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MG MGB Technical - Bleeding Brakes

Like many others, I had trouble refitting the dreaded E-clip on a replacement rear brake cylinder. The solution as already posted was to use a 5/8 circlip - quick and secure. Many posters discuss alternate ways of bleeding brakes single handed. The method I picked up here years ago is really simple, effective and low cost - having just used it again this weekend I thought that I would mention it again. Take a piece of neoprene tube that is a tights fit over the bleed nipple, close one end with a tight fitting screw and make a small slit in the tube with a razor close to the sealed end. Submerge this end in a bottle with brake fluid and it acts as an effective non-return valve when pumping the brakes. After a period of buble free flow in the tube, tighten bleed nipple and move to the next wheel. I now have a hard pedal after a few minutes of bleeding.

Looking forward to warmenr weather in Sothern Ontario!

B.J. Quartermaine

On re-reading, my apologies for the lack of spell check!

B.J. Quartermaine

Berry, nice trick. I plan to use same on my brakes here shortly. I also have a 73B, in the process of restoring. Brakes and carbs next.
Regards, Robin

Barry, I came in last night having spent hours trying to shift air in the lines with a 1-man pressure kit. I saw your tip and decided to give it one more go. It worked a treat and allowed me to get the car sorted for morning. Thanks!
Steve Postins

Is this 1-man job? How can you pump the brakes and at same time undo/tight the neeple?
pls explain the procedure.

Thats the point of this device. All that can be sucked back is fluid so you just leave the nipple open.
S Best


Some people have identified an after-market nipple that has a built in valve that permits fluid release under pressure but prevents reverse flow whilst the nipple is still open. This home made arrangement essentially duplicates this same function - it prevents backflow until the nipple has been closed.

B.J. Quartermaine

I have them on my A and they work well.


Larry Hallanger

I have them on my B and I concur. They work very well - much better than my wife at the pedal!
Jeff Schlemmer

I too can vouch for Speedbleeders.

These look good, what size did you use for the MGB? I've have a 67 MGB GT.
L Marshall


Much obliged. Please provide the part number for the A, and also the same if you used it on the clutch slave cylinder.

Tom Balutis


I am at work and don't have the info handy. What I did was to take an old bleeder in and had the shop match it. Actually, I have B discs on front so different sizes front and rear. And I think the clutch bleeder MAY be different.

If you want me to dig deeper and try to find the invoice send me an email.

Larry Hallanger

If you contact anyone at, they KNOW the correct sizes for the B. I just installed a set a few weeks ago. There were no part numbers on the bags. I bought them on Ebay, and they threw in a "free" clutch bleeder.
Jeff Schlemmer

Where have you guys found tubing that would work? I went to Lowe's yesterday and all that I could find was 1/4" vinyl tubing (seems to big to make a tight fit on the bleed nipples).



i got a tube from compresssed air spares dealers . 6mm dia will do.

A less obvious source for the tubing is your local petstore: the tubing used for aerating (spelling?..putting air into) fishtanks costs next to nothing and is nicely flexible.
It also seems resistant to brakefluid, I have been using the same piece for 2 years.
Rufus Pool

Thanks Alfredo and Rufus.

I ended up going to a pet store as one is so close. Found a tube that worked perfectly for the back bleeders and was cheap ($2 for 6 ft).

I've been fussy with bleeding my brakes with the 1 man suction fisture and still not satisfied with the brake pedal being soft and still acting as if the is air. I am going to try this little trick here and see if it's more successful. Sounds like a good system.

Where do people get the Sppedbleeders other than EBay?

Best regards,
DT Toms

Try Advance or Autozone for Speedbleeders.

Clifton Gordon

I had never heard about using a 5/8" circlip to hold the rear wheel cylinders on. Good idea though. I'll be doing this on my next brake job. It always takes me a while to get the E clip down over the edge of the wheel cylinder.

David Plantz

This thread was discussed between 02/05/2005 and 23/05/2005

MG MGB Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGB Technical BBS is active now.