They say you taste with your nose and I can confirm that brake fluid doesn’t “taste” very good when it drips straight up your nostril. I had been putting off the inevitable by working on the lights before tackling the real issues preventing a test drive, brakes and clutch. There was no fluid in this system at all. Once filled and pressurized, both the master clutch and master brake cylinder were leaking so I bought a rebuilt ATE brake master from Centric and rebuilt the clutch cylinder myself. The brake system in the Bavaria is a two circuit system with one of five lines leading to the rear circuit and then two to each front wheel. There are three bleeding nipples on each front caliper. Can’t wait to bleed those.
The clutch master seemed to be holding pressure ok. While the brake master needed hose clamps around the feeder tubes running from the reservoir which is shared by the clutch and brake systems. Once done I was excited to pull off the passenger rear wheel to bleed the caliper. A turn of the 7mm bleeder released air for the first time mixed with a slight tinkle of fluid. An 80 year old man would be proud. However after waiting, waiting, waiting. Nothing. Nothing except a new puddle under the center of the car from a rusted out brake line. On my back for a close inspection under the jacked up car, I saw paint peeling away from the transmission tunnel around the leak which b-lined for my nose hair. This drip had been there a long time which hence-there-forth leads to my theory, the car was parked when the brakes failed. Then it never made it back on the road.
Stay tuned for my next segment on making your own bubble-flared brake lines and how to wash out your nostril.