Ford Full-Size Cars 1968-1988 Repair Guide

Bleeding Brake System


See Figures 1 and 2

Because brake fluid can remove automotive paint, use extreme care when bleeding the brake system, or any other procedure which requires the use or handling of brake fluid.

  1. Clean all dirt from the master cylinder filler cap.
  3. If the master cylinder is known or suspected to have air in the bore, it must be bled before any of the wheel cylinders or calipers are bled. To bleed the master cylinder, position a shop towel under the primary (rear) outlet fitting and loosen the fitting approximately 3 / 4 turn. Have an assistant depress the brake pedal slowly through its full travel. Close the outlet fitting and let the pedal return slowly to the fully released position. Wait 5 seconds and then repeat the operation until all air bubbles disappear.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Use the correct size flare or box wrench to loosen the bleeder fitting

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Fig. Fig. 2: Bleeding the brake hydraulic system

  1. Repeat Step 2 with the secondary (front) outlet fitting.

On some vehicles, the master cylinder is equipped with a bleeder fitting. In these cases, the master cylinder can be bled in the same manner as a caliper or wheel cylinder.

  1. Continue to bleed the brake system by removing the rubber dust cap from the wheel cylinder bleeder fitting or caliper fitting at the right-hand rear of the vehicle. Place a suitable flare or box wrench on the bleeder fitting and attach a rubber drain tube to the fitting. The end of the tube should fit snugly around the bleeder fitting. Submerge the other end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean brake fluid and loosen the fitting 3 / 4 turn.
  3. Have an assistant push the brake pedal down slowly through its full travel. Close the bleeder fitting and allow the pedal to slowly return to its full release position. Wait 5 seconds and repeat the procedure until no bubbles appear at the submerged end of the bleeder tube. Secure the bleeder fitting and remove the bleeder tube. Install the rubber dust cap on the bleeder fitting.
  5. Repeat the procedure in Steps 4 and 5 in the following sequence: left rear, right front, left front. Refill the master cylinder reservoir after each wheel cylinder or caliper has been bled and install the master cylinder cover and gasket. When brake bleeding is completed, the fluid level should be filled to the maximum level indicated on the reservoir.

Never reuse brake fluid that has been drained from the hydraulic system or has been allowed to stand in an open container for an extended period of time.

  1. Always make sure the disc brake pistons are returned to their normal positions by depressing the brake pedal several times until normal pedal travel is established. If the pedal feels spongy, repeat the bleeding procedure.