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Dieseljunky2
Dieseljunky2, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3943
Experience:  ASE Certified, Ford Certified, Cummins Certified, & 20+ years in field experience
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1997 Ford f350: 4x4..abs and the Brake light coming..calipers..rebuilt

Customer Question

I have a 1997 Ford f350 4x4 with a 460. My problems started with the ABS and the Brake light coming on in the dash and my brakes got really spongie. I put a new master cylinder, brake booster, calipers and brakes on the front,a new ABS hydraulic unit in the frame, new wheel cylinders on the rear, new brake shoes and rebuilt the brakes on the rear, new metal brake lines on the rear, and I replaced the brake sensor that plugs into the master cylinder. That got rid of the brake light in the dash. I bled the brakes starting at the ABS Hydraulic unit and then I went to the rear and then to the front. The brakes are still spongie and the ABS is still on, I pulled the ABS control module out and the ABS light went out and I ordered a new one but the brakes are still spongie and their tight when the truck is not running. All I can figure is the brake booster is still bad. I need some help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 2 years ago.

Dieseljunky2 : Hello, have a look at the calipers again. Are the bleeder screws on both sides on the top or bottom of the caliper? Let me know. Thanks
Customer:

On the top

Dieseljunky2 : Does this truck have 4 wheel or rear only abs?
Customer:

rear only

Dieseljunky2 : Ok, from your description, the booster is working correctly. Try this, put the park brake fully on, and see if the pedal changes when the engine is running. Let me know. Thanks
Customer:

It didn't change. I've got the abs control module out of it right now, I don't know if that would make any difference. I also read on the internet last night that there is a procedure to bleed the brakes and i did it in the wrong order.

Dieseljunky2 : How did you do it?
Customer:

I started at the ABS hydraulic unit and went to the rear and then the front. The procedure said RR then LR and then the ABS unit. Next you do the RF and then the LF, but when I break the bleeders I have good flow with no bubbles or air so I didn't see where it would make any difference how you bleed it.

Dieseljunky2 : You will need to push at least a small bottle of brake fluid through the rear and the same through the front. Here are the exact procedures from the manual. If you don't run that much fluid through it, there can still be air in the lines.
Dieseljunky2 : em.NOTE: Bleed the primary and secondary hydraulic brake systems separately.^ Bleed one brake cylinder at a time. ^ Start the bleeding at the RH rear wheel cylinder and then at the LH rear wheel cylinder. After completing, proceed to the bleeder valve on the anti-lock brake control module. Then proceed to bleed the front brakes, starting with the right front brake, and finish bleeding on the left front brake. ^ Keep the brake master cylinder reservoir filled with the specified Ford High Performance DOT 3 Brake Fluid C6AZ-19542-AA or equivalent DOT 3 fluid meeting Ford specification ESA-M6C25-A. Never use brake fluid that has been drained from the system.If there is reason to believe air has entered the brake master cylinder, bleed as follows: 1. On the brake master cylinder reservoir, loosen the master cylinder to hydraulic line fittings. 2. Wrap a shop cloth around the tubing below the fitting to absorb escaping brake fluid. 3. Push the brake pedal down slowly to the floor of the cab. This will force air trapped in the brake master cylinder to escape at the fitting. 4. Hold the brake pedal down and tighten the fitting. Release the brake pedal. Do not release the brake pedal until the fitting is tightened or air will re-enter the brake master cylinder. 5. Repeat this procedure until air ceases to escape at the fitting. 6. Place a box wrench on the RH wheel cylinder bleeder screw. Attach a rubber drain tube to the wheel cylinder bleeder screw making sure the end of the tube fits snugly around the wheel 7. Submerge the free end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean brake fluid. Loosen the wheel cylinder bleeder screw approximately three-quarters of a turn. 8. Slowly push the brake pedal all the way down. Close the wheel cylinder bleeder screw, and return the brake pedal to the fully-released position. Repeat this operation until air bubbles no longer appear at the submerged end of the bleeder tube. 9. When the fluid is completely free of air bubbles, close the wheel cylinder bleeder screw and remove the bleeder tube. 10.Repeat this procedure at the LH rear wheel cylinder. Refill the brake master cylinder reservoir as needed. 11.Place a box wrench on the bleeder fitting on the anti-lock brake control module. Attach a rubber drain tube to the bleeder fitting making sure the end of the tube fits snugly around the bleeder fitting.CAUTION: Do not reuse brake fluid that has been bled from the system.12.Submerge the free end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean brake fluid. Loosen the bleeder fitting approximately three-quarters of a turn. 13.Slowly press the brake pedal all the way down. Close the bleeder fitting, and return the brake pedal to the fully released position. Repeat this operation until air bubbles no longer appear at the submerged end of the bleeder tube. 14.When the fluid is completely free of air bubbles close the bleeder fitting and remove the bleeder tube. 15.Bleed the front brakes starting with the right front brake and then the left front brake as described in Steps 6-10 of this procedure. 16.When the bleeding operation is complete, fill the brake master cylinder reservoir to the maximum level line.
Customer:

That was my next step. All I can figure is there is still air in the lines, so even with the ABS control unit unplugged I should still have good brakes just no ABS right?

Dieseljunky2 : That is correct, the abs defaults to standard brakes.
Customer:

I'll try the procedure you gave me and will let you know what happens.

Dieseljunky2 : Ok
Customer:

Do I need the truck running while i do the procedure or does it matter?

Dieseljunky2, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3943
Experience: ASE Certified, Ford Certified, Cummins Certified, & 20+ years in field experience
Dieseljunky2 and 10 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 2 years ago.
It does not matter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I bled the brakes with the procedure and the pedal is a little better. I have brakes now but the pedal is still spongie, when I press the pedal it returns real slow and the brakes are still holding. I have to take my foot and pull the pedal the rest of the way up to get the brakes to release. I am going to try and bleed them again today I guess they still have air in the lines.
Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 2 years ago.
With the engine off, does the pedal return normally or is it still staying down?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When the engine is off the pedal is so stiff you cant push it.
Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 2 years ago.
Unbolt the master from the booster. Do not disconnect the lines from the master cylinder. Now start the engine to see if the pedal will depress and return normally. Let me know if it works ok. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'll try that as soon as it quits raining.
Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 2 years ago.
Ok
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your help!
Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 2 years ago.
What part did you determine WAs the cause? Just curious. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I Bled the brakes again, and everytime I do that the pedal gets better. There not perfet yet but I can drive it. My ABS control unit came in yesterday, I installed it and my ABS light went out. I really appreciate all of your help. If I need help in the future can I request you? or do just get who's available? Thanks Jimmy
Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 2 years ago.
You can request me when the question is asked. Thanks

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