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Old 02-29-12, 08:03 PM   #1
Discusman
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Hydraulic Brake Bleeding Procedure

Hi all,

Do you guys use syringes to bleed the brake? I watched couple YouTube clips about how to bleed hydraulic brakes. Most of them use at least one syringe to do the bleeding.

I have Rite Aid, Wal-Green & Target in my area. Not sure if they have them.

Is there a way to do the bleeding without syringes?
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Old 02-29-12, 08:11 PM   #2
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You need to look at the manufactures instructions on how to bleed the brakes you have, as all are different / have a different process, some need proprietary tools for this.

You will probably find it easier to order a specific bleed kit for the brakes you have, rather than trying to get the parts from multiple sources, even it if is cheaper that way.
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Old 02-29-12, 11:38 PM   #3
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The two-syringe method is better than the squeeze-bottle bleed kits. But you need to be looking at livestock syringes. You have a Big R or an equine supply in your area?
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Old 03-01-12, 02:30 PM   #4
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i don't know your whole situation, i'm not trying to keep you from being self sufficient, it's cool, i just want to bring up a point or two:

if you are going to be bleeding your brakes all the time, get the brake specific bleed kit and do it right from the start.

if you are not planning on being your own mechanic, it might just be cheaper and easier and quicker to bring the bike to a shop and have them do it.

brakes that work like they are supposed to are kinda important in mountain biking.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick responses. First of all, my bike is 10 years old and I bought it from Ebay. It doesn't come any user instruction booklet. I bled my brake a few years back without using any special tools and it was mostly successful, although the brake started leaking slowly as time passes, eventually stopped working completely.

About the syringe, why can't I just use any type of syringe? I just need to use it to inject the oil in and out of the brake fluid lines to get the air bubbles out. I am in NYC and I am not sure there is Big R or Equine Supply in my area.

What brake bleed kit you guys talking about?

Also, my brake brand is "Navigator" 6-piston system which I believe some cheap product made in TaiWan. It must be discontinued because I couldn't find it anywhere on the internet.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:42 PM   #6
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Ten year old hydraulic discs I've never heard off... hmm.

My suggestion is to dump them for new mechanical disks or pre-bled hydrualics.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:47 PM   #7
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If you have never done it, it's easier to screw the brakes up by not doing it right than it is getting it right at the first shot.

Get new brakes, far less headaches than trying to revamp 10 year old hydros.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:56 PM   #8
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Newer Shimano is super simple to bleed without a kit, but the age of the bike indicates a trip to your local bike store,
The kit is still likely cheaper than new hydraulic brakes.
Having a pro do it for you is likely even cheaper still- but be prepared they may tell you it's simply not worth it, brakes too far gone and new ones worth more than the bike.
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Old 03-01-12, 09:34 PM   #9
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I probably need to take some pics of my bike. My bike is relatively light compare to most bikes I seen on the street. I paid $1200 for it (Kona/Fastrax) in 2003. The bike is full suspension with Roxshock in the front and light titanium frame I think. The rims/spokes are Mavic with Shimano pedals etc.. I am gonna take some pics. I think I only rode the bike less than 10 times during the past 10 years. So not too much of wears and tears.
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Old 03-01-12, 09:37 PM   #10
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If it's been sitting, the brake fluid could have eaten away at the internals.
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Old 03-02-12, 01:52 AM   #11
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About the syringe, why can't I just use any type of syringe? I just need to use it to inject the oil in and out of the brake fluid lines to get the air bubbles out. I am in NYC and I am not sure there is Big R or Equine Supply in my area.
No worries. Advantage to livestock/horse syringes is their volume - - they hold more fluid.
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Old 03-02-12, 07:25 AM   #12
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The main thing is that every point along the system of your syringe, little piece of tube, and where you connect the tube to the caliper is air tight. The syringe also needs to be able to hold about 10-15ml at a minimum (a 25ml syringe was pretty ideal for my set up). I found bleeding the brakes to be really easy, you just need to have the right tools, and follow the instructions for your specific model.

