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      03-16-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
octironSmith
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DIY Request - Brake Bleeding, Adding/Replacing Brake Fluid Procedure

Hi Guys,

Since I've never done this by myself, and since I'm starting to do more and more track days, I was wondering if somebody could post a step-by-step DIY for this.

If possible, also list what type of equipment it would take to do this if I needed to do this at the track.

Also let me know what a good, affordable brake fluid would be that would work well for track as well as street driving.

Any help is extremely appreciated!!

Thanks!

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      03-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
fourtailpipes
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i'm sure there's already a DIY out there somewhere but it's a relatively simple job with a pressure-bleeder, or a slightly more annoying (though still quite easy) 2-person job without one.

PRESSURE BLEEDER METHOD:
1. buy one of these (no guarantee that's the best price... that was just the first google result)

2. use CLEAN turkey baster to remove excess fluid from the reservoir

3. add ~3/4 of a can of fluid to the bleeder and attach it to your reservoir

4. pump it up

5. attach supplied collection hose to the caliper bleed valve screw you want to bleed (going from furthest to closest to the reservoir, so rear right, rear left, front right, front left)

6. loosen bleed valve screw (8mm open wrench i think) ~1/8 turn and watch old/dirty/bubbly brake fluid flow down the collection hose into an empty soda bottle. when it's all coming out pure, tighten the bleed screw and move to the next corner.

7. when all 4 corners are done, disconnect the pressure bleeder (use a towel in case you drip/spray any fluid), and top off the reservoir.

good to know:
-use a fluid with a different color than what's already in the car so it's easy to know when you're flowing 100% new fluid. i use ATE super blue, (and the yellow version of the same fluid from ATE to alternate colors, though i frget what the yellow one is called).
-brake fluid will F your paint in the A, so be super clean about it, and if any fluid touches any paint, wash profusely.
-it's not necessary to jack the car up and remove the wheel if you can reach the bleed valve through your wheels (OEM 135i wheels dont need to be removed... just roll the car a few inches in ether direction to get good access.)
-the brake pedal will go straight to the floor when you start up after bleeding. pump it once or twice and you should be good to go.
-check the PSI in the pressure bleader after each corner. you NEVER want to open a bleed screw with insufficient pressure in the bleeder. this coul possibly cause the fluid to move in the wrong direction, which could theoretically introduce air into your brakes.
-you can also bleed your clutch while you're at it this way, since they both share the same reservoir... the procedure is exactly the same, except you'll need to locate the clutch bleed valve under the car.
-used hydraulic fluid is HAZMAT, so bring it to a tire/auto place to discard. do not dump it.

Last edited by fourtailpipes; 03-16-2009 at 04:31 PM.
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      03-16-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
octironSmith
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Okay, this may seem like a stupid question but where is the reservoir for the Oner located? I couldn't find it when I took a cursory look.

Also, what extra precautions can I take to make sure that I don't get brake fluid on my paint?
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      03-16-2009, 04:28 PM   #4
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the reservoir is in the engine bay, drivers side just in front of the windshield (behind the strut tower). it's hiding under a plastic cover that you'll have to pop off. it's in the "mirror image" location to where your ECU is on the passanger side.

use a crappy old towel to drape around the bleeder/reservoir in the engine bay. there's no risk of spraying fluid at the caliper... just when you connect/disconnect the bleeder from the reservoir. wipe everything down with wet paper towels when you're done. dripping some hydraulic fluid on the nearby components is almost inevitable, but as long as you keep it off the exterior paint you're fine.
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      03-16-2009, 04:32 PM   #5
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Thanks!! This helps a lot!
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      03-16-2009, 04:40 PM   #6
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sure thing! ability to bleed your own brakes is one of the few things you should really know if frequenting the racetrack.
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      03-16-2009, 08:11 PM   #7
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A few things to add to the below:

Still want to bleed in the right sequence, which is Rear Right, Rear Left, Front Right, Front Left.

Also, if you are changing stuff out like brake lines or upgraded brakes, might be a good idea to bleed the DSC. The procedure to do this via BMW is to pressure bleed all 4 sides until no more bubbles. Then repeat process, but this time, open the valve and pump the brakes 5 times.

