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Thread: 1998 BMW 528i Brake Hydraulic System Overhaul (6 Hoses, Caliper Seals/Boot)

  1. #1
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    1998 BMW 528i Brake Hydraulic System Overhaul (6 Hoses, Caliper Seals/Boot)

    DIY: 1998 BMW 528i Brake Hydraulic System Overhaul (Brake Hoses, Caliper Seals/Dust Boots)

    My car has no problem with the brake system but I want to keep this baby for another 10 years, so this is another preventive DIY.

    My experience with previous cars shows that after 12-14 years/100-120K miles, the Brake Caliper Seals start to harden causing either fluid leakage or seized Calipers (uneven pad wear, rotor overheat ---> damage etc.). So at that age/mileage it makes sense to “refresh” the brake hydraulic system.

    My BMW Brake Caliper is made by ATE.

    Brake Hydraulic Overhaul parts can be purchased from:
    http://www.eactuning.com or similar websites.


    - FRONT Brake Rebuild Kit (Seal, Dust Boot): PN 34111163647; ATE (made in Germany); $18.00 x 2
    (FRONT Caliper has only 1 piston; each kit has 1 seal, and 1 boot, enough for 1 caliper, you need 2 kits per car).

    - REAR Brake Rebuild Kit (Seal, Dust Boot): PN 34211164440; ATE (made in Germany); $14.00 x 2
    (REAR Caliper has only 1 piston; each kit has 1 seal, and 1 boot, enough for 1 caliper, you need 2 kits per car).

    - FRONT Brake Hoses; PN 34301165249; FTE (made in Germany); $16.00 x 2

    - REAR Brake Hoses; PN 34301165190; FTE (made in Germany); $19.00 x 2

    - “IN-BETWEEN Brake Hoses”: 34321162612 (Right Rear), 34321162616 (Left Rear); ATE (made in Germany) $18.00/each.

    TOTAL = $160-170 range




    ---------
    BRAKE HYDRAULIC OVERHAUL PROCEDURE

    1. ALWAYS support car with jackstand before doing any work!

    2. I use Valvoline Synthetic Brake Fluid.

    3. Clean the car the day before so all sand/dirt comes off.
    - Dirt is No. 1 enemy when working on brake caliper rebuild. So: clean the outside (I used an old tooth brush) of the caliper before disassembly! Spray the outside with some WD-40, wipe it clean before doing any work.
    - Spray the connection between the brake hose and metal line (AT CHASSIS CONNECTION) with WD-40 once the wheel is removed (car on jackstand); this allows the WD-40 to work into the brake hose and metal line connection while you do the caliper rebuild. This makes removal easier.
    In my case the FRONT connections are so corroded it was impossible to remove even after one hour of WD-40 treatment. I use Propane Torch (10-15 seconds of heat, and it was a breeze).
    - Better yet, spray these connections 1-2 days ahead, these hoses/lines nuts/bolts seize after 13 years!
    - Use flare wrenches!!!

    4. STUDY Typical Brake Caliper Anatomy.




    5. Start with the FRONT Calipers.
    - Jackstand under subframe.
    - Spray WD-40 at brake line chassis connection, hopefully you don’t need to use heat as I did.
    - Remove Caliper (remove Spring Clip, then use 7-mm Allen socket to remove calipers). Be gentle with the Brake Wear Sensor when removing it on driver side, I broke mine! No big deal, a new sensor is $5!
    - Clamp the hose with vice-grip and cut the hose below the vice-grip.
    Now the Caliper it out of the car.
    - Use the brake tool to squeeze the piston inward to squeeze out brake fluid into a bottle, this way later when you expel the piston, there is no mess. I learned this the hard way, so don’t ask LOL.
    - Now use compressor air to push the piston out (place a piece of wood first!!!).
    - Using a flat screwdriver, gently pry the Rubber Boot’s edge, taking care not to damage the piston’s smooth surface.
    - Before you get too excited and toss the rubber boot, STOP! You can use the old rubber boot as the tool to press new boot in! ATE procedure calls for a special tool (similar to bearing adapter) to push the new rubber boot in. Most of us don’t have this tool. So you can cut the rubber portion of the OLD boot, now you have the outer ring, which is made out of metal with rubber encasing it. This is now your special tool to be used with a pair of channel-lock pliers!




