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Hey Guys,

Quick question for you, What is the best and easiest method for bleeding brakes without any special tools??

I am not a noob when it comes to mechanics, in fact I do most of the work on all my alfas, but I never bothered to learn/attempt to do brakes due to its obvious safety issues if I didnt do it right.

But, I am tired of paying mechanics to do it each year at state inspection time.... so any advice or tricks are very welcome.

Thanks
Martin.
 

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Any one??? I take my GTV6 in for state inspection soon, and I would like to make this a weekend project. I have new brake rotors, pads, lines, and rebuilt calipers ready to go... and I would like to avoid paying the mechanic $400.00 to install it... when I can learn to do it myself....

Thanks
Martin.
 

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i find that a speed bleeder works great, but you also must have a friend pump the brakes. bleed them again 2 or 3 times and you should be good. i like the speed bleeder because you can leave the system under pressure for a few days and check for leaks.
 

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Speed Bleeder caliper bleed screws have built-in check valves which make it very easy to bleed the brakes solo. I've put these on both my Alfas and both Fiats and they work great. Well made and not expensive either.

http://speedbleeder.zoovy.com/
 

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Dave, How did you figure out the correct size? I did not see Alfa listed in the application guide. Thanks,
 

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Vaughan, I thought I did find the Speed Bleeders for my GTV6/Milano in their applications list, but I also phoned to confirm they were the right sizes -- and they were.
DS
 

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the Motive Aid power bleeder tool, also sold by International Auto Parts, is $50 very well spent. If you are going to own your Alfa for more than a year or two, I really suggest coughing up for one of these or borrowing from someone else. I would also suggest you use good brake fluid, like Castrol LMA or ATE.
 

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I've never used a bleeder or the buddy system. On all my cars all I have ever done is put a clear flexi-hose on the nipple and feed it into a container that I put next to the driver door on the ground so I can monitor it. Make sure the reservior is full, and do very slow pumps of the brake peddle. Each line and slave cylinder holds very little fluid so after 6 or 7 (or more) pumps all the old fluid should be out and replaced by new fluid. Used the same method for the clutch and never had any air or problems.
 

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Here's a new twist - I've had to disconnect the front brake lines from their respective calipers in order to work on suspension components. After connecting the lines back, do I need to bleed all four corners or just the front ones?

GreyGTV6, when you "monitor", are you looking for bubbles flowing through the flexi-tube, or in the container? I would think that the container would contain bubbles from earlier pumps so you couldn't tell if there were "new" bubbles being added with each pump...
 

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I also use

the same method as GreyGTV6, with slight variations. One monitors for bubbles, overflow, and to make sure the tubing stays immersed in fluid ,or it will suck air, and you must start over. AMHIK :rolleyes:.
However, I recently purchased a 'Mighty-Vac', and have been experiementing with their bleeding procedures.
I think, so far, I will stick with the tubing in a container method. It is fast and effective, and I am used to it. I have never had much of a problem with it, but you must pay attention.
 

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Here's a new twist - I've had to disconnect the front brake lines from their respective calipers in order to work on suspension components. After connecting the lines back, do I need to bleed all four corners or just the front ones?

GreyGTV6, when you "monitor", are you looking for bubbles flowing through the flexi-tube, or in the container? I would think that the container would contain bubbles from earlier pumps so you couldn't tell if there were "new" bubbles being added with each pump...
I check to see when "new" fluid comes through the tube and all the bubbles in the tube have stopped. Then I know a complete flush has been done on that wheel, or clutch as the case may be. You need to monitor all the bubbles stop flowing in the tube and all the [email protected] in the system has come through. Remember to check the level of the fluid in the reservior does not drop too low. Fluid is cheap so I would not recommend re-using any of it. Brake fliud absorbs water so I would recommend this procedure be done every year. Not much has to be drained as the water settles in the lowest part of the system, which is why you find rust in the slave cylinders.
 

