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I made a pressure brake bleeder out of a half-gallon bug sprayer from ACE hardware.  For the cap on the reservoir I just bought a new cap from a VW parts place (happens to be the same as a Volvo if you wish to upgrade).

I can send you the plans, if you wish (the "user Manual") is attached.

I've modified mine with a 1/8" ID "Quik-Connect" fitting that allows the cap to rotate freely AND I can quickly change from the Speedstah cap to a different one on our other cars.  "Constant Product Improvement" - just like when I was still working!

 

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols
Gordon Nichols posted:

I made a pressure brake bleeder out of a half-gallon bug sprayer from ACE hardware.  For the cap on the reservoir I just bought a new cap from a VW parts place (happens to be the same as a Volvo if you wish to upgrade).

I can send you the plans, if you wish (the "user Manual") is attached.

I've modified mine with a 1/8" ID "Quik-Connect" fitting that allows the cap to rotate freely AND I can quickly change from the Speedstah cap to a different one on our other cars.  "Constant Product Improvement" - just like when I was still working!

 

I dig this. I need to bleed my brakes soon. I've always had the wifey help me in the past. I'll start looking for the parts. Thank you for the DIY write up Gordon! 

The original plans I used (from a BMW site) are kaput, so look at this one, with some caveats:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng_trFj9gg0

Here's the sprayer I used.  2-quart should be fine for a Speedster/Spyder system:

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Caveats:  You do not need a pressure gauge.  What are you, NASA?  Give it 3 or 5  pumps (tops) and you're good to go.  

Get a real VW brake fluid reservoir cap (or a cap for whatever reservoir you are using) and modify THAT.  Nothing beats the real thing.  Remember to add an o-ring or rubber washer inside of the cap to seal it if it doesn't come with one.  From the top (inside) of the cap, figure out the depth that the fluid is when at the "full" line.  Add a length of copper tubing from the cap to that depth and when you're done bleeding and drain the system, THAT will be the depth remaining in the tank (see the user manual).

IMG_0269

You do not need a tank bleed valve, but if it comes with one, that's a bonus.  Instead, just unscrew the pump handle enough to let it release pressure.  Again, we're not talking a lot of pressure here - maybe 4 - 5 pounds max - to do whatever bleeding you need to do and you will not have brake fluid just spewing out when purging the tank - not gonna happen.

The water-cooled division of Five Cent Racing stole my version with the quick disconnects  so my remaining one just uses the the original sprayer wand valve (which has a locking on feature) and the hoses that connect to that.  Unscrew the cap end, screw the cap onto the reservoir then screw the hose onto the wand valve and let 'er rip!

IMG_0270

Here is another good video showing how to make one: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX04sMcMweg

Remember to gently pump a little fluid through the system first to get it to the cap, then screw on the cap and pressurize the system.  It will hold 2 quarts of fluid, enough to easily bleed the entire system whether Speedster or Spyder (hydraulic clutch, too).

I never save the remaining brake fluid - it absorbs water too quickly so I just discard it. You can try bleeding with just a quart of fluid - I have and for one or two wheels (maybe even 3 or 4 if you're efficient) had no trouble.  You cannot introduce air into the brake system with this bleeder due to the design of the cap tube.

I had all the stuff beyond the sprayer kicking around the shop, but even if you buy new parts to do this, you should come in somewhere under @$25 bucks, or about $100 less than commercial versions.

Happy DIY-ing!

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

"Gordon could you not simply top up the fluid at the end to the fill line if your off with the height of your fill tube cap combo?"

Sure, but 99% of the time that is unnecessary - when you let it drain back into the sprayer after you're done bleeding everything, the fluid remaining in the reservoir should be right at the fill line if you've set the length of the tube under the cap correctly.  If not.......Top it off.

I've tried commercial vacuum bleeders and pressure bleeders. I even have a spare MC cap with a Schrader valve threaded in the top. I use that for initial bleeding.

But I have never gotten as solid a pedal as I do when you do a good hard and heavy 3 pump-and-hold. Repeat about 6 times. It seems to drive the tiniest air bubbles out and give you a repeatable, high, and solid pedal. No hot fluid(air) fade.

