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Old 01-09-2009, 10:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How do i bleed my brakes?

I have a 2005 F-250, hydroboost. I just did the brakes on an F-150. Do i bleed mine the same way as i did on the f-150? I assume i just shut the truck off, and pump my brakes to get them 'hard', then start the bleeding process, one wheel at a time? I was reading about air in the ABS controller...how can you check to see if thats the case?
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by agdodge4x4 View Post
I assume i just shut the truck off, and pump my brakes to get them 'hard', then start the bleeding process, one wheel at a time? I was reading about air in the ABS controller...how can you check to see if thats the case?
I'm confused. You do not pump the brakes to get them hard, then bleed. If you're doing it manually, have an assistant in the cab with his/her foot over the brake pedal. Position yourself at the right rear caliper. Have the assistant depress the pedal and hold it as you unscrew the bleeder no more than 1/2 turn. Close the bleeder and instruct your assistant to release the pedal Repeat until you see clean fluid with no air bubbles. Move to the left rear, then right front and finally the left front.

You should have a piece of clear plastic tubing over the nipple on the bleeder emptying into a container. I use a clear 16 oz. plastic soda bottle and drill a hole in the cap for the tube.

Remember: Open the bleeder only when the brake pedal is being pushed down, hold the pedal down, close the valve and release the pedal. IF YOU OPEN THE BLEEDERS MORE THAN 1/2 TURN, AIR MAY ENTER AROUND THE THREADS AND BE FORCED INTO THE DRAIN TUBE. You will think it's coming from inside your brake lines and continue to bleed to get the bubbles out for ever.

Remember: Keep topping up the brake fluid as you bleed.


I use a Motive Products Power Bleeder. It looks like a 1/2 gallon bug sprayer with a brake fluid reservoir cap on te end of the hose line instead of a spray wand. You fill the bleeder with fresh fluid and connect to your brake system by replacing the reservoir cap with the Power Bleeder's cap. Then you pump up the Power Bleeder to about 15 psi using the built in hand pump and pressure guage.

Now, all you have to do is unscrew the bleeder screws at each caliper and let the old fluid drain into your collection bottle. The Power Bleeder forces new fluid into the reservoir when you unscrew the bleeder screw. No brake pumping, no assistant, no problems.

Just keep track of how much fluid you bleed out of the system so the Power Bleeder doesn't run dry and don't open the bleeder screws more than 1/2 turn.

I paid $69 for my Power Bleeder and can do the brakes on my '05 Superduty in 30 minutes. Different adapters let me use the Power Bleeder on different cars.

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Old 01-09-2009, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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By 'pump them until they get hard' i mean, when the truck is immediately shut off, the brake pedal is easy to push, as though the truck were running. After i push it a few times, the pedal gets stiff....since the engine is off.

I like that bleeding system you posted.
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Last edited by agdodge4x4; 01-09-2009 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Gravity works also, just sloooooooow, if you don't have a helper or power bleeder. Careful with the bleeders, they break easy. If you are getting nervous about how much force you are using, tap the caliper with a hammer while keeping pressure on the wrench that is on the bleeder. Don't tap the hammer, tap the caliper. Should pop it loose without any damage.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agdodge4x4 View Post
By 'pump them until they get hard' i mean, when the truck is immediately shut off, the brake pedal is easy to push, as though the truck were running. After i push it a few times, the pedal gets stiff....since the engine is off.

I like that bleeding system you posted.
Residual power brake pressure in the system has nothing to do with bleeding brakes. Just turn off the engine. You don't have to pump until the pedal gets stiff before bleeding.

Get the Power Bleeder. It's just about foolproof and it works like professional bleeders except that you pressurize it with a hand pump instead of an electric pump. You're pushing new fluid through the system, not sucking it out with a vacuum pump.

Use Ate Super Blue or Type 200 fluid. It's the highest performance DOT 3/4 fluid. 200 is amber so if you switch between blue and 20o, you can tell when you've bled all the old fluid out. With 200 or regular fluid in the system, put SuperBlue in the Power Bleeder. The fluid you bleed out will change from dirty amber to green, then blue. When you see blue, you've got all the old stuff out. Use Type 200 the next time and you'll see dirty blue, green , then amber.

