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1948 brake cylinder bleeder screws

Pete Phillips

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I've never worked on the brakes of a 1940-48 Buick before, and I have found unusual bleeder valve screws on the front wheels of my 1948 Roadmaster, while preparing to bleed the brakes. See photo. There is a straight-bladed screw in the end of each wheel cylinder bleeder valve. I've never seen anything like this before. Apparently you hold the bleeder valve stationary with a box wrench while unscrewing the straight-bladed screw, to bleed the wheel cylinder. Does anyone know if this is factory equipment, or has someone come along and stuck these screws into the bleeder valve to prevent them from leaking??

The rear wheel cylinders have the normal type of bleeder, without any screws in the center of the valve.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Sherman, Texas

1948 model 71

1949 model 59

1950 model 76-R

1963 Wildcat conv. 4-speed


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Hello Pete

It has been a long while since I bled the brakes on one of these, but front and back should be the same. Believe some one has just stuck the screws in there. Best I remember, the bleeder hose should screw into end of bleeder. Then when bleeder is backed off,it unseats allowing the fluid to escape out the hose.


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Guest rusty1951

My 46 had not screws but small hex bolts. I had them on all corners but I can not tell you if that was orginial or not. I have a 45 White truck and 40 Dodge 2 ton that both had this system. I replaced all with modern style that a rubber hose slips over the end. Much nicer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pete, "Mimi" has the same set-up, and, unless I am guessing wrong, I figured it was to keep dirt out of the bleeder hole. Also, if you could drill a hole through a #10 screw, cut the head off, and then put a hose over the remaining part of the screw, you could bleed the brakes without getting fluid all over the place, which is a mess. Only my 'uneducated' guess. Paul

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Guest Two Roadmasters

Hi Pete,

when in started to restore the brakes on my -36 Roadmaster in the early 70:s the bleeder screws looked exactly like yours on all four cylinders. I think this was original bleeder screws as no one to my knowledge had done anything to the car before I did.

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