How to Bleed the Brakes on a Honda TRX350 Rancher ATV

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it attracts water molecules. When water builds up in the braking system, it needs to be bled out.

Water in your braking system leads to damaged seals and corrosion, so removing the water-contaminated brake fluid calls for a brake bleed. 

Your Honda Rancher's brakes should be bled at least once a year, or every time you replace the brake shoes. Bleeding the brakes on your Honda TRX350 Rancher is an important job, especially if you want to prevent accidents due to failed brakes. Follow the step-by-step guide below to bleed the brakes on your Honda ATV.  

Tools and Parts Needed - Honda TRX350 Brake Bleed

Tools 

  • 8mm wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Length of 3/16" hose

Parts 

NOTE: Brake fluid is extremely harmful to the paintwork and plastics on your Rancher. Always have rags or shop towels handy, and immediately wipe up any brake fluid drips or spills.

Bleeding Honda TRX350 Rancher Brakes

PRO TIP: It's easier to bleed the front brakes on a TRX350 with the wheels removed from the vehicle.

Step 1. Locate the master cylinder reservoir on the right side handlebar, and remove the reservoir cap, the diaphragm plate and the rubber diaphragm beneath it.

Honda Rancher TRX350 brake bleed

PRO TIP: If the brakes haven't been bled in a long time and the two reservoir cap screws are badly corroded, you might need an impact driver to loosen them. 

Step 2. Locate the bleed valve on the inside of the brake assembly's backing plate. The valve is just behind the brake line, and is covered with a rubber dust cap. If the dust cap is missing and the bleed valve is corroded, you should replace them.

Honda Rancher TRX350 brake bleed valve

PRO TIP: Always bleed the brake furthest from the reservoir first, which on a Rancher TRX350 is the left side brake.

Step 3. Put a 10mm wrench on the bleed valve, then place one end of a length of 3/16" hose over the valve, and run the other end of the hose into a container to catch the old brake fluid.

Step 4. Pump the brake lever a couple of times, then hold the lever in and open the bleed valve. You should see old, discolored brake fluid begin to flow out of the valve into the hose. Tighten the bleed valve.

Honda Rancher TRX350 old brake fluid bleed

PRO TIP: If you can't reach the brake lever and the bleed valve at the same time, have a second person work the lever while you open and tighten the bleed valve.

Step 5. Repeat Step 4 a few times, then pause and top off the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. As you bleed out the old brake fluid, you must refill the system with fresh brake fluid.

Honda Rancher TRX 350 brake fluid refill

PRO TIP: Do NOT let the reservoir run dry, because that will introduce air into the system and you'll have to start the bleed process again from scratch.

Step 6. Continue to bleed and refill the brake system until fresh, clear brake fluid with no air bubbles begins to flow from the bleed valve. Tighten the bleed valve and put the dust cap back over the valve to protect it.

Step 7. Bleed the brake on the other side of the Rancher by repeating Step 2 through Step 6.

Step 8. Top off the reservoir, and clean and replace the rubber diaphragm, the diaphragm plate and the reservoir cap. Give the brake lever a few hard pulls and examine the bleed valves for any leaks. Retighten the valves if necessary.

Honda Rancher ATV brake bleed

Are you ready to replace the front brake shoes on your Honda Rancher TRX350? Watch the video below to see how it's done! 

 

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