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Just went throught this with the Alfetta after changing a caliper and all the rubber hoses. Buy a big bottle of the fluid and enlist a helper to pump the brake pedal. Start at the right rear, outboard screw. Fill the bottle about an inch deep or so with fluid and insert the tube so it is completely immersed in the fluid. I used a plastic Gatorade bottle with a hole punched in the cap and a section of clear plastic tubing that fit very snugly over the bleed screw nipple, do not use excessive lengths of tubing, just enough to do the job. BTW my bleed screws were old rounded nipple heads with some sort of funky pliers grab serrations on the outside, I got frustrated with them and replaced them all with new ones, tapered nipple, 7mm nut for turning. Money well spent. Have your assistant press the brake pedal and HOLD it down while you simultaneously open the bleed screw. Close the bleed screw, then have your assistant let up on the pedal. Repeat until the fluid flow in the tube is clean and air bubble-free. The key is to not allow the brake pedal to come back up with your bleed screw open. Once you flush the system out and are down to the clean stuff, your bleed tubing does NOT have to be completely filled all the way down to the bottle to do the job, just what flows from the caliper through the tube as it exits the caliper, akin to an inch-long or so "slug" of clean, bubble-free fluid. If your tubing fills completely all the better, but not necessary. Then work your way to the inside bleed screw and repeat, the inside does not take as long. I then went forward to the opposite front caliper and repeated the process. Then back to the left rear caliper, then right front. It's tedious but after you get into the rythym with your assistant it goes faster. You'll have to empty the bleed bottle from time to time and keep an eye on the reservoir as you don't want to run out during the bleeding. Good luck!
 

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That is the traditional way of doing it, and a tedious way that requires an assistant. If you don't have the luxury of a helper you have to resort to other methods. I have never seen any sense in it, nor the reason for pumping and holding the pressure. All you are trying to achieve is a replacement of the fluid and the removal of debris and air. While your method works, mine is far quicker and can be done without an assistant. Over the years I have done mine about a dozen times without any problems. Both methods should resolve the problems, but lying under the car yelling at your helper "pump, again, pump, hold" and repeating this several times on each wheel is tiring. Like they say "you pays your money and you makes your choice".
 

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An alfa mechanic told me that the correct way to bleed the GTV is to bleed both calipers on one side at a time. do it this way and you get a rock solid system with no air at all in one hit.. With this method you bleed one side in one hit, 5 minutes and done, and you dont need to do it again.

Using the old fashioned way of starting right rear and working around in one direction, ( not in diagonals, its an alfa!, only old Fords with crossover MBCs need that) means it takes 2-3 goes to get air free, because you are chasing bubbles front to aft...., aft to front.....

The only trouble is you really need 3 people for the one hit method!! If you dont lock out the bleed screw after a pump, you just draw old fluid and debris back into the caliper every time.

Often wondered why there isnt a bleed nipple on top of the master cylinder, so that you could bled there first.
 

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Hey I will certainly try your way next time, I'm all for learning a better way. Of course, in my case, my assistant was so good looking I had to use her...:D
 

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An alfa mechanic told me that the correct way to bleed the GTV is to bleed both calipers on one side at a time. do it this way and you get a rock solid system with no air at all in one hit.. With this method you bleed one side in one hit, 5 minutes and done, and you dont need to do it again.

Using the old fashioned way of starting right rear and working around in one direction, ( not in diagonals, its an alfa!, only old Fords with crossover MBCs need that) means it takes 2-3 goes to get air free, because you are chasing bubbles front to aft...., aft to front.....

The only trouble is you really need 3 people for the one hit method!! If you dont lock out the bleed screw after a pump, you just draw old fluid and debris back into the caliper every time.

Often wondered why there isnt a bleed nipple on top of the master cylinder, so that you could bled there first.
Sounds complicated, and I'm not sure how you would chase the bubbles front to rear and back again. A single line runs to the rear and splits on the rear axle to feed each wheel. All you are trying to do is replace the fluid, and remove the air. It's not rocket science and you don't need complicated methods. Reason the master cylinder does not have a nipple, is gravity takes care of it. Any air would simply rise out through the reservior.

I open the nipple about 1/4 turn and don't lock it after each pump because if you release the peddle slowly enough (5-10 secs) new fluid is drawn down into the system and not sucked back from the container. It's a method I have used about a dozen times and never failed.
 
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