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Brake Bleeding with the Motive Power Bleeder

March 1st, 2009

A friend recently asked me about the brake bleeder that I use and what I thought of it.    This is an edited version of the email I sent.

It’s the Motive Products Power Bleeder with 45mm threaded hydraulic fluid reservoir cap.


It’s basically a bug sprayer with a pressure gauge and adapters for the brake fluid reservoirs.
It’s the only brake bleeder I’ve used, so I can’t compare.

It seems to work fairly well, despite having annoyances.

I added a tee to the hose and installed a second cap so I can bleed both sides at the same time (the reality is i keep forgetting which reservoir corresponds to which wheel cylinder!).

Installing the caps on the reservoir is a pain  — you have to pre-twist the hoses just right.

I keep losing the gaskets in the caps, and have to remake them out of old innertubes.

I wish there was a pressure release valve — when you are done, losing the extra pressure before removing the reservoir caps is somewhat difficult.

Also, it leaves the reservoirs over-full — you have to drain the extra by inverting the Power Bleeder and cracking a bleed valve.    Some sort of suck-back or way of displacing the fluid with air would be cool.

The catch bottle kit is useful too.    It helps prevent air being sucked in from the nipple if you lose pressure.    Unfortunately the hose that comes with it is just a tad too small for the nipples on the volvo bleed valves.    I have yet to fix this (I always remember to do this while cursing the brake fluid all over me, upside down under Trog.).     I’m going to add a high strength magnet to the catch bottle tether — finding a random protrusion/nut to hook them over is sometimes difficult.

I bet using a bleeder kit that uses vacuum to draw fluid from the bleeder valves  would be good in conjunction with the Motive — to get those bubbles you know are hiding out in the high points above and in the servos.

I also bleed from the top of the servos (just crack the 17 (or 18)mm nut at the top and bleed til bubbles go away.   It create a royal mess, dripping brake fluid over various stuff below.

Access to the bleed valves on the wheel cylinders is tough for some of them.    I’ve spent a fair amount of oxy-acetylene time bending a wrench contorted to reach.    What would be awesome would be a ratchet socket on a universal wobble joint, with an internal hose — not sure how that’d all work out though.

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