    6. Use air compressor with 30-40 psi to expel piston, no need for more pressure.
    - Use a piece of wood to prevent piston from shooting out too far!
    - As soon as you apply air pressure into the Brake Caliper (remove the brake hose first), the piston comes out.




    7. My FRONT Piston (aluminum instead of steel) has a few very very fine scratch marks (you have to look very closely to see it).
    - I buffed the piston shiny using "PlastX"; the same stuff you use to polish headlight.
    - The nice thing about "PlastX" is that: it is very fine paste, maybe 10,000 grit or so.
    - Then clean the piston and the Inside of the caliper with WD-40 and wipe it clean. Again, take care not to introduce any dirt inside.
    - Wipe all areas clean with a clean rag. You may want to use a Q-tip (wrapped with cloth) to clean the 2 grooves (1 for seal, 1 for dust boot) really well.




    8. Remove old seal (gentle with a flat screw driver).
    - Clean the inside of the Caliper Housing completely.


    9. Now wet the new Seal with fresh brake fluid and place it in the INNER groove, taking care not to get any dirt in the bore.


    10. Place the NEW Dust Boot onto the Piston as shown in the picture below:
    - LEFT Picture is the Anatomy during Normal Operation.
    - RIGHT Picture shows you how to place the Dust Boot during Installation of Piston.




    11. During Piston insertion:
    - Place the NEW Dust Boot in the Piston first then slide it into the Smooth Part of the Piston (wet the boot with brake fluid first).
    - Now place the “special tool” (old rubber boot ring) on top of the NEW rubber boot to protect NEW rubber boot when squeezed by pair of channel-lock pliers.
    - Make sure the Piston is straight. If it is even slightly crooked, it won't go in. Use the Brake Tool to push it in.
    - Once the Piston is inserted half way, STOP!
    - Now use 2 fingers to push the backside of the NEW rubber boot in place. The OUTER part is angled out. Now use the channel-lock pliers to squeeze on the “special tool” and slowly seat the rubber boot in.
    - Now use the Brake Tool to push the Piston all the way in. You will hear a faint snap when the rubber boot “round” INNER ring goes inside the Piston’s groove.
    (Verify using your finger to be sure the rubber boot INNER ring is in the correct groove.)









    12. Now install new Brake hose on the Caliper using 14-mm flare wrench.
    - Cover the free end of the hose with plastic/rubber band to prevent dirt from getting inside!


    13. Now disconnect the chassis connection (11-mm and 17-mm wrenches).
    In my case corrosion sets in, after 1h of WD-40, I almost rounded the 11-mm bolt! So time for heat!!!
    - Cover the Plastic Junction Box with Aluminum paper to protect it.
    - Those of you who have done home plumbing will be familiar with the Propane Torch that plumber uses to solder copper pipes. This can be purchased at local hardware store for about $10-15. Buy the kit so you have the Propane bottle and all the gadgets.
    - All you need is “blue flame” about 1 inch in length and about 10-15 seconds at the spot shown below. This is enough heat to expand the “Nut” part on the hose.
    - NOTE that the hose fitting is 17-mm and has 4 ridges that prevent you from turning, so you have to turn the 11-mm bolt.
    - After 10-15 seconds of heat, life was a million times better! The 11-mm bolts comes out like a breeze!!!
    PS: If you are a perfectionist like myself…..at the very end, before installing the wheel, the area heated by propane torch…. Spray with some primer paint to cover the part that was heated. But do this once you have done everything else and ready to install the wheel.




