Bleeding Your 1967-1982 Corvette Brake System

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Posted April 8, 2013 by Zip Corvette in Corvette Technical Articles
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Most Corvette owners love to talk about how much horsepower their Corvette is producing or how many cubic inches their running under the hood. And don’t get us wrong we love horsepower, but what good is blasting off a stoplight if you’re not certain that you can stop your Corvette on a dime? Well, you won’t have to be fearful if you know your brake system is in good working order. For do-it-yourselfers that means having confidence when replacing brake system components and being able to correctly bleed the brakes when the work is completed.

There are many ways to bleed your 1967-1982 Corvette’s brake system, today we are going to show you how to properly bench bleed a master cylinder and gravity bleed the entire brake system. You should be bench bleed the master cylinder anytime you are removing or replacing it from your Corvette. It’s imperative to remove all air from the master cylinder so that your brake system bleeding techniques are successful. And anytime you’ve opened your brake system up for component replacement such as a caliper, brake hose or brake line you’ll need to fully bleed the entire system. Trapped air equals spongy pedal, which could end in a front end collision.

Follow along with Zip Corvette Parts: Corvette brake bleeding techniques and you’ll not only be quick off the line but even quicker when it comes bringing it to a halt.

Click on the images for expanded views – it’s much easier on the eyes. 
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Step 1

01: Use a line wrench to loosen and remove the master cylinder lines.  Remember to place a towel under the master cylinder to catch the fluid that drips out.  Now remove the master cylinder from the booster.
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Step 2

02: You will have to bench bleed the new master cylinder before you install it.  There are numerous ways to do this, but the easiest is to purchase plastic master cylinder fittings and rubber hose from any auto parts store.  Screw the fittings into place and put the hoses into their respective portion of the master cylinder.  Securely mount the new master cylinder in a vise.  Fill both sections of the master cylinder with fluid.  Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation recommends using their competition grade DOT 5 Silicone Fluid.  Now use a punch or large phillips screwdriver to push the plunger into the master cylinder.  Make sure that the hoses stay submerged in the fluid while you push the cylinder in.  Use short, even strokes.  As you do this, you will see bubbles coming up into the fluid.  What you are doing is removing the air from the master cylinder valve and ports.  Continue to slowly work the master cylinder until the bubbles disappear.  You will feel the plunger get harder to push as the air is expelled and replaced with fluid.  When you are done, re-install the master cylinder.
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Step 3

03: Now you are ready to bleed the system.  Again there are numerous ways to do this but the easiest is gravity bleeding.  Start by opening all of the caliper bleeder screws.  Disconnect the power brake booster hose and check valve from the booster.  Place the front tires on the rotors and then lower the front tires onto the ground.  Jack the rear of the car up so that the center of the rear axle flange is 15″ above the plane of the floor.  Observe each bleeder valve.  When fluid starts to flow out constantly, close the valve.  Make sure fluid comes out of each bleeder valve.  Whenever you are installing a complete new brake system, you want to make sure you purge all of the old fluid out of the lines.  When the fluid starts to flow out of the open bleeders, it will be the old brake fluid.  Wait until you see the clean new fluid start to flow out of the bleeders. When all of the bleeders are closed, top off the master cylinder.  Re-connect the power brake booster hose and your system is bled.  If fluid does not flow out in 10 or 15 minutes, you probably have some type of restrictions which you will have to locate and correct.  Remember to keep the master cylinder full while you are gravity bleeding.  Also by attaching a clear hose to each bleeder valve and into a container, you will keep brake fluid from running all over the garage floor.
Bleeding Your 1967-1982 Corvette Brake System: Bleeding Your Corvette Brake System

Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632


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