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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Brake Bleeding Kits

Can anyone recommend a one man brake bleeding kit that works well with midgets?

A couple of years ago I bought a cheap one from Halfords which was not much good at all and I usually rely on the traditional way, but finding a willing helper is not always easy!

As the front and rear bleed nipples are different sizes, or they are on mine, I'm looking for something flexible for different size nipples and preferably flushes the fluid back into the master cylinder, can anyone recommend a system that works well with Midgets?

Tim Lynam

I bought a suction type kit a couple of years ago for very little money which seems to work well. You just make sure the reservoir is full, push the pipe on the nipple, crack it open and pump with a little hand pump about six inches from the nipple. This draws the fluid and air out and into a little reservoir on the pump. When there is no air you are done.
John Payne

Do you need suction/pressure on the (very early) 1500s like Tim's or would gravity, patience and plenty of fresh, good quality fluid to fully flush out, do just as well?
Nigel Atkins

Brake bleed nipples allow one man operation.
Demon Tweeks sell them.
Alan Anstead

Re above should have said Automatic brake bleed valves.
Alan Anstead

I've had a lot of success with a simple gravity bleed. Make sure the reservoir is good and full, crack a bleed nipple open and go and have a beer (or a cup of tea) letting it drip out.

Repeat for all corners. Beer/tea as appropriate - 4 pint job.

Seems to work really well for me.
Rob Armstrong

The gravity system seems a little slow, the beer sounds good but looking for something a little quicker.

Alan, how do the automatic bleed valves work?
Tim Lynam

I have used the gunson's Easibleed devices. Nice and quick, the only downside is you need to pump up the tyre again afterwards. Not a problem if you are working at home and also have a compressor. Otherwise, if away from home I just use simple old-fashoned gravity.

An old garage mechanic (old, applying to both garage and mechanic~) once advised liberally coating the threads of bleed valves with grease when assembling. His point being that if using low pressure bleeding it is possible for air to be drawn back up the bleed valve threads when they were cracked open. Grease helped seal against this. I've always done so since, 'though I cannot say if it has been any better for it, other than they never sieze up!

what's your rush, gravity method is slow but possibly not quite as slow as Rob suggest depending on his/your rate of beer/tea drinking, you can tell Rob is younger as no mention of pee breaks.

You could also check/work on the rest of the car whilst wait on gravity as you also want to check the reservoir level don't ever drop too low.

With the Eezibleed you could use a foot pump to reinflate the tyre (whether at home or not), apart from the cost of the Eezibleed kit I always worry about nasty brake fluid in an engine bay and near the wing, always have a full watering can handy. Plus does the kit have the correct size cap (I've no idea, don't think I've even seen one used).
Nigel Atkins

The left wheel drive Spridgets are a pain in the ass to bleed. Clutch and brake pipes are above the main cylinder level. I tried gravity, pumping and easy bleed. The suction method is the best, cheap, quick and easy.

I do not use grease on the nippels. Yes it sucks air in the bottle, but there is no air introduced in the system.

Flip Brühl

Haaa haha Nigel. Top stuff. In terms of total time, should be done in a morning.

Means I can get on with other jobs while the brakes are sorting themselves out. If I've been doing something that requires a big brake bleed there's normally something to occupy me for a bit.
Rob Armstrong

Takes me at least a morning to do most jobs, there's always something unexpected crop up and/or nieghbours pop over for a chat (I've no garage only front hard standing) and if they have something more interesting to do I'll leave the car work and return to it later. And that's not counting tea and pee breaks. Beer comes as part of test driving the car, if I do any work or clean the car then at the very next opportunity I expect to drive the car and there's always a pub just far enough away for the test.
Nigel Atkins

Lucky you don't live in Scotland then, Nigel. ;-)


that's a very neat solution, hadn't seen them before. Might try one on the clutch hydraulics....
Tim, they have a built in, one way valve so they let fluid out but not air in.
Jeremy MkIII

Easibleed can be very effective but:

Make sure everything in the Easibleed plumbing is tight otherwise the pressure could squirt potentially damaging brake fluid everywhere. Cover it all with an old towel. You can actually use the unit without putting fluid in it, just remember to keep an eye on the level in the mastercyl reservoir.

