UZZ32 - Bleeding the Hydraulics

February 2003

by Peter Scott

This is a must do. Make your UZZ32 like new.....

My car was transformed after a bleed - it was smoother, less harsh and handled better. I had re-conditioned the rear shocks so that would have helped. My ulta high speed on the edge right hand sweeper rapid bounce has gone. The whole car has that new feeling - it is absolutely great. Now I can smoothly drift the car through high speed right-handers - before it would start a very rapid bouncing action - all gone - the car is now fabulous! I love my car!

So if you have any suspension problems but can do the suspension test ok - give bleeding a go - it's easy, cheap and just might solve all your problems. Give it a go - let me know how it goes with the solving the dreaded low speed bounce problems.

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This is the drain plug hole on the bottom of the hydraulic fluid reservoir. - Located in front of the driver's side front wheel - take off the drivers side plastic undertray to see it properly.

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2.5 litres came out the drain hole - icky green dirty looking stuff. So I put back in a 2.5 litres (1 whole $18, 2.5 litre can of brand new genuine super clean, super clear Toyota fluid.) I don't know what sort of fluid is the green stuff - if it is old genuine or some replacement fluid - Mercedes fluid is clear (but expensive) - but whatever it is, it's dirty and has to go!

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Part number 08886-01805 - get 5 cans of the stuff - best $90 you'll ever spend!

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I got 6 cans to be sure. This stuff is liquid gold for the Active - it is it's very lifeblood, so don't be stingy - give it a good transfusion!

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The filler neck and dipstick. Use the dipstick to make sure you have enough fluid in - if it gets too low the pump will groan and squeal like a pig.

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Otherwise the hole is too small and it will drive you nuts pouring it in so slow. Just stick phillips head screw driver in and out it comes easy.

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Bleeding will only work if you can do a successful suspension test - see the test page on homepage. This is because you need a healthy pump to pump the old fluid out- if your pump isn't working then you have bigger problems - so do the test first. Once you have establised the test works then start bleeding.

Leave the short in place (join E1, Tc and Ts all together  wires - see engine diagnostic port - white grease is normal). Get some hose - it only costs $2 bucks from hardware store - get some - don't try it without some clear plastic tube - it will go everywhere.


Buy some clear flexible plastic tube 5mm inside diameter - usually 7 mm outside diameter.

I bled the rear shocks after daining and refilling the reservoir up front - this is the first lot of yucky fluid that I bleed out the rear bleed nipples - yech! This is a big 5 litre container - you'll need a decent size container. I bleed both rear shocks at the same time initially - you can do one at a time if you haven't reconditioned the shocks.

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Two bleed tubes for both bleed nipples. Since both of the shocks were completley empty after the recond job - it made sense to me to open both of them to let all the air out at once. Nothing came out with engine running normally - the car supported at correct ride height with a jack - no jack and car sags to bump stops - I wanted to avoid this.

Starting the car nothing happened - no fluid came out of the nipples which were open 1/4 of a turn. With the suspension test short in place, turn the boot switch off nine times. This is where the action is. The system will pressurise and fluid comes shooting out - it is explosive! I got 3 litres out in no time at all - less then 10 seconds.

So I flicked the suspension switch off. The pump squeals like a pig if you run out of fluid in the reservoir. I turned the engine off and refilled.

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Close up of the rear bleed nipple. Notice the oil stains on speaker magnet! The stuff spurted everywhere undoing that large nut that holds the main hose on. You don't need to undo it to bleed, only to remove the shock. After the initial bleed of both, I closed both nipples and did one at a time at a more sedate pace, no rush, the car happily idled away as I refilled with clear new fluid and bleed the old stuff out at my own pace.

With the tube on the top of the nipples open the nipple with an 8mm spanner - fluid will come out at a controlled pace - let it come out until no more bubbles and it starts to look nice and clean. Then do the same for the other nipple. Then do the fronts - keep bleeding until the fluid is nice and clean and new.

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Remove the three bolts holding the rubber boot on front shock and peel back to reveal the bleed nipple.

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Put a 8mm ring spanner over the nipple, push on 5mm internal diameter clear plastic hose. The hose keeps things clean and allows you to clearly see the condtion of the old fluid, it's colour, any bubbles and fluid velocity coming out. 1/4 of a turn is full speed ahead - take it easy, 1/8 of a turn is plenty usually. Don't overtighten!

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You can see the fluid in the tube is getting cleaner

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And now it's clean enough for me.

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Oooky poouuuk!

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Here the green coloured old fluid is draining into a big container, no mess no fuss. Check out my sexy Gen III BFI !

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Hold the can sideways when filling up, the fluid will come out smoother. Orange rag to catch the drips. Keep an eye on the dipstick. When doing the suspension test the level of oil in reservoir will be lower. Which means that once you have finished the level will be too high for normal driving. So try to aim to get the fluid level half way between the hatched area of the stick and the end of the stick - it will look to low, but when you have packed it all away and the car is at correct height the level should be just about right.

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I have one can left over - I'll use it when I recondition the front shocks - now that I have no fear I will go ahead and do those too. I don't know how often you are supposed to bleed the system. I'll do it once a year until it is nice and clean -then drop it back to every few years, see how it goes.

Then drive and enjoy.

Let me know the colour of your old fluid and if it makes any difference to your car.

email me at

Thanks to Steve Cheetham, John Wan, Jeff Harper, the Japanese workshop manual for the UZZ32, Nial from Pilkingtons, Paul Snape, Ed Fitzgerald and Shay Ryan from Castleconnell, Limerick Ireland.