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Old 03-05-2007, 09:30 AM   #1
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Bleeding Brakes

How often do you bleed your brakes?

Do you need to take this to a trailer guy or will a 'normal' auto repair shop do? Or do you bleed the brakes yourself?

thanks in advance,
leo
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Brakes

Hi, Are your brakes electric or hydrolic? If electric no bleeding necesary unless you want to let out the electrons in the wires. Hydrolic you can buy a small vacum brake bleader for under $20 at your auto parts store. It is one man operation and it is easy.
Regards Russell in Cloudy Tucson Az.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:52 PM   #3
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I do mine myself every 2 years because every time you open the master cyl you let in humidity. brake fluid loves water. it will rust up your master cyl and cause problems.have you seen fluid after it was changed?some times it is rusty or not clear as new. For the price of a bottle of brake fluid it's worth the time and avoids trouble later on.
Bob
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUSSELL
Hi, Are your brakes electric or hydraulic? ...you can buy a small vacum brake bleader for under $20 at your auto parts store. It is one man operation and it is easy.
Hydraulic (actually, electric to hydraulic)...and thanks for the info.

leo
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:01 PM   #5
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Bleeding is not necessary unless you are opening up the hydrallic system for a repair. As Bob states above brake fluid does attract water. And water is not good at all for the brake system. With that said, flushing out the system or bleeding it as Bob mentioned is not likely required, however it would be good preventive measure. Total cost in fluid would be less than $10. Mostly it's labor.

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Old 03-05-2007, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action
Bleeding is not necessary unless you are opening up the hydrallic system for a repair.
I'm contemplating bleeding the brake lines as I continue to track down my brake delay issues.

Also, the Actibrake installation manual states:

It is recommended that the entire brake system be re-bled after the first 100 miles of road travel.

Which seems a bit odd to me since you would think that success in removing air from the system would be the same on the 1st, 10th, and 100th time (assuming no leaks)...but the Actibrake manual is not big on explanations
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:25 PM   #7
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The DOT-3 brake fluid will absorb enough water from the atmosphere that after 5-8 years it will boil at high elevations, after hard use in the mountains. Complete brake failure can result. I have had the experience. Not good. Change the brake fluid completely after 5 years, if you are intending to go to the mountains.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
It is recommended that the entire brake system be re-bled after the first 100 miles of road travel.

Which seems a bit odd to me since you would think that success in removing air from the system would be the same on the 1st, 10th, and 100th time (assuming no leaks)
I would agree.





dwightdi,

The person that started the thread is dealing with a 2006 unit. So they are in the 1st year of service. +or-

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Old 04-10-2008, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
I'm contemplating bleeding the brake lines as I continue to track down my brake delay issues.

Also, the Actibrake installation manual states:

It is recommended that the entire brake system be re-bled after the first 100 miles of road travel.

Which seems a bit odd to me since you would think that success in removing air from the system would be the same on the 1st, 10th, and 100th time (assuming no leaks)...but the Actibrake manual is not big on explanations
did you resolve your brake delay issue?
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finalcutjoe
did you resolve your brake delay issue?
hi fc'

this appears to be his last post on this issue, so follow up would be great...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/394771-post15.html

there were several overlapping threads on the topic running then.

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:56 PM   #11
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Since brakes are one of the things I do, maybe I can explain a few things about hydraulic brakes, and take some of the mystery out of the equation.
Brake fluid has a high alcohol content, and the alcohol is what attracts and absorbs moisture. However, moisture content alone is not why brakes need to be bled, or brake systems flushed.
Many brake components contain metals like copper, and other contaminants, like rubber, that will accumulate in the fluid, and cause braking problems. A flush or bleed can remove most of these contaminants, and add both longevity to your brake components, as well as keep the boiling point of the brake fluid where it should be. As most everyone knows, water will boil at 212 degrees at sea level, and brake fluid is not supposed to boil until it gets close to 450 degrees. When brake fluid boils, it will expand into a semi gaseous state. You can't compress a fluid, but you can compress a gas, which is where you get a spongy brake pedal. Extreme cases would have the fluid boiling so much that all the travel of the braking system will be consumed by compressing the gasses from the boiling brake fluid, with none left over to move the brake components.
The reason the Actibrake should be rebled after a period is to remove the air bubbles that have been jostled loose from the vibration of movement.
Generally every other year is sufficient for changing the brake fluid.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Since brakes are one of the things I do, maybe I can explain a few things about hydraulic brakes, and take some of the mystery out of the equation.
Brake fluid has a high alcohol content, and the alcohol is what attracts and absorbs moisture. However, moisture content alone is not why brakes need to be bled, or brake systems flushed.
Many brake components contain metals like copper, and other contaminants, like rubber, that will accumulate in the fluid, and cause braking problems. A flush or bleed can remove most of these contaminants, and add both longevity to your brake components, as well as keep the boiling point of the brake fluid where it should be. As most everyone knows, water will boil at 212 degrees at sea level, and brake fluid is not supposed to boil until it gets close to 450 degrees. When brake fluid boils, it will expand into a semi gaseous state. You can't compress a fluid, but you can compress a gas, which is where you get a spongy brake pedal. Extreme cases would have the fluid boiling so much that all the travel of the braking system will be consumed by compressing the gasses from the boiling brake fluid, with none left over to move the brake components.
The reason the Actibrake should be rebled after a period is to remove the air bubbles that have been jostled loose from the vibration of movement.
Generally every other year is sufficient for changing the brake fluid.
Thank you, Terry. That is excellent advise, and a very informative post.
I replace all the brake fluid in my vehicles every two years. My Overlander is next, before my next long trip at the end of the month.
The way I do it is very simple. I use a remote starter switch with a long enough cable extension that reaches to the wheels of the trailer, from the umbilical cord.
I insert one side of the switch to the brake contact, the other side to the charging contact. Now the switch has battery power going to it, and activates the EH unit when it is depressed. This makes bleeding the trailer brakes truly a one man operation.
I use an old turkey baster to suck the brake fluid out of the reservoir first, and replenish with fresh fluid. That way it doesn't take as long to get fresh fluid to the wheels.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:04 PM   #13
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Installing Actibrake disc brakes on our 88 Excella 25. Considered using DOT 5 brake fluid. Actibrake people say no. Have to use DOT 3 or 4.

Use DOT 5 in the braking system of our TV and an old Skamper pop top/now utility trailer's surge brake system with excellent results. It boils at a higher temp than DOT 3 or 4.

DOT 5 will not absorbe water but will entrain air when reservior is filled too quickly and fluid is slightly compressable.

Any thoughts ?
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:12 PM   #14
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DOT5 (silicone) is not advisable unless you have a specialty vehicle, like a high-performance motorcycle or sports car. The silicone does not play nice with some of the components of the system, and will cause more problems than it solves.
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