Since the front brakes only worked enough to stop you rolling backwards on a slight incline, I figured I had to at least bleed the brakes. To do that, I needed to take the top off the brake fluid reservoir and flush the fluid out.
One of the screws came out nicely after the usual ‘crack' of breaking the mechanical lock. The other one, not so much. I used a perfectly sized phillips head screwdriver, which promptly made a mess of the steel of the screw. It was like twisting in butter, sadly.
My first attempt at removing it was to make use of a tiny leftover dremel cutoff wheel that I found, after considering using a larger one and realising the damage it was likely to cause to the cover.
A new use for “used up” cutoff wheels!
Unfortunately that didn’t yield any real results - I couldn’t cut deep enough without damaging the cover, and when I did get a few mm of depth the metal just tore away under the flat faced screwdriver I was using.
Before I thought to try the Dremel, I’d bought an easy-out screw remover from Bunnings on my way home. If you haven’t heard of them before, the basic idea is to drill a hole into the middle of the screw, then screw something into that hole which goes in the “undo” direction of the pesky fastener. The Wikipedia page “Screw extractor” has a quite handy description, funnily enough.
And here it goes!
Thankfully that worked, drilling a small hole in the middle all the way through the screw and out the other side, then screwing the fluted extraction tool into the new void.
The removed and the remover
Once that was out, I was able to break the seal on the reservoir and view the delicious honey-coloured - and consistency - brake fluid. That’s going to have to bugger right off, as soon as I get my new vacuum pump.
I’m glad it worked, as I’ve never tried to use one before and I’d heard some horror stories about alternative solutions when they don’t work 🙂 Lots of reading, treating the tool gently and a little bit of luck and I was done. On to the next trick!