Making a Brake Bleeder


Bill Connelly

Below is an item transcribed from the "Readers' Tips" section of the January
2003 issue of _Auto Restorer_ (vol.15, no. 1), p. 32, that some might find
helpful. ~Bilgey~:

This tool can be used for a number of tasks and it only requires several
inexpensive parts to assemble. Things you'll need are a hand vacuum pump or
other vacuum source, a glass jar with a metal screw-on lid (one from a pasta
sauce or possibly a Ball or Mason canning jar will do), two feet of 1/8-inch
ID (3/16-inch OD) copper tubing, six feet of clear plastic aquarium hose
and one foot of 3/16-inch vacuum hose.
Drill two holes in the jar lid that will allow for the copper tubing to
fit snugly through. You will be soldering these tubes in place, so clean
and remove paint from this portion of the lid.
Insert lengths of tubing through each hole. One should extend about one
inch inside the lid, while the other should extend almost to the bottom of
the jar. Leave about four inches of each tube extending outside. Now,
solder the tubes in place.
Connect the clear aquarium hose to the tube that extends to the jar's
bottom. This is your fluid line. On the other end of this hose, insert a
one inch section of copper tubing, and then onto that a short piece of
vacuum hose. This will fit over the bleeder tip.
The other tube is for your vacuum source. As long as you don't
overfill, or tip the jar over, no fluid will reach your vacuum pump.
You'll find that this is great for flushing out old brake fluid.
Use it to remove old fluid from the master cylinder; bleeding and
flushing wheel cylinders (the clear hose lets you see air bubbles and how
clean the fluid is), and there are other uses like removing fluid from an
overfilled transmission [or draining Amphi trannies and steering boxes. ~B],
or emptying a power steering reservoir to refill with fresh fluid. To avoid
possible contamination, use different hoses for different tasks.
Shut off valves are available for aquarium hose that might prove useful
in certain situations.
As for using a glass jar while working in the garage? Some say it won't
be long before it's in pieces on the concrete floor. Well, I've had my
bleeder for more than 20 years, and I haven't broken it yet.
John Armstrong
Inverness, Florida