Lincoln Aviator, Ford Explorer, Exp Sport, Exp Sport-Trac, Mercury Mountaineer 2000-2005

Manual Bleeding


When any part of the hydraulic system has been disconnected for repair or replacement, air may get into the lines and cause spongy pedal action (because air can be compressed and brake fluid cannot). To correct this condition, it is necessary to bleed the hydraulic system after it has been properly connected to be sure all air is expelled from the brake cylinders and lines.

When bleeding the brake system, bleed one brake cylinder at a time, beginning at the cylinder with the longest hydraulic line (farthest from the master cylinder) first. ALWAYS Keep the master cylinder reservoir filled with brake fluid during the bleeding operation. Never use brake fluid that has been drained from the hydraulic system, no matter how clean it is.

It will be necessary to centralize the pressure differential value after a brake system failure has been corrected and the hydraulic system has been bled.

The primary and secondary hydraulic brake systems are individual systems and are bled separately. During the entire bleeding operation, do not allow the reservoir to run dry. Keep the master cylinder reservoir filled with brake fluid.

  1. Clean all dirt from around the master cylinder fill cap, remove the cap and fill the master cylinder with brake fluid until the level is within 1 / 4 in. (6mm) of the top edge of the reservoir.
  3. Clean off the bleeder screws at all 4 wheels. On rear drum brakes the bleeder screws are located on the inside of the brake backing plate, on the backside of the wheel cylinders. On disc brakes the bleeder screws are located near the top of the brake calipers.
  5. Attach a length of rubber hose over the nozzle of the bleeder screw at the wheel to be done first. Place the other end of the hose in a glass jar, submerged in brake fluid.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Bleed the rear brakes first, ensuring that no air bubbles remain visible moving through the tubing

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Bleed the caliper until you can see clean, air bubble free brake fluid moving through the tube

  7. Open the bleeder screw valve 1 / 2 - 3 / 4 turn.
  9. Have an assistant slowly depress the brake pedal. Close the bleeder screw valve and tell your assistant to allow the brake pedal to return slowly. Continue this pumping action to force any air out of the system. When bubbles cease to appear at the end of the bleeder hose, close the bleeder valve and remove the hose.
  11. Check the master cylinder fluid level and add fluid accordingly. Do this after bleeding each wheel.
  13. Repeat the bleeding operation at the remaining 3 wheels, ending with the one closet to the master cylinder. Fill the master cylinder reservoir.