Yes, brake fluid absorbs water like a sponge so I made my pressure bleeder in a 2-quart size so it’ll work with a single quart of juice so I’m not wasting a lot when I use it.  Been a good approach thus far.  

All of the “VW” style caps are about the same and the same as many Volvo tank caps, too.  Probably the best thing to do for an IM, though, is either get another one from IM or find out what it is, from them, and get one locally to insure that it’ll fit your tank cap threads.

Hey, while we're on a thread of DIY projects, my neighbor recently threw out a worn-out document shredder for the trash truck (it had chewed up too many old credit cards, I guess).  I grabbed it and removed the drive motor from it and then put the shredder remains back for the trash.  

The drive motor is about the size of a hand ball and runs on 110 volts AC so I pulled it  apart, removed the armature and bearings and turned it into a magnetizer/demagnetizer.

You may have seen my first one, made from a removed oil burner blower motor, but that one admittedly has a YUGE! coil and is vast overkill for a shop magnetizer that gets used mostly for screw-drivers (but Tim Allen on "Tool Time" would absolutely LOVE IT!)  

THIS one is much smaller, and while it can't turn a regular spark plug socket into a magnetized spark plug socket, it is just perfect for zapping screw-drivers and other iron-based tools and doesn't heat up while in use like it's big brother.

So, I give you the original "Ultra-Magnetron 10,000" and it's new, soon-to-be-a-Christmas-gift little brother, the "Magnetron 1,500 Lite".

IMG_0365IMG_0367

Do not be fooled by the "Lunch-Time Salad Container" look - This is a serious piece of shop equipment designed and built to last for generations of use, assuming we're still allowed to have small hand tools in a few more generations.  Fully fused and thermally-protected (as the original motor was) for operator safety, "The Magnetron 1,500 Lite" is the perfect tool for instantly  magnetizing and demagnetizing any of your shop screw-drivers or small pliers - in fact, ANY small ferrous tool in your shop, with a simple pulse of the power button!  

(Note:  This model might not have enough poop to magnetize sockets larger than 1/8" and it shouldn't screw up your mechanical Rolex Oyster, but we haven't yet finished environmental testing so, in the meantime, don't wear a mechanical watch within three feet of these devices when in use - Caveat Emptor).

Never again will you have to hold a screw on the end of a non-magnetized screw-driver with one hand while trying to turn the tool with the other as the tool itself will hold the screw fast all by itself.  When you're done with your job you have the option of leaving the tool magnetized or returning it to a non-magnetized state with the push of the "Mag/DeMag" button.  The perfect multi-purpose tool!

Another quality shop product from the Christmas Elf at: 
Five Cent Racing ≡ Air-Cooled Division!

Remember, these Magnetron tools are NOT sold in stores.  

(In fact, they're not sold anywhere.)

But one just might show up at the Carlisle Raffle (if I find another motor to cannibalize).

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Oh.  

Well, with the Magnetron you can just stand there like you're using a teapot.  Insert the tool in the black tube, hit the button for a second (short pulse) or so and remove the newly magnetized tool to use it.

To de-magnetize the same tool, simply insert it into the Magnetron tube, push and hold the button while removing the tool, then release the button and the tool is de-magnetized.

Thank you, William Gilbert.

Hey Gordo, @Gordon Nichols, Oh wise one ... 

I got this off the site and wondered if I should just buy this it would be easier. 

https://www.motiveproducts.com...ir-cooled-vw-bleeder

0104 AIR COOLED VW BLEEDER

Motive Products

Works on most Air Cooled VWs, including Bugs, Buses, and Square Backs and Fast Backs. This kit includes adapter 1104. All bleeders come with a full 1 year warranty. 
Appplication notes:
VW Bus 1950-1967 will use 0100 - 45mm threaded cap
VW Beetle after 1963, bus after 1967 will use 0104 - 27mm inner diameter threaded cap (or check outer diameter of the reservoir neck at 27mm)

If the reservoir neck outer diameter is closer to 25mm you will need the 1110 cap.

Anything with push on caps will use 0101. 

The pump is not a whole lot more expensive that doing it yourself when you have to buy all the stuff from new but the adapters are not cheap...

