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Brake bleeding gone wrong

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Hi everybody,

Today I decided to bleed my brakes with a pressure bleeder in preparation for winter storage.

Got all the brakes done without a problem. Then it was time for the clutch; for some reason nothing came out of bleeder on the slave cylinder when I cracked it half a turn. I had the bleeder set at 20psi.

Then I hear a sudden escape of air and brake fluid dripping everywhere: one of the hoses on the bottom of the reservoir popped off. Now I have to start all over. The worst thing is what all that fluid is going to do to all the metal it touched. I poured a bottle of rubbing alcohol over everything, followed by a bucket of water. I don't know what else to do really. ...

Any advice on how to bleed the clutch? Can I gravity bleed it overnight?

TIA!

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personally, i never use more than 15psi on these old systems which havev a press fit feed tube for the clutch.

15psi keeps pressure in the system, while you use the pedals to force the fluid (and air) through the brakes and the clutch.

how old are those hoses? if they are slipping off, it sounds like they are old and dried out. if so, replace them.

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Thanks, Marshall. The hoses actually look OK; the one that popped off -- one of the cloth covered hoses connecting the reservoir to the master -- didn't have a clamp on it. Lesson learned.

What I really don't understand is why I can't bleed the clutch. I might try removing the bleed screw and see if it's clogged somehow.

So do you combine the bleeder AND the pedal pumping method? Since there is definitely air in the system now, I might have to do that.

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yes, i always combine the two. the pressure bleeder keeps air from coming back in through the bleed screws. the pedal work really forces the air and fluid through. no need for second person. just open the valves and give pedal a few pumps.

doing the clutch can be tricky due to location of the bleed valve. make sure it is being turned enough to actually open. using the clutch pedal should push any blockage out.

keep in mind when doing the clutch with this method that you have to use your hand to work the clutch pedal. it will not return on its own, you must pull it back up.

also be careful with the fluid level in the reservoir, clutch inlet is halfway up the tank, unlike the brake inlets at bottom.

in theory you should not need clamps on the hoses on the reservoir. new hose has a really tight fit by itself.

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yea, what Marshall said

try removing the bleed screw and see if it's clogged somehow

WITHOUT THE PRESSURE BLEEDER ATTACHED

10 ...14 PSI IS PLENTY! no additional pedal

pumping should be needed

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I agree with the lack of need for clamps, in theory. However, I've always found a hose in every car that pops off when pressure bleeding, and if it's not obviously bad, I secure it with a hose clamp. I keep meaning to replace the clamped hoses with new, but keep forgetting.

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Well today I was planning on replacing the hoses and start over. Thought that hose would be readily available at the local AutoZone. Apparently not, so I just clamped each end of both hoses. But then I noticed fluid seeping through the cloth on one end; the clamp probably ruptured the rubber underneath. So an order to Blunt for some new hose, and the '02 spends another week in the garage. Damn.

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VW has the hose you need- 8mm brake reservoir hose. I get mine from

Bow- Wow (or used to) but any VW place or dealer has it.

And having gone through similar things as you, I now use tie- wraps

as hose clamps for the infeed lines. They are darned near as effective as

a real hose clamp, but you can't really overtighten them. Or crush the

plastic inlet fittings.

Personally, I just use a few psi, and seldom have to pump the pedal a-tall.

But with your clutch, try it. I bet there's a 'pop- fssssssss'...

But then, I bleed all our brakes a LOT more often than normal people

(track habits make good habits in a climate as wet as ours).

t

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Thanks for the good tips everybody.

So today new blue hose arrived from Blunt. Reattaching it was no problem. So far so good.

Then 14psi in the bleeder, turned the slave bleeder half a turn -- nothing -- 1.5 turns -- nothing. Removed it altogether. Nothing.

Then I pumped the clutch pedal a couple of times with the system still pressurized -- sprang right back. And the open bleeder screw was bone dry.

I don't know what the deal is with the damn clutch. There must be Kobolds in it or something.

What I'd like to do is bleed the brakes and be done with it. But since the reservoir ran dry, I assume there'll still be air in the clutch system. But maybe it's not all that vital. Would the brakes be affected?

Any advice as to how I should proceed?

Thanks!

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......well your clutch slave cylinder is loaded with rust,

sediment, crud from everyone before you not flushing it.

remove the bleeder screw and work a tiny drill bit

in the hole to dig out the blockage - same for the bleder screw.

Replacing the slave cylinder with a new one wont

break your piggy bank.

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Guest Anonymous

Your brakes shouldn't be affected if you don't bleed the clutch, but your clutch probably will be.

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Thanks, CD: the tiny drill bit thing worked (the other day I poked around with a piece of wire which didn't). All's well now.

When all is said and done, bleeding is a pretty easy job, despite all the drama I made out of it ...

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