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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-24-2013, 06:45 PM   #21
Rostasteve
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Brake bleeding without power bleeder

I've used speed bleeders on a number of vehicles and like them more than the powerbleeder.

Attach the drain hose to the bleeder, loosen the bleeder 1/3-1/2 turn, pump the pedal 7-10 times, top off the reservoir. Repeat at every corner 2x around.


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Old 07-24-2013, 10:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Sedan Hussein View Post
I dunno about this one....I'm suspect of just putting a plastic hose on the nipple where the checkvalve is then far down the line on the hose. When you release the pedal and the valve is "sucking back in" what is to stop air from entering around the plastic hose where it connects to the brake screw? Yes the checkvalve in the HOSE won't let stuff back past it, but if you don't have an airtight seal where the hose attaches the brake, I think you are putting air back up into the line. No? A speed bleeder has the checkvalve right there and you're not relying on the integrity of the connection of a rubber hose onto a metal brake bleeder.

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Originally Posted by Rostasteve View Post
I've used speed bleeders on a number of vehicles and like them more than the powerbleeder.

Attach the drain hose to the bleeder, loosen the bleeder 1/3-1/2 turn, pump the pedal 7-10 times, top off the reservoir. Repeat at every corner 2x around.
Hmm lots of love for the speedbleeders. I guess the people who have had leaks and other problems with their speedbleeders aren't around here right at the moment.

To install these I assume you make sure the reservoir is capped and the brake isn't depressed, then you just unscrew the bleed screw completely and then screw on the bleeder screw? And a little fluid leaks out while you're doing it but not much I assume. I looked on the speedbleeder website and they didn't even really list the E46 BMW? What size do we get 9mm?
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:28 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Hogan773 View Post
I dunno about this one....I'm suspect of just putting a plastic hose on the nipple where the checkvalve is then far down the line on the hose. When you release the pedal and the valve is "sucking back in" what is to stop air from entering around the plastic hose where it connects to the brake screw? Yes the checkvalve in the HOSE won't let stuff back past it, but if you don't have an airtight seal where the hose attaches the brake, I think you are putting air back up into the line. No? A speed bleeder has the checkvalve right there and you're not relying on the integrity of the connection of a rubber hose onto a metal brake bleeder.
Just used it this past weekend with no problems at all. The hose goes completely over the nipple. All air bubbles are visible in the hose line.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #24
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Just used it this past weekend with no problems at all. The hose goes completely over the nipple. All air bubbles are visible in the hose line.
Hmm ok. I know lots of people say on the vacuum bleeds that the seal isn't 100% so the "air bubbles" that you're seeing can easily be entering right at the seal where the rubber hose is going over the bleeder. So my point is that if there can be air entering there, having a "check valve" further down the line on the hose doesn't really do anything because when you are pumping the brakes in your one man operation, every time the brake pedal is coming back out, there would be a tendency to "suck back in" right at that connection, and the check valve further down the line ain't doing squat. But I may be splitting hairs since admittedly I haven't done either of these methods myself. I'm just thinking about how it might happen from a physics standpoint.

I'm thinking that it is so cheap to make my own DIY Motive clone that I might as well go that route. I haven't seen many posts of people with Motives or DIY clones that say they had problems or regret it or are going back to a different method. But glad there are lots of options for us.

I looked in my BF reservoir this morning and the fluid still looks pretty clear. I need to dredge up my old shop receipts to remind myself when I had a brake flush. It could have been 2 years or it could have been 7!

Last edited by Hogan773; 07-25-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:59 AM   #25
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To install these I assume you ...
The installation you described is spot on, with one addition. After installing the Speedbleeder, you want to make certain that there is no air in the system, so you give it 3-5 pumps. Of course, if you are then going to flush the whole system, this step is redundant.

Speedbleeders are great if you intend to keep a vehicle long enough to change the brake fluid multiple times. Probably not really worth it for a single flush. The only down side, really, is that the hex part is SAE, so you want to have that handy.

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I need to dredge up my old shop receipts to remind myself when I had a brake flush. It could have been 2 years or it could have been 7!
My rule of thumb: if I can't remember when it was last done, it needs to be done. (I use a spreadsheet to help me remember when things were done.) Change that DOT 4 every 2 years.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:18 PM   #26
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My rule of thumb: if I can't remember when it was last done, it needs to be done. (I use a spreadsheet to help me remember when things were done.) Change that DOT 4 every 2 years.
Funny you say that, just two nights ago I began preparing said spreadsheet for both my cars. My Honda is pretty new but my E46 is 11 yrs old and has gawd knows how many trips to the indy shops over my ownership for window regulators, CV boots and axle replacements, pressure hoses, oil leaks and gaskets of all types and flavors, sway bar links, etc. I still love the look of the car vs. newer 3-series and it still drives great, but I am really interested to see how much money I've dumped into this thing to keep it alive. Maybe I don't want to know as I will find I've effectively already bought a new Accord in terms of cash outlay.