I thought in another thread you were looking for new brakes. Another vote for getting new brakes =P
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Old 03-02-12, 05:44 PM   #13
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Yes, I would consider buying a new set if I am unable to fix the brake. I visited my local drug store and they told me it is illegal to sell syringes without a prescription. I guess this would the law of NYC. Now what? Where can the syringe to do the job?
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Old 03-03-12, 08:54 AM   #14
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Some detailed photos of this brakeset(both caliper and lever) would be really helpful. You may not even need syringes to bleed your brakes - might be as simple as hooking some tubing up to the caliper bleed nipple and adding fluid to the top reservoir. Of course, if your seals are damaged(and assuming you can't get replacements), you may just be wasting your time trying to fix them.
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Old 03-03-12, 10:33 AM   #15
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Some detailed photos of this brakeset(both caliper and lever) would be really helpful. You may not even need syringes to bleed your brakes - might be as simple as hooking some tubing up to the caliper bleed nipple and adding fluid to the top reservoir. Of course, if your seals are damaged(and assuming you can't get replacements), you may just be wasting your time trying to fix them.
I used the method you stated in your replay and it worked before. But I tried to fix the brake using the same method last weekend and it didn't work, but given the fact that I didn't have a air tube attached bleed nipple at that time. So I am getting a clear air tube to try it again today. I pumped the brake leveler so the oil can be pumped through the line to brake caliper.

However, the syringes will be a better way to bleed the brakes. Anyway, let's see what's the outcome of attempt today. If not, I may need to buy some syringes oversea.

I like the new Shimano brake sets, but I'm kind of hesitate to throw down $200-$300 for them when I'm not sure how often I will be riding the bike.
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Old 03-03-12, 10:46 AM   #16
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Here are some syringes you can order online. They do not have needles so you don't need a prescription. You need to find some aquarium air tubing or something to hook them to your brakes.

I have a Rural King close by and am using these myself.

http://www.ruralking.com/syringe-35c...-slip-2pk.html
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Old 03-03-12, 11:02 AM   #17
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What brand of brakes are they? They'll say on them somewhere. If you need help identifying them, post photos. For some brands, the proper tool kit is basically mandatory... Avid's toolkit allows pulling a vacuum on selected parts of the system at a time, Shimano's very latest are designed to serve as a temporary external reservoir at the lever.
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Old 03-03-12, 11:49 AM   #18
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OP- You can get the big syringes (sans needle) at a farm supply house or at a veterinary clinic.
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Old 03-03-12, 05:33 PM   #19
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Guys, thanks for all the input. Finally I fixed the brake problem and now they are working. I used an aquarium air tube to get the air bubbles and brake fluid out of the system while pumping the brake lever. There were a lot of air bubbles coming out of the brake fluid line. But I feel I may still need to purchase a new set to replace the rear disk brake if the leak situation gets worse.

I took the bike out and had a ride around the blocks. It was so nice to taste the fresh breeze while riding the bike. I think this is first 10 mins bike ride in 7 years. I'm going to take the bike to the park tomorrow if the weather allows.

Now the problem I see there are some rust on the chain and lots of dust and they are greasy everywhere on the bike. How do I clean the bike and add lubricant to the moving parts?

Here are some pics of my bike and I apologize for the dust bike photos. I was taking the pics in a rush this afternoon. The bike is not as smooth as I expected due to sitting there for years.

I think my local bike store will charge about $80 to clean the bike and lubricate it. Is it worth it or I can just do it myself?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Mid.jpg (103.2 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Rear Gear.jpg (103.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Shimano 1.JPG (98.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Handlebar.JPG (85.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Bike 3.jpg (101.0 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Rim 1.JPG (72.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Bike 1.jpg (102.1 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Bike 2.jpg (98.1 KB, 11 views)
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Old 03-03-12, 05:33 PM   #20
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Can the web master re-arrange my pics in my post? Thanks
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Old 03-03-12, 06:13 PM   #21
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With all the photos you've posted, there are none of the brakes, a photo of the lever and caliper would be useful to ID the brand of brakes you have.
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Old 03-03-12, 08:26 PM   #22
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With all the photos you've posted, there are none of the brakes, a photo of the lever and caliper would be useful to ID the brand of brakes you have.
The brakes are "Navigator 6 Piston" and nothing turn up in Google. So I don't think there are replacement parts for it. Shimano XT M785 will be on my shopping list when the time comes.
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Old 03-04-12, 07:49 AM   #23
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For the tune-up, maybe look into doing it yourself. Here are a couple useful resources to help you get it dialed in: http://sheldonbrown.com/, http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
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