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What's up with you insisting that I justify my installation of speed bleeders to your satisfaction? You already have your mind made up negatively about speed bleeders, throwing out a murky critique, to wit: "In the motorcyclist world, they are not well respected." As a motorcyclist who is in the motorcyclist world myself, you are the first I've heard to level that broad and non-specific charge from vague and non-specific persons who aren't part of this forum. Nothing I can say to you will change your pre-formed opinion, so I distrust your motives and intent in asking for further justification.

I'm going to respond in more detail, even though you are trolling me, for the benefit of other members who may be confused by your non-specific beef with speed bleeders and, apparently, those who install them.

As I said in my How To thread: "Speed bleeders have a check ball that doesn't let air flow back into the caliper when you release the brake pedal during the bleeding procedure. This means you don't need a helper to pump the pedal while you tediously open and close the bleeder valve at each caliper, calling out "Down!" "Down!" "Up!" "Up!" innumerable times to each other." After installing speed bleeders, I completed my first non-spouse- / non-offspring-assisted total automotive brake bleed. Isn't that reason enough for any enthusiast?

How often do you need to bleed your brakes? Glycol-based brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from humid air. The brake system is not perfectly sealed off from atmospheric contact, so ambient moisture is absorbed by the brake fluid. This lowers its boiling point, which could lead to brake fade if the dissolved water turns to steam in the brake lines. This is something that is a consideration in a sports car that is driven with hard and continuous brake use.

Further, the moisture in the brake lines causes corrosion. Corrosion can cause brake caliper pistons to stick, leading to brake noise and / or premature or uneven brake pad and rotor wear. Corroded calipers can damage rubber seals as they scrape across pitted surfaces, causing fluid leaks. Eventually, corrosion can eat through brake lines, causing total loss of braking pressure which could of course be catastrophic. I have had that happen to me with an older vehicle once; thankfully it was in my own driveway but I never want to have it happen again.

It's easy to see a color change in brake fluid as it absorbs moisture: it changes from a clear very light color to an increasingly opaque and darker amber color. As a motorcyclist you should know that's why handlebar-mounted clear brake fluid reservoirs on motorcycles are called "urine specimen jars". When the brake fluid gets old and full of absorbed moisture, the reservoir looks like a jar of piss, which motivates the rider to bleed the brakes to stop the embarrassment of riding around everywhere looking at a jar of piss on their bike.

Many here have noted dark green particles and residue floating around in the reservoir. A senior contributor here, whose knowledge and experience I greatly respect, said that it was likely copper oxide from corrosion inhibitors in the brake fluid. If you are seeing the byproduct of spent corrosion inhibitors in the reservoir, that means corrosion processes are at work and the sacrificial inhibitors are being consumed. Once they are all gone, the brake system components themselves will get consumed. In my view, the appearance of these residues is an immediate indication that the brake fluid needs to be replaced.

Note dark amber color and cloudy appearance of this brake fluid (cause: water absorption) as well as the greenish residue of spent copper corrosion inhibitors:


Regarding the construction and design of speed bleeders: they are constructed exactly like standard bleed valves in terms of how they completely close off fluid flow when fully seated. They essentially act like a plug, same as standard bleed valves. The only difference in operation is when they are cracked open. The spring-loaded ball is simply a one-way check valve; it lets fluid out but closes to prevent the backflow of fluid and/or air into the caliper. Ball check valves are used in millions of applications all over the world and are "well-respected" by innumerable engineers for their low cost and simplicity.

The fact that speed bleeders are available in stainless steel is a real bonus: no chance of a rusted / seized bleed valve getting stuck and breaking off in the caliper. If that happens, you either have to extract the broken stem - potentially leaving metal particles inside the caliper - or replace the caliper. During a broken bleeder extraction attempt, if you generate particles that fall inside the caliper, you would then need to disassemble the caliper to clean it out before re-installation or else risk seal damage or piston sticking as a result of the metal debris.

Another speed bleeder benefit I noted: the bleed ports were larger for greater flow. This is a subtle feature that further eases and speeds the bleeding process.

