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From digest.v7.n71 Thu Aug 7 20:49:38 1997
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 19:46:30 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Changing Brake Fluid

This response is for driveway mechanics

On 08/06/97 09:33:09 you wrote:
>From: "Michael A. Poublon" <>
>Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 08:28:22 -0400
>Subject: flushing brake fluid
>I will be replacing my '86 325's front and rear brake pads and rotors this
>weekend and would like to know if anyone has a proceedure on how to flush
>the brake fluid somewhere out there on the net. I would prefer not to buy a
>vacuum but if it's absolutely necessary then I'll do so. Any pointers would
>be appreciated.
>'86 325 210k
Tools needed: jack and jackstands, wheel wrench, little wrench for bleed screw, rubber tubing, glass jar, turkey baster, broom stick, brake fluid.

  1. Jack up the car with jackstands at all four corners and all four wheels off.
  2. Remove as much of the old brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir as you can with the turkey baster or similar appliance.
  3. Fill reservoir with new fluid.
  4. Starting at right rear of car, open caliper bleed screw, place rubber tubing on nipple, place other end of tubing in glass jar. Use broom stick to push brake pedal (this allows the wife to stay in the house watching Melrose Place and allows you to avoid jumping in and out of the car 15 times).
  5. Keep pumping brake pedal and refilling reservior until new brake fluid is coming from caliper. Don't allow the reservoir fluid level to drop too much or air will get sucked into the system. Once new fluid reaches that caliper, tighten the bleed screw and remove the rubber tubing.
  6. Repeat this process on the left rear, then right front, then finally left front. Make sure you keep the end of the rubber tubing under the fluid level in the glass jar.

I've been using this process for years without any problems. Don't worry about the ABS pump and system because the new fluid will get in there soon enough. While you're under there you may want to bleed the clutch slave cylinder as well. The brake fluid should be changed every two years for street cars and every 3 months for cars that are driven on the track.


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