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 Posted: May 11, 2018 05:05AM
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CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by dklawson
If you use the vacuum bleeder, remember that you will get best results by coating the nipple threads with something to prevent air from being sucked in along the threads.  The Speed Bleeders have some type of goo on their threads to seal against air.  In spite of being brakes... you can use grease on the nipple threads.  The grease is not going to get sucked in where the seals are.  Teflon tape is another option.

There are at least two 2-person methods of bleeding.  The one I've seen a lot of guys do is to have one guy in the car who pumps madly to build up pressure then holds the pedal down while the second guy cracks the bleed nipple open.  I don't use that method. 

The method I use is sometimes called the flush method.  One guy under the car cracks the bleed nipple open and calls to the second guy to slowly push the pedal down.  At the end of stroke the guy in the car calls "down" to the first guy who closes the bleed nipple and calls back "release".  The cycle repeats itself until clear liquid without bubbles is seen in the clear tube.  You can generally get by with only one person doing this method if you have a tube with a check valve inline OR if you buy Speed Bleeders.  

If you have let air in the system you may find the pump-pump-pump-release method does not allow you to bleed the rear brakes because it spools the proportioning valve to the closed position.
Doug: I had a look at the "Speed Bleeder" on-line - very interesting. They apparently come in a myriad of sizes.
Do you know which sizes would fit  mid 1980's 8.4" disk calipers and rear drum cylinders?

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 11, 2018 05:00AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheleker
Remove the seats with the brackets attached. Only a couple more bolts, but it solves the problem of the brackets in your back.
Yes, I did think about that. I came to the conclusion that the bracket bolts have been in since the car was built and may be rusted in. I didn't want to get side-tracked on non-brake problems. As it is, the left side demister hose and funnel/nozzle came adrift, so once the brakes are done, the dash card has to come out.  The plywood idea ended up being quite comfortable and very stable, and the door weatherstrip is also protected.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 10, 2018 03:39PM
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Remove the seats with the brackets attached. Only a couple more bolts, but it solves the problem of the brackets in your back.

 Posted: May 10, 2018 01:08PM
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CA
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Progress report: The old master cylinder is OUT (with no apparent injuries!).

Heeding the advice about a pillow etc, I had a think about it - I concluded I could hold my head up but lying over the sill and cross-member, not to mention the seat brackets, I concluded a flat surface to lie on would be beneficial. Conveniently, there was a scrap piece of plywood standing right next to the Mini that fit from the gear shift to about a foot beyond the door sill. With some wood blocking in the rear footwell and a bench and blocking outside the car, which is on jack stands, I had a platform at convenient sitting height where I could sit down outside the car, lie back and get a great view of all the wires between me and the top of the brake pedal. Once I figured out where I needed to see and repositioned about 8 or 9 times, I could actually see the cotter pin. I was able to get it out using mostly patience, a piece of what I think is 1/8" welding rod (I don't weld) and some standard length needle-nose pliers.
The pipe fittings to the master cylinder came undone with WD40 and gentle persuasion, as did the hold-down nuts. Once it was out to the bench, I drained the old master cylinder - pretty murky!

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 9, 2018 09:21PM
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Without reading all the posts.....  

Did someone recommend bench bleeding your new master??  Well worth it.

I think DOT 5 (synthetic) fluid was pretty rare back in the 80s ... so DOT 3/4 would be pretty safe bet.  However, what ever it is, its going to be petty manky by now and (no doubt) needs replacing..  

It would be madness not to go for complete replacement... Which is where the "Ezibleed" comes into its own.  Especially if you choose a fluid that is a different colour.  You can use any of the old methods ... (at least those recommending doing one wheel at a time) just keep pumping until the new stuff comes though.

Basically the numbers indicate the fluids boiling point - the higher the better.  As long you stay way from DOT5 unless you're going for complete flush and replace ... and even then I would be using new seals ALL 'round - DOT 5 is different chemistry to 3/4/5.1 and is not compatible.  DOT5.1 is compatible with 3 and 4 and has he highest BP... but is not that common and (I seem to recall) more expensive. 

And... just a personal perspective .. but I find the old method of sticking a length of clear tube into, say, half a glass jar of new fluid and gently pumping away has a lot to recommend it... You need two people (or maybe a remote camera) to watch the fluid coming out while pumping the pedal.  On the downstroke you'll see old fluid and bubbles while the upstroke will suck a bit of the fluid in the jar back up the tube (the bubbles float away).    Just keep pumping away gently until you see only clear fluid being expelled...  But, MAKE SURE you check the level in the master cylinder regularly.

