A second method is to open all four bleeders at once as well as the cap on the master cylinder and allow gravity to bleed out the lines. You can do this method by yourself, but it takes even longer and the fluid is exposed to the air even more.

But there are tools on the market that make the job a bit easier. One of the most complete designs that we've ever seen is the Phoenix Injector from Phoenix Systems. It is unique in that it is designed to be used several different ways to fit your needs, increase the quality of your brake system maintenance and, to be honest, make an aggravating job a little easier.

The Phoenix Injector isn't a single product; instead, Phoenix Systems has built several packages around the Injector design to fit different pricing levels. Phoenix has been around for years, and its products are popular in car repair shops. But now Phoenix is marketing brake bleeding kits for racers and other high-performance applications. We tested the MaxPro Professional kit to see how useful it would be for race teams.

The greatest feature of the Phoenix Injector is that it pressurizes the fluid to either inject it into the brake system or creates a vacuum to pull it out. It does both equally well, so which method you choose depends on your preferences and specific situation. But the result is brake system maintenance that can be done by yourself, faster, with less mess, and less exposure to air than ever before.

Pressure Bleed and Flush
Most racers bleed the brakes after every race. Completely flushing the system isn't necessary as often, but it should be done at least a few times over the course of the season to keep the fluid fresh. If you use a stock master cylinder, you can use the Phoenix Injector to push pressurized fluid through the system from the master cylinder down through all the calipers. This is much faster and more efficient than pumping the pedal or the gravity feed methods. Unfortunately, this will only work with stock master cylinders (as far as we can tell). When we tried this method on a race car outfitted with Wilwood master cylinders, a fitting at the bottom of the reservoir kept the injector from sealing.

If, however, you can use the pressure flush system on your race car, set up the injector so that it pushes fluid down through the master cylinder. Then, crack open one bleeder valve at a time, attach the capture container at the bleeder valve to keep the oil fluid off of your shop floor and inject fresh fluid into the system until you see the dirty fluid coming out of the caliper turn the color of the new, fresh fluid. Phoenix Systems also includes a one-way check valve you can install between the caliper and the catch bottle to keep oil fluid from accidentally getting siphoned back into the caliper.

Vacuum Bleed and Flush
With this method, instead of pushing pressurized fluid into the system from the master cylinder, you use the Injector to create a vacuum in the caliper and pull the old brake fluid out of the calipers. With this method, simply reverse the Injector so that the back of the "gun" is attached to the caliper, crack the bleeder and pump the Injector so that the old fluid is emptied into the capture bottle.

You will also need to keep an eye on your master cylinder and refill it occasionally as the fluid level drops to keep air from entering the brake lines.

The third, and possibly most interesting, method is called "Reverse Flow Injection" or RFI for short. This method is just for bleeding the brakes to make sure there are no air bubbles trapped in the lines. It is not suitable for flushing all of the brake fluid.

RFI takes advantage of the simple fact that air bubbles want to rise in a fluid, not sink. So, instead of trying to force any air bubbles out of the bleed screws on the calipers-which is one of the lowest points on the entire system-this method sends the air the way it wants to go anyway, up and out the master cylinder reservoir.