    14. NEXT is “IN-BETWEEN HOSES” Next to suspension tower.
    - My old “in-between hoses” do not look too bad after 13 years and 115K miles. But I replaced these for the sake of completeness. Plus, there have been people who lost all braking because these 2 hoses burst at the least expected moment!
    - Use cardboard to protect from brake fluid spillage. Since these hoses are at the same level as the reservoir, there is very little spillage here (compared with the wheel caliper area where it drips at 1 drop/second).
    - I also use a small piece of cardboard to push the wring out of the way.
    - I move the metal brake line out of the plastic holder to make the job easier.
    So remember to put the metal brake line back in the plastic holder when all done.
    - NOTE that the 2 hoses need different wrench combinations: 11-mmm & 14-mm and 12-mm & 17-mm.








    15. Next is REAR Hoses.
    - You MUST chock FRONT wheels because once the REAR is raised (I raised the REAR via the Differential), nothing will stop the car from rolling!!!
    - Once the REAR is raised, place jackstands at REAR Jack Pads.
    - Then gently lower the car onto the jackstands.
    - Then I slightly raised the floor jack until it gently touches the Rear Differential as a backup in case the jackstands fail!
    - Note that I put the wheels under the car. Again, safety first!

    - Note that my REAR hose starts to crack on the outside.

    - 11-mm and 14-mm wrenches as usual.
    - For the REAR I did NOT need heat at all: 1h of WD-40 does the job, maybe because the REAR is less exposed to corrosion than the FRONT. If you decide to use heat in the REAR, there is a rubber grommet right there, so be careful!
    NOTE: the REAR setup has washers x2 sandwiching the rubber grommet.
    So do NOT forget to transfer the metal washer from the old hose to the NEW hose, see pic. I learned this the hard way LOL!!!








    16. Same Trick using “special tool”.
    - New hose design is slightly different from stock.




    17. REAR Caliper Ready for install.
    NOTE the free end of the new hose is wrapped in plastic/rubber band to prevent dirt from coming in, remove the plastic wrap only when you are ready to install.




    18. Re-install Brake Caliper, Brake Pads etc. taking care to make sure the Brake Wear Sensor wiring is properly secured.


    19. Then bleed Brake System.
    - I use my air compressor to bleed and wrote it up here:

    DIY: 1-man Hydraulic Bleeding Kit for those with Air Compressor!
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=392957

    This is my setup using the “home-made” ATE Cap for the air compressor:



    That is it boys and girls, now I need my favorite Heineken beer!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by cnn; 05-05-2011 at 09:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    I forgot to mention a special thanks to "JimLev" and "EuroDavid" from roadfly E39 forum who have given me excellent tips before this overhaul project!

  3. #3
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    I would just like to point out, the block of wood is not an option, it's a must, because the piston pops out quite fast and far. So don't mess about and just put something on the caliper or piston to prevent damage of either when the piston comes flying out.

  4. #4
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    I am waiting for my brake bleeder in the mail to do this job, and finally install my brakes.
    Do you think the 2 small hoses were needed..?

    Incredible writeup as usual!
    Thank you again!

    Jason

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
    I am waiting for my brake bleeder in the mail to do this job, and finally install my brakes.
    Do you think the 2 small hoses were needed..?
    Jason
    Jason,

    RE: Brake Bleeding: No need for brake bleeder. I use my air compressor (see above) and ATE Brake Cap that I made myself for $6.00.

    RE: 2 small hoses. Definitely do them after 12 years 120K or so. Some people experienced total loss of brake system just because of these 2 hoses!!!
    See this article!
    http://www.bavarianmachine.com/tips/tip8.html

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Jason,

    RE: Brake Bleeding: No need for brake bleeder. I use my air compressor (see above) and ATE Brake Cap that I made myself for $6.00.

    RE: 2 small hoses. Definitely do them after 12 years 120K or so. Some people experienced total loss of brake system just because of these 2 hoses!!!
    See this article!
    http://www.bavarianmachine.com/tips/tip8.html
    Thanks Cam!
    I do not have an air compressor, yet...
    Maybe soon...
    I finally broke down and bought the Motive bleeder for now.
    I will order the other 2 smaller stainless steel brake hoses from ECS Tuning, along with an Aluminum water pump pulley.

    http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-525...ines/ES250143/

    http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-525...ley/ES1892054/


    I was going to buy the ATE SL-6 brake fluid, but decided to just stick with the liter of Valvoline Synthetic Dot 3/4 in that has been sitting my tool box.