So, how often do I "need" to bleed my brakes? As often as necessary to minimize the opportunity for water in the brake system to corrode its components. In practice, for me this means ideally every year but at most every two years in my climate. But, no need to take my word for it. Here are some words from an automotive industry professional:

Speed bleeders make the job so much faster and easier that there's no reason not to do it annually, for example when the wheels are off to rotate tires or to perform a brake pad inspection. Speed bleeders are even more useful on an automobile than a motorcycle; on a bike, you can open and close the bleed valve with one hand while operating the brake lever or pedal with the other. On a car, this is not even possible.

I'm planning to keep my Spider for a long time. I don't want it to become like the 124s of old, with corroded and defective brake systems that caused their owners to park them, never to be driven again. My one-time cost here was $71.95 for the speed bleeders, bleeder bag & hose combo, and shipping. My variable cost was about $10 for 24 oz. of DOT 4 synthetic brake fluid, so about $82 all-in for a DIY brake fluid change. The next fluid change will cost me $10.

My questions back to you @Bob T: 1. What's your problem with $10 a year brake fluid changes during the ownership of the vehicle? 2. How infrequently do you bleed your brakes and why do you need to bleed them so infrequently?

Editorial comment: It's people like you who make it frustrating for other people to post here about things that they've done to their cars. Nobody wants to share something cool or fun or useful when they have to put up with irritating nits and picks and digs from the likes of you. I saw your snarky comment just today regarding someone's choice not to paint their turbo bracket red, when the blanket itself was already red. It would have looked naff to have both of them red. But besides that, why badger the person and be a killjoy? This kind of rude commentary is how enthusiast forums like this lose enthusiasm.
I didn’t read Bobs question as negative, I wouldn’t be too tough on him as I had the same queries actually, which you have explained well here. I didn’t know much of what you have set out and will check my brake fluid as it is probably as old as the car (MY18). The air here isn’t overly humid, but the climate is damp (it rains a lot) which may affect things. I think this job is on my list though, if not for immediate use, certainly a good mod for future proofing the car, as like you, I think I’ll be keeping it for quite a while.
 

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What's up with you insisting that I justify my installation of speed bleeders to your satisfaction? You already have your mind made up negatively about speed bleeders, throwing out a murky critique, to wit: "In the motorcyclist world, they are not well respected." As a motorcyclist who is in the motorcyclist world myself, you are the first I've heard to level that broad and non-specific charge from vague and non-specific persons who aren't part of this forum. Nothing I can say to you will change your pre-formed opinion, so I distrust your motives and intent in asking for further justification.

I'm going to respond in more detail, even though you are trolling me, for the benefit of other members who may be confused by your non-specific beef with speed bleeders and, apparently, those who install them.

As I said in my How To thread: "Speed bleeders have a check ball that doesn't let air flow back into the caliper when you release the brake pedal during the bleeding procedure. This means you don't need a helper to pump the pedal while you tediously open and close the bleeder valve at each caliper, calling out "Down!" "Down!" "Up!" "Up!" innumerable times to each other." After installing speed bleeders, I completed my first non-spouse- / non-offspring-assisted total automotive brake bleed. Isn't that reason enough for any enthusiast?

How often do you need to bleed your brakes? Glycol-based brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from humid air. The brake system is not perfectly sealed off from atmospheric contact, so ambient moisture is absorbed by the brake fluid. This lowers its boiling point, which could lead to brake fade if the dissolved water turns to steam in the brake lines. This is something that is a consideration in a sports car that is driven with hard and continuous brake use.

Further, the moisture in the brake lines causes corrosion. Corrosion can cause brake caliper pistons to stick, leading to brake noise and / or premature or uneven brake pad and rotor wear. Corroded calipers can damage rubber seals as they scrape across pitted surfaces, causing fluid leaks. Eventually, corrosion can eat through brake lines, causing total loss of braking pressure which could of course be catastrophic. I have had that happen to me with an older vehicle once; thankfully it was in my own driveway but I never want to have it happen again.

