My toolbox – Gunson Tools One Man Eezibleed kit
While not trying to get too philosophical, everything has a finite life and one of the most useful items in my toolbox has just bitten-the-dust. My Gunson’s one man brake ‘Eezibleed’ kit has been dispatched to landfill after eight years of renewing the fluid from the brake and clutch systems of the ten cars that reside at Chez Marshall.
One of the biggest advantages is that it avoids me having to call on Mrs Marshall to spend half-an-hour shivering within a car interior, depressing either the brake, or clutch, pedal, when instructed by a muffled voice emanating from somewhere beneath the bonnet. It also prevents domestic strife, by reducing the risk of brake fluid spilling over the driveway.
As anyone, who has worked with brake fluid, will testify, it is not very pleasant to handle. While it does not harm human skin (although wearing latex, or vinyl, gloves is recommended), it is injurious to paintwork. I have not swallowed a sample to report on its toxicity but I suspect that it is very poisonous. Yet, due to its tendency to absorb atmospheric moisture, which reduces its vital ability to remain thermally-stable under heavy braking, brake fluid has to be drained out from the system and replenished periodically, without air bubbles finding their way into the circuit. Many garages charge around £50 for this service but a keen DIYer can shave a least £40 from the bill, by carrying-out this potentially very messy job at home.
Gunson’s kit makes the procedure easier, by pressurising the brake system using compressed air from a spare tyre, thus allowing you to expel any old fluid via the system’s bleed valves, thereby not only inhibiting the entrance of air but also topping-up the circuit with fresh brake fluid automatically. It also prevents the risk of damaging aging brake master cylinder seals, because it negates the requirement to depress the brake pedal at all, let alone fully.
Even so, the rubber seals on my trusty Eezibleed had started to disintegrate from years of being exposed to brake fluid. While a special-edition kit (pictured) is available (part number 77139), which includes both 10 and 11mm brake pipe spanners and a tyre pressure gauge (plus a useful storage box), the recommended £85 cost is a little too expensive, in my view, although I have found the kits available for considerably less, elsewhere. Yet, the basic kit (part number G4062) offers a more cost-effective proposition and retails at £37.61, although judicious online searching can bag you the same kit for under £20. However, if you own a car with an unconventional type of brake master cylinder (such as some Rover 200/25/400/45 models), you will need to buy a multipurpose cap (part number 77042) and this is included within the special edition kit.