Whatever method you use DO NOT unscrew the bleeders too far. Just 1.3 to 1/2 turn max. Be patient, if you unscrew them too far you'll see false are bubbles drawn into your drain tube and think your system has air in it.

When I bled the brakes on my truck last year, it had been over 20 years since I did it myself and opened the bleeders too far - went through 1 1/2 liters of fluid on the right rear before I realized my mistake!
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Last edited by STG; 01-10-2009 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Stan, what are your thoughts on speedbleeders? I changed my calipers and hoses and installed the speedbleeders recently. It seemed as if the air was gone from the drain tube after little pedal pumping.
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Old 07-26-2009, 03:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agdodge4x4 View Post
I have a 2005 F-250, hydroboost. I just did the brakes on an F-150. Do i bleed mine the same way as i did on the f-150? I assume i just shut the truck off, and pump my brakes to get them 'hard', then start the bleeding process, one wheel at a time? I was reading about air in the ABS controller...how can you check to see if thats the case?
What I did on my F250 I turn the ignition on then apply steady pressure to the pedal (not pump) bleed right rear and then left rear. Turn ignition off and pump brakes 20-30 times then turn ignition back on and do right front and right left then you're done.
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Last edited by superstar000; 07-31-2009 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Question Brake Warning light is on now.

I just bled the brakes on a 2001 F250 w/ the 7.3.... After bleeding, the dash warning BRAKE light is on... I tried the code-reader and negative codes. Also tried resetting the computer; nope. Is it possible I did domething when I put the funnel in to refill the fluid?
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just bled the brakes on a 2001 F250 w/ the 7.3.... After bleeding, the dash warning BRAKE light is on... I tried the code-reader and negative codes. Also tried resetting the computer; nope. Is it possible I did domething when I put the funnel in to refill the fluid?
Does the master cylinder reservoir have a low fluid level sender?
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by doczenith1 View Post
Stan, what are your thoughts on speedbleeders? I changed my calipers and hoses and installed the speedbleeders recently. It seemed as if the air was gone from the drain tube after little pedal pumping.
Never tried them, but I know people who have had good results. I guess I'm not comfortable with that tiny little one way valve - just one more thing to go wrong. That's NOT based on any first hand experience, just my paranoia.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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SOLVED: The funnel I used for filiing had jammed the low-fluid indicator/float in the down position. I used a dental pick to reach in and free it. Works fine now.

Thanks Stan.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I realize that this is an old thread but have a few questions:

1) Does the engine need to be running when bleeding brakes? I use the two person manual method and it is difficult for my wife to hear me over the loud diesel as I am instructing her to pump and hold on the pedal. 2) when using the bleeder system that pressurizes the master cylinder, how do you know when all the old fluid has been expelled from the system? I assume you just leave the bleeder screw open until the fluid catch bottle is somewhat full? and 3) can you drain all the old fluid through the passenger rear bleeder screw or do you have to drain each caliper to get it all out?

I have bled brakes successfully but never to the extend where I completely drained and filled with new fluid - only to get air bubbles out to return brakes to a firm pedal-state.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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1. You do not need to have the motor running. Not as much pressure but works.
2. The change in color is an easy tell; color change, stop bleeding.
3. You have to do all four corners.

4. Do not have the person in the cab push the pedal more then 1/2 way or you may be buying a new master cylinder on an older vehicle, especially not bled in some time.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
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1. You do not need to have the motor running. Not as much pressure but works.
2. The change in color is an easy tell; color change, stop bleeding.
3. You have to do all four corners.

4. Do not have the person in the cab push the pedal more then 1/2 way or you may be buying a new master cylinder on an older vehicle, especially not bled in some time.
Thanks for the quick reply. I never knew about your item 4 above -> good tip.

With respect to the color change, do different fluid manufacturers add die (similar to coolant) to give unique colors? The fluid in my F250 was dark orange when I bled them yesterday. Just wondering if that is the stock Motorcraft Brake Fluid color or does the orange indicate that it is waaaay too old.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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There have been color changes in the past but SAE wants all the gylcol based fluids to start out in the light Amber range. It will darken to almost black depending on it temperature history and moisture content. You can google brake fluid examples to see the variations.
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