I do have an Ezibleed but you need to be VERY sure that you get a good seal between the master cap and the device ...and don't use too much pressure (don't ask me how I know .  The vacuum method also works but I seem to have lot of trouble sealing the open bleed valve so that air doesn't get sucked around the bleeder valve threads...

Cheers, Ian

 Posted: May 9, 2018 01:10PM
 Edited:  May 9, 2018 01:12PM
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Update: tomorrow I get started, probably after my physiotherapy appointment. I have received the pretty, new master cylinder and have re-read all the guidance so far.

One question: Assuming the fluid has never been changed, in a mid-1980's Mini, would it have DOT3 or DOT4 and since I will be flushing the system, wold it matter?

Second question: Is DOT3 any more or less hydroscopic than DOT4?

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 4, 2018 07:09AM
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the long 15 inch or so hemostats make it easy from underneath. The right tool for the right job. It fits right in there.

 Posted: May 4, 2018 06:50AM
 Edited:  May 4, 2018 07:20AM
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Make sure the flex hoses have not collapsed internally.
One time with a rusted stubborn split pin that would not come loose i was able to remove it from the top side with the master loose you can just about reach it with the brake pedal firmly pushed to the floor and a long set of needle nose pliers or hemostats.

If in doubt, flat out . Colin Mc Rae MBE 1968-2007.

 Posted: May 4, 2018 05:33AM
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CA
Thanks for the reminder on the pillows! Not looking forward to those gymnasties - my chemo a couple of years back left me with "fragile" muscles - easily strained. It takes me about 3 days to recover from what used to be moderate exertion.

Update: rear bleeders cracked free without incident. No fluid came out of the left one even when completely removed for cleaning. I thought it was plugged but it wasn't. I suspect the master cylinder's seals have come adrift from the piston/shuttle, preventing even leak-down by gravity. Even a tapety-tap-tap with a MFH ( not the BFH) on the sides of the MC didn't free anything.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 3, 2018 07:51PM
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Remove the drivers seat when removing and replacing the master cylinder. Put some foam or old pillows on the floor to help your back when laying on top of the crossmember.
I use a small R clip instead of the split pin when re installing the cotter pin just make sure it is short enough to not catch on anything and release itself.

If in doubt, flat out . Colin Mc Rae MBE 1968-2007.

 Posted: May 3, 2018 04:12PM
 Edited:  May 4, 2018 05:08AM
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Swindrum. I use a floor jack to raise the car in the back and crawl under and find the bleeders. Same thing in the front. No taking off the wheels. Dan As for rebuilding the master cylinder I've done that before and it is doable with not a lot of problems, it can be done. EDIT And yes you should use some jack stands so the car doesn't Crush you and use about a 15in long set of forceps to get the cotter pin in the master cylinder that's under or above the pedals. And have fun working on your back under there LOL. And I got the hemostats at a place called " tool pawn". It's a decent-size place and all they do is tools.

 Posted: May 3, 2018 04:03PM
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Another bot for the EZ-Bleed. Not sure how I lived almost 50 years without one. There is a reservoir that you fill with fluid, then just run around the car opening bleeders. Takes 15 minutes, 10 of which is jacking up the car, finding all 4 jack stands, and taking the wheels off...

if your master cyl is done, I highly recommend replacing it, they are under $200 and are a colossal pain in the butt to rebuild...
i use the yellow band dual masters in everything, from drum braked 998’s to our twin-cam race Wolseley.

Sean Windrum

1996 MGF VVC
1970 1275 GT Racer
66 Austin Countryman
63 997 Cooper (Under Construction)
63 MG 1100

 

 Posted: May 3, 2018 02:06PM
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Thanks for the continuing advice, Doug.

Recently in another thread, someone advised that if one was going to the trouble of taking out and putting back a master cylinder, it might be better to be putting in a new one in case the rebuild was less than satisfactory. If I don't recover any pressure, I'll very likely get a new master cylinder. 
Between steady rain today and sore muscles that rendered me useless (okay, maybe more useless than usual), nothing happened with the Mini. Maybe tomorrow.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 3, 2018 07:50AM
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If the pedal has little to no resistance then I doubt you will be able to bleed the system.  However, it won't cost much to try.

As for replacing the MC, do they not sell rebuild kits for it?  If you remove the MC and tear it down for inspection you'll know soon enough if it appears to be rebuildable.