It's easy to see a color change in brake fluid as it absorbs moisture: it changes from a clear very light color to an increasingly opaque and darker amber color. As a motorcyclist you should know that's why handlebar-mounted clear brake fluid reservoirs on motorcycles are called "urine specimen jars". When the brake fluid gets old and full of absorbed moisture, the reservoir looks like a jar of piss, which motivates the rider to bleed the brakes to stop the embarrassment of riding around everywhere looking at a jar of piss on their bike.

Many here have noted dark green particles and residue floating around in the reservoir. A senior contributor here, whose knowledge and experience I greatly respect, said that it was likely copper oxide from corrosion inhibitors in the brake fluid. If you are seeing the byproduct of spent corrosion inhibitors in the reservoir, that means corrosion processes are at work and the sacrificial inhibitors are being consumed. Once they are all gone, the brake system components themselves will get consumed. In my view, the appearance of these residues is an immediate indication that the brake fluid needs to be replaced.

Note dark amber color and cloudy appearance of this brake fluid (cause: water absorption) as well as the greenish residue of spent copper corrosion inhibitors:


Regarding the construction and design of speed bleeders: they are constructed exactly like standard bleed valves in terms of how they completely close off fluid flow when fully seated. They essentially act like a plug, same as standard bleed valves. The only difference in operation is when they are cracked open. The spring-loaded ball is simply a one-way check valve; it lets fluid out but closes to prevent the backflow of fluid and/or air into the caliper. Ball check valves are used in millions of applications all over the world and are "well-respected" by innumerable engineers for their low cost and simplicity.

The fact that speed bleeders are available in stainless steel is a real bonus: no chance of a rusted / seized bleed valve getting stuck and breaking off in the caliper. If that happens, you either have to extract the broken stem - potentially leaving metal particles inside the caliper - or replace the caliper. During a broken bleeder extraction attempt, if you generate particles that fall inside the caliper, you would then need to disassemble the caliper to clean it out before re-installation or else risk seal damage or piston sticking as a result of the metal debris.

Another speed bleeder benefit I noted: the bleed ports were larger for greater flow. This is a subtle feature that further eases and speeds the bleeding process.

So, how often do I "need" to bleed my brakes? As often as necessary to minimize the opportunity for water in the brake system to corrode its components. In practice, for me this means ideally every year but at most every two years in my climate. But, no need to take my word for it. Here are some words from an automotive industry professional:

Speed bleeders make the job so much faster and easier that there's no reason not to do it annually, for example when the wheels are off to rotate tires or to perform a brake pad inspection. Speed bleeders are even more useful on an automobile than a motorcycle; on a bike, you can open and close the bleed valve with one hand while operating the brake lever or pedal with the other. On a car, this is not even possible.

I'm planning to keep my Spider for a long time. I don't want it to become like the 124s of old, with corroded and defective brake systems that caused their owners to park them, never to be driven again. My one-time cost here was $71.95 for the speed bleeders, bleeder bag & hose combo, and shipping. My variable cost was about $10 for 24 oz. of DOT 4 synthetic brake fluid, so about $82 all-in for a DIY brake fluid change. The next fluid change will cost me $10.

My questions back to you @Bob T: 1. What's your problem with $10 a year brake fluid changes during the ownership of the vehicle? 2. How infrequently do you bleed your brakes and why do you need to bleed them so infrequently?

Editorial comment: It's people like you who make it frustrating for other people to post here about things that they've done to their cars. Nobody wants to share something cool or fun or useful when they have to put up with irritating nits and picks and digs from the likes of you. I saw your snarky comment just today regarding someone's choice not to paint their turbo bracket red, when the blanket itself was already red. It would have looked naff to have both of them red. But besides that, why badger the person and be a killjoy? This kind of rude commentary is how enthusiast forums like this lose enthusiasm.
Well now.....That's something I didn't expect. Pretty harsh friend...

Just wondering why you needed to bleed your brakes often, that's all.
Maybe you track the car? Maybe you do annual flushes? (apparently you do) Maybe it was something else?
I only asked because I really was curious....Go figure...:unsure:

And yes, the motorcyclists I ride with do NOT recommend them. As they often leak.
But hey, that's just our experience. Feel free to share yours.....

