1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks
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One of my lines seems to have let go today. When I got to work the peddle all of a sudden went to the floor and the dash light came on. I noticed some dirty fluid under the truck in the snow and am assuming that it is brake fluid. How difficult of a job is this to do and other than a bleeder bottle do I need any other special tools? Also do I have to bleed all four brakes or just the one that is getting the work done on it?
If its the front system or rear system you may get away with just bleeding the fronts or the rears. That would be either both front wheels or rears not just one. If the fluid is dirty probably best to change all of it, that would mean bleeding all wheels.
are you planning on making your own line? or buying preflared lines? if your making your own line then you will need a double flaring tool kit. you owuld also benefit from buying a set of line wrenches specifically 10mm or 12mm and 3/8" or 7/16". it will be one of those sizes, can't remember off the top of my head. the line wrenches wrap around the fitting about 85% rather the the 75% of a regular open ended wrench which means you will be less likely to round out the fitting. it isn't that hard to make your own line either.the parts you will probably need will be the amount of line you need and the fittings. also the brake fluid too ( DOT 3 Brake fluid to be exact.) before you start, make sure you check and see if the bleeder screws open and are not frozen. if they are you will need a new caliper/wheel cylinder depending on where the fitting is located on the truck. good luck, hope that explained it for you
Heat up the bleeders until they glow orange, work fast as not to melt the rubbers in the wheel cylinders or calipers but get the bleeder hot. Then touch a ice cube to em and they will come loose. It may take a couple of tries, take your time and make sure you have a good grip on the bleeder, if you have to use vice grips, try it once they will come out. Beats taking the wheel all apart just because of a bleeder screw.
Same applies to replacing a metal line that connected to a rubber line, first cut the metal line of at the nut with a hacksaw blade or dikes so you can use a six point socket on it. Then wrap a wet rag soaking wet with cool water around the end of the rubber line at the joint to keep it cool, work fast to heat the nut without over heating the fitting on the end of the rubber line, if you take to long or get it to hot the crimped end on the rubber line will blow off violently and ruin it. Get it hot fast, touch a ice cube to it and then unscrew it. Try a little heat at a time until it comes free, not using any more heat then necessary. Re-wet your rag as needed, have a second one handy.
Naturally if some muscle head already snapped off the bleeder you'll need a new cylinder, bleeding at the line will not get all the air out.
I'm cheap and live in the salt belt, everything is always rusted up tight but with hot and cold I only buy parts I need. You can easily end up replacing every part of the system if your not careful.
If one line is rusty and leaking it is a sure sign the rest of the metal line are not far behind. Many a time I've had another line blow while bleeding a new one. Now I just replace all the metal lines once one starts to leak. The lines up by the master cylinder may be alright, you'll be able to tell by looking at them.
i am in cleveland, ohio and we have tons of salt on the road.
still never had to use torch.
did not say i did not break them.
read my post for how to do it.
I did read your post but I know how to do it, been doing it for years and no, I don't break em.
I work on a lot of cars and trucks, some new but mostly older ones. If I didn't use a torch I'd be buying lots and lots of parts I wouldn't need if I didn't. Not just brake lines and wheel cyclinders.
If you're afraid of a torch and would rather not use one that's alright, don't mean nothing. So you replace more wheel cyclinders than I do. No big deal, we both posted how we do it so let the OP decide how they want to do it.
And yes, I mesure and buy and bend premade lines "off the shelf" too. I do not feel they cost enough to make my own double flares to have a line fit right to the inch.
I have found by close examination, that the corrosion and hangup on bleeders is down inside,.........................so I squirt PB Blaster into the bleeders hole several times over a 30 minute or so time space, then try to remove.
For stripped bleeder and line nuts there is nothing better than the stripped nut extractors from Sears.
If you are replacing the lines completely and, putting your own fittings on I would recommend getting the same lines that a Toyota/Honda use. These are coated lines as a result they don't rust like the steel ones, plus they bend a lot easier than the steel ones due to the make up. I know this as I work at a brake and fuel line manufacturer.
I'm probably going to replace all mine this coming summer.
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