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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. I think I am going to replace all my drum brake wheel cylinders this spring, and I figure that I can
pretty much bleed out all the old brake fluid in the process. So I ask; does anyone have a documented
process for bleeding out all four wheel cylinders? I did not see this process in the shop manual.

I would guess that starting farthest from the master, open the bleeder, step on the pedal, close the bleeder
let up, then check the fluid level in the master. Repeat. Is this anywhere close? It could take all day to do this.

I don't have shop air, so a power bleeder setup wont work.



'66 289 2bbl. Sauterne Gold Connvertible


Get a Mitivac!!!!

Two weeks ago I replaced a leaky wheel cylinder in my mach, so the whole process is pretty fresh in my mind... You're right. Bleeding your brake lines via the brake pedal is a long, excruciating process (I think you're supposed to start at the furthest wheel and work youself in....WAIT!...maybe I'm backwards!....sheesh. I think that's the way to go...) - and my wife hates it! Anyway, you can do in traditionally as with the brake pedal, or simply loosen the bleeders on the back of the wheel cylinders and let them gravity bleed - of course, this works properly every 1 out of 5 times.

OR, you can head for the closest autozone and pick up a mitivac hand pump (it's got a pressure gauge - great for testing engine vacumm). I think it cost $25. Man, I shoulda done this YEARS ago. Probably the best tool I bought all year. You simply hook the pump (It's a hand-operated pump that you squeeze with your hand to build up suction) up to the bleeder valve on the back of you wheel cylinders bleed away. It couldn't be simpler. I highly recommend it. Good luck.

70 Mach 1 (351C 4V 4-speed) I've been restoring since '96. 95% complete. Also have a '68 HT (289 2-speed) that I restored between '97-98 and is FOR SALE! The VMF has proven to be an invaluable resource for information, humor and excellent advice.

you could just take it to the tire shop and have them do it. i figured that i could do it with my manual so i started and then i figured they were pretty good. i test drove it and all was good. then i went to work the next morning and had brakes through 3 stop lights. on the 4th light, nothing!!!!! so i swerved right ( didnt know if anyone was there or not) and pumped and pumped and i finally got it to stop. that was the worst thing i have ever done to my baby. i would have used the parking brake but i guess it is out of order. i highly recommnend you have someone else do it if you dont know how. could save you thousands!!!!!

394 Posts
You are right on target with the procedure. Start at the right rear, left rear, right front, left front. Get a piece of hose long enough that you can leave the recepticle sitting on the floor. Depress brake pedal, open bleeder, close bleeder, release pedal. Repeat this cycle until you no longer get air bubbles in the discharged brake fluid. A hand operated vacuum pump does make it much easier and you can pretty much do it youself. You hook the pump to a jar that has a hose going just inside the jar. There is a second hose that goes from the bottom of the jar to the wheel cylinder. Pumping the handle creates a vacuum in the jar which sucks the fluid/air out of the system. By having the tube to the cylinder under fluid, the extracted air can't backstream. Good luck.

Jim Gates
72 Mach 1 - 460, C6
65 Olds 4-4-2, 400 ci, 4-sp
71 Dart Swinger 340 - Project in the queue
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