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Scan tool to bleed brakes?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by MickiRig1, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    In replaced a front left caliper that was leaking and a line to the right caliper. New pads and turned rotors. Bled the system. Not a great pedal. Bled the whole system. Put a good quart thru it. Still have a good inch and a half travel on pedal. Not spongy, but not real firm either. I have heard some systems need a scan tool to get a good bleed. The Ford mechanics at work just say: Well you know, some have better pedals then others. I just wondered if the scan tool will clear some bubbles out? It's a 99 F-250LD 4X4 All disc brakes
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  2. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    A scan tool can not bleed brakes. If the pedal is not as firm as it was before you did the work, you still have air in the line somewhere. Just keep bleeding, and bleed all 4 corners, front, and back.
  3. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I did bleed all 4 corners. I even tapped on each caliper as I bled them. I put a quart + thru the four corners. I have read that by making the antilock unit cycle, