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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering, as a novice to this sort of thing, do I have to bleed the rear if all I did was replace the front cylinders and hoses? I would suspect that it's better to do so, but I'm wondering if it's necessary.
 

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1957 Bel Air sport sedan
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Necessary? not sure, but still advisable. Stock setup or disc conversion?
Eldon
 

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But on the other hand if the brake fluid hasn`t been changed out in years i would go ahead and change the fluid and bleed all of them. Safety in this area isn`t something to overlook.
Terry
 

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Mike,
Bleed the brakes on all 4 wheels. Bleed the left(drivers side) rear first, right rear second, right front, then left front. Get a quart of brake fluid and top up the master cylinder. Find a stick to hold the brake pedal down. I usually prop it between the pedal and the seat. Open the bleeder for a second then close it. Let the brake pedal up and then prop it down again. Do 1 wheel at a time and bleed it 3 or 4 times or until no more air comes out. After you do each wheel check the fluid level in the master cylinder as you don't want to let it get to low or you will just put more air in the system. When you are finished you should be able to step on the brake and the pedal should not fade down as you hold steady pressure on it. I've learned a few tricks over the years so that I can usually do these type jobs with out a second person. I have a long screwdriver that I use.
Dave
Don't forget to ask if you need more clarification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dave -- what's the screw driver used for?

I have a simple question -- having never done this before, I'm not sure what to expect. When I open the bleeder screw, will I get any "feedback?" Will brake fluid come out or air or both or what? How much do I loosen the screw?

I think I'll skip the bleeding until I finish the rear brakes and lines which should be in the next week or so.

Thanks for the great description of how to do it. I'll keep this post handy so I can make reference to it when I get around to bleeding them properly.
 

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Mike, I used the long screwdriver in place of the piece of wood to hold the pedal down. When you crack the bleeder screw you will get a quick spurt of air or fluid. If you reset the pedal each time you crack the bleeder you will flush the old fluid and or air from the system. you just crack the bleeder open for a second and then close it so that your fluid wont drain out on its own or air re-enters the cylinder. Let the pedal up between each time you crack the bleeder open.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again Dave -- you sure make it sound easy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I took my first attempt at bleeding the brakes. Being basically lazy, I wanted to see if I could get the front brakes done and do the rears later, possibly this weekend when I do the rear brake shoes, springs, etc.

Well, the first thing I found out is how hard it is to do this in my little narrow garage without putting the car on jack stands I refused to do! I found that I could get under the right side on my back and just leave the ratchet on the screw between "pumps." The left side was pretty easy to get to when I turned the wheels all the way to the right.

I finally found a good stick to use and did the right front first. Then I went to the left front and on the first attempt I had brake fluid pouring out when I opened the screw. The brake pedal still goes to the floor! Ran out of time and will have to finish it up another time.

Thanks for all your help. I'll let you know how it goes next time.
 

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The only thing I worry about with this method is if you start to get good pressure and you prop the brake petal and then go to open the bleeder the pedal will go to the floor and then the prop rod possibly falling off (letting the pedal rise again) letting air back in the system. Guess what? Then you will have to start all over again. It's best to get a helper that knows how the do the brake pumping IMHO
You could always use the old hose and Coke bottle method if all else fails. That way you could do it yourself and not worry about getting air back into the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I couldn't find a stick that would hold the pedal down while pushing against the seat, but I did get one that I could wedge real tight between the pedal and the driver's door jamb! I don't think it could ever come out by itself - it's in there real tight!

I am going to use a human assistant next time just so I don't have to crawl under the car and back out so many times -- I'd rather stay under there and just call out "pump!" or something!
 

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I just learned by necessity to do it alone. I will use help when it is available. If I'm helping up top I will say when the pedal is almost all the way down and the other person on the bottom should holler when the bleeder is closed again. You can probably pump it up 3 or 4 times before checking the fluid level.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
57viper said:
I was taught to bleed the farthest from the master cylinder first that being the right rear then the left rear then the right front and last but not least the left front
That's what I would've thought, too, but the instructions for the 57 seem to say left rear first....

Dave, your initial instructions said "Bleed the left(drivers side) rear first, right rear second, right front, then left front." Which is what I've always heard was right (left rear, right rear, left front, right front).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
But should you start with the left or the right rear? Seems like the right rear would be the farthest, but everyone, including you, says you start with the left rear...that's right, isn't it?
 
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