2002 F 250 ABS Brake Bleed ? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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2002 F 250 ABS Brake Bleed ?

I have a 2002 F 250 4X4 Diesel and have justed finished doing a complete brake job. I was told since I have ABS brakes I need to bleed the ABS modual. How do I do this ? Thanks
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 06:14 PM
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Did you replace any of the calipers? You wouldn't have to bleed the brakes unless you replaced a caliper as new calipers have air and have to be bled. Otherwise, there is not a way to introduce air in your brake line, therefore they wouldn't have to bled.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yes , I replaced all the calipers , rotors, brake hoses .
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 09:19 PM
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Pretty good definition of a complete brake job.

Usually you only have to bleed the ABS module if you get air into the main hydraulic lines. If you installed one caliper and hose at a time usually you are OK as long as the M/C didn't bleed dry. But if at this point you have a really long pedal you probably have air in the controller and your at great risk of tearing a cup in an older M/C.

The best way to prevent air getting too involved is to use a piece of wood between the brake pedal and drivers seat bottom to apply the brake pedal about 1 to 2 inches. This blocks off the compensating port so fluid won't drain out the M/C. Then do one wheel at a time, but before moving to the next wheel remove the block of wood and gravity bleed the new caliper (and hose). Reinstall the wood and move to the next.

If you have air in the system the best fix is with a scanner that will control the ABS functions, operating the valves and pump. Not cheap hardware and many independent shops won't have that. If you're able to get somewhat of a brake pedal and have access to a gravel road where you can get the wheel to skid you have an arduous method of getting the sir out of the controller. From 30 mph lock up the wheels so the ABS fires off, then re-bleed the brakes. You may have to do this multiple times before all the air is removed.

Remember I mentioned about tearing a cup? With older brake systems that haven't been bled often, the moisture in the brake fluid usually causes some corrosion in the back of the M/C bore where you often don't get the M/C to operate. When bleeding the brakes manually with the brake pedal people often push deep towards the floor, getting into this region. Not uncommon to have this result in torn cups and a new M/C needs to be installed. When the cups tear you loose half of the brake system so you have a long brake pedal, and often you first notice this as a sinking brake pedal at a stop. Hopefully this hasn't happened, but I figured I'd forewarn you.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Jack , thanks for you explanation of the ABS system. My brake pedal is really in good shape. High and tight. The reason I was told to bleed the ABS is that my truck is pulling hard on the front left. We checked everything over and over with no luck. Someone suggested we bleed the ABS but with your discription I feel were OK. What would cause one side to pull ? I did have that side hub replaced and new axle joints done as well. Thanks
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 01:14 PM
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Sorry FMTRVT, for thinking a complete brake job would be the installation of pads and new, or turned, rotors. Unless a caliper is sticking, why would you replace it? Anytime air is introduced into a brake system, bleeding is necessary until all air is removed, ABS or not. I didn't appreciate your first line as all I was trying to do is help the man out.

2001 F-250 4X4 CC SB 7.3 4R100 3.73, BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA/KO, Motorcraft filters, Mile Marker manual hub locks w/ESOF (No hub "floating"), AIH delete, Rust-Oleum bed coating, Silverstar Ultra headlamps w/ clear headlight assemblies, 5,000K LED interior lamps; Moog greaseable u-joints, ball-joints, front hub assemblies; retractable bed hitch, original black CPS (BEST "mod" I have), Energy Suspension bushings, Red Heavy Duty ELC, Edge Evolution 15001 (for gauges), Walker BTM, Donaldson AIS
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 08:35 PM
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carnut_s,

I went through the worst case, just in case.

Pulls can take some work to figure out. Lets first go through the normal problem areas:
  • Brake hose blockage
  • Caliper piston stuck
  • Uneven brake pad temperature

You did the hoses and they should be good unless you let the caliper hang from a hose.

Rebuilt calipers should be good but sometimes one has a problem.

Pad temperature. This situation has a long history even when the vehicle was new.

An issue with any semi-metallic pads like all of the type sold for this vehicle (even when they are called ceramic) is that any temperature difference side to side will cause a pull to the hotter side. This is the first thing to check.

