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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-02-2020, 05:31 AM
scottalexander scottalexander is offline
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Caliper bleeder screw threads

I was using a Motive power bleeder yesterday to bleed my brakes. I only pump it to 10 psi.

The brake bleeding exercise I do religiously every year at this time so everything works.

When I started with the right rear caliper, I cracked open the bleed valve 45 degrees as I always have. I like to watch the clear plastic tubing to see if there are bubbles emerging.

What I noticed was some fluid was coming out the clear plastic tubing (like it should), but there was some fluid that was dripping through the threads of the bleed screw and dripping on the pavement.

That problem didn't happen on any of the other calipers.

Can we conclude the right rear bleed screw is clogged or malfunctioning and the dot 4 was forced out the threads?
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2020, 06:11 AM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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You can conclude that brake fluid is leaking out around the threads. That's all.

Brake fluid has a lower surface tension than water and will seep through any crack or crevice no matter how small. To prevent this from happening, bleed screws are now available with a small amount of sealant around the screw threads. I have applied Teflon pipe dope to achieve the same result and have had good results.
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2020, 04:51 AM
scottalexander scottalexander is offline
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If I remove the bleeder screw valve on the caliper (and install a new one) will I find that I have to re-bleed all 4 wheels or can I just bleed the caliper where the new screw was installed?
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Old 04-04-2020, 05:20 AM
twh twh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottalexander View Post
If I remove the bleeder screw valve on the caliper (and install a new one) will I find that I have to re-bleed all 4 wheels or can I just bleed the caliper where the new screw was installed?
If you remove it and get the new one in fast...as in within a few seconds, not much will come out and you can just do that wheel. If you have it out for minutes, you'll need to bleed the whole system. Just stick your finger over the hole when you take the old one out and then screw the new one in.
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Old 04-04-2020, 09:03 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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I have found to solve your problem simply not turn the bleeder screw as much. your milage may vary.....
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:10 PM
habbyguy habbyguy is offline
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I think dharmabmw hit the nail on the head - the sealant that might have once been on the threads has probably given up the ghost. I wouldn't get my knickers in too tight a twist, since the only down side is that you'll have to wipe the drool off your one caliper every year.

OTOH, I'd suggest that you could probably put off the brake fluid swaps for 2-3 years with no down side, cutting the problem a further 50-66.6%.
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Old 04-04-2020, 06:22 PM
jparnes1 jparnes1 is offline
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You can remove the screws entirely and not need to bleed again. The screw is at the highest point in the caliper and even without the Motiv pressurized some fluid will drip out. If you get the new screw back in before it stops dripping you won’t catch any air.


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Old 04-05-2020, 11:13 AM
scottalexander scottalexander is offline
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Here's an update.

I just put new caliper bleed screws in the rear calipers.

As many years as I've been bleeding brakes I never put in new bleed screws.

I was able to remove the old bleed screws (and within 2 seconds) put in the new bleed screws so I didn't think much air got in.

When I put in the new screws, the fit was better and here is the big aahaa moment. When I went to snug it down with the closed end box wrench, it felt very different. You knew it was a new bleed screw and the fitment was perfecto.

I did bleed the rear calipers afterwards and could see for the first 3 seconds there was some bubbles coming out.

Take a look at the difference in the tips of the old screws verses the new screws. (attached)

I took a test drive with the new bleeder screws. My brakes are noticeably harder.
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Last edited by scottalexander; 04-05-2020 at 06:32 PM. Reason: forgot
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:37 AM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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As much as the fit was so much better with the new ones, it's good that you did bleed the brakes. Unless you remove the reservoir cap (and even if you do) some air will always get in to displace the fluid that leaks out.

Fortunately the calipers on the E60s are better quality than the E90's. I have to do a brake bleed on my E91 but the bleeders are corroded in place. I am hesitant to try cracking them open until I have replacements available because I typically break them. Unfortunately, all the listings are wrong, so I haven't been able to source them locally so far. I know what the part number is as well as the ATE part number but apparently no one's using that.....
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Last edited by dharmabmw; 04-05-2020 at 11:40 AM.
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