    Thanks!
    Jason
    Last edited by Jason5driver; 05-04-2011 at 02:30 PM.

  7. #7
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    Jason,

    Go to Home Depot and buy the Husky Air Compressor for $80-100.
    Good for many things:
    - Air Tool
    - Inflating Car Tires.
    - Brake Job etc. etc.

    With the money you spent on Motive Bleeder, you may as well buy an Air Compressor.

    PS: Re Stainless Steel. Do you research first!
    BTW, my stock brake hoses lasted 13 yr and 115K with minimal issues, that was the reason I stayed with stock brake hoses (made by ATE).
    Last edited by cnn; 05-04-2011 at 02:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Jason,

    Go to Home Depot and buy the Husky Air Compressor for $80-100.
    Good for many things:
    - Air Tool
    - Inflating Car Tires.
    - Brake Job etc. etc.

    With the money you spent on Motive Bleeder, you may as well buy an Air Compressor.

    PS: Re Stainless Steel. Do you research first!
    BTW, my stock brake hoses lasted 13 yr and 115K with minimal issues, that was the reason I stayed with stock brake hoses (made by ATE).
    I still plan on getting a compressor.
    What do you mean, Re stainless steel?

  9. #9
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    Brake lines are one of those things that a good visual inspection will quickly tell you if there is a problem. Wipe them down with BrakeClean and look for cracks. No point in replacing if you can't see any because that means PO already did!
    2002 Schwartz II 530 5spd Sport Premium
    1967 F/bird conv 400/4spd 450hp (gone but not forgotten)
    1966 Mustang f/b longterm project
    1964 Chevelle 4dr LT1 4L60 f/s (In the garage getting finished!)
    1996 Malibu ski boat
    9 1968-73 2002s, all gone......
    1995 530i w/4.4 conversion (sold).
    1985 535i w/mods, sorely missed.
    BMWCCA member #110881

    He who dies with the most toys, wins....

  10. #10
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    i had the same issue with the rear rubber hoses having a different fitting, i found the front brake hose from a bmw e30 is identical to the oem e39 rear hose. also this needs to be put into the DIY stickies. good work
    Last edited by tsx080; 05-04-2011 at 09:25 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsx080 View Post
    this needs to be put into the DIY stickies. good work
    I'm not so sure. Cam (cnn) doesn't contribute much on the forums and sometimes he can be such a PITA.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 05-05-2011 at 09:27 AM.

  12. #12
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    Wow! I wasn't thinking of doing anything with my brakes right now, but looking at this very detailed post I'm thinking twice! That is a very nice post - it must have taken you quite a while to compile it as nice as it is.

    Thanks for the brake bleeder tip, too! Great!!!!!

  13. #13
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    Excellent write-up!
    Rob
    Prior projects:
    1998 540i with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy Power
    - pictures and details
    1992 325i with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy power - pictures and details
    1995 M3 with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy power - pictures and details




  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnilson View Post
    Brake lines are one of those things that a good visual inspection will quickly tell you if there is a problem.
    Let me tell you a story.

    My sister almost died when she lost all brake power in her Honda Accord.
    As it turned out, when the hose fatigued, weakness developed INSIDE the hose, so outside inspection can be deceiving.

    Her Honda's hose burst and her car almost hit people/cars, luckily she went on the grass!
    After checking the hose, the outside looked just fine, but the INSIDE is bad.

    My 1983 735i developed similar issue: Brake Caliper stuck, and it turned out to be a blocked hose (the INSIDE swells and blocks the flow).

    FYI, brake system pressure can go as high as 1000-2000 psi during brake application.

    These parts are cheap (ATE Brake hose $13-15/each; ATE rebuild kit $13/each), and for a car with 13yr/120K, I strongly recommend replacing these as preventive maintenance.
    Then you will sleep well for the next 100K miles LOL.

