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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 10-25-2009, 10:05 PM   #1
Lobo
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Do BMWs have speed bleeders for the brakes?

I think I read about speed bleeders (one way bleeder valves) somewhere on this forum. I went out and bought some for my Suburban, and they really made bleeding my brakes easy. I was thinking about ordering some speed bleeders for my BMWs, but I noticed that they aren't available for late models (newer than 1999). So I check the Bentley manual that I just bought and it looks like bleeding is done the same way I would do it with speed bleeders.

Do newer BMWs (1999 and newer) have speed bleeders already installed?
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:14 PM   #2
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never heard of em...if you find em..post up the info though!
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:57 PM   #3
xi_ter
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No they are normal bleeder valves. If you are using a helper, he must push the pedal down an hold it while the valve is drained and then closed again. In Bentley they say "Close the bleeder screw and release the brake pedal".
BMW are very conveniently set up for attaching a Motive pressure bleeder. You fill it with brake fluid, attached to a refilled brake reservoir and pump to 20 lbs. Then you just open the bleeder valve until you see fresh fluid. That may explain the lack of availability for speed bleeders.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:10 AM   #4
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never heard of em...if you find em..post up the info though!
Okay, I got some more information from the people at speedbleeder.com. Speedbleeders are available for BMWs. Even though they don't show a cross reference between the stock bleeder valve and the speed bleeder valve on their web page, they were able to give me the part numbers for use on my cars. I recommend that anyone who is interested send them an email for the right cross reference part number.

A speed bleeder is explained on their web site, but by way of a simple explanation, they are one way bleeder valves. You loosen a speed bleeder at the brake you want to bleed, and attach a hose to the valve to bleed the brake fluid through. You can drain the fluid into a jar or a bleeder bag (kind of like an IV bag).

To bleed the brakes, you just step on the brake pedal and then release the brake pedal. Brake fluid goes out, but it does not go back in, and no air can get sucked back in either. You don't need a second person to watch the hose. You don't need to turn the valve off or squeeze the hose before you release the brake pedal. It can be done by a single person without any special tools.

When you are done with bleeding one brake, you close off the valve (1/2 turn) and repeat at the next valve.

The details of bleeding are only a little more complicated than that. (Make sure the fluid reservoir doesn't run dry while pumping out, bleed each brake in the right order.) Installing the bleeder valves is easy, if you can get to the original bleeder valves. I haven't done this on the BMW, but I'm sure that it will have to be up on stands, or higher, to get access. Or maybe you can get to each one by removing the wheel. I did this on my Suburban, which I can easily crawl under.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:48 AM   #5
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Either stick a clear tube with a bottle on the bleeder valve so you can watch for bubbles, or buy a pressure bleeder and call it a day.
http://www.bimmertools.com/product-p/motive109.htm

If you're fully utilizing it, you don't need to pump the brakes and you don't need to refill the reservoir, it does it for you.
So far I've only used mine to pressurize the system and it works great.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:47 AM   #6
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I had speedbleeders on my E30s. They worked pretty well but they can get pretty gummed up inside.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:21 PM   #7
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Ran speed bleeders on all our race cars - worked well - but I second the fact that if you get gunk in them, they will allow are to go back through the system. Granted, don't get crap in the system and this isn't a problem. Kind of expensive, but we were bleeding the brakes after every run.
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