1998 Ford Windstar Brake Bleeding

Tiny
KROKEEFE
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD WINDSTAR
  • 165,000 MILES
I replaced the rear wheel cylinders, brake hoses, and all the brake lines. What is the best method to add brake fluid to the new brake lines while removing air from the lines? Manual, gravity, or vacuum bleeding?
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 7:15 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Actually, pressure bleeding would be the best way but without a pressure bleeder, manual bleeding is what you should do. You can start out gravity bleeding which should get you well on your way. Vacuum bleeding is not recommended.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 7:47 AM
Tiny
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I would like to know why you don't think vacuum bleeding is recommended. I purchased a vacuum bleeder (Mighty Vac) but won't use it if it's not recommended.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 8:05 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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Many manufacturers recommend against it. It can actually put air into the system. They don't work very good anyway because the draw air through the loose bleeder threads instead of fluid.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 8:09 AM
Tiny
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Interesting because I started trying to introduce brake fluid to my van with the vacuum pump I bought at one wheel and I couldn't get air bubbles to stop flowing. Put some grease around the bleeder to keep air from coming in through the threads and still couldn't get the all the air out. Although I also tried the manual way and still air bubbles flowed. This is why I posted my question. Now for the next issue, since I replaced all the lines, including ones to and from the ABS module, I have read air could be in the ABS module and a ABS scanner would be needed to "cycle" that is electronically set it into the proper position internally, in order to be bled. Do you know if these can be rented? Called all my local auto parts stores and can't find some one to rent them. They are quite expensive.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 8:25 AM
Tiny
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I don't think anyone is going to be renting a $5000 scan tool.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 8:32 AM
Tiny
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Wow. They get that expensive. Some auto part stores near me rent the OBD scanners and they said they could order me a ABS scanner for about $300. Do I have another option to do this on my own? Money is very limited with me. Read online people would bleed their vehicle as best they could, take their vehicle on a gravel road and apply their brakes to activate the ABS. Then bleed them again. I don't think that would be an option for me though as my ABS light on my dashboard has been on for a long time and I had it scanned along time ago. I believe it indicated all the sensors were the problem. So I don't think my ABS would activate it I tried to get them to. Any suggestions? I really appreciate your help.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 8:49 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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Those aren't real scanners. Those are generic DIY code readers. $5000 is the low end of the scale for a real scan tool. Some go as high as $30K with attachments. The software updates alone are $1000 a year and up.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 9:15 AM
Tiny
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Wow. Any other suggestions on how I can get the air out of the abs module?
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 9:25 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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Sure, take the car to a capable shop that has the equipment and pay them to do it for you.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 9:28 AM
Tiny
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Will do. Will call shops in my area. Just called Ford and they said $189. Insane!
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 9:40 AM
Tiny
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Merlin's near me said they have the scanner and will charge me $85 to bleed the whole system. Try to do all my own work as I don't have any extra money to service my vehicles but it looks like I don't have any choice in the matter. Thanks for all you help. I really appreciate it.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 AT 9:53 AM

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