    Braking system sometimes means the difference between life and death, seriously.
    Last edited by cnn; 05-05-2011 at 10:57 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    I'm not so sure. Cam (cnn) doesn't contribute much on the forums and sometimes he can be such a PITA.
    James,

    Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it LOL.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Let me tell you a story.

    My sister almost died when she lost all brake power in her Honda Accord.
    As it turned out, when the hose fatigued, weakness developed INSIDE the hose, so outside inspection can be deceiving.

    Her Honda's hose burst and her car almost hit people/cars, luckily she went on the grass!
    After checking the hose, the outside looked just fine, but the INSIDE is bad.

    My 1983 735i developed similar issue: Brake Caliper stuck, and it turned out to be a blocked hose (the INSIDE swells and blocks the flow).

    FYI, brake system pressure can go as high as 1000-2000 psi during brake application.

    These parts are cheap (ATE Brake hose $13-15/each; ATE rebuild kit $13/each), and for a car with 13yr/120K, I strongly recommend replacing these as preventive maintenance.
    Then you will sleep well for the next 100K miles LOL.

    Braking system sometimes means the difference between life and death, seriously.
    I am not trying to dissuade anyone from replacing brake lines, only that the surest way of determinig if a line is bad is to look for cracking. Frankly the 25+ year old line in your '83 735 should have been replaced purely from a safety standpoint even if it had no cracks.
    Last edited by gnilson; 05-05-2011 at 03:39 PM.
    2002 Schwartz II 530 5spd Sport Premium
    1967 F/bird conv 400/4spd 450hp (gone but not forgotten)
    1966 Mustang f/b longterm project
    1964 Chevelle 4dr LT1 4L60 f/s (In the garage getting finished!)
    1996 Malibu ski boat
    9 1968-73 2002s, all gone......
    1995 530i w/4.4 conversion (sold).
    1985 535i w/mods, sorely missed.
    BMWCCA member #110881

    He who dies with the most toys, wins....

  17. #17
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    CNN: Just thought of something for those that don't have access to a compressor: Simply install a tire valve in the cap and then the reservoir can be pressurized with a bike/hand pump.

    gnilson: CNN brings up a good point that a line can be bad even if isn't cracked on the outside. Yes, I agree with you that obviously if it's cracked on the outside it's ready for the trash. But, the inside can fail (and I have seen it happen) before the outside even starts to look bad.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnilson View Post
    I am not trying to dissuade anyone from replacing brake lines, only that the surest way of determinig if a line is bad is to look for cracking. Frankly the 25+ year old line in your '83 735 should have been replaced purely from a safety standpoint even if it had no cracks.
    Oh,

    I forgot to mentioned the brake hose in my 1983 735i failed in 1996/120K or 13yr/120K time marking. So, you can see that after 12-13yr/120K, replace the hoses anyway.

    Safety first!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Oh,

    I forgot to mentioned the brake hose in my 1983 735i failed in 1996/120K or 13yr/120K time marking. So, you can see that after 12-13yr/120K, replace the hoses anyway.

    Safety first!
    Hey cnn,

    Thanks for another great write-up AND mentioning my cracked hose on another post. But when I checked other side I found this:


    And my Wishbone as well (but thats in near future):


    Now about that horror hose...I want to change ONLY hoses on both sides.

    Whats the procedure without Air Compressor?
    Just untight it? Put one side in?
    Bleed it and put another side of hose in?
    Am I expecting a lot of brake fluid to escape?