 I guess I should measure the cap on my car to find out what top fits.  

Last edited by IaM-Ray

I have one of these and it works great. I set it at about 10 lbs. of pressure and it does the trick on my Speedster with front discs and rear drums.

Ditto what Gordon said about getting the right cap. Look at the manufacturers website first after measuring for cap size to get the right model number. 

There a re a number of sources for these, not a great deal of price difference but a couple of places offer free shipping. I just don't remember which ones.

Last edited by Panhandle Bob

Well, what CAN you get up there?  Lucas, Motul, Castrol, Prestone (my favorite) - They're all good and should be readily available.  Stay away from "Finish Line" as it is based on mineral oil 

The Haynes VW manual says either DOT 3 or DOT 4 (which can be mixed in-circuit, successfully).  Stay away from DOT 5 fluids ("Run, Forest!") as it is for racing and absorbs water more than the lower numbers.

DOT 4 can tolerate higher fluid temps, so if you're tracking your buzz-bomb, that's the stuff for you.  If not, DOT 3 is fine.

Haynes also doesn't care who made it (or what color the fluid is).  We used to be able to get either lite amber or blue fluid, but the DOT didn't like the blue, for some reason, so it is NLA.  Was nice to alternate the colors when bleeding year-to-year - made it easy to know when the new stuff made it to the wheel as it changed color of the flow.

More info:  http://forums.pelicanparts.com...-dot-4-86-911-a.html

 

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Ray, it looks like a quart will replace the entire system, but by the time you mess around letting it flow out of the wheel valves you might use more than that.  I always buy 2 quarts and if I don't use the second one I return it unopened.  Getting rid of the old stuff is getting harder.  WalMart will still take it down here.  NAPA, too, but many other places no longer want it to recycle (probably because it's hard to recycle for them, too).

@Gordon Nichols  "1/8" ID "Quik-Connect" fitting" ??

I tried to get a screw cap to fit my Motive bleeder that I bought and well they had no stock so I am trying to make one. I got a cap from the good old wrecking yard and it fits on my car.  It was pretty dried and I found a crack in it so I JB Welded it and plan to use it to make a hose. 

The hose end on the Motive pump is a screw in 1/4 NPT. like an air hose in your garage. 

I have to drill the cap now and put in a fitting and hose.  Which fittin did you use on the cap?

I was thinking that way but if I could have somethings that was threaded and fit on either side it could pull it over a rubber gasket or at least I could silicone it to be a sealed unit. Just trying to not mess things us seeing this is my first fluid change. Going to see if this piece could fit the cap and a bolt could hold the small end in the cap  

Thanks for the help I'll get there.

 

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Last edited by IaM-Ray

Well I went looking in my garage and I stumbled on a bottle cap and a 1/4 npt fitting. The cap looked the right size so I tried it and it seemed to fit well. 

So I drilled it out with one of the step drills and then decided to use two rubber washers.  

I could not find a bolt to fit but tomorrow Ace/Princess Auto has one.  Now I think it should hold simply by compression and I should not need any silicone or other sealant since according to Motive the kit is pressurized to only 10psi if it does I could always seal it. 

What say you heir Gordo.  

cap 1cap 2

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Yup.  No sealant necessary.

If you measure from the top of the lip where the cap screws on down to the "fill" line, cut a length of plastic or copper tubing that length plus 1/4"  or so, that can cram into the fitting in the cap (pressure fit).  That will set the final depth of the fluid in the reservoir after you're done.

Attach the cap and tube from the tank, pump it up 4 or 5 pumps or so (10 lbs. is fine if you have a pressure gauge) and do the bleeding process.  When you're done, release the pressure from the tank, allowing excess fluid to drain back to the tank by gravity, then release your quik connect and remove the cap.  

Easy-Peasy.

The first time you use it, pressurize it to 2 - 5 lbs. and check for leaks.  Have a few rags handy, just in case.  See no leaks?  Then run it up to 10 lbs. and re-check.  Still no leaks?  Go have a Molson and congratulate yourself.

Petcock is not necessary.  In fact, it might get in the way, unless it's up near the tank.

