The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"

Replacing Brake Fluid and Bleeding

By Mike Dailey


All of the technical information and product information posted on this website is offered as general information and is not recommended, endorsed, guaranteed or presented as professional technical information.  It is recommended that you seek professional help for the repair or maintenance of your car.  Improper self-maintenance or repair of your car can result in serious injury and or death.  Use of this information is done at your own risk.   

If you haven't replaced your bake fluid lately, it would be a good idea and will help protect your braking system from corrosion.  For a Pantera that is used for street driving it is good to replace the fluid every year.  Brake fluid attracts moisture that can cause corrosion of the brake parts and causes problems when the fluid gets hot.  Review your Pantera service manual for details on how to bleed the brakes.  The brake fluid in the master cylinder should be almost clear, if not it needs changeing. 

The first step is to remove the fluid from the brake master cylinder and fill it with new fluid.  I like to use Castrol brake fluid.  Be sure to use a brand new sealed container.  Once the container is open it can not be stored or reused.  Using a section bulb, suck out the old fluid.  I keep two of the suction bulbs, one marked for brake fluid and one for antifreeze.  

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Fill the master cylinder with new fluid.  Use extreme caution and do not get brake fluid on the painted surfaces of  your car as it acts like instant pant remover.  The master cylinder shown on my car is a Pantera Performance SVO aluminum unit. 

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I found a cool little brake bleeder kit at my local Advance Auto store.  I comes with a magnet to attach the bleed bottle to a high point above the bleed valve. As the bleeder bottle is above the caliper bleed valve air can not get back in the caliper piston.  I used one end of a square for a mounting point.

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After the bleeder is attached, open the caliper bleed valve about 1/4 turn.   Press the brake pedal down about 15 to 20 times using very short strokes so that the bottle is almost full.  The idea is to flush out the old fluid and bleed out any air at the same time.  Close the caliper bleed valve.  Do not press the brake pedal very far down to pump the fluid.  You do not want to damage the master cylinder seals by moving the piston down into an area of the cylinder bore where it does not normally travel.  The bore area outside of the normal piston travel area could be slightly corroded and damage the piston seals.  The Pantera service manual recommends starting with the right back wheel, the left back wheel, the right front wheel and the left front wheel last.  Remember that the front wheels have two bleed valves on each of the calipers.  The back wheels have easy access to the bleed valves and the front wheels can be turned for access to the bleed valves without jacking up the car.  Keep adding fluid to the master cylinder as each wheel is completed and then top off the level when all wheels are complete.   The bleeder kit makes the bleed job very easy.  On the front brakes I did the lower piston first.