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Old 07-16-2002, 08:12 PM   #1
potenzaus
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Default Brake Pads Change

Do you need to flush the fluid from the brake lines when you put back the pads? From the the scoobymods.com, when they change the pads they did flush the brake fluid.

I did change my front brake pads without flushing any fluid. I just compressed the pistons with a plier as I slide the pads back on.
And the brake seems to work fine.

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Old 07-16-2002, 08:30 PM   #2
HIHO
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Bleeding is not needed unless it is really dirty.
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Old 07-17-2002, 01:34 AM   #3
The Real Oaf
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I don't know how anal retentive you are when it comes to brakes, but this is how I was taught:

1. With the pads removed, place a drip pan under the caliper and crack open the bleed screw a 1/4 turn. This is done to prevent the old/contaminated fluid from going back to the reservoir.

2. Using a large pair of Channel Lock pliers (I prefer the Channel Lock brand "Big Azz" model), slowly squeeze the piston back into the caliper housing. Brake fluid will squirt from the bleed screw, so be careful.

3. Compress the piston far enough to allow easy installation of the pads.

4. Tighten bleed screw.

After installing all pads, I use my Vacula to suck the old fluid from the reservoir, then add fresh fluid.

Anyway, that's how I do it, at least three times a year.

Paul
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Old 07-17-2002, 01:49 AM   #4
Subietonic
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An alternative suggestion is to fit a big "C" clamp over the back of the piston housing (back side of the caliper), and insert the old brake pad as a compression "plate" between the inside face of the piston and the C-clamp screw end. Just before you start to compress the piston back into the caliper housing, turn the bleed screw about 1/4 turn and immediately start turning the C-clamp screw.

Keep applying pressure with the clamp and just before the piston bottoms out, close the bleed screw and then bottom out the piston in the housing. I find that this way you get even compression against the face of the piston and it doesn't present an opportunity to get misaligned and bind up as it's going back into the housing. You also get most of the crap and sediment out that's been building up in the system (i.e, in the caliper end of the brake system).

The remaining fluid will surge backwards into the master cylinder and you can use a clean oven baster to suck most of the old fluid out (just don't completely empty the master cylinder or you're going to have to bleed the master cylinder "and" the entire brake system). Replenish the old fluid with new to the appropriate fill level making sure to check the level after you get the new pads installed and compressed by the brake pedal. The expanding piston will draw down your reserve so you'll need to top off the master cylinder again.

Hope this helps.

Br, Dale
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Old 07-17-2002, 08:37 AM   #5
HIHO
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Last year I did a whole write-up on Scoobymods.com about brake pad and rotor change. I don't know if it is still there.
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Old 07-17-2002, 10:31 AM   #6
Subietonic
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HIHO,

I believe it's still there and thanks! That's a great writeup.

Br, Dale
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Old 07-17-2002, 10:48 AM   #7
Rusty the Scoob
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I use the C clamp method, but I compress the piston while the caliper is in place, before even loosening the bolt that holds it down. I also leave the brake fluid fitting on the caliper, don't even loosen the bolt on that. All I do is take about 2/3s of the brake fluid out of the reservoir (sp?) before I start. This is all according to the Haynes manual. Seems a lot easier than bleeding the brakes every time you do pads.
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Old 07-17-2002, 11:04 AM   #8
Subietonic
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Rusty,

Good point and I should have clarified it with my post. I only do the caliper "bleed" on my initial brake fluid replacement on a used vehicle. Since I do a lot of canyon and mountain running, I change the fluid regularly about every 8-10K and that keeps all the sediment to a minimum and keeps the seals nice and fresh. The rest of the time, I just extract from the resevoir as you mentioned.

Br, Dale
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Old 07-17-2002, 11:38 AM   #9
subysouth
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Default I think

The most direct answer to the question is you dont HAVE to change the fluid when you change the pads but we all seem to highly recommend you should.

Changing to a new high quality brake fluid, especially on an older car, can be the most dramatic change in brake feel and performance you can do. When I bought my car used I dont believe the fluid had ever been changed(it was four years old.) It was full of crub and, more importantly, water which degrades the compressive quality of the fluid. Bleeding the brakes and going with ATE Super Blue fluid made an incredible change in the braking performance. I even put the Super Blue in my mothers car the next week I was so impressed. Do not under estimate the braking performance just good fluid can provide.

Also as many of the guys have said the fluid needs to be changed regularly as it is hydrophyllic. I change mine every six months regardless of the miles. Time is more important than miles on this issue. I also live in a very humid climate. Dont use any brake fluid in opened plastic containers. Fluid in steel cans, such as the ATE, has a longer shelf life but it is best to get it in a vehicle asap.

This page has some great info on different brands of brake fluid:
www.v8sho.com/SHO/BrakeFluid.htm

HTH subysouth
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Old 07-17-2002, 12:42 PM   #10
potenzaus
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Default Thanks.

Thank you all for those very informative tips. Before I just bring my car to the dealer for any service that my car need. Now I do them (well the easier ones) by myself. It saves me money and most of all it gives me satisfaction (hehehe).
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Old 07-17-2002, 02:56 PM   #11
gavin
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Errr, if you're going to change the fluid, then really change the fluid - completely drain and fill. You suck some fluid out of the reservoir, before a pad change, so that the reservoir doesn't overflow onto the engine when you compress the caliper - brake fluid is incredibly caustic.

If you're just sucking some fluid out of the reservoir, you're really not doing that much good, as far as a fluid change, because most of the old fluid is in the lines.
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Old 07-17-2002, 04:03 PM   #12
subysouth
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Default yep

I always bleed the lines last too. I like to get as much fluid out of the master cylinder tank as I can. Refill the tank with fresh fluid then bleed each line at the caliper. This pulls the old fluid out through the lines and out of the caliper and replaces it with the fresh fluid from the cylinder. There may be a little mixing of old and new fluid but not much. You need to periodically check the fluid level in the master cylinder as your bleeding the brake. You dont want it to drop so low that you draw air into the lines.

I also alternate the blue with the gold fluid so I have a visual indicator that the old fluid is gone (I use clear aquarium pump tubing pushed over the bleed screw nipple to bleed the lines . It also helps you see that all the little air bubbles are out.)

subysouth

Here's another page of brake fluid info:
http://www.swedishbricks.net/700900F...Comparison.htm

Last edited by subysouth; 07-17-2002 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 07-17-2002, 04:36 PM   #13
Subietonic
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Quote:
Originally posted by gavin
Errr, if you're going to change the fluid, then really change the fluid - completely drain and fill. You suck some fluid out of the reservoir, before a pad change, so that the reservoir doesn't overflow onto the engine when you compress the caliper - brake fluid is incredibly caustic.

If you're just sucking some fluid out of the reservoir, you're really not doing that much good, as far as a fluid change, because most of the old fluid is in the lines.
You've said it exactly as intended. Sorry if it wasn't clear. Most of the old fluid and "crud" is in the lines and collects behind the pistons in the calipers. Try to get that stuff out from behind the calipers by draining during the push back for the new pads cycle, then flush and bleed the entire system with new fluid.

Br, Dale
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