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87 Camry question about if I need to Bleed the brakes when changing the strut to
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April 2, 2010, 5:56:56 AM
Hello to all,
1st off I want to thank everyone on these forums for answering my numerous ?'s and helping me you guys/girls are the best. I have another dilemma now here is it...

Solution to my 87 Camry Sagging low in the rear as follows. I went and took off 2 whole assembly (coil, shock, & strut all together) at the junk yard today off a 91 Camry with 93k ORGINAL WOW got lucky there.

Okay so my ? here is when I disconnect the rear brake line to (drum brakes wheel cylinder) can I leave it hanging upright so it does not leak out or is it better to leave it dripping out in a pan? The other ? is do I need to bleed the brakes when I reconnect the brake line back and if so how? I dont have a helper just me so please dont type for me to have someone pump the brake pedal while I bleed the brakes as I am looking for another way to do this job on my own here. I was told 3 ways 1 do NOTHING just disconnect then reconnect the brake line (since it is rear brakes) it should be okay and not have air in system. 2nd after disconnecting the brake line squeeze the brake line with vice grips to stop the brake fluid from coming out then reconnect and that is it. 3rd to let the brake line drip into a pan and after reconnecting it back loosen the bleeder screw and let a little air out then repeat steps until air is gone. Note on the 3rd option they said not to pump the brake pedal as they knew I dont have anyone to help me do that. I am guessing that they are saying by loosening the bleeder screw a couple of times a little that will let air out. Please advise me which option is best or the CORRECT way to do this job. Also another ? is should I loosen the bleeder screw a little bit before I disconnect the brake line? Please advise me here as I have never done this the correct way and I would like to learn this time around thanks.

April 7, 2010, 7:51:37 PM
Personally, I would flush the brakes while I have the system disconnected. You already have to bleed the air out of them, might as well bleed the whole system. Fluid should be changed out every other year or 30K miles for maximum protection anyways. Since you are working on the rear struts - makes more sense, as you want to flush from the furthest line and work toward the master cylinder.

Once you crack the line - air WILL get into the system. May not be much air, but it will be enough to cause problems. If you are going to work on this alone, I'd highly recommend getting a pressure bleeder, vacuum bleeder, or speed bleeders.

Pressure bleeder is the simplest - hook a pressurized reservoir to the master cylinder - crack the bleeder screw and air/fluid will be forced through the line, no need to pump the brakes at all. The reservoir will insure that there is a steady stream of fresh fluid available, no need to top off the master cylinder, as the fluid lost will automatically be replenished.

Vacuum bleeder does it from the other end. You put a vacuum on the bleeder screw, crack it open, and vacuum will pull air/fluid out the screw. Takes a bit longer and you need to make sure that you are not sucking in air (need a good seal around bleeder screw). Master cylinder will need to be topped off, if you accidentally pull the fluid too low, you'll suck air into the lines and will have to redo all the work.

Speed bleeders are the original one-person brake bleeding system. You replace the original bleeders with these speed bleeders. The speed bleeders have a special one-way check valve that only allow fluid and air out. You crack open the speed bleeder, make sure ther master cylinder is topped off, and pump the brake pedal. You are forcing the oil fluid from the master cylinder down and out through the speed bleeder. Almost exactly like a two-person method, except the speed bleeder keeps old fluid and air from getting back in. When you are done, top off master cylinder and tighten bleeder screw. Same precautions needed here like the vacuum bleeded, need to guard against too low of a fluid level in the master cylinder.

Also helps to install a clear rubber hose on the another of the bleeder screws as you drain the air/old fluid away. Direct that into an empty drain pan or clear bottle. You'll know when all the old fluid is pumped out because of the color change in the fluid.

April 8, 2010, 3:08:46 AM
Wow now that is a ANSWER Awesome.... Thanks so much for giving me all that info as it is helpful and bleeding the brakes is new to me. Do you do the same procedure of bleeding the brakes for front (disc) brakes as the rear? If any difference please explain thanks.

Oh what happens if you dont bleed the brakes will your pedal not work I have been told it will be spongy correct?

April 9, 2010, 9:18:28 PM
Correct - bleeding brakes incorrectly will result in no brakes/spongy brake pedal.

As for the front - same procedure as the rears. It is recommended to bleed the brakes from the brake furthest from the master cylinder and work your way inward. So that would be RR first (Right Rear - passenger side rear drum), then LR (Left Rear - driver side rear drum), then RF (Right Front - passenger side front disc), finally LF (Left Front - driver side front disc).

April 9, 2010, 10:43:24 PM
Hello there,
Thanks for the info what do you think of the one man bleeder kits they sell for like $8? I was thinking of getting/using one of those and wanted to get your input as to whether they are worth it or useful please advise thanks.

April 9, 2010, 11:00:50 PM
If the kits comes with a check valve - probably OK. I've seen some that use a bottle and some clear tubing, elevating the drain bottle so that no air can get back into the system. In principle, they work - problem is that most tend to leak around the brake bleeder fitting or worse, suck air into the system.

Better to go with a pressure or vacuum bleeder or speed bleeders, example speed bleeder here They have be around a long time, and they work pretty well. Between pressure or vacuum bleeders - pressure would be easier. Example of one:

I currently have a vacuum bleeder - but that is mainly so I have less tools around the house. I've used speed bleeders in the past, this makes more sense if you have one or two primary vehicles. Since I'm picking up more cars soon - a pressure bleeding system makes more sense for me in the future.

April 9, 2010, 11:27:03 PM
Thanks very much for that info I think i should get the pressure bleeder as I have 3 cars. Thanks for your help.

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