If you use is conventionally with fluid be aware that it will leave the reservoir full to the brim. Unless you syphon some out it WILL leak down the pedals onto the floor mat in the footwell and you WILL tread it up the hallway.

I couldnt use Easibleed on the clutch after renewing the slave.

One thing which is a great shame but you can't buy blue brake fluid anymore. This was great when it came to total fluid replacement because the colour change gave a clear indication when the new came through. Apparently outlawed by the USA because hydraulic fluid all has to be the same colour for identification purposes!
Graeme Williams

The automatic bleed nipple has a ball valve in it: a small ball held by a spring.
You slacken the nipple and push the pedal. Pressure raises the ball.
Release the pedal / pressure and the spring seats the ball. After a few pumps tighten the bleed nipple and job done.
They are as old as the hills. I use a clear tube into a catch container to watch the bubbles come out.

Alan Anstead

Here is an Extremely simple, fast and cheap meathod

Get about 12 feet of clear vinyl hose, like for fish tanks... with an ID about what the nipples are ... a little smaller is best cuz the hose can be easily forced

Stick the hose on the nipple and the other end into a bottle of fluid if your replacing the fluid or submerge into the master if just bleeding

SLOWLY, VERY SLOWLY Pump the brake peddle to circulate the fluid while checking the level evety few strokes ... if replacing fluid keep adding fluid untill the old brown fluid is pumped out then put the tube into the master resivore and continue to pump and watch the clear tubing for air bubbles, once they are gone ..tighten the nipple pull off the hose move to the next wheel rinse and repeat for all 4 wheels... throw tube away as it will melt over the next few days

One man opperation for less then $1 dollar

Thats how i do it including clutch...the reason for slow pumping is to avoid adding air into the system and always keep the exit end of the clear tubing submerged into fluid to avoid any suck back action of air

1 Paper

I have used an Eesibleed for at least 30 years - the same kit although I have augmented and adapted various bits and pieces. I have never yet had a leakage problem with it spraying paint-eating fluid around. I suspect this problem is an urban myth, although I can see how it might happen with careles use. My kit also contains a small plastic syringe that I use to extract about 20ml of fluid from the mastercylinder when the job is finished. As Graeme says, it leaves the thing brimmed full otherwise.

I also had those automatic bleed valves that Alan describes as "old as the hills" on my Austin 1100 in 1971. I remember bleeding the brakes at the top of a mountain pass in Austria before starting the descent.For some reason now long gone, I didn't trust the brakes. I couldn't now pin-point where it was on a map but at the time it was an unpaved stone and gravel road with some very steep sections. And donkeys.

With the Eezibleed, and I know it's not the macho thing to do, but, you could always read the instructions *before* you use the kit. Obviously present company excepted (?) but I'd guess that some people have problems because they don't read the instructions first, imagine them if you will as a mini handbook. :)

yes Scotland might involve a good test drive. I should also have put to a suitable pub with good beer. Things are better now but when we first went to Scotland suitable pubs and good beer were very few and far between. I can remember just opening the door to one place and all I could see was very thick cigarette smoke, hairy knees, red beards, a sign for Skol or McEwans and daggers in their eyes and socks. It might have been a Clan meeting but it reminded me of (the original) film The Hills Have Eyes or a Hell's Angels bar.
Nigel Atkins

I agree with Guy that Easibleed does the job, though the quality of the caps was not great in my kit. I've always had dual master cylinders, so I got a spare lid and incorporated it into the kit, using body filler to make the seal.

What I like about it, above all the other methods, is that you can go round the wheels in a nice relaxed fashion, and see clearly and closely what's happening at each one. Any method that needs you to be up in the cockpit pushing the brake pedal and craning your neck round to try and spot the bubbles makes the cost of the Easibleed seem worth it, as do the sweeteners you have to offer to the beautiful assistant in return for her help with the traditional method.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

I have used the Eezibleed for many years, although I have had the odd problem.