This is not necessary unless you're super anal or if you changed something in the brake system that would introduce air into it.

Good idea to bleed the clutch too while you're at it.

I had a persistent air pocket that would not come out with normal pressure bleeding after we changed the OEM brake lines to our stainless steel lines and Brembo BBK's. I finally got it out after I did the above procedure. Normal and somewhat spirited braking felt fine, but we race so our driver felt the air pocket when he was beating on the brakes lap after lap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourtailpipes View Post
i'm sure there's already a DIY out there somewhere but it's a relatively simple job with a pressure-bleeder, or a slightly more annoying (though still quite easy) 2-person job without one.

PRESSURE BLEEDER METHOD:
1. buy one of these (no guarantee that's the best price... that was just the first google result)

2. use CLEAN turkey baster to remove excess fluid from the reservoir

3. add ~3/4 of a can of fluid to the bleeder and attach it to your reservoir

4. pump it up

5. attach supplied collection hose to the caliper bleed valve screw you want to bleed (going from furthest to closest to the reservoir, so rear right, rear left, front right, front left)

6. loosen bleed valve screw (8mm open wrench i think) ~1/8 turn and watch old/dirty/bubbly brake fluid flow down the collection hose into an empty soda bottle. when it's all coming out pure, tighten the bleed screw and move to the next corner.

7. when all 4 corners are done, disconnect the pressure bleeder (use a towel in case you drip/spray any fluid), and top off the reservoir.

good to know:
-use a fluid with a different color than what's already in the car so it's easy to know when you're flowing 100% new fluid. i use ATE super blue, (and the yellow version of the same fluid from ATE to alternate colors, though i frget what the yellow one is called).
-brake fluid will F your paint in the A, so be super clean about it, and if any fluid touches any paint, wash profusely.
-it's not necessary to jack the car up and remove the wheel if you can reach the bleed valve through your wheels (OEM 135i wheels dont need to be removed... just roll the car a few inches in ether direction to get good access.)
-the brake pedal will go straight to the floor when you start up after bleeding. pump it once or twice and you should be good to go.
-check the PSI in the pressure bleader after each corner. you NEVER want to open a bleed screw with insufficient pressure in the bleeder. this coul possibly cause the fluid to move in the wrong direction, which could theoretically introduce air into your brakes.
-you can also bleed your clutch while you're at it this way, since they both share the same reservoir... the procedure is exactly the same, except you'll need to locate the clutch bleed valve under the car.
-used hydraulic fluid is HAZMAT, so bring it to a tire/auto place to discard. do not dump it.
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      03-16-2009, 10:03 PM   #8
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^^ER did my brake lines and bleeded the brakes, after that it's STIFF AS F**K. However, after autox once, the stock+motul 500 mix is crap now. I'm gonna bleed it again before I go to the track.

Hey ER, any progress on the secret project? Can you let us know what it is already? hehe
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      03-16-2009, 10:59 PM   #9
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Where do you guys get your ATE brake fluid from?

Also, does ATE Super Blue stain the reservoir? And is it technically not DOT approved since it's blue colored?
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      03-17-2009, 01:36 PM   #10
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ATE can be bought from lots of places online.

I am not sure that the DOT certifies any fluid... Of if it is more a designation having to do with dry and et boiling points and the fluid chemistry.

ATE super blue is just ATE 400 fluid with a blue dye. I do not recall that there is any other difference, and there is nothing technically wrong with blue dyed fluid.
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      03-17-2009, 05:59 PM   #11
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We bleed after every event, sometimes might do it again at the track.

Super secret project is coming along. This is one of the reasons I've been "missing in action" on the forum. Putting all my extra time working on the project. It will be released at Bimmerfest in early May.

I have a suspension project that I have been working on as well. Might interest you since you're doing autox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akak1997 View Post
^^ER did my brake lines and bleeded the brakes, after that it's STIFF AS F**K. However, after autox once, the stock+motul 500 mix is crap now. I'm gonna bleed it again before I go to the track.

