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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:36 PM   #1
bimmernut3
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Brake fluid flush/bleeding question

I'm in the process of updating all fluids that need to be changed after purchase of the E46. In trying to remove the existing brake fluid out of the reservoir, I find it near impossible to remove the screen tube. It appears that it may have some snap locks that snap in once install & doesn't allow it to be removed. Has anyone come up with a way to get it out without destroying it?
Thanks...
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:47 PM   #2
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I don't think it comes out? I would just bleed down the resivoir. By the time your done with all 4 wheels, you will have fresh fluid. Get a motive brake bleeder. It's the bomb.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:58 PM   #3
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Thanks JDGold47...I don't think BMW wants us to remove it but I always like to clean ALL the junk out of the reservoir on models that will allow the screen to come out. I prefer to remove all the old BF before adding new, otherwise you are just pushing old/new mix thru the system. I will also assume that the fluid in the reservoir is MORE contaminated with moisture that what's in the lines. just doesn't make sense to start with old fluid. Again, that's my opinion only.
BTW, I have a pressure bleeder.
I would think someone had figure out how to remove it. I may try sliding some shim stock piece down around the snaps to help. Anyone can jump in here if they have any tricks on this. BTW, a new screen is only $5, so may just destroy this one & replace with a modified one that will come out.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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I'd love to know as well...i was fussing with it a bit the other day and decided to just try to bleed it out through the brakes.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Word. Suit your self. Seems like overkill to me. Remember, for everyone like you, there are probably 200x more still driving around on original fluid just fine!
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:12 PM   #6
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Yea, I know. :>) I'm kinda old school. My indy tech removes it as well. I guess I'll have to drop by his shop & see how he does it. I'll keep you all posted if I'm successful for others that are like me.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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it does come out with 2 pocket screw drivers and a pair of needle nose pliers...it takes some finagling but it will pop out. did mine a few months back and it took about 5 to 10min to pull out. dont put it back in till your done with your flush
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:47 PM   #8
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swaggerwagon....where are the snaps located on the screen? how many?
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgold47 View Post
Word. Suit your self. Seems like overkill to me. Remember, for everyone like you, there are probably 200x more still driving around on original fluid just fine!
Yeah, but new fluid can make a great difference in pedal feel if it is old. After changing mine, it definitely felt better and more easy to modulate.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:15 AM   #10
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Zell, what year is your E46? My '05 doesn't have that neat air intake that is on yours.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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OK guy, I got the brake reservoir screen out & was able to remove about 95% of the old fluid. Here's what I found. The screen has (4) ramped outer ribs that stop & form a ledge so once installed, it will 'snap' into place & not come out. I don't know why BMW started doing this, as my E34's didn't have it. I took swagwagons info & used a very small screw driver to bend the outside in at each step/snap location & carefully inserted some thin feeler gage strips between the screen snaps & reservoir housing. Once I have all (4) snaps shimmed, I used a small needle nose pliers to gently lift/pry each of the (4) positions out over the shims. Once the screen top was a little above flush, I removed the shims to allow more room to rock the screen out. Took about 5 mins. The screen does have some small marks around the out side top lip but will still function. I was able to use my turkey baster with a clear vinyl tube extension & suck out all most all the oil brake fluid out. Then add new fluid & attached the pressure bleeder & proceed to the wheels. Something that I do, is to use a "C" clamp to squeeze against the outer outside brake pad to compress the caliper piston while I have the bleeder valve open & a clear tube attached, so I can see what air bubble that may be in the piston area. This assures me that most all of the brake fluid is out of the caliper before I push new fluid in via the pressure bleeder. The tube is pressed thru a hole in a clear plastic fruit juice container lid so I can see how much fluid I am pushing out of the system & how bad it looks. The correct procedure is to start at the RR (longest distance), then move to LR. Then RF & last LF. After this is done, be sure the reservoir is topped off & you start the car & pump the brake peddle to expand all (4) caliper pistons. IF you don't do this, you'll end up driving or backing into something, as you will NOT have any braking until they are pumped up to normal. Then take the car to an untraveled dirt road & slam in the brakes several times to get the ABS pump to activate. This will move the old fluid out of the pump.

hope this will help others on the forum.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:57 PM   #12
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So I ran into problems after finally swapping my booster cause of that annoying sounds I've been getting in the cabin when the pedal is depressed.

I have successfully installed the booster and had to remove the abs unit + the brake lines connected to it. I bled the brakes and went in to start te car discovering that my brake pedal goes straight to the floor. I still can drive the car but need to floor the pedal to stop. I believe that since I disconnected my brake lines from the abs unit it introduced a lot of air in the module that is a PITA to get out. Is there any way to bleed the air our? I have the Motove power bleeder and tried the 2 man method twice. Still no cure.

I have heard the dealer has a special machine to "tickle" the unit to remove the air. Or I can find some gravel to activate the dsc to get the air moving. Anyone experienced this and found a solution? How much would the dealer charge?

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