I once had a fluid leak where the tubing fitted on to the adapter for the cap.

Another time, I discovered that the top of my master cylinder had a pin hole in it, as I noticed a jet of brake fluid being sprayed all over my OSF wing.

These days, I tend to just use the Eezibleed to pressurise the system, but I don't put any fluid in the bottle. It does mean that I need to stop and refill the master cylinder manually, but at least I have a bit more confidence in it that way.
Dave O'Neill 2

"No fluid in the bottle" - smart idea Dave. I think I will try that.
My only grumble is with the kit bottle - or rather the screw thread on the cap. It would be so much easier if the kit they supplied had been made with a cap that fitted directly onto standard 1/2 litre bottles of fluid - then you wouldn't need to do the messy bit of decanting from one to the other, with the potential of introducing air bubbles if you pour it too fast!

Nigel - I was of course referring to the current alcohol zero tolerance limit for drink driving in Scotland. Wouldn't meet your requirement for a good beer as part of your test driving route.

I didn't realise Scotland was zero tolerance.

When did that happen?
Dave O'Neill 2

Dave: nice to know that someone else has human failings despite reading the f***ing manual. With two cars and four different cap sizes, swapping caps means the seal is disturbed and can't be tested until everything is ready to run. If that seal wont take the 10 to 15 pi it's fluid, not air which leaks. Touch wood I have never sprayed fluid everywhere but I know plenty who have and I take heed of their warnings and pass them on because I believe they are very real.
As I said in my post, using the Easibleed without fluid isn't much of an inconvenience and avoids the chance of falling foul of any "urban myths".
Graeme Williams

Sorry Guy I didn't realise that had come in, I knew it had been proposed. The only foreign country I've been to for a good number of years is Wales, oh and once I got dragged to Cornwall and once to that there London.

Have they got zero drug driving, that'd stop a lot of pensioners.
Nigel Atkins

I don't know that particular manual Graeme but good on you for reading any type of instructions. Don't worry about your human failings we all have them.
Nigel Atkins


I've got the automatic bleed valves from Demon Tweaks on the front discs on my IOW Frog - they are really good.

Do you know what size I need for the rear drum brakes?

J.N. Williams

They are 3/8 x 24 UNF on a std Frogeye but may be different on an IOW as parts were drawn from various manufacturers.
I have worked on two IOW's : one has a Sprite rear Axle, the other is Hillman.
Alan Anstead

Thanks to all for the comments and advice which is a great help in deciding which way to go.
Tim Lynam

No fluid in the bottle and used it to pressurize the system...

I recall some time way back a person (david leib?) did similar using his spare tire as an air pressure source... how he did it exactly i dont recall, im sure he modified some bits to make it all fit ... but the person swore by it

Good luck in those old musty catacombs of the past arcives...haha

1 Paper

Prop I used to do that.

I used a 3 foot length of cycle inner tube, cut to include the valve. One end then folded over twice and clamped with a bulldog clip to make it airtight, and the other end stretched over the M/C filler cap and secured with a few twists of a strong elastic band. Then pump up the tyre with a cycle pump till it expands like an overfed python. Pressurises the system which can then be bled. Ned to keep an eye on the fluid levels though.

sorry I misunderstood, by zero tolerance I thought you meant a zero limit of millilitres of alcohol in blood, etc. instead of a zero tolerance to any breaking of the law, which I fully support. By good beer (to me real ale out of a barrel) I mean quality of ingredients, brewing, storage, keeping, serving and condition (never quantity).

Having looked it up and seen the reduction (from 80ml to 50ml in blood) was now nearly 3 years ago I'd totally forgotten so good to have a reminder.

There are now quite a few low alcohol by volume beers and buying a half, or even a third, of any beer is prevalent especially at the beer prices we have around here, even when I'm not driving I usually buy halves.
Nigel Atkins

No, I didn't mean Zero milligrams of alcohol in blood. That is apparently unenforceable as it is impossible to proove an absence of something. All one can proove is that one failed to find it. - like life on other planets.

