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Old 01-16-2013, 12:07 AM   #1
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Special Tool Required for Brake Master Cylinder Replacement?

Hi All,

I need to replace my brake master cylinder on my '05 ZX4. The Haynes manual says I need 'special test equipment' to bleed the system after the master cylinder is installed on cars equipped with ABS.

Does anyone know what this special test equipment is, or how I can get around using it. Obviously, I want to do a proper job to ensure safety, but if there is a DIY trick, I'd like to know.


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Old 01-16-2013, 12:13 AM   #2
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I imagine it would be a scanner or something like that to activate the abs solenoid? Hopefully someone else will chime in with the right answer.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:02 AM   #3
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No, it's probably bench bleeding tubes. The master cylinder should come with directions on how to bench bleed it. You might also want a vacuum bleeder kit, but you should read the directions because bubbles in the lines on a vacuum bleeder are not a cause for alarm. It will actually pull air through the threads on the bleeder nipple.

Open up your new master cylinder and read the directions. Haynes Manuals are meant to confuse people and scare them into taking cars to a mechanic instead of actually giving customers technical knowledge of vehicles and systems. It makes the manual easier to write.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:56 AM   #4
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X 2 on the scary manuals.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:34 AM   #5
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No sleepyboy is right, on some occasions you may need a scan tool capable of bleeding the abs out. Personally I have only ran into that issue once or twice. Also something else I think they listed as "special equipment" is a pressure bleeder, I think they prefer you pressurize the master then crack open the bleeders. As long as you bench bleed the master before you put it on then bleed the system like you normally would on any other car you should be fine.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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Unless there was a change between 2003 and 2005...

The service manual just calls out for traditional bleeding methods, nothing special or proprietary.
-Jar of brake fluid and a hose connected to the nipple at the caliper.
-Pressure bleeding from the reservoir
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:23 PM   #7
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Unless the ABS was activated during low fluid and swallowed air (should be impossible, but somehow people figure out how to do it!), then it is transparent to the system and normal bleeding should work fine. I would AVOID powering it on during bleeding if possible, only do it when necessary or forced............I know I never do anything special for it. Once you get air inside the ABS itself you are in much more trouble from what I've seen.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #8
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Nah its not that bad, we had one come in from the body shop that they couldnt get a firm pedal in after a slight fender bender. They replaced the master twice and the booster before they brought it to us. We tried to bleed normally, then tried to bleed it with our power flush machine just to be sure there was no air. After that we did the abs bleed which as simple as selecting it from the functional test menu on our scan tool, keeping your foot on the brake pedal while it does its thing and after about a minute its done without the need to open bleeders or anything. Obviously though if you have no friends with access to a good scanner you will have to pay someone if it comes to that however I doubt you'll have any issues.
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