Hagerty Motorsports: Bleeding Brakes

Ask five people at your next SCCA event how they bleed their brakes and you’ll discover each person has a unique approach. Their theories will perhaps have similarities, but the details of the process often vary. This is the topic of discussion in a story posted by Hagerty Motorsports, the Official Insurance Partner of the SCCA.

“So we agree that you want to keep air out of the system, but on the off chance that a few bubbles sneak in during a project, how do you remove them from the vehicle’s brake lines?” posits author Kyle Smith in an article he wrote for Hagerty Motorsports. “There are multiple ways to bleed a brake system, and understanding each method is important so that you can decide the best approach for your project.”

This article covers the basics of multiple methods, beginning with gravity bleeding and progressing to the tried-and-true pedal pumping technique before discussing check valves, pressure bleeders, and vacuum systems. With each, there are positives and negatives.

“Using one of these [pressure systems] makes the bleeding process easier, but it also requires extra care when setting up and when topping off the fluid during the bleeding process,” Smith notes in the article. “Since the master-cylinder reservoir is under pressure while this system is in use, there’s a risk that the outer gasket of the tool leaks while you’re forcing pressure through the brake lines or when you take the tool off to top up the reservoir. Since most brake fluids easily strip paint, don’t take this risk lightly.”

While this article doesn’t offer a definitive winning method, it is an excellent starting point for both new and experienced hands at bleeding brakes. And don’t forget to head to the comments section below the article – there, you’ll find numerous useful brake bleeding tips from Hagerty Motorsports readers.

Read More