Bleeding a hydraulic system, like brakes or clutches, can be a real chore. Most methods include using two people, one smashing the brake pedal, while the other one yells, “Pump!… Hold!… Release!” If not orchestrated perfectly, air will inevitably end up being sucked back into the brake or clutch system, forcing you to start smashing the pedal all over again.
Over the years companies have invented “better” ways to bleed hydraulic systems which include gravity-fed bleeders, pressurized bleeders, and vacuum-based feeders. All of which have improved on the design, but nothing beats a reverse fluid injection system – period.
This is where Phoenix Systems steps in with their line of reverse fluid bleeders, namely the V-12 brake bleeder kit that we tested and used on Project Buckshot, our 1974 Ford Bronco. But, the V-12 system does much more than just reverse brake bleeding, also known as RFI (Reverse Fluid Injection). This single tool can also vacuum bleed, pressure bleed and bench bleed too. But it can also bleed a clutch system, and do a quick flush and cross bleed as well.
Our project Bronco went under a complete frame-off restoration / modification, which meant that the entire brake system – master cylinder, calipers, wheel cylinders, lines and all – was scrapped and replaced with new and upgraded components. Because of this, we needed to completely purge all air in the brake system and fill it with brake fluid.
The Phoenix Systems V-12 brake / clutch bleeder system is simply the best brake bleeder that we’ve ever used, period. Within 15 or so minutes the entire brake system was completely bled and the brake pedal was as firm as a rock instantly. Best of all, this was done with no other assistance needed (e.g. someone to push the brake pedal over and over again).
What we didn’t like about it: The hand-held injector pinched our hand over and over again due to its design. After a few pinches we put on some leather gloves and finished the job.
What we did like about it: This is the most complete kit we’ve ever seen. It can cross-bleed, flush, pressure bleed, vacuum bleed and reverse-fluid-injection bleed too. It has enough components to bleed brakes or clutches on almost every vehicle in the world. The kit also comes with fluid test strips (much like what you might use to test the water in your pool) which are great for those that are working on the brakes on an older car/truck. The kit comes with a great set of instructions and a DVD for those that are new to this type of bleeding.
In the end, we are extremely impressed with the Phoenix Systems RFI bleeder system. It performed well and most importantly, our Bronco stops on a dime.
|4012 South River Road Unit 4B
St. George, UT 84790