I have never been happy with the results of doing a solo brake bleed, so I
devised a one-man method for power bleeding the brakes on my Tigers. It
requires finding an old brake reservoir cap, drilling a hole in the center,
and attaching an air hose fitting. I used some old Festo press-fit tubing and
hardware I had, but any < NPT quick connect hardware found at a hardware store
can be used. Your cap doesn't have to be absolutely air-tight, just good
enough to maintain a positive pressure inside your reservoir. If your air
supply does not have good low-pressure regulation then you need another
regulator in-line. Here is the basic procedure once you have devised your
power bleeder cap:
1. Grab the turkey baster out of the kitchen drawer while nobody's
2. Pump your brake pedal to remove any vacuum from the booster.
3. Open brake reservoir and stir the muck up with your baster.
4. Suck out all the dirty fluid. Keep a small catch vessel handy so you
accidentally create additional patina by dripping brake fluid on your paint.
5. Pour in some fresh fluid, stir again and suck out again. Repeat process
until reservoir is clear.
6. Fill reservoir with fresh Castrol GT LMA, then screw on your
7. Set air pressure to 5 ~ 10 psi.
8. Go to left rear bleeder, attach a piece of clear tubing to the bleeder
stick the other end into a suitable OSHA- and EPA-approved mayonnaise jar.
9. Open bleeder slowly until fluid just begins to flow.
10. After a minute or so, shut off the air and slowly push the brake pedal
the floor, then release slowly. This pushes the crud out of the piston area of
the M/C that flushing won't remove.
11. Open your air supply again and continue with the power flushing.
12. Watch the color of the fluid, when it is clear you are now ready to
the bleeder and move to the front brakes.
13. While you're here, this is a good time to adjust those rear brakes.
14. IMPORTANT: Keep an eye on your reservoir. When fluid level gets below
quarter full, it's time to shut off the air supply and refill the reservoir.
15. When all brakes have been bled, fill your reservoir, clean the threads
your cap, and seal the system back up. Be sure to double-check that all
bleeder screws are tight.
16. Take your Tiger out for a spin. Check for pedal firmness and any pulling
or rubbing noises, you may need to readjust those rear brakes. While out, stop
and buy a new turkey baster...and maybe some flowers too.
I strongly recommend sticking to the DOT4 Castrol GT LMA fluid. It has the
right stuff to keep the seals properly swollen and it tolerates moisture
better than other brands. The LMA stands for Low Moisture Activity.
I will submit this to Tigers United as a Tech Tip with pictures soon.
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