HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

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puttputtinpup
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HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby puttputtinpup » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:45 am

Has anyone ever used one of these on an 81-87 Pup? http://www.harborfreight.com/brake-flui ... ader-92924 I tried a hand vacuum pump bleeder once and didn't get any fluid. This one has good reviews, but I'm not sure if it works with the Pup system or not. Since the book emphasizes it, I have always recommended the engine be running while the brakes are being bled, but this assumes you're doing it the old way w/ a helper pushing the brake pedal.

My wife had surgery recently, and can't help me this time. I have a rebuilt set of calipers to install on my Pup (pulling to one side when braking). Even if she hadn't had surgery, she HATES helping me bleed the brakes.
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edwright
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Re: HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby edwright » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:31 pm

My son uses these, they are great at flushing old fluid out of the system. I couldnt get one to work on a hydraulic clutch, but Ive used them on brakes before. a lot easier than with a helper.

BUT, like the problem I had with the clutch, you need to pump up the calipers before you bleed the system with that thing. At least thats what I found. Even if you pump some air into them, its better if the calipers are fully extended before you start with the flush.
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puttputtinpup
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Re: HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby puttputtinpup » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:26 pm

Thanks, Ed. I went ahead and bought this baby!
pneumatic bleeder.jpg
I tell you what...I was very pleased with the results! I had to change my front calipers because the left one wasn't grabbing very well.

A little history on my brakes first. I rebuilt these calipers back in '96 or '97:
I put new pads on my truck back when I 1st got it. Then, the right piston seized up against the rotor, and heated it up warping it. I had the rotor turned, and rebuilt the caliper with a kit from NAPA. I was in a pinch financially, and nobody had a caliper in stock. I had to go with the kit. I forced the piston out with pedal pressure as the caliper hung over a bucket. I found that the edge of the piston was rusty, and the bottom/lowest part of the bore was rusty also. This was no doubt the result of moisture in the system, and the fluid not being bled often enough. The crusty rust causes the tolerance to be too great, and the piston got wedged in the bore. Anyway, I sanded the rusted parts w/ some light emery cloth, as the caliper hung there dripping. I had to keep fluid in the reservoir so it wouldn't go dry. Yes, I was a novice at this. New seals and new boot & retainer ring installed, I put things back together. It wasn't long after that, the left side did the same thing. Back about 8yrs ago I installed new rotors on both sides, and then used some of my son's reject brake pads he bought from Autozone, but didn't like...even though I had purchased a set of factory pads from Jerry Lemond. Zoom forward....

So, all has been well until recently the truck would pull to the right when I braked. I have driven the truck less than 3000 miles since the Memphis Meet, but with this Cayce meet fast approaching, I wanted to get this thing right. Time to install the factory brakes. I knew my homemade caliper rebuild had outlived their life expectancy, so off to RockAuto I went. Surprisingly, the calipers were very affordable. With a $5 core charge, I decided to just keep the blasted things. Maybe they'll handle another rebuild one day.

Working on brakes, and bleeding brakes are far from my most favorite things to do on my P'up, or any vehicle. Really. My wife hates helping me bleed brakes even MORE! She was very emphatic...she would NOT do brake bleeding this time. I promised I'd switch and let her pump the pedal this time! :shock: :lol: :wink: Just kidding.

A few years ago, I bought a hand vacuum pump bleeder, but I wasn't successful using it. Arrowmntdiesel recommended I smear grease around the threads of the bleeder screw to prevent air from sucking in around them. Then I could tell for sure all the air was out of the brake line. This was probably one of the BEST pieces of advice I ever got about brake bleeding. Thanks, Mark!

Given the fact my wife wouldn't help me, and my son (finalman) is in Germany, I had to find a one man brake bleeder. My son asked if I'd consider using a power bleeder. I saw videos on line about how to make your own bleeder that pressurized the system by capping off the reservoir with a special cap, and putting about 15-25lbs of air into a pump up sprayer with some fluid in it. I chose to try the Harbor Freight vacuum pneumatic bleeder. Using your compressor, you essentially suck fluid from the reservoir down to the caliper or brake cylinder bleeder screw. This was a real piece of cake to use! For $26, this was one of the best investments I've ever made! My wife concurs.

The little jug with extra fluid goes upside down in the reservoir. It comes with various size nylon adapters, but none of them actually work exactly right in the opening. I used the largest adapter, and propped the tank up carefully so it wouldn't fall over. There's even a cutoff ball valve in the cap.
IMG_20130908_164925_663.jpg


The suction tank does not come with a quick connect airline fitting, so you'll have to buy one. Connect the clear hose to the bleeder screw (break loose the bleeder screw 1st, then snug it back up. Use a wrench to crack it open when it comes time to bleed). Turn the pressure down on your compressor to about 60lbs. You don't really need that much. Pull the trigger on the collection jug just a little. As air goes through the valve, it creates a vacuum in the jug. Crack the bleeder screw, and watch the dirty fluid and bubbles flow. Don't pull the trigger all the way. Work it real easy. The fluid will eventually become clearer as new fluid reaches the collection jug. If you see tiny bubble, you may have air leaking around the bleeder screw threads. Pack more grease around it, and bleed some more.
IMG_20130908_164949_095.jpg
My right rear bleeder screw was clogged, so I did have to remove it completely, clean out the tiny hole, blow compressed air through it, reinstall it. Then I sweetly persuaded my wife to help me bleed this one the old fashioned way just two bleed cycles (with the engine running) because there was a restriction in the cylinder. The master cylinder forced the trash out. NASTY STUFF! I was able to then finish the bleeding on that wheel with the vacuum bleeder. Engine off.

I have been watching Duck Dynasty while writing this post, so it goes without saying...I am Happy Happy!

Two thumbs up for this gadget! PLUS, I didn't have to run the engine while doing the bleeding. Well, except for a few minutes to unclog the last wheel cylinder.
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puttputtinpup
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Re: HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby puttputtinpup » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:13 am

HF must have read my review. I went to their store the other day to buy one for my dad, and they went up on the price about $10!!!. Also, this would be a great tool for bleeding the air out of your diesel fuel system. Just hook to the injector pump return outlet to the tank, supply 12v to the fuel cutoff solenoid, and run the bleeder.
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RobbMeeX
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Re: HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby RobbMeeX » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:58 pm

How very appropriate. Just bought the pneumatic bleeder myself. I really like this tool. Most my coworkers steal it cuz its that awesome.
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puttputtinpup
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Re: HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby puttputtinpup » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:53 am

regardless of which bleeder you use, I think it's crucial that you smear a gob of grease around the threads at the base of the bleeder screw to prevent air from getting sucked into the bleeder drain hose.
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dmaxer
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Re: HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby dmaxer » Sun May 18, 2014 8:35 pm

I got one of these, yes it makes the work faster and easier. Just make sure to clean it after using it coz rubber and plastic, my be eaten up by the fluid it self.

Maurice
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Re: HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby Maurice » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:28 am

I have one of the HF pneumatic brake bleeders and it works great for brakes. It's the only HF product I've bought that worked better than I thought it should.

I've also found other uses for it, such as emptying the power steering reservoir when I wanted to change the fluid.
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puttputtinpup
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Re: HF Pneumatic brake bleeder??

Postby puttputtinpup » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:16 am

Great suggestion! Might also work well sucking the oil out of a small Briggs & Stratton engine
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