But Zero tolerance in as much as one cannot now "go out for a pint" and drive. A pint of a normal beer would take one over the 50mg limit. Accepted that with a half or a low alcohol beer one might just get away with it but the clear intention is to enforce the "Don't drink and drive" slogan. That's what I meant by zero tolerance.

Incidentally, and this isn't just to find fault Nigel, as I am sure you meant the correct criteria, but
the measure is 50 milligrams not millilitres, per millilitre of blood

... per decilitre Guy (100ml)
David Smith

I was thinking about zero alcohol being troublesome to find but didn't have time to check, thinking of mouthwash on the breath too.

Guy if I make a fault then it's there for you or anyone to find and correct me, I don't mind and thank you - and believe it or not I actually changed from milligrams to millilitres as I thought I'd got it wrong the first time , and I'd already read the link I posted.

You may have noticed that often I'm rushing my posts to make even more mistake than usual, that's without wondering about a word I can't think of or remember or how to spell those I can think of (spellchecker struggles with my spellings).
Nigel Atkins

ETA: I was taught about decimeters for one year at school and the next year chains (22 yards), no wonder I can't get measurements right.
Nigel Atkins

Guy that may have been you i was channeling... i do recall the bike inner tube now that you mention it

Thats drinking anything fun and driving is something i now avoid completely...cops have gotten to extreme in there new roll as income generators for the city

Here the legal limit is .08 which for an avg size man is about 1.5 reg 12 ounce beers in an hours time which in my view is way to low esp in this day and age where most men are obesse and at least 225 lbs

Granted i dont agree with drinking and driving (dui) but i think if your going to be charged with that crime, then you should at least be intoxicated /impaired wnd a basic threat to all on the road and not use this as a form of generating income for the township

1 Paper

Last time I used an Eezibleed, fluid sprayed out of the cap on the Master Cylinder. Had to give up and conscript help. Dud cap or incompetent operator?
Simon Fryer

Sounds like a dodgy cap?

I decided to go for the Eezibleed and when I saw they were only £20 I had my doubts at how good it would be and how easy it would be to use, but thankfully I was wrong and the seal on the MC cap was very good and it worked first time, hopefully that's the end to having to drag an unwilling helper to sit pumping the brakes in the cold.
Tim Lynam

Could it be too much pressure from tire source?
Simon Fryer

That truly is a good idea, using the eezibleed but not filling the bottle. Ive just replaced the entire brake system on a a car that has been stood for 6 years - and used this method upto 30psi to bleed the brakes without fear of spurting brake fluid everywhere. Although I still cant get a firm pedal without a quick initial pump so I'm not quite there yet.
Is it significant that when the system is pressurized with the eezibleed the pedal is firm from the outset.
I guess Ive still got some air in the system somewhere
Ive probably pushed the best part of 2 litres of fluid through the system now.......

S G Macfarlane

I too have an eezibleed which I find works well. I kept the spare wheel off a Metro I scrapped (small and light) to pressurise it.
Bill Bretherton

Exactly my findings S G Macfarlane.

Whilst checking the brake whilst Eezibleed under pressure the brake pedal is solid, but even after changing all braking system except metal piping first push of pedal not as good as second push which is always good. Not sure if its a little air stuck somewhere or just normal?
Tim Lynam

Guy usually suggests driving the car a bit and things can sort themselves, I'd guess it's the movement of the car, vibrations and use of the brakes that get bubbles moving.
Nigel Atkins

Yes. I'll give driving it a go. I've left it with the pedal wedged down this week, asked the local priest to bless it and offered up some shiny chrome bits as a sacrifice. Anything I've missed.......
S G Macfarlane

I've had good luck with a MityVac and greased threads. For the clutch on my 1500, I unbolted the master cylinder and raised it far enough to make it the highest point in the system, supporting it on a piece of board, then bled it with the MityVac. As far as I know, that avoided the bubble-in-the-tube issue. Still works...

Gryf Ketcherside

This thread was discussed between 23/10/2017 and 02/11/2017

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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