You’ve probably used something similar in the past or maybe every time you need to bleed the brake system, you have to get someone help you with the chore. I built a brake bleeder for just a few dollars and it’s a huge assist in getting the brake bleeding done when I am working on the car by myself.
Jar or bottle with a screw on top
Piece of solid brake tubing
Rubber hose that fits the tubing
Drill bits, 3/16″ and one the size of the tubing
I found a suitable jar at the Dollar Store for $2, the brake tube, rubber hose and JB Weld were on hand. Even if you had to purchase those items, you are probably under a total of $10.
The first step is drilling the holes. The first one for the piece of brake tube should be in the center of the lid. The second which serves as both the vent when in use and storage for the rubber hose can be placed where it is convenient. The next item is using the JB Weld to hold the brake tube in place. I used a clothes pin on the bottom of the lid to keep the tube in place while it dried. Just make sure that you have the bottom of the tube about a half inch or so off the bottom of the container. You want to be able to see the air bubbles escaping while bleeding the brakes. I didn’t want the tube to come loose either so I used JB Weld on the top and bottom of the lid around the tube – I wasn’t very neat about it either.
Using the bleeder is simple. First you want to put enough clean fluid in the container that it covers the bottom of the tube by at least a 1/4″ when it is sitting on a level surface. The other end of the hose will connect to the bleeder fitting. You just crack open the bleeder fitting, then slowly pump the brake pedal. Depending on your system, you can probably pump the pedal 3-4 times before needing to refill the master cylinder with fluid. The beauty of this system is that you can watch the bubbles escape the system and as you release the brake pedal, brake fluid is drawn back into the fitting keeping you from pulling air into the system. This basically replaces having to open and close the brake fitting between pumping the brake pedal.
When you are finished with the bleeding job, place the used fluid in something that you can take to your recycle center. Never reuse old brake fluid, the damage to the system isn’t worth the cost of a pint of brake fluid.
And a shameless plug here but if you would like to have one of these but are not so interested in building your own, they are now available in my store. Just click the Store button at the top of any page to purchase your own.
I hope you enjoy this little item and please share the article with your friends.