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The cheap way to fix busted brake caliper bleeders...

Old 28-Jul-2009, 03:45 AM
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The cheap way to fix busted brake caliper bleeders...

Here's the story...

Was about to bleed the rear brakes on my 86 MR2 after re-routing/fixing some very shoddy brake line fixes done by the previous owner...brand new bleeders in hand, anticipating the old rusted bleeders WILL break when I try to crack them loose.

Of course one bleeder snaps off and the other was already broken and rusted. I tried to get the one out that I broke via a special easy-out tool I've used before with great success. No good. The easy out snaps off inside the broken bleeder in the caliper. what?!

So I removed both rear calipers and realized there is no way to get these broken bleeders out. Thinking now I have to buy new calipers...this sucks!

Then an idea came to mind...figured what the heck, nothing to lose, the calipers are already messed.

Then took the drill and drilled a new hole with a small bit through the caliper to the passage where the fluid passes through, next to the original bleeders. (kind of hard to explain the location without pics but anyways...) Then I drilled a larger hole part way through, a rather delicate procedure...tapped the hole and threaded in the new bleeders!

Threw the calipers back on and bled them no problem!!!

So for those of you who have had this happen, or if it happens to you in the future, don't just throw away the calipers. They can still be made to work. If you can find an ideal location on the caliper to drill, you can install a new bleeder!

Hopefully this technique spreads and more people learn how to do this. It's all about saving money and making the best of what you have to work with. I'll try to post a pic or 2.


(admins: feel free to move this thread. Wasn't sure where to post it...)
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Old 28-Jul-2009, 12:22 PM
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not to jack your thread, But you could actually drill out the old bleeder with a slightly larger bit. They actually sell bleed nippeles in a "open bolt" where it looks like a hollow bolt but there are threads on the inside of it as well. Anyways following the same steps above it can work in the stock bleeder location
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Old 28-Jul-2009, 12:37 PM
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I like both of these suggestions. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 28-Jul-2009, 04:55 PM
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The problem with drilling out the broken bleeders is it screws up the threads. You could re-tap and install slightly larger bleeders, but when there's a hardened steel easy-out stuck in the bleeder, you can't drill it.

You also have to know where to drill for the new bleeder. You have to make sure it is still at the top of the caliper with the caliper installed on the car. Otherwise you'll never get all the air out.
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Old 28-Jul-2009, 05:39 PM
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you can drill out a easy out. trust me A good drill bit, a drill doctor, and skill are required.

any chance did you soak the old bleeder screw in a penetrating fluid and use a propane torch on the material around the bleeder screw?

Last edited by starboy869; 28-Jul-2009 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 28-Jul-2009, 07:47 PM
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probably couldve put some heat on it, might not of snapped, depends how easily it broke.
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Old 28-Jul-2009, 09:59 PM
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all you needed was a good set of cobalt drill bits to get the easy-out, out.
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Old 29-Jul-2009, 12:08 AM
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left hand drill bits also have worked for me, they cut going counterclockwise
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Old 29-Jul-2009, 12:44 AM
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I guess I should have mentioned in my 1st post...I tried just about everything all of you mentioned. Heat, penetrating fluid...the works.

The old bleeders were pretty much fused in there.
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