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Old 10-15-2016, 01:55 AM   #1
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Bleeding Dexter disk brakes

I have always removed each wheel from the axle prior to bleeding the brake system on my 5th with Dexter disk brakes. That also requires a standard sequence to re-torque the wheel lug nuts after remounting. I wonder if folks manage to operate the bleeder valves without removing the wheels? It would make this much faster and simpler. Just wondering about people's milage on this procedure.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:49 AM   #2
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When I installed mine I bled the calipers with wheels off so my suggestion should be taken with a grain of salt...

You should be able to push a small piece of tubing over the end of the bleeder screw and operate with a box end wrench. Pump the fluid through into a container to keep the fluid off the wheels. If by chance, you do get fluid on the wheels be sure to wash it off thouroughly immediately.

The first time I bled mine I let the resi run dry on accident introducing air back into the system. Top it off frequently as you bleed or you will have to do it twice...like me.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:22 AM   #3
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I bled mine with the wheel/tire in place. The piston is going to move with or w/o them. Besides, your trying to flush air out of the line and piston bore and out to top bleed port, piston movement should not help that.

BTW, I made a cheater cord, 25 ft of low voltage wire, switch on one end, alligator clips on the other. Hook it into the break-away line and I can turn the pump on and off w/o needing a second person.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:55 AM   #4
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Good idea on the cheater cord.
I was on the road when the Dexter pump died. I pulled into Susanville, CA and Dexter FedEx'ed a new pump. I needed a 2nd guy. There was a local mobile RV repair guy 3 minutes away. He came over and without removing the wheels bleed the brakes. I operated the manual lever in the truck to assist.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:51 AM   #5
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Ok folks, I'll give it a try with the wheels on. I had changed out the entire spring/axle/brake system myself a couple of years ago and made a cheater cord at that time. I bought an extra truck-end connector and just used the normal brake lead and the trailer hot lead to the switch. Worked great doing it solo and much faster.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
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Let us know how it goes. That's the only thing I liked better about the Kodiak is that it was much easier to bleed with the wheels on than the Dexter. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:51 PM   #7
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Well, there's just not enough space between the spokes of wheels to operate the bleeder valve. So its jack it up and remove the wheels method. With my air tools I can do it all in about one hour. Hey, practice makes sit perfect, so I'm going for perfection.
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:06 PM   #8
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I'll be putting disc brakes on our 5er before next season and will be installing Russell Speed Bleeders or similar just to make my life easier. While access isn't any better, it does make brake bleeding a one man job. I have them on my TV currently as well as my street rod: Introduction - Speed Bleeders - Russell Performance Products
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rarebear.nm View Post
Well, there's just not enough space between the spokes of wheels to operate the bleeder valve. So its jack it up and remove the wheels method. With my air tools I can do it all in about one hour. Hey, practice makes sit perfect, so I'm going for perfection.
I guess I didn't picture you trying to swing a wrench from the front. I have always gone at them from the back side. This would mean crawling underneath...
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:19 AM   #10
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I'll be putting disc brakes on our 5er before next season and will be installing Russell Speed Bleeders or similar just to make my life easier. While access isn't any better, it does make brake bleeding a one man job. I have them on my TV currently as well as my street rod: Introduction - Speed Bleeders - Russell Performance Products

Interesting product!

I think though, for one person bleeding I still would use wires running back from the break-away switch to activate the pump. This way I could watch the flow coming through. It should require about equal effort with either bleeder.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:11 AM   #11
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Interesting product!

I think though, for one person bleeding I still would use wires running back from the break-away switch to activate the pump. This way I could watch the flow coming through. It should require about equal effort with either bleeder.
Just leave the breakwaway switch 'pulled'. It shouldn't hurt a thing to leave the pump running for 3-5 minutes to do your bleed process
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:01 PM   #12
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I'll try to explain how the Dexter disk brakes are arranged on my 5th. There are a total of four cylinders per wheel, two inside and two outside. Two on each caliber. There's a U shaped tube that extends the brake line from the inside to the exterior caliber. The bleeder fitting is on the top of the outside caliber. That puts it right about dead center with in the wheel. So there's no way reaching around from under the trailer, I've already looked at that. I've started to look for a remote bleeder extension that would screw into the hole where the bleeder valve is located and run to some point in the wheel well that is easily accessed. Kinda the reverse of the feeder brake line. I've seen them advertised for some sports cars and a variety for automatic transmissions.

Thanks for the various ideas, you never know when someone else has already solved your problem.
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:16 PM   #13
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I converted to Kodiaks on my Cameo and had my wife run the manual lever, it was easy from underneath. I put Dexters on a friends TT and it was much easier to pull the wheels to get to the outer bleeder fitting, I probably could have but not as easy.
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