But yes, as I've been racking my brain I decided I need to better track these things like BF flushes etc in addition to just waiting for the maintenance minder to tell me when to change the oil (and even there I should probably not wait till it tells me so)
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:31 PM   #27
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Wow, thanks guys for coming through. The speedbleeder is definitely the way to go - last question: where to source them cheaply?
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:28 PM   #28
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IIRC, I got a couple of sets as part of a group buy. Since then, I visit speedbleeder.com and get them for $7 each direct.

How much can you save on $28?
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:35 AM   #29
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I got my tank sprayer for $7.95 at Menards last night and am gonna assemble a Motive clone. I will use it dry. I think it will work just great, from all that I've read.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:50 AM   #30
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Wish I would've seen these speedbleeders last week. Hopefully I'll remember to pick up a set on my next bleed.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:49 AM   #31
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Funny you say that, just two nights ago I began preparing said spreadsheet for both my cars. My Honda is pretty new but my E46 is 11 yrs old and has gawd knows how many trips to the indy shops over my ownership for window regulators, CV boots and axle replacements, pressure hoses, oil leaks and gaskets of all types and flavors, sway bar links, etc. I still love the look of the car vs. newer 3-series and it still drives great, but I am really interested to see how much money I've dumped into this thing to keep it alive. Maybe I don't want to know as I will find I've effectively already bought a new Accord in terms of cash outlay.

But yes, as I've been racking my brain I decided I need to better track these things like BF flushes etc in addition to just waiting for the maintenance minder to tell me when to change the oil (and even there I should probably not wait till it tells me so)
lol!

Once you get started, it may be hard to keep it simple:

I've kept track of every penny it has cost to operate our vehicles since the early 90s (except for interior/exterior detailing where supplies are shared by multiple vehicles). Even gas fill-up entries note cost, price/gal, gals used, miles since previous fill (I always fill the tank), MPG (car reported and calculated and variance), brand, location, octane, whether it contains ethanol (sadly, that is nearly 100% these days), and unusual conditions (like driving when temps are below 0F or when the pump does not shut off properly).
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:13 AM   #32
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lol!

Once you get started, it may be hard to keep it simple:

I've kept track of every penny it has cost to operate our vehicles since the early 90s (except for interior/exterior detailing where supplies are shared by multiple vehicles). Even gas fill-up entries note cost, price/gal, gals used, miles since previous fill (I always fill the tank), MPG (car reported and calculated and variance), brand, location, octane, whether it contains ethanol (sadly, that is nearly 100% these days), and unusual conditions (like driving when temps are below 0F or when the pump does not shut off properly).
Wow. You is crazy! I'm not going that far! There is information and then there is information overload.

I just want to make sure I don't go for 7 years without a brake flush or something. Time seems to pass more quickly as I get older and something that seems like "it was just done" may have been a while ago
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:50 PM   #33
Sedan Hussein
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What size Speed Bleeders are you guys using?
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:44 AM   #34
sunsetcoast
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Don't know. Just call them and they'll let you know. (And then post back here so the forum will know!)
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:46 AM   #35
Sedan Hussein
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Don't know. Just call them and they'll let you know. (And then post back here so the forum will know!)
Will do, have yours given you any trouble? Firm brake pedal?
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #36
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I built a pressure bleeder out of a garden sprayer and used it for years. The essential advantage of any power bleeder isn't time savings, rather that you can turn brake bleeding into a one person job.

These days I usually use the wife on brake the pedal method. Critical here is to have the car completely jacked up and all bleeder valves prepared before installing the wife at the brake pedal. Wives installed in this manner tend to lose functionality after about 5-10 minutes. After that they get really loud.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:36 AM   #37
Hogan773
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I used my DIY Motive Bleeder (approx $17 in parts) on my Honda and it worked great. Will be doing the BMW in next few weeks when I get time. That will be even easier as the cap screws on to the reservoir. On the Honda you need to clamp it down. I use the "dry method" so I'm just using air in the sprayer bottle to pressurize the MC reservoir
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:44 AM   #38
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you can always use gravity... it take longer than using two people but its an alternative if you are the only one there and dont have a power bleeder. just make sure your pedal feels good before you hop on the highway or anything like that.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:05 AM   #39
Hogan773
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you can always use gravity... it take longer than using two people but its an alternative if you are the only one there and dont have a power bleeder. just make sure your pedal feels good before you hop on the highway or anything like that.
If you have all day to let it drip drip drip
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:21 AM   #40
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have yours given you any trouble?
Been using them on various vehicles since the late 90s. Never had any problems.
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