Doug L.
 Posted: May 3, 2018 06:03AM
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Doug: I was afraid somebody would say that. Is it worth trying to bleed the system to see if it comes back? Meanwhile I'll start shopping for a master cylinder.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: May 3, 2018 03:35AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Moffet
The fluid level was down a little so I added more but still could not get any pedal pressure at all

Does this sound like it has ingested air or has something untoward happened to the master cylinder? There are no leaks apparent anywhere so far.
If at the start the reservoir was relatively full, then the pedal sinking to the floor with little to no resistance suggests failed seals in the master cylinder.  

Doug L.
 Posted: May 2, 2018 01:01PM
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Thanks for all the ideas. The story so far:

When waking up the Mini, I found the brake pedal lower than I remember it from last year. The handbrake also barely held. So (to me) the logical step was to adjust the rear brakes (it has 8.4 disks at front). The right rear adjuster turned like it was brand new but did come up to providing light drag. The left rear would move stiffly so I gave it some WD40 and some time. It loosened up and also adjusted to provide drag. I will be adjusting the handbrake tomorrow.

The master cylinder is the yellow-band type and there was fluid in the cone-shaped part of the reservoir. When I got in the car to test pedal height, it went to the floor with no resistance... repeatedly. The fluid level was down a little so I added more but still could not get any pedal pressure at all. I left it sitting with a full reservoir while WD40 does its work on the bleeders.

Does this sound like it has ingested air or has something untoward happened to the master cylinder? There are no leaks apparent anywhere so far.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: Apr 29, 2018 11:59AM
 Edited:  Apr 29, 2018 08:00PM
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There is another 1-person method that I've used with success—it's a favorite of vintage restoration shops. You simply open the bleed valves one at a time (in the correct sequence, of course) and using clear tubing, let the fluid drain into a container by gravity alone. No pumping the brake peddle, no additional pressure or vacuum necessary and no chance of sucking air into the system. Once a sufficient amount of fluid has drained into the container, close the valve and move on to the next wheel.

The reason it's popular with resto shops is that older master brake cylinders have had their bores polished smooth from years of use and often have "steps," irregularities and even rust in the bore beyond the normal travel cycle of the master brake cylinder piston. Pumping the brakes during the 2-person bleeding process sends the piston into this uncharted territory where it encounters these rough spots and can damage the piston and/or o-rings. This might be an expensive mistake on an 80 year old Bentley or Jag.

The disadvantage of this method is that it takes a looong time, up to 1/2 hour per wheel. Another drawback is if there are any restrictions in the brake tubing or brake cylinders, the relativity low pressure involved (about 1.5 psi) won't be sufficient to provide a decent flow and therefore may not flush out trapped air that can be lurking in the system. On the other hand, I'd want to know if my tubing had restrictive kinks or my brake cylinders were gummed up and causing restriction.

 

Michael, Santa Barbara, CA

. . . the sled, not the flower

      Poser MotorSports

 Posted: Apr 29, 2018 05:08AM
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As with many things there are as many ways as people doing it. I have always done mine the same way. I keep rolls of PVC tubing and a tube of brake grease. Standard approach after rebuilding calipers with SS pistons and kits, replacing rear wheel cyls., adjusters, springs, shoes (use the good ones Mintex) and drums. Also hoses at all four corners and replacing any or all hard pipe in question, master and booster if fitted. Up on the tall jack stands wheels off, grease the threads on the bleeders followed by tubing. I use plastic water bottles with a hole poked in side for the tube. I open all four at one time fill the master and hope gravity will do the hard work. While I have never been one for bench bleeding the master I do bleed the master first when the pumping begins. Cracking the fitting until fluid appears around the threads. Yes I have read and heard you start her or there. I start closest to the master and work my way out. Fronts are easy most of the time. The rears are almost always an issue. I work with a helper as soon as I can find one. We do three gentle pumps and hold. I say gentle as quick sharp pumps mess with the bias valve and on later ones the shuttle valve. Once I have clear fluid all around with no bubbles I seal the system replace wheels and drive a day or two. Before delivering I put her back in the air and run though all four corners again, adjust the rears and let them go. Yes, I have two easy bleed kits and a pump. Having started with a 1930 Model A Ford with mechanical brakes followed by mini single leading shoe brakes I know what it is to have questionable brakes. I have noticed when people ride with me they tend to go for that brake pedal on their side before I look for mine. The last couple of minis I have bought have been 1275 power drum brakes that failed to stop in time. Be safe and do the best brake job possible, how ever you bleed them. Steve (CTR)  

 Posted: Apr 28, 2018 05:34PM
jeg
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EZ-Bleed for me, also.

The peasants are revolting...          

"Gone with the Wind" - a brief yet moving vignette concerning lactose intolerance

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