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1932 MG-J2 Brake Bleeding Challenge


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Good evening. I am helping my father bleed the brakes on his 1932 MG in preparation to sell. I'm having a blast finally helping my Dad with his "little red car" but it's also difficult because he is 92 years old and is essentially walking me through the procedures. He also upgraded part of the brake system in the 80s but can't remember what part. Unfortunately, we've hit a hurdle with bleeding the brakes. He doesn't recognize which bolt I'm supposed to unscrew to let air out of the brake lines. He told me to unscrew the large bolt but I don't believe that is doing anything. I'm a technical person but know nothing about cars.  Can someone explain to me, as if you are talking to a 3 year old, which bolt I should be loosening to release the air? I feel like its the small bold with a hole in it? 

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The small screw above the line connector with the hole in it is the bleed screw.  Get it loostened up, then have dad step on the pedal and open the screw. Close it BEFORE you let the pedal up.   I always go closest wheel to farthest but there's debates on that on here.  BTW put that copper washer/gasket back where it belongs. Likely the line coupling bolt. 

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As a brake mechanic, I was taught to bleed the farthest wheel cylinder from the master cylinder and work your way closer to the master cylinder. Don't forget to adjust the shoes prior to bleeding the cylinders. Adjust them so that there is a very slight rubbing on the shoes when you spin the drum.

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Be sure to be careful with the bleeder screw. Since it is hollow, it is prone to twisting off and then the real problem starts. Don’t force it.

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1. J2 cars are cable operated brakes so most J2 owners will be no help in your question(s) regarding hydraulic brakes (though your question via hydraulic applies to countless other cars).  Your dad’s J2 was converted to hydraulic at some point in time (not authentic, but the car will stop better). 

 

2. In the picture there is a copper colored washer - it goes on the brake junction to the wheel cylinder (the big nut you unscrewed).  They seal the coupling that has the big bolt through it. Hint on floor as it looks to have moved. If you need a new one you can take the old one to a good auto parts store. If something else goes astray - perhaps find a business called “from the frame up” - a nice MG supplier who has a good head on his shoulders. 

 

3. The bracket hardware may be whitworth (it may involve all the wrenches you own SAE, metric, whitworth, or generic adjustable.

 

4. Your system will be yelling out “down” and then having who we press the pedal down while you loosen the bleeder - then you tighten and say “up”.

 

Lefty loosey and righty tighty 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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Re the "loose" copper washer, my car (1931 Chrysler) had a copper washer on both sides of the bronze fitting, intended to minimize leaking on both faces of the fitting.  If the large bolt is shaped like mine, the 2 washers have the same outside diameter, but different inside diameter, a larger hole next to bolt head, a smaller diameter hole next to wheel cylinder.

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Thank you so much! I really appreciate the help! I'll be careful with the bleeder screw and put the washer back where it needs to go. I should have taken pictures as I was disassembling everything. No unaccounted parts! (with the exception of that washer but let's pretend I was still "working" on the brakes and would have caught it).

 

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