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Unread 11-06-2017, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

I've been trying to bleed the brakes on my Shelby for a while, after changing out the master cylinder. I finally solved this puzzle and figured I would help others.

1. BENCH BLEED THE MASTER CYLINDER. This is the key to everything, without this you will be bleeding to no avail. Remove the floor mat, remove the metal hatch to expose the master cylinder. Buy a $5 bench bleed kit from any auto parts store. Disconnect the front and rear brake lines from the cylinder and connect the bleeding kit, routing the hoses up, not down, from the cylinder (this allows the air to rise, but still keep fluid in the lines). I bought some extra long air lines and ran them from the cylinder back to the fluid reservoir, but this is not necessary. Pull the pin that connects the pedal to the cylinder. Make sure your reservoir is full, and remains full (you may need a second person for this), and using a screw driver push the cylinder piston in slowly. You will see air escape into the hoses. Wait for the air to get a good distance away from the cylinder and then slowly release the piston. Repeat this process until no air escapes, this means your cylinder is bled. Now the tricky part, while someone makes sure the reservoir remains full, remove the bleed hoses and quickly connect the brake lines. You will lose fluid, but as long as the reservoir doesn't empty out the cylinder will remain bled.
2. Reconnect the pin for the brake pedal.
3. Lift up the back of the cart, so it sits higher than the cylinder.
4. Connect an air hose to the bleed screw on the rear passenger side caliper, routing it upwards again, and open the screw. Let it sit like this for about 20 minutes. Gravity will cause most of the air to purge from the line and you should see fluid in your air hose. Tighten the screw back down once done. At all times, makes sure the reservoir never goes dry.
5. Repeat this for the driver side rear.
6. Using a wedge, or an assistant, pump the brake pedal 20 times and then hold it down. Connect your air hose to the rear passenger caliper and open to release any remaining air. Close the valve and repeat until only fluid comes out. The gravity bleed should have relieved most of the air, so this step is just a backup.
7. Repeat above for the rear driver side caliper.
8. Put the cart back down flat.
9. Release the bolt on the front caliper closest to the valve, that holds the caliper to the wheel. Once released, tilt the caliper so the valve is at the highest point. DO NOT REMOVE THE OTHER BOLT, although you may need to loosen it slightly.
10. Using the same 20 pumps/hold, bleed the passenger side front caliper and then the drivers. You should start feeling increased pressure on the pedal when you get to the driver side. If you feel no pressure, you probably still have air in the line.
11. Once you've bled the front calipers, tighten all the bolts back, and take it for a test drive. The rear self adjusting brakes may need some hard stops to adjust properly, but your pedal should be solid.

I was able to bleed the brakes without removing the wheels, but this is personal preference.

As a side note: The Tomberlin brake system is awful when bleeding. There are many high points where air can get stuck, and the main cylinder sits almost level with the calipers, so any slight pitch in favor of the cylinder and you get air stuck in it. This may not be only way to bleed the brakes, but it's the best way I found that works.

Good luck.
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Unread 11-06-2017, 07:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

I bleed Tomberlins by constantly pumping with the valve open, not pumping up then releasing. I've done this to well over a hundred over the years and only replaced about 3 master cylinders. If the car has sat for a while it may be necessary to remove the metal lines from the master cylinder and clean the inside of the fitting, as a waxy like substance can build up there.
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Unread 11-06-2017, 08:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

Interesting, haven't tried that. You still go in order but leave the valve open while pumping until only fluid comes out?
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Unread 11-06-2017, 08:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

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Originally Posted by razor1 View Post
Interesting, haven't tried that. You still go in order but leave the valve open while pumping until only fluid comes out?
Yes, although I usually start with the fronts. If it is really dry/new it may take 2-3 times around, and I am sure as you said bench bleeding a new one probably helps that
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Unread 11-06-2017, 08:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

Ive never had to change a tomberlin master cylinder. I too have done hundreds and Tomberlin came to me to see how I bled the brake system. That's when they came out with the brake bleed procedure. Although they modified it a bit. Since then, I have found better ways to bleed the brakes. I find the DIY creates more of a problem, as they tend to pump air into the master cylinder.
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Unread 11-06-2017, 09:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

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Originally Posted by Golf cart guy View Post
Ive never had to change a tomberlin master cylinder. I too have done hundreds and Tomberlin came to me to see how I bled the brake system. That's when they came out with the brake bleed procedure. Although they modified it a bit. Since then, I have found better ways to bleed the brakes. I find the DIY creates more of a problem, as they tend to pump air into the master cylinder.
The only ones I've had to replace were obvious, broken shaft or leaking seals. I can't tell you how many times people have come in saying they need a new master cylinder because their mechanic buddy told them so, only for me to be done in 15 minutes of bleeding. What is Tomberlins brake bleed procedure BTW, this would be a good time to post that.
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Unread 11-13-2017, 02:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

I've changed a couple cylinders, because if you read the specs it would be the obvious fix; however, now I'm thinking it was simply air trapped inside the cylinder that caused the extra play in the pedal.

Here are the bleeding instructions from Tomberlin.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Brake+bleeding+SERVICE+BULLETIN+110725.pdf (762.3 KB, 0 views)
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Unread 11-13-2017, 02:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

Golf cart guy - so what are the "better ways" to bleed the brakes? Thanks
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Unread 11-13-2017, 08:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

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Golf cart guy - so what are the "better ways" to bleed the brakes? Thanks
Too hard to explain As I'm sure your aware and you may have customers that tried to bleed the brakes like automotive brakes and just screwed them up more.

Tomberlin is the only company that I know who could screw up a brake system that's been around forever
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Unread 11-14-2017, 01:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: A few tips for bleeding the brake on a Tomberlin Emerge

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Originally Posted by razor1 View Post
Golf cart guy - so what are the "better ways" to bleed the brakes? Thanks
I don't know about his method, but leaving the valve open while pumping repeatedly has been very successful and quick for me. I never rotate the calipers or any of that other stuff, just one wheel at a time starting from the farthest point out until there is no more air, and I've never has to bleed the same cart twice.
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