Go for a drive of about a mile or two without any major use of the brakes and coast over to the shoulder. Hop out and check if you notice either front center wheel sections hotter then the other. If the wheels are too cool, you can check the rotor but remember that they can get very hot, so do so cautiously. If you have a heat temp gun, that can save a burnt finger.

If you have a temp imbalance I would recheck the slides to make sure they are moving easily. You can do this on the drivers side by turning the wheel all the way to the right, then slip behind the tire and loosen both slide pin bolts about two full turns, then using the bolts still attached to the pins see how easy it is to move the slides back and forth. Tighten back up.

If it’s not the slides, then it’s time to start looking at the brake assembly, so off with the wheel. First thing is to check the hose and make sure it didn’t get twisted during the last install. It happens.

You can inspect the caliper and pads without fully taking off the caliper. I usually pull the top slide pin bolt and remove the vacuum hose off the hub nipple, then rotate the caliper back towards the rear of the truck. I use a cord or strap to keep the caliper from rotating too far back and putting too much strain on the hose. But this strain is nothing like hanging a caliper from the hose.

Make sure the pads slide easily within the brackets. Aftermarket pads can be a little out of tolerance in length or width where they fit in, sometimes just with excessive paint. If they don’t slide easily you can sand or file the tabs of the steelback lightly to remove the excess. The pads should move easily enough that it’s a PITA to get the caliper back on because the wishbone spring forces the pads out.

Try pushing each caliper piston back into the caliper with your thumbs. Each should take about the same amount of force.

Here’s a goofy thing. Occasionally we would run a test with new calipers and start to see a temperature imbalance left to right. We would go through what I just described and find nothing. With two people, we would push the brake pedal to get the pistons to move out about a half inch, then push the pistons fully back into the caliper. We’d do that twice. Can’t tell you how many times we solved temp spreads by just doing that.

If none of that helps, these vehicles have a high scrub radius, meaning the center of the tire is far away from the center of the angle between the balljoints. And just like using a breaker bar, the leverage of unequal braking turns the steering. Around the 2000 model year due to the high warranty complaints for pulls, it was found that this vehicle has to have brake pads from the same batch on all four front locations in order to prevent pulls. There was a TSB about that.

If this is the cause as aftermarket pads tend to have worse mixing cycles then OE pads, then the choice is to wear through the discrepancy, or start flipping just the outer pads left to right and see if that is a better match for all four pads.

Jack
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01f25073 View Post
Sorry FMTRVT, for thinking a complete brake job would be the installation of pads and new, or turned, rotors. Unless a caliper is sticking, why would you replace it? Anytime air is introduced into a brake system, bleeding is necessary until all air is removed, ABS or not. I didn't appreciate your first line as all I was trying to do is help the man out.
01f25073,

I was just making an offhanded comment, nothing intended your way.

Why would you replace a caliper that wasn't sticking?

Being pro-active and not wanting to have issues short term with your new pads and rotors.

Six years out I replaced all the calipers and rotors on my truck, kept the same pads another two years and just recently changed them.

The caliper O-Rings and boots deteriorate with heat and age. They get brittle and loose their elasticity. We used to do caliper aging by placing calipers in an oven for a specified time before comparing seal roll back to new stock, since roll back is essential to maintaining the running clearance between the pads and rotors.

You also get rust creep under the lip of the dust boot over time. As the rust builds you loose seal integrity and the opportunity for water to sneak behind the boot becomes more of a reality. So for me replacing calipers after 6 years is just a preemptive move to avoid a frozen caliper and having to also replace expensive pads and a rotor.

Of course anytime air is introduced into the system it will need to be bled. But that can happen just by pushing the caliper pistons back in. So even without replacing the calipers, it's a good move to bleed the brakes when you do the work, and it's a good time to replace some if not all of the brake fluid anyway.

Jack
Former Vehicle Test Manager - Friction Products
03 F350SC 4x4 6.0 Auto 5/30/03

YouTube Videos Google - TooManyToys

Step Lights;Painted Flanges; Bypass Oil Filter; Heated Mirror Switch; Reverse Lights; 7.3L Fuel Reg Shim; 6 Disc Radio Speed Volume Mod; Coolant Filter, etc.
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