    Thank you in advance,
    siny528i
    BMW CCA 434493

  20. #20
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    Sorry, cnn, I meant to ask what's the bleeding procedure (2 ppl w/o Air Compressor)? Thanks again.
    BMW CCA 434493

  21. #21
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    Glad you caught the bad brake hoses before you kill yourself (or someone else!!!).
    The Brake Hydraulic Overhaul is here:

    DIY: 1998 BMW 528i Brake Hydraulic System Overhaul (Brake Hoses, Caliper Seals/Dust Boots)
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...php?p=21926587

    * WITHOUT air compressor: aka 2-person brake bleeding:
    1- Place a piece of wood UNDER the brake pedal to prevent "over-travel"!
    2- Person A presses the brake pedal down, while Person B opens the bleeder.
    3- When fluid stops flowing, Person B gently closes the bleed screw.
    4- Then Person A releases the brake pedal when B tells A to "Release"

    5-Repeat Steps #2-4 until all air comes out.


    Only "B" should yell to "A" at appropriate times:
    - "Press"
    - "Release"



    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgxMfQUMdJY[/ame]



    PS: Your Rear control arm:
    I am doing the REAR Suspension overhaul soon with a DIY.
    All the parts are in, I am just waiting for a nice weekend to do it.
    Last edited by cnn; 05-23-2011 at 02:35 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Glad you caught the bad brake hoses before you kill yourself (or someone else!!!).
    The Brake Hydraulic Overhaul is here:

    DIY: 1998 BMW 528i Brake Hydraulic System Overhaul (Brake Hoses, Caliper Seals/Dust Boots)
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...php?p=21926587

    * WITHOUT air compressor: aka 2-person brake bleeding:
    1- Place a piece of wood UNDER the brake pedal to prevent "over-travel"!
    2- Person A presses the brake pedal down, while Person B opens the bleeder.

    4- Then Person A releases the brake pedal when B tells A to "Release"

    5-Repeat Steps #2-4 until all air comes out.


    Only "B" should yell to "A" at appropriate times:
    - "Press"
    - "Release"



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgxMfQUMdJY



    PS: Your Rear control arm:
    I am doing the REAR Suspension overhaul soon with a DIY.
    All the parts are in, I am just waiting for a nice weekend to do it.
    hey cnn,

    I got my REAR hoses. EAC sent them in Half A Day!

    Btw did you mean:

    3- When fluid flows FREE OF BUBBLES, Person B gently closes the bleed screw ?

    Also, what about that BMW Service Tester mentioned in Bentley? Is it really necessary?

    I like the idea with clear hoses - less messy and you see what is coming out.

    Thanks,
    siny528i
    BMW CCA 434493

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by siny528i View Post
    hey cnn,

    1. I got my REAR hoses. EAC sent them in Half A Day!

    Btw did you mean:

    2. When fluid flows FREE OF BUBBLES, Person B gently closes the bleed screw ?
    siny528i,

    1. You should replace all 6 hoses, not just the Rear hoses.

    2. Re 2-man bleeding. Google the technique, it has been around for 50 years.
    Very simple. Watch youtube video etc.
    Whatever you do, once the brake pedal is pressed down, the guy at the wheel closes the bleed screw.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    siny528i,

    1. You should replace all 6 hoses, not just the Rear hoses.

    2. Re 2-man bleeding. Google the technique, it has been around for 50 years.
    Very simple. Watch youtube video etc.
    Whatever you do, once the brake pedal is pressed down, the guy at the wheel closes the bleed screw.
    You mean 2 on Front and 2 "In-Between"? Of course I should. It just happened I found out my Rear hoses that bad.

    Yeah, I found plenty of video on YouTube too, but just wanted to hear expert's opinion

    I wish I made another separate post dedicated to BRAKE BLEEDING though.
    BMW CCA 434493

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    892
    My Cars
    '99 5-spd
    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Jason,

    RE: Brake Bleeding: No need for brake bleeder. I use my air compressor (see above) and ATE Brake Cap that I made myself for $6.00.

    RE: 2 small hoses. Definitely do them after 12 years 120K or so. Some people experienced total loss of brake system just because of these 2 hoses!!!
    See this article!
    http://www.bavarianmachine.com/tips/tip8.html
    cnn, did you eventually end up finding it necessary to cycle the ABS pump solenoids as that article states?

    I have replacements for these two in-between hoses in hand, planning to install them this week. I did the rest of the system not so long back, these were the two things I left out.

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