This is my vacuum pump which I find very useful for checking vacuum advance units, distributor advance, etc. This is the first time I have tried to use it to bleed brakes. Seems like a good idea but for some reason I couldn’t suck the brake fluid from the master cylinder to the collection bottle – more later.
When it came to the front wheels it was a whole other story. Each time I pushed fluid through the lines the lines would be full of fluid but after a short while huge bubbles would appear. Time and time again I tried and every time it was the same. No way there was that much air in the system. So even though I was very careful installing the flexible brake lines and they are flange fittings at each end somehow air is getting in somewhere. There was a small amount of brake fluid bleeding out of somewhere down the back of the backing plate. I pulled a drum and the wheel cylinders seemed to be fine.
While installing the flex hoses I realized where the air was leaking into the system. The bleeder screws are quite loose in the wheel cylinder – not like the original units from Studebaker. This stuff is replacement stock likely made off-shore and not to the original specs in all respects.
What was fooling me was that the air was coming out of the bleeder screw. But, it wasn’t coming from the wheel cylinder but instead in past the bleeder screw threads and then out the bleeder screw.
I put some Leak Lock on the bleeder screw threads and when doing the bleed I only cracked the bleeder screw off its seat. With all these precautions the bleed of the front brakes took no time at all. Brakes done. Time to take her off the stands and torque the wheels.
Well that about wraps up my winter project on the ’54 Champion – Baby Blue. It has been fun sharing my work with over 500 Studebaker fans daily. I hope my project inspires some to tackle that project that has been waiting for some time.
I may start a project on our ’66 Commander next winter. I’m not sure. It’s a big project starting with rear fender replacement and trunk repair. Check in next fall around October and I’ll have updates then. Now it time to get the Studebakers back on the road for all to enjoy.
And now in the words of the song by Bob Dylan…
It’s All Over Now Baby Blue