Forums General Counties Cars Discussion Brake Bleeding my bleeding brakes

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    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi. I’m hoping someone could help with a query about brake bleeding. I have an a40 Somerset and the brake pedal felt spongy. I tried and tried to unscrew the top off the reservoir and couldn’t so I went for the alternative option of removing it from the brake pipe, emptying it and took it indoors where I heated it up and finally got the lid off. I then cleaned the threads with wire brush and put a bit of copper grease on them to enable me to easily screw the lid on and off.</p>
    After that I connected my bleeder tool to the lid so I could do a full system flush. My bleeder kit had a lid that seemed to fit the reservoir well and tightened on to the reservoir well.

    When I added pressure to It, the brake fluid came pouring out through the reservoir lid I.e not sealing properly. I’m thinking one of 2 probs. 1. It’s got a slightly different thread on the reservoir cap to the modern lid that needs to be connected in order to use the bleeding kit or 2. There is something wrong with the reservoir I.e. maybe the neck of the reservoir is bashed slightly and is letting fluid through. I can buy a new reservoir on eBay for £45 but it will not fix the problem if the problem is a mismatched thread between the old style bottle and the modern lid. Any ideas?

    I need to do a full flush and the pedal goes straight to the floor now as it would. I think I’m beyond being able to just bleed it by pumping the brake pedal.





    Your theory about the cap on your brake bleeding kit is almost certainly correct, and it may well continue to leak, though I’ll stand corrected if any ‘Counties’ member has successfully used such a kit.

    Assuming there’s no fault with the master cylinder or slave cylinders, I don’t see why the manual method of brake bleeding wouldn’t work (using a tube with a non-return valve attached to the bleed nipple). You’d probably use more brake fluid to do it, and you’d need two people, but on the positive side you’d end up flushing the whole system through with clean fluid. Even starting with a completely empty system you could still bleed the brakes in this manner.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by PJS.

    Hi–PeteJS is correct,  using just the original reservoir and 2 persons.  Firstly though, are you using the correct type of fluid, such as a Dot 3 for original type seals and rubbers. The brand should not matter, as long as it is not a modern one that can affect seals.  Fill it to just under the shoulder, and presuming the reservoir is on the drivers side, start at the rear left, then rear right, front left and finally front right.

    Connect a short length of clear hose tightly of the bleeder, into a clear bottle with about an inch of fluid with the hose immersed to the bottom. Then using several slow pumps of the pedal, even if it goes to the floor, hold it down, then release the bleeder and observe the result in the bottle-bubbles may not initially be evident, then nip the bleeder tight. Repeat at least two more times, even if bubbles are not seen.

    Then in turn, shift to the right rear, left front and finally the right front. Keep an eye on the fluid level in the bottle. By the time all 4 are done, progress should have been made.

    Perhaps a second round might be needed, which if after that, should the pedal still go to the floor, something would seem to be amiss. As the supply is from the master cylinder, it might simply need a new kit, or an overhaul.  If that has to be done, ask your brake repairer about getting it lined with a  stainless sleeve.

    Be sure not to mix modern fluids in systems with the older fluids.

    Happy Austineering-Peter.



    Thanks for the advice guys. I suspected that it was a thread problem. I’ll go with your advice then and attempt it again manually. It was dot3 I was trying to use btw. I’d seen a post elsewhere about making sure it was dot3. Thanks again for the advice. I’ll let you know how I get on. ???


    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I finally managed to sort it. I think it was the seals in the master cylinder that had gone. I replaced them and just manually bled the brakes. I’ve got them working and finally a more solid brake pedal. Thanks again folks. I’m sure I’ll be asking for advice again during the restoration. It’s getting there tho. I’ve got a running engine and brakes now. Watch this space ?


    Hi Again from Australia, I am reconditioning the head on my 1950 Austin Devon 1200cc, I think this has been done before main thing is what would be the minimum thickness of the head before you can’t take any more off? looks as it just needs a clean not to straightening it.

    Thanks in advance



    ops wrong place wrong subject, sorry people.



    Late reply to brake bleeding query. Like Dave Why I successfully used a Gunsons Easibleed on a Somerset, albeit I found I had to tighten the easibleed cap onto the reservoir with a mole wrench before it would work without leakage!

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