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Bleed brakes


vega's Avatar
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01-14-04, 12:09 PM   #1  
vega
Bleed brakes

I have a 1999 Dodge Intrepid 3.2. Could somebody provide me with the factory authorized method to bleed the ABS brakes on this car, not just the generic method.

Also, my Haynes manual says to test the brake booster to pump it several times with the engine off till it comes up high and hard. Then to start engine and pedal should drop slightly. Mine drops about 2 inches. Any problem?


Last edited by vega; 01-14-04 at 12:19 PM.
 
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mike from nj's Avatar
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01-15-04, 11:03 PM   #2  
mike from nj
the booster test you did is correct, and it shows your booster is good.

it depends on what you're trying to bleed. calipers are bled the normal way(abs or not). master cylinder should be bench bled then bled at the wheel cylinders(abs or not). this is considered the base brake system

the abs module is only to be bled if it is removed from the vehicle, and you will need a scan tool that can communicate with the abs computer (CAB) to do this.


ANTILOCK BRAKE SYSTEM BLEEDING:
The base brake's hydraulic system must be bled anytime air enters the hydraulic system. The ABS though, particularly the ICU (HCU), should only be bled when the HCU is replaced or removed from the vehicle. The ABS must always be bled anytime it is suspected that the HCU has ingested air. Under most circumstances that require the bleeding of the brakes hydraulic system, only the base brake hydraulic system needs to be bled.

The ABS must be bled as two independent braking systems. The non-ABS portion of the brake system is to be bled the same as any non-ABS system.
The ABS portion of the brake system must be bled separately. Use the following procedure to properly bleed the brake hydraulic system including the ABS.

BLEEDING When bleeding the ABS system, the following bleeding sequence must be followed to insure complete and adequate bleeding.
1. Make sure all hydraulic fluid lines are installed and properly torqued.
2. Connect the DRB scan tool to the diagnostics connector. The diagnostic connector is located under the lower steering column cover to the left of the steering column.
3. Using the DRB, check to make sure the CAB does not have any fault codes stored. If it does, clear them using the DRB
WARNING: WHEN BLEEDING THE BRAKE SYSTEM WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. A CLEAR BLEED TUBE MUST BE ATTACHED TO THE BLEEDER SCREWS AND SUBMERGED IN A CLEAR CONTAINER FILLED PART WAY WITH CLEAN BRAKE FLUID. DIRECT THE FLOW OF BRAKE FLUID AWAY FROM YOURSELF AND THE PAINTED SURFACES OF THE VEHICLE. BRAKE FLUID AT HIGH PRESSURE MAY COME OUT OF THE BLEEDER SCREWS WHEN OPENED.
4. Bleed the base brake system using the standard pressure or manual bleeding procedure as outlined in SERVICE PROCEDURES in the BASE BRAKE SYSTEM section at the beginning of this group.
5. Using the DRB, select ANTILOCK BRAKES, followed by MISCELLANEOUS, then BLEED BRAKES. Follow the instructions displayed. When the scan tool displays TEST COMPLETED, disconnect the scan tool and proceed.
6. Bleed the base brake system a second time. Check brake fluid level in the reservoir periodically to prevent emptying, causing air to enter the hydraulic system.
7. Fill the master cylinder reservoir to the full level.




now you know why your haynes manual cost what it did, if you keep alert on any online auction-type websites, you can usually find the factory manual cheaper than the one you have. it is a wealth of information.

 
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01-20-04, 10:05 PM   #3  
bmw4re
I recently had my brake fluid changed on my '99 528i. I watched the service guy while he was doing it and it didn't look that difficult. I was paranoid about doing it myself because I'd heard horror stories about the ABS systems once air was introduced.
BMW recommends changing the brake fluid every other year due to moisture being drawn into the fluid and wreaking havoc on the metal parts. My mechanic is quite reasonable so I decided that discretion was the better part of the DIY.
After doing that, I decided to change the fluid on my '98 Grand Cherokee myself using a great compressed air powered fluid vacuum called a Vacula which I borrowed from a friend. The change went just fine but I was very careful not to let the fluid resevoir get dry. I've heard that if you let it run dry you're getting your car towed to the dealer, probably for the full bleed treatment explained by mike from nj.
Out of curiosity, what do the experts think about brake fluid changes as maintenance?
Brian W.

 
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01-21-04, 03:28 AM   #4  
good

I am no automotive expert but I like the idea and have done it myself.Brake fluid gets pretty nasty looking after a year or two.

 
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01-23-04, 06:15 PM   #5  
I participate on a lot of other auto repair sites. Consensus from these sites is that brake fluid should be replaced every two years, regardless of mileage, by a complete flush. Mercedes, VW and other European manufacturers specify this schedule, American manufacturers don't. This goes a long way in keeping the brake system hydraulics in top shape and delaying master cylinder and caliper repairs.

I believe American manufacturers don't specify brake fluid flushes in their maintenance schedule so as not to scare consumers with the perception that they own a "high maintenance" vehicle. After all, remember how proud they were when they introduced the extended 7500 mile oil changes?

 
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01-23-04, 06:35 PM   #6  
Originally posted by bmw4re
After doing that, I decided to change the fluid on my '98 Grand Cherokee myself using a great compressed air powered fluid vacuum called a Vacula which I borrowed from a friend.
Everything said here is very true except for one thing. That vacula will get you in trouble. Most GM and a couple other brands have a real problem with vacuum bleeders and the manuals warn against using them. They will actually put air into an ABS system. I found out the hard way. It took hours and gallons of brake fluid to get a good pedal back again after using one for a fluid flush. I believe the problem lies in the strength of the vacuum. They just pull too hard. If you want to stay out of trouble, stick with 2 man manual bleeding on ABS systems.

 
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01-23-04, 06:49 PM   #7  
After using a two-man bleeding system for 26 years, I've finally discovered a way to do it myself. I simply crack the bleeder open a bit and pump away. I connect a tube from the bleeder to a jar, and the there's enough forward action compared with the slurping back where I get a decent bleeding action in a short time and no air introduced into the system.

 
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01-24-04, 03:55 AM   #8  
Originally posted by Kestas
After using a two-man bleeding system for 26 years, I've finally discovered a way to do it myself. I simply crack the bleeder open a bit and pump away. I connect a tube from the bleeder to a jar, and the there's enough forward action compared with the slurping back where I get a decent bleeding action in a short time and no air introduced into the system.
That won't ALWAYS work. Systems vary and it will draw in from the point of least resistance. That is usually the resevoir but not always. It can suck air in at the bleeder threads. I sometimes do that but always lightly hold a finger over the bleeder. Gravity bleed works on some vehicles also but not all of them. ABS systems will do strange things sometimes.

 
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