And have a great Sunday....:cool:
 

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With regards to bleeders: It’s a shame that forums don’t allow for the subtle intonation of banter that exists in the spoken word. I think we need a boxing ring emoji!

Im just glad I got around to removing the damned airbag warnings on the cheap visors we have. (I’d like the Miata visors better, but don’t want to spring for the price - shame we can’t get just the visors).
 

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Had the Spider out of the garage to put stuff away for winter so, what the heck, went for a little drive as the sun set (early!). Got stuck behind a slowpoke (natch) on one of my favorite roads. They even turned where I was going to turn, Sigh. So I continued to a major intersection to turn around. Wouldn't you know it, cop sitting on the side of the road. Saw the car (Explorer, actually) in plenty of time and really wasn't going that fast. Waited for the light to turn, and someone ran it. Did you see that, officer? They did! Go get 'em! Didn't see any lights or siren before I turned around (Michigan left), so I'll just assume justice was done. Enjoyed the drive back home and tucked the Spider back safely in the garage. Oh, I saw another Spider (silver) going north on Telegraph Road at Lone Pine. Anyone here?
Ugh, Telegraph Road….got a speeding ticket there, coming off 94. And I hate Michigan lefts. Moved to KY and what do you know, they started putting in Michigan lefts….they are actually not too bad where they put them as there’s so little traffic that you can generally blaze (heh) straight around them without stopping.
 

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Ugh, Telegraph Road….got a speeding ticket there, coming off 94. And I hate Michigan lefts. Moved to KY and what do you know, they started putting in Michigan lefts….they are actually not too bad where they put them as there’s so little traffic that you can generally blaze (heh) straight around them without stopping.
That's about 20 miles south. I'll be headed that way later today to pick up someone at the airport. Long line expected. Another ugh.

My latest close call came on southbound Woodward, after I had seen the cop on my way north and turned around. Yeah, "Michigan lefts" can be a pain. So can New Jersey's "jughandles". As you say, some can be fun when conditions permit. Most near me, however, have stop signs that interrupt potentially entertaining maneuvers.

I think I'll have my brakes seen to by a professional mechanic.
 

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…the motorcyclists I ride with do NOT recommend them. As they often leak…
Incompetent installation or improper tightening would be the likeliest supposition in case of leakage. What did Speed Bleeder tech support say about it?

In my direct experience (not indirect heresay), they are no more prone to leaking than a standard bleeder valve, which should be obvious because the primary valve seat design is identical. The check ball has no function when the bleeder is fully tightened and seated and plays no role in sealing. In fact the check ball could be removed and it would not leak, because at that point you’d be looking at a standard bleed valve.
 

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Incompetent installation or improper tightening would be the likeliest supposition in case of leakage. What did Speed Bleeder tech support say about it?

In my direct experience (not indirect heresay), they are no more prone to leaking than a standard bleeder valve, which should be obvious because the primary valve seat design is identical. The check ball has no function when the bleeder is fully tightened and seated and plays no role in sealing. In fact the check ball could be removed and it would not leak, because at that point you’d be looking at a standard bleed valve.
OK....that was easy. You could have just said that before. As for me, I still don't trust them.

Don't understand all the anger you have inside. :unsure:
Take care......
 

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@Bob Troll

Signs Someone Is Trolling
  • Off-topic remarks: Completely going off-topic from the subject at hand. This is done to annoy and disrupt other posters.
  • Refusal to acknowledge evidence: Even when presented with hard, cold facts, they ignore this and pretend like they never saw it.
  • Dismissive, condescending tone: An early indicator of a troll was that they would ask an angry responder, “Why you mad, bro?” This is a method done to provoke someone even more, as a way of dismissing their argument altogether.
  • Use of unrelated images or memes: They reply to others with memes, images, and gifs. This is especially true if done in response to a very long text post.
  • Seeming obliviousness: They seem oblivious that most people are in disagreement with them. Also, trolls rarely get mad or provoked.
OK, so none of those applied. Now what?
 

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Just picked it up from the shop, took a pic right before I went into work. Got the overfenders put on, cut into the wheel well and everything.
Aha, I see! Should have looked more closely...
 
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