Can I manually bleed brakes?

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Mar 3, 2012
I have new rear calipers and flex lines to swap out on 2004 100 series. Not to sure about ABS system differences from my 1976 FJ40. Can I have my son pump/hold the pedal while I crack open bleed nipples? Key needs to be on for ABS pump? Anything else special? Thanks a million.
That's what I did, but I left the truck running because the brake booster will run, giving you real pressure on the fluid.

Also you have to pump the pedal a bunch of times before refilling so that you don't over fill.

I used the OTRMM video and another thread on here to go through it all.
So keep the engine running the whole time? I thought I read key on, but motor not running. Thanks.
I kept the engine running because I don't have a charger and my Civic doesn't put out enough to jump the LC. I really didn't want to have to use external help because I let the battery die. Just make sure you don't give yourself CO poisoning by keeping the garage shut or something.
I would flush the brake fluid since you've done most of the work already when you are bleeding. Very easy to do with an assistant.

- Key to "On". (engine need not be running)
- Assistant pumps a few times and then holds pedal down.
- Crack a bleeder (10mm box wrench) and fluid flows rapidly to the waiting jar.
- The fluid moves fast so keep the master above minimum.
- If you lose pressure close the bleeder and have the assistant pump/hold again.
- Right front, Left front, Right Rear, Left Rear.
- According to the FSM all four corners bleed the same.
- If you are going to remove a caliper to inspect or replace a pad crack the bleeder before removing the caliper as it can be much harder to turn them when the caliper is loose
- Bleeders are rated for 8ft/lbs torque. Don't over do it. Broken bleeders are common at repair shops.
- after bleeding use brake cleaner to spray fluid off the bleeder (this will make finding any leak later much easier)
- Take this chance to inspect the "rubber" portion of the brake lines
- Before filling the reservoir to "max" release pressure on the system.
- Key to "off" and pump pedal 40+ times until the stroke is lighter and longer.
- Then fill to "max" line.

Now to clear the ABS components you need to go find a road where you can activate the ABS a couple of times. this should mix the Fluid from the ABS channels with the rest of your fluid. This will not flush the old fluid totally out of the system but will ensure that the fluid in the critical ABS components is at least as good as the rest of the system.

The hard-core (not me) could then flush again to ensure the cleanest fluid possible.

Based on what I've read I would choose from the following fluids:
1. Toyota Brand DOT3 - Conservative choice for seal/master cylinder compatability - may be pricey/hard to find
2. Valvoline Synpower Dot4 - Higher performance at low price - readily available - should be fine $6/QT
3. ATE Super Blue Dot4 - Highest performance - $10/Liter - manufacturer says only needs flushed every three years - blue color makes flushing easy to see. (same as ATE Typ 200 only blue) - may have to order online

Don't use White Lithium as it can't take the heat. Use the disc brake grease ($1 a packet stuff) as recommended by spressoman.

Yes, no complaints. They take some of the fun out of winter driving though. No sliding around. Good tire for 90% road 10% trail.

While it is all apart you may want to consider lubing the spindle bushings as described by Christo in this thread. Vibration Thread

This was the procedure that I followed, but the OTRAMM youtube video was helpful too but I didn't do the OBD parts that they suggested.
You don't need to mess with Techstream or activating the ABS solenoids unless you manage to suck the MC dry. You have to have the key in to bleed the rear brakes, but the front brakes will bleed with the key off. The engine does not need to be running. You can have someone pump the brake pedal, but I used a hand vac bleeder attached to my air compressor to do it by myself.

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