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From Thu Aug 28 22:07:41 1997
From: James J Landis <>
Subject: Replacing the brake fluid on E30 (89 325)

I just did the subject and thought I'd pass along the experience. I bought 2 bottles of DOT4 PRESTONE brake fluid, had an 18 '' piece of tygon that fit the bleader nipple, and a bottle to put the old brake fluid into, and a 7mm box wrench, and a turkey baster (to suck out the excess fluid from the reservoir).

I loosened the passenger side rear brake bleeder with the tygon (clear plastic tubing) over the nipple and put the other end of the tygon into the bottle.

Popped the hood and watched the reservoir drain while I pumped the brake pedal. Turns out the reservoir has two sides and the one for the rear wheels is not accessible, so the only way to drain it is to pump it all through the system. When the non-accessible part of the reservoir is empty (can hear it gurgle while you pump the brake), go remove the reservoir cap and using the turkey baster suck out the fluid from the accessible side (there is a cup that has to be lifted out (it is right under the cap)). When empty, I stuck a paper towel in and got the rest of the fluid out. Also use a paper towel to clean the cup is designed to catch dirt (and mine was dirty).

The hydralic clutch has a take off from the reservior, I removed the take off and drained as much of the hose as I could here. Put the clutch take off back on. Now I poured some new brake fluid in (mine was without color, which was different from what was in which was a little yellowish),

Must pour in enough to fill both sides of the reservoir (there is a slit between starting half way up the separating wall). Just keep pumping and going back and checking the color in the clear tygon, until it is without color. Then, tighten up the nipple and remove the tygon. Next, do the same thing with the drivers side rear brake nipple. Do the same to the passenger front, then the driver front. Have to keep checking the reservior level and fill, so it doesn't run dry.

Now, I worked with the clutch. The nipple to bleed the system is on the passenger side of the bell housing (attaches the transmission to the engine). This is best done with two people. But, I'll tell you how I did it alone.

Jack up the dirvers side of the car about 4 inches and put a jack stand under... remove the jack (it will get in the way of opening the drivers door). Put down a piece of cardboard to crawl under on. Put the 7mm box wrench on the nipple and apply the tygon and bottle set-up ... don't loosen the bleeder. Get a two foot piece of wood (2"x2" is good) and a 1 foot piece of 8"x1" pine.

Sitting in the drivers seat, move the seat forward till the 2 foot (one end on the clutch pedal the other end against the 1x8 which is flat against the front edge of the seat) piece has pushed the clutch pedal down (I didn't get it to push the clutch down more than 2/3 down). So, now you've got the clutch pushed down and are ready to bleed the slave cylinder. Loosen the nipple and tighten when the flow stops (you can see it through the tygon). Often here, the wood falls off the clutch pedal (no pressure to keep it on). Also, for me the clutch started to stay against the floor ... had to pull it up and pump it up again (took lots of pumps (guess 20). I kept pressurizing the clutch pedal with the piece of wood and going under the car to loosen and then tighten the nipple until the tygon showed that the brake fluid was running clear (new stuff). All in all about a two hour job.

On the test drive after this, the brake pedal went down quite a ways before decelerating the car. The clutch felt great (lighter than before). Tomorrow I'll use the wood trick on the brake pedal and open and close the each bleeder. I think I've got a little air in each of them. I've also read that the ABS hides a little brake fluid and you've got to use the car a little and then drain a little more out.

Jim Landis 89 325is

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