Yeah.......   Don't over-think this.  It's pretty simple.  All those "additions" that people come up with either over-complicate things or.......    Leak.  Leaking brake fluid anywhere other than the floor is a BIG no-no.

Remember, when you do the bleeding, that will "overfill" the reservoir up to the cap.  When done, move the tank to the floor beside the car and release the pressure down there.  That will gravity syphon the excess fluid out of the reservoir down to the bottom of that little tube mentioned above (end of page 1) which should be right at the fill mark if you measured the tube right.  Once the fluid has leveled at the "fill" mark, remove the bleeder cap and put the regular cap on and you're done (except for discarding whatever fluid is in the tank and drain cups).

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

So I played with it,and when I did I found it hard to attach the cap unto the reservoir with a long hose attached to it.

My initial try with the white metal unit would of worked but it is not an M connector for the quick connect so since I had M connnectors I swapped it for the M gold coloured and the 1/4 to 1/8 reducer is on the inside of the cap and the threads hold the small piece of tubing. 

You can see the quick connect is now in the cap and you now screw the cap on the reservoir, and attach the hose via the quick connector which is going to the pressure tank. Btw,  the cap has enough extra hose to leave the fluid below the fill mark when your done with the bleed. As per Gordo, (I could adjust the height to perfect level, on the day of) 

This makes even easier than the Manufacturered cap they sell for $40  

 

 

 

 Brake final Brake fittng capBrake initial Brake inside capBrake on reservoir

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Here is the finished product. the tank comes alone, and the hose has an NPT 1/4 female cramped to the line. 

You then attach any adapter to fit your intended vehicle.

So my hose attached with a male NPT 1/4 lengthens it by 3 feet and has a Female Spring click quick connector at the end. 

This way you attach the cap to the reservoir and then attach the tube end which has the male Quick connector and your away. 

Making the ending tube is not expensive except the air hose fitting come in a pack so I now have spare parts.  

Gordon's idea with the sprayer if you have one lying around is excellent. I just had none hanging around.  

I'll let you know how the Bleed goes...  I meant brake bleed, thank God we are no longer blood letting as a medical treatment.  Old habits dye slowly in healthcare, the last frontal lobatomy was performed in 1971! 

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Brake fluid change done.  My first with the help of a friend. 

I did the Bfluid change and it started off well when I had a bit of pressure but fortunately a friend of mine came to help so while he opened and closed the bleed screws I monitored the fluid level.   I had really done a lot to prevent damage to the car by protecting pretty much the whole front. 

Unfortunately, as we got going we had some leakage at the plug with 8lbs of pressure on the guage, even with teflon taping the reservoir etc.   I managed to wrap enough cloths to contain it while he hurried to do the bleed and fluid replacement wheel to wheel.  When it was all done I disconnected everything.  

I was happy to get it all done but had some clean up to do. 

I will need to look into a better cap setup for the next time. 

Thank you all for you help.

 

Last edited by IaM-Ray

I had to replace the reservoir on my Speedy and acquired one from JBugs that was supposed to be the same except for the barbs being at an angle instead of pointing straight down. No big deal, I had to relieve some of the fiberglass with a Dremel coarse sandpaper wheel where the reservoir is mounted in the frunk so I could attach the German rubber woven brake line with small clamps.  I went to attach my Motive 0104 Air-Cooled Brake bleeder that I used on the old reservoir to the new one, the filler hole on the new reservoir is minutely smaller than the old one and the cap from the bleeder to the reservoir won't screw on and seal, it is just a smidge too large. Funny thing is that the cap from the old reservoir does fit tightly on the new reservoir so I am making that into a cap for the bleeder system.

Every small change seems to drive another issue!

Panhandle Bob posted:

I had to replace the reservoir on my Speedy and acquired one from JBugs that was supposed to be the same except for the barbs being at an angle instead of pointing straight down. No big deal, I had to relieve some of the fiberglass with a Dremel coarse sandpaper wheel where the reservoir is mounted in the frunk so I could attach the German rubber woven brake line with small clamps.  I went to attach my Motive 0104 Air-Cooled Brake bleeder that I used on the old reservoir to the new one, the filler hole on the new reservoir is minutely smaller than the old one and the cap from the bleeder to the reservoir won't screw on and seal, it is just a smidge too large. Funny thing is that the cap from the old reservoir does fit tightly on the new reservoir so I am making that into a cap for the bleeder system.