Hey ER, any progress on the secret project? Can you let us know what it is already? hehe
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      03-17-2009, 06:01 PM   #12
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Haven't seen the ATE Super Blue stain a reservoir before. Granted maybe if you used it for several thousand miles, it might turn blue.

Having the blue dye is great. Easier to spot old fluid from new, especially when you do it for the first time.

We use exclusively the Motul RBF600. Works great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by octironSmith View Post
Where do you guys get your ATE brake fluid from?

Also, does ATE Super Blue stain the reservoir? And is it technically not DOT approved since it's blue colored?
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      07-01-2009, 11:10 PM   #13
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Can anybody tell me where the bleed valves are on each caliper?

Also, what is the BMW recommended pressure to bleed the brakes? I'm using a pressure bleeder and really don't want to over pressurize the system.

Thanks!
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      07-14-2009, 08:18 PM   #14
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Bleed valve sits on top of the caliper. It's the metal fitting with a nipple on it that's on the caliper.

25 PSI pressure for the bleeder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by octironSmith View Post
Can anybody tell me where the bleed valves are on each caliper?

Also, what is the BMW recommended pressure to bleed the brakes? I'm using a pressure bleeder and really don't want to over pressurize the system.

Thanks!
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      07-15-2009, 08:46 AM   #15
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On my previous car, the ATE blue DID stain my reservoir. Still love ATE fluid though
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      09-27-2009, 04:09 PM   #16
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I'm resurrecting this thread to warn people who may be using the Motive pressure bleeder. I used the Motive on my Subaru previously with a separate adapter for the reservoir which worked great. I put the European aluminum adapter on to bleed the brakes on the 135 this weekend. The aluminum adapter has a rubber gasket you must insert to ensure a seal when connected to the reservoir.

I should have tested the seal just using air at first, but I didn't due to the success using the Motive with the Subaru. It turned out that my gasket didn't exactly fit the aluminum adapter causing me to leak brake fluid all around the reservoir.

I ended up resolving the issue by buying a proper sized o-ring and inserting it into the adapter which worked great. In short, verify everything is sealed before pressurizing the Motive with fluid in the tank.
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      09-27-2009, 07:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourtailpipes View Post
-the brake pedal will go straight to the floor when you start up after bleeding. pump it once or twice and you should be good to go.
Although the pedal will drop when the engine is started due to the vacuum in the brake booster building, the pedal should not drop any lower than in subsequent use, if the bleed has been successfully completed.
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      03-02-2010, 08:34 PM   #18
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quick question, how much fluid do you need ? I have one liter at home and before I start it I want to make sure I have enough.

thanks

jeff
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      03-03-2010, 12:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlee View Post
quick question, how much fluid do you need ? I have one liter at home and before I start it I want to make sure I have enough.

thanks

jeff
One litre is enough if you are just doing a flush.
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      03-03-2010, 06:49 PM   #20
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I am going to be replacing my pads soon with cool carbons.

What color is the stock fluid and what color should I get? I am assuming blue, but once I use blue, if i want to change pads again should I use red? That way I can see the new fluid coming through during bleed?

Thanks,
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      03-03-2010, 11:29 PM   #21
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people are alternating between the blue and the gold..they are the same fluid just different colors.

Jeff
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      03-04-2010, 01:25 PM   #22
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One thing to consider relative to the instructions for the Motive unit. Some users are not putting the new brake fluid into the pressurizer, they just put it in the brake res. The advantages of this are that you do not have to clean the pressurizer and you have less chance of making a mess. The disadvantage is you have to check the res and should expect to have to take the pressurizer cap off to add more fluid at least once before you are done. It still seems like a better process to me. If you forget to check and force air in the lines, however, it would be a very big minus.

Our bimmers will take a threaded cap so installation should be fairly straight-forward (although I appreciate the comment on the black label metal adapter maybe requiring a different o-ring). If you have to go to the "universal" cap arrangement which clamps in place (apparently required for my Suzuki SUV), I'm not sure these units would be better than just recruiting an assitantant and doing it the old fashioned way (one person pumping brakes, one person opening bleeder as the pedal is depressed but closing it before each upward motion of the pedal). The reports I've read indicate the clamping arrangement is a bit difficult to get to seal.

Jim
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