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Old 10-23-2007, 10:29 PM   #1
tt460
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Problem when power bleeding brakes

I just did a SVT brake kit upgrade on my '03 Focus SE Wagon with ABS and bled the brakes with a Motive Products power bleeder.

I've bled other cars using this power bleeder, but the Focus did something strange after I made it all the way around bleeding the brakes. I did the rear brakes first, then front brakes. Everything seemed fine. I went back to the rear brakes to make sure I got all of the air from the system and couldn't get anything to come out of the rear passenger side brake caliper or the driver's side front caliper. The system is pumped up to 25psi and has plenty of fluid in the reservoir and pressure tank... Nothing comes out when I crack the bleeders on those two brake calipers.

Has anyone else had a problem like this when bleeding their Focus brakes? Does the ABS unit have to be bled at all? What about the M/C, are their bleeders on it that need to be bled?

Thanks for any info you can share.


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Old 10-23-2007, 10:48 PM   #2
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are the bleeders plugged?

Also you shouldn't need to open the abs to bleed but it may need to be actuated by a scan tool once it's bled or you will never have a brake pedal.

I'd suggest grabbing a friend and doing it the West Virginia way.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:50 PM   #3
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Could be the bleeders are plugged...did you try removing them completely? When I installed my SVT rear discs one of the bleeders wouldn't flow so I just loosened it until the fluid came out around the bottom of the bleeder.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:55 PM   #4
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^^
When I first started working on cars my boss was bleeding with me and it wouldn't go and he said pull it out and blow on it to see if it was plugged.

Needlessly to say he fell out of a crown vic 2 feet in the air laughing at me.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:20 AM   #5
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Have you tried the old school way...with an assistant pumping the pedal? I have a complete brake fluid exchanger but its fairly close to your motive bleeder in design. But I will tell you the exchanger is great for replacing fluid, very easy to use and quick, however its not great for removing air. It will take out a little but not much. When removing air it will go much faster and much easier with an assistant. I just pulled the calipers off my svt to put on cross drilled rotors and paint the calipers and had to air bleed the system with an assistant and not the exchanger. Hope this helps buddy
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:41 AM   #6
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A power bleeder puts positive pressure on the fluid in the reservior, so as soon as one of the bleeders opens fluid is going to start running out. I've bled my brakes and clutch several times with my power bleeder and have never had a problem with it pushing air out, its either a plugged bleeder or a problem with the ABS package.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:06 AM   #7
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ordinarily I would agree with ya bud but I used both of these methods just this weekend and if the bleeder was plugged then pressing the brake pedal wouldnt work neither but it did. I'm wondering if the secondary piston in the mc is blocking fluid flow unless the brake pedal is actually depressed. That would explain why the fronts are flowing and the rears aren't. But give it a try bud and see if she works and hey if not my apologies for being wrong.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:07 AM   #8
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^
Check his post again, the calipers that won't bleed are on opposite corners (driver/front and passenger/left.)
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:54 AM   #9
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I have a 1-man bleeder bottle and hooked that up and pumped the brakes a few times, I also had the power bleeder hooked up at the same time. Got the same results with nothing or very little fluid coming out of the same two calipers (drivers front, passenger rear). To me that's about as good as the buddy system.

I pulled both bleeders out completely and no fluid flowed out of the calipers. I'm pretty confused at this point. I'll try to see if something is clogging the hole that feeds the bleeders when I get home from work tonight.

Thanks for the feedback guys!
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:24 PM   #10
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Well, I tried bleeding the brakes again and guess what: everything worked the way it is supposed to!

Must've been a bubble in the M/C or something that wasn't letting the fluid through. After sitting over night it's working fine and I bled the two brakes that gave me problems and fluid flowed fine. One pump of the pedal and it pumped right up and got hard the way it should.

Thanks for all the info. You guys are great.
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