Planning a Brake Bleeding

(Greg) #1

So next weekend I am planning on bleeding the brakes on my 88 XJS for the first time, and am trying to gather all the needed equipment/tools/parts. The brakes are in OK enough shape to keep for now. Next year, I plan on dropping the rear suspension and doing a full brake and suspension job, and anything else that is needed back there. But for now, I just want to get out the old fluid.

I’m going ahead and replacing all three brake hoses, the one in the rear and the two in the front, for preventative measures, as they’re quite cheap.

I’m bleeding the rear brakes without dropping the frame, can I also replace that rear hose too? It seems to be off to the side, not too hard to get to?

Any advice would be useful. I’ve got a can of PB Blaster too :slight_smile:

(Michael Garcia) #2

bleeding the entire system is easy

3/8th inch hose
brake fluid gets it on easily
hose clamp
high point above,
as to siphon…
check your reservior early and often as to not run dry,
start with the shortest line first,
in the states
left front
right front,
left rear
right rear…

when you are about to replace lines,
l would replace them first
but that is just me…

(Michael Garcia) #3

if there is all kinds of crap in there

maybe use a turkey baster to remove as much of out of the reservior, save,

open up the nipples with a hose attached, save…

fill that reservoir with brake cleaner,
couple a few cans,
cause your gonna have to bleed them,
except, l would
a nipple at a time, probably rear to front,
pumping that crap out of there…

when bleeding
and the res is low,
if there is alot of
in there,
remove and clean…

(Michael Garcia) #4

l would save as much of it as l could
because the crap settles,
it is thicker than brake fluid

before you put new fluid in
pump the old stuff through
and it will remove whatever stubborn stuff that may exist.

bleeding the entire system by yourself takes time
but it is not difficult

make sure to keep an eye on the reservoir

keep the motor off…

(Michael Garcia) #5

if you have a nice garage
maybe put some plastic down

(Robin O'Connor) #6

If you are going to flush anything through the system the last thing I would use is the old stuff, better to use methylated spirits and then new BF.

(Greg) #7

Regarding the actual bleeding, I always use a Motive pressure bleeder and run 2 liters of brake fluid thru, rear right, rear left, front right, then front left.

Just curious if an ordinary flare wrench will fit up where the inboard calipers are, and how easy it is to change rear hose. No special tools or tricks needed?


Access for the top end of the hose is a pain but it can be done. You will find it easier if you “modify” your tools to suit. I did mine yesterday - had to cut down a spanner (wrench) to get it in there. Check the nut sizes carefully before starting to avoid rounding them off - may be a mixture of metric and imperial.


(Kirbert - author of the Book, former owner of an '83 XJ-S H.E.) #9

I think the rears are Imperial, the fronts are metric.


That may well be how it left the factory - my rears should have been 9/16 but someone had been in there before me and some fittings had metric hex heads! I needed 13mm and 15mm - leastways those spanner sizes fitted better!



(Greg) #11

thanks for the info, i only have metric flare wrenches, so may have to go buy an imperial. Do NOT want to round off a rear caliper bleeding screw. 9/16"?

No info regarding the single rear hose, is it accessible without dropping frame? Most photos I see of people dropping their frames seem to cut that hose in half. I hope the upper nut is not impossible to get to.

(sixcyl) #12

An '88 could well have a Teeves brake system, if so bleed according to the manual as there is a specific way to do it.

(Steve) #13

This is correct, but the OP in another thread of his had indicated that his 88 coupe is with the normal vacuum booster, not the electric Teves III.

(Greg) #14

Mine does not have teeves. US 88 model, manufactured in 87.

(Michael Garcia) #15

sedement in old brake fluid settles to the bottom of the container overnight…
run it through a paint strainer
into another container
leaving about 10 to 20 percent in the original container, depending on how much sediment is within…

keeping your dot 4 properties
intact is important

bleeding from the longest stem
to the shortest incorporates
old fluid
into the longer stems

if what you see
when you start to bleed them looks ok
just pump in new fluid and
forget about it

(Michael Garcia) #16

old brake fluid serves as good cleaner


Maybe I have misunderstood - which hose exactly are you referring to?


(Greg) #18

The main hydraulic hose that connects the metal lines supplying fluid to both rear calipers.