Every small change seems to drive another issue!

Bob, do you know the size of the 0104 cap?  Is it made out of metal? 

I had to use teflon to seal it then it oozed out of the top.  I was glad we were two guys.

This whole Motive system seems like a solution in search of a problem. So you spent all this money and it leaks? And then you have to buy extra adapters to do the job?

Don't you guys have a spouse, friend, or relative? The rest of the world does and has the darn thing finished bleeding already while you guys futz with leaks.

I bleed my clutch by myself. I use a broom handle on the clutch and work the wrench on the bleeder with the other. For brakes I have a wife, two kids, and a handful of good friends close by.

Last edited by DannyP

When I first started working on School bus brakes, oh, maybe 1960 or so, it was a two-person job and the rear bleeders were waaaaay back there so there was a certain amount of yelling back and forth to the "driver" for "UP!"......."Down!" on the pedal to sync with closing/opening of the bleeder.  That's how I bled the brakes on Pearl the first few times and had a wife and kids to depend on for the legwork.  The process worked well and seemed fool-proof enough for us but it was time-consuming and tedious.  For a single person job on a school bus it would have required one helluva long broomstick with multiple bends to get from here to there.   

Then my Dad was talked into a metal tank, pressure bleeder from "Snap-On Eddie", our local Snap-On guy, that included reservoir adapter covers for just about anything.  The GM/Ford/IH adapters were simple metal plates with rubber on one side that fit in place of the baled cover on the fluid reservoir, had some way of securing it to the reservoir (usually just the bale wire but sometimes screw-down attachments) and a quick disconnect for the fluid tube.  That was a work-life changing moment.  Now, we could bleed the entire system in less than 1/4 the time, with a single person and no brake pedal pumping.  Eureka!  The only issue was with the GM reservoir which had a gasket for the cover that was formed with pockets in it so sometimes when you put the cover back on after bleeding it would force a bunch of fluid out.  THAT was cured with a Turkey Baster to suck some of the fluid out of the reservoir before installing the cover.  No big deal.

Even with that system we sometimes got leaks with the adapter plates or, if it was a screw-on cap like on my brother's BMW or Mini with the rubber washer inside of the cap, but any of those were easily replaced so that system lasted for over 30 years.  I had already made my home-built bug sprayer bleeder by the time I cleaned out my Dad's old shop getting it ready to sell, but I found that old Snap-On bleeder, with much of the paint peeling off from brake fluid spilled on it over the years, and a box of adapters, some used a lot and some never used at all, sitting high on a shelf in a shop closet.  Couldn't find anyone interested in it (it did look a little rough, for sure) so it ended up at the scrap metal salvage yard, along with 6 other loads of thrown out stuff from the shop.  Made me feel like the story of the brave little toaster.

@DannyP posted:

This whole Motive system seems like a solution in search of a problem. So you spent all this money and it leaks? And then you have to buy extra adapters to do the job?

Don't you guys have a spouse, friend, or relative? The rest of the world does and has the darn thing finished bleeding already while you guys futz with leaks.

I bleed my clutch by myself. I use a broom handle on the clutch and work the wrench on the bleeder with the other. For brakes I have a wife, two kids, and a handful of good friends close by.

I'm with Danny. Nothing beats "the buddy system."  I've used about 4 different bleeders, from the simple tube with a one-way valve, to a MityVac, to the Motive bleeder, to a vacuum pump on the other end.  Every single one required a buddy pumping the pedal to finish them off.

When I redid my M/Cs, I used the Motive Bleeder on the reservoir and my Wurth vacuum on the other end. Luckily, the Tilton reservoirs I installed had the same size cap as the Motive came with, so I didn't need to Rube Goldberg anything up. (It fits most Ate/Girling reservoirs) Still required my son to get the last little bit of air out.

TBH, the thing that motive really shines at is filling rear ends/transaxles with gear lube. Just make sure you do it on a warm day.

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