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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy fellas. It's been awhile since my last post, but the o'l 97 is chuggin along strong on $4.50 ULSD (yuck).

Anyways, just a quick question. I'm getting ready to tow the 21' Travel Trailer next weekend, and before we go, I wanted to flush my brakes. (they've gotten a bit spongy and the fluid is pretty nasty). I know the standard method of brake bleeding, like I used to do with my dad on my o'l 86 F150 with the garbage 5.0l in it. But these days, my only helper is my wife, whom i love dearly, but wouldnt trust with my 3" brake pedal travel rule to save my life. I've read a lot about gravity bleeding, and it sounds like it could be the ticket. Low cost, and all it requires is time, which I just happen to have some of (well, more than money anyways). Please let me know you're experiences with the gravity bleeding technique, as I may end up giving it a shot tonight. Thanks a million guys.

Joe
 

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start at the pass rear open it and keep topping the resivor up till clean fluid comes out then close and go to the drivers side and do the same for the rest
 

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Spongy brakes can be a number of things including the brake fluid. As far as towing with bad brakes I would not do it. You never know when you are going to need them. Your best bet is to take it to a shop and have them check it if you don't have the time or even just look at your fluid. If it is getting dark it is time for a full flush.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Spongy brakes can be a number of things including the brake fluid. As far as towing with bad brakes I would not do it. You never know when you are going to need them. Your best bet is to take it to a shop and have them check it if you don't have the time or even just look at your fluid. If it is getting dark it is time for a full flush.

Jim
Just to clarify so nobody's afraid to drive down the highway with me, my brakes don't feel that bad, they just don't feel like "spring chickens" anymore. After all, it's an 11 year old truck. There's plenty of pad left all around, no leaky wheel cylinders or calipers, but the fluid is plenty nasty. I just figured i'd ask around as to whether the gravity deal was a legit option, and if anybody had any pros / cons to the procedure. Regardless, i'll have new fluid in my system by friday, I just am trying to figure if it's something i'll do myself, or employ an alternate method (and no, I'm not buying speed bleeders) Cheers

Joe
 

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Make a homestyle self bleeder with a glass Jar and a peace of old brake -line and rubber hose like vacuum line. Or spend the 5 bucks and buy one of those one man self bleeder deals.
 

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Just to clarify so nobody's afraid to drive down the highway with me, my brakes don't feel that bad, they just don't feel like "spring chickens" anymore. After all, it's an 11 year old truck. There's plenty of pad left all around, no leaky wheel cylinders or calipers, but the fluid is plenty nasty. I just figured i'd ask around as to whether the gravity deal was a legit option, and if anybody had any pros / cons to the procedure. Regardless, i'll have new fluid in my system by friday, I just am trying to figure if it's something i'll do myself, or employ an alternate method (and no, I'm not buying speed bleeders) Cheers

Joe

Does the emergency brake pedal engage near the bottom of the pedal travel, or is it pretty near the high end of the pedal?

I bet your back brakes are out of adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
WORKED GREAT!
Here goes. $.55 cents for a 3' piece of 3/16 clear tubing, turkey baster, mason jar, a 32oz container of DOT3, and a 3/8 box end wrench = Piece of cake.

Removed about 50% of the nasty old brake fluid from the master cylinder with a cheapo turkey baster and disposed into the mason jar. Attached the tubing to the rear passenger bleed screw and cracked her open about 1/4 turn. Sure enough, I got a slow, but constant trickle. I kept filling the master cylinder as it kept trickling out the rear passenger side bleed screw, and was amazed at how many bubbles were coming out. About a half hour elapsed, the bubbles ceased to appear, and clean, clear new DOT 3 began to flow out the tube. Rear Right was done. Repeated the same process with the rear drivers side with the same success, but in about 5 minutes this time as opposed to 30 (figure because they share the same brake line until the R-ABS). Proceeded to the front right and that took a whole whopping 3 minutes or so. Also, I tapped out quite a bit of bubbles just by tapping the caliper with a 3/4" wrench while pinching the fluid tube shut. Then when I would un-pinch the tubing, a healthy bubble would come out instead of a ton of little tiny bubbles. About three tries at this and there were no more bubbles. Front drivers side was a carbon copy of the last, but in about 1.5 minutes flat.

So my end result? My brakes havent felt this good in years. My brake system is entirely flushed, my master cylinder has only clean clear fluid in the reservoir, I did it myself without the possibility of my wife screwing up my master cylinder by pumping too far, I got to drink about 4 beers in the process, I didnt hardly spill a drop of fluid, and lastly, it cost me all of about 6 bucks to do the whole dang thing! What a great deal. Thanks for all the insight guys, and I hope this helps motivate some of you guys to give it a shot. At the worst, you get to spend about an hour drinking a few beers under your truck.

all in all....

A perfect day!

Cheers,

Joe
 
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