bleeder cap is stuck and top is rounded off - Fuelly Forums

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Old 08-03-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
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bleeder cap is stuck and top is rounded off

I am bleeding the brakes on my recently acquired '96 Chevy pickup. The head on the bleeder cap on the right front is completely rounded off. Vice grips did not work. I am thinking about using a file to try to make two flat sides, and then try the vice grips again.

Any other ideas, short of replacing the caliper?

The Haynes manual states that if you replace one front caliper, you have to replace both. Will the newer caliper really have more braking force than an older one?
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:09 AM   #2
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Re: bleeder cap is stuck and top is rounded off

Make sure it's soaked in penetrating oil. If you cant get it out, you can heat it with a map gas torch, but it's the last option as it can cause more problems. I've never had an issue when replacing a single caliper.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
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Re: bleeder cap is stuck and top is rounded off

I have replaced a single caliper on several vehicles with no problems (braking still seemed even/there was no sideways "brake steer" when brakes were applied)

Maybe it was a misprint and should have read "brake pads should be replaced on both sides at the same time"
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Re: bleeder cap is stuck and top is rounded off

I was working on my truck's brakes last year. I finished one side and broke the pad on the other side. I only replaced pads on that side. No problem, no brake steer or anything.

In fact, the real problem now is that I'll be bringing it to the professionals for a couple things I'm not equipped to do and I'm expecting to catch some grief about it.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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Re: bleeder cap is stuck and top is rounded off

Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaguy72 View Post
Make sure it's soaked in penetrating oil. If you cant get it out, you can heat it with a map gas torch, but it's the last option as it can cause more problems. I've never had an issue when replacing a single caliper.
Isn't brake fluid flammable?
Freezing it with an upside down air duster can might help.
If you can replace the cap, you can always resort to notching it for a screw driver or even drill it out.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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Re: bleeder cap is stuck and top is rounded off

Brake fluid is flammable but with no oxygen it's probably ok. This certainly isn't the first time I've heard of torching a stuck bleeder.

Alternating torch and freeze-spray could help break it loose.

You could try drilling it out with a left-hand drill bit...anything's worth a try when you're ready to buy a new caliper anyway. Or you could save the effort since the caliper's probably only $20.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #7
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Re: bleeder cap is stuck and top is rounded off

I wouldn't recommend the torch unless you pull the whole thing out drain it, and pull out the seals. That said, I might do something like that myself anyway. But first your idea of flattening it with a file is sound, I just don't understand how vice grips are not working for you. Today I use some and a hammer to get a ball joint out of my rust bucket. Maybe you need a smaller pare of vise grips...???

Take a hammer and hit the face of the bleeder and the part it goes into (gently on the bleeder it's self, they are often brass). Attach vice grips so tight you can hardly close them with two hands, and tap the handle with a hammer in both directions until it moves freely.
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