanic do it.

Additional Parts:
Someone to help you.

Tools Needed:
11mm Combo wrench
7/16" Combo wrench
Brake Bleed Kit or
(vinyl tubing and a jar)
Rags

 

General Inspection:
1. It is always a good thing to do a quick inspection of your brake system before you begin. There are only a few components to look at.
2. Here is what you need to look at under the hood.:

2a. Master Cylinder. Check to make sure you don't have any leaks at the reservoir, cap is in place and that the vacuum boost line is in good condition. I check the nuts holding it onto the vacuum booster because I have a compressor mounted to it.

2b. Check the lines and ABS module for any leaks.
3. Time to get on the ground and under the vehicle.
3a. Check the brakes at each wheel. The rubber lines are the areas that can be damaged. Check for any leaks or wear on the rubber lines, around the drums and calipers.
3b. Check your hard lines for any rubs or wear marks. These run along the frame on the driver side and across axles, so you will have to follow them and see where they go.
3c. Check your parking brake cables for kinks or rust.
Bleeding the Brakes:
1. Depending on what you worked on, or if your just bleeding all the brakes you will need to start with the furthest one and work towards the master cylinder. In order from furthest to closest we have Passenger rear, Driver rear, Passenger front, and then Driver front.
2. Put your brake bleed kit under the jeep where you are going to start your bleed. Open you hood.
3. Remove the rubber cap (if it's still there) from the brake bleed port on your caliper.
4. Place an 11mm or 7/16" combo wrench on the brake caliper bleed valve.
5. Place the end of the hose from you brake bleed kit over the end of the nipple on the brake bleed valve.
6. Now get your friend or helper to sit in the drivers seat. Make sure the engine is off and have them press down firmly and hold the brake pedal.
7. Open the brake caliper bleed valve with the 11mm or 7/16" combo wrench. You will see fluid and air bubbles move through the hose. If your brakes are really dry, you may just get some bubbles. Once the bubbles have stopped moving, or the brake pedal hits the floor, close the brake caliper bleed valve and have your helper release the brake pedal. Repeat this step until you do not see any air being discharged.
8. Remove the hose and reinstall the rubber cap on the brake caliper bleed valve.
9. Check the level of fluid in your master cylinder. Remove the cap and add fluid to the full line. Reinstall the cap.
NOTE: Do not let your master cylinder go dry. This will suck air into your system and make the problem worse than having just air at the calipers.
10. Repeat the steps for each brake caliper.
11. Clean up all your tools and oil. Do one final check of the fluid level in your master cylinder and make sure the cap is installed on the master cylinder. Close your hood.
How to make your own brake bleed kit:
vinyl hose and Jar. Take a length of tubing. I have enough to put a loop in it, reach the brake bleed screw, and have the bottle sit on the floor with the tube all the way to the bottom. So your length will depend on that. You can either use a small cup with a lid, (Kids cup from Chili's) or a larger bottle with a cap. Put some brake fluid in the bottom and your ready to bleed.

 

 


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This page last updated: 16-Jun-2014

Content and Design © 2002-present WanderingTrail,  Ron Seegert
Common Sense and Safety should always be observed when working on your vehicle or doing modifications. Jackstands, wheel blocks, disconnecting the battery are a few of the basic safety precautions that should be used and may not be mentioned in the write ups on this site. You are responsible for your own installation, these write ups are a helpful guideline and should not be taken as an official installation instruction. My write up may be different from the kits currently out there, so alwasy double check the manufacturers installation instructions when installing anything. I try to keep the site up to date with changes that have occured as I discover them, but may not have the latest unless someone lets me know. If you feel that an install is above your capabilities after reading my write ups, I recommend getting together with a club and getting some help. Only a few times have I needed to employe some actual help from a shop to get something done. Usually welding or A/C work.
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