I generally come up with a strategy to do everything as a single person. Comes from 10+ years of living by myself. So here’s my story.
Plan A. I put a jar of brake fluid and a clear tube from the bleeder into it, (tube full of fluid), then opened the bleeder. Then I have a little 12 V vacuum pump that I hooked up to the fill fitting in the top of the master cylinder. I thought: air bubbles move easier uphill and vacuum will just make it even better. Guess what? I was wrong. Did not work. Brake never got solid.
Plan B. Used the little oil can trick and a flexible hose attached to the fill fitting on the top of the master. Opened the bleeder at the bottom of the caliper with the bleeder hose still in the jar. Pumped the master several strokes (refilling with oil can as needed). Closed the bleeder and the brake was rock solid. Caveat. My brake lines, excluding the small flexible sections on either end, are 1/8” OD stainless tubing, and my brake system is on a Tri-Q so shorter lines (maybe 7 feet total length). So moving a bubble through the entire length does not require much volume to be pumped from the master when compared to the plans-built nylaflo tubing on a taildragger.
This proves again that for my plane anyway, plan B is always better than plan A.
I have had the most like just going to home depot and buying a little tube that will fit snugly over the bleeder. Run that up a foot or two and then into a cup than crack the bleeder and go. You can bleed by yourself and you see when all of the air is out. Just pump slowly and hold a little bit at the end of each stroke before releasing to let the bubbles rise a little bit in the line. It's by far the simplest way to bleed if you ask me.
I have a pressure bottle for reverse bleeding but for some reason it always seems to en-train tiny bubbles of air in the fluid that coalesces in the break lines.
Thanks Richard. I think I will try this method again today. I would love to get a fitting like Jerry and connect to the reservoir to collect overflow. Maybe I can determine that size today and get it done.
We use one of those old timey hand pump oil cans and attach it to the bleeder at the caliper. By back filling the system it only takes one person to do it and will push out any air in the system. If your holding tank is full you will need to pull fluid out so not to make a mess on the back fill. We learned this method after fighting for 2 days to get a dual toe brakes PA28-140 system to work. Does work will all normal GA brake systems do make sure the park brake is not on.