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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 03-28-2015, 09:34 PM   #1
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Brake bleeding question

Sorry if this has been discussed, I couldn't find the right terms to narrow my search.

I'm replacing brake lines (upgrading to stainless) and wondering if I can bleed each line as installed (starting with passenger rear) or if I should replace all 4 lines then bleed all 4.

I have 2 jack stands, so I can only work on the front or rear at a time. I'm hoping I can replace and bleed the rear lines, then replace and bleed the fronts. I don't have space (condo) for 2 more jack stands :-(.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:43 PM   #2
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You can bleed them as you go! Not a problem. I would think you would need a lift, or the car up on 4 jack stands, to do them all at the same time. I have always done mine as you described.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:57 PM   #3
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Ya, I agree - no problem with doing them individually.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:36 AM   #4
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Just start bleeding the line furthest from the master cylender. So rear passenger then driver side rear then passenger front then the driver side and u should be good.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:05 AM   #5
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You should bleed them one at a time as you replace them.Cap of the open end immediately as you remove pieces,fill bleed lines immediately so you
dont let air to to the abs dsc unit.If you were to replace all before bleeding
you would likely get air to abs unit which requires special procedure with
BMW dealer equipment to bleed.( Unless someone in fanatics knows and will tell us how to bypass dealer on this)If you are carefull as not to let air into abs
unit, keep master cylinder full, you should be just fine
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:05 AM   #6
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You don't need to follow the 1970s rule for brake bleeding with the E46 (ie. rear passenger first)--it has ABS which means there is an independent line running to each wheel. You can replace the lines and bleed in any order.

If you're really worried about the master cylinder running dry, pick up this item from Harbor Freight:


It has a bottle that sits upside down in the reservoir and keeps it topped up with fluid.

Also, if you DO run the master cylinder dry for any reason and need to bleed it using the factory procedure, grab a K+CAN cable from eBay:


It comes with INPA software, which you can use to activate the bleed procedure. I've used it and it works.

Good luck.

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