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Old 07-25-2007, 09:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bleeding Forester Brakes?

I just replaced all the brake pads on our 2001 Forester with 76,000 miles. Rotors were just slightly worn from original specs but had them machined and used Akebono "Proact" pads. Using Subaru's Repair Service Manual, I went through the brake bleeding sequence 3 times. That's going right front, left rear, left front, right rear. After all that the car still has spongy brakes with excessive pedal travel. (Note: I kept getting a LOT of air bubbles from the left rear bleeder before they stopped. Question: Is it possible for calipers to "suck air" even though they're not leaking?)

I have read and researched and then read some more about Forester "soft pedal or brake bleeding problems". Some suggest that the soft pedal is just the nature of the Forester. Others recommend replacing the OEM brake hoses with stiffer ones to get a more solid pedal feel. But very simply, from my experience I am sure that there's still air left in the system that's not being removed.

I found the following on a "Motor" website:

"This is a dual diagonal braking system, with one front brake sharing half of the master cylinder with a rear brake on the opposite side of the car. It's also a four-channel ABS system, which means each brake can be applied or released, according to need. Bleeding must occur in the proper sequence. And to completely remove all of the air from the system, it's necessary to open and close various valves in the ABS unit at the proper times.

Subaru techs use the Select Monitor to open the ABS valves during brake bleeding. This is an OBD II-compliant vehicle, so if you don't have a Select Monitor, you should also be able to access the brake system via the data link connector (DLC) and an aftermarket scan tool equipped with the appropriate software
."


The "data link connector" and "scan tool" are Greek to me, so now I'm thinking (in spite of Subaru's Repair Service Manual), that the only way to get the brakes properly bled is to take them to a dealer or other shop with the right equipment.

Can anyone clarify this for me, and provide the rock solid, real deal answer to the Forester brake bleeding mystery?

Craig Mathews
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm quite intrested in this thread.

After a dozen DE's and over a 100 solo runs in two years, I've ran many pints of Ford HD Dot3 w/o any problems. I'm running ss brake lines and several types of pads. Of course with speed bleeders. Stock rotors and calipers.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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HI!There, I did my brakes about 6 months ago and i didn't do anything to the abs like cycling it, i believe i started with the closet brake caliper to the master cylinder pumped the brake pedal several times and held it to the floor ,loosen the 7mm bleeder nut ,i had a clear hose from the bleeder nipple to a glass jar with brake fluid in it ,with the person still holding pedal to floor then opened the bleeder just enough to watch the old fluid come out. I used the ate super blue fluid so i could watch when the new blue came out. You must keep the master cylinder topped up at all time so you don't get air in the system, you do this as many times per brake line until old fluid is pumped out.I worked my way from shortest brake line to longest. I not absolutely positive that this is the right subaru procedure, I can't remember where i found my info but i normally search the forums. MY brakes have been working great since the brake upgrade, and i recommend going to the scoobymod brake booster adjustment i did a couple weeks ago and it was great improvement. Hope That helps.Don,t open the bleeder to far or it can suck air in their also.Someone else will correct any wrong info.
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Old 07-28-2007, 08:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I assure you that subaru techs do NOT use the select monitor to open the system when bleeding the brakes. I used to be a subaru tech, and I have worked at 3 different subby dealers, in 2 different states. Not one single tech ever used that method. They all do the standard procedure. Fill res, open all the bleeders and let it gravity bleed a bit (keep an eye on the res level), then close the bleeders and put someone in the seat to pump the pedal normally.
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Old 08-04-2007, 11:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Thank you all...very much

....especially Integrity Performance. Was just about ready to reluctantly head for the Subaru dealer (& ours is notoriously, well, "integrity challenged"), but will keep on working on it here. Have bled a lot of brakes in my time, but this Forester seems to be a breed apart.

Thanks again,
Craig Mathews
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Omg. Just did struts on my 2000 fozzy and disconnected the brake lines rathen than cut the brake line mounts. Now I can't get the brakes to pressure up. I think I found the answer I'm looking for on this thread. I'm scared.I tried the sequence thing. No dice. Gravity bleed em all at once? Help?
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Integrity Performance View Post
I assure you that subaru techs do NOT use the select monitor to open the system when bleeding the brakes. I used to be a subaru tech, and I have worked at 3 different subby dealers, in 2 different states. Not one single tech ever used that method. They all do the standard procedure. Fill res, open all the bleeders and let it gravity bleed a bit (keep an eye on the res level), then close the bleeders and put someone in the seat to pump the pedal normally.
help! brakes! gravity bleed all of them at once. then close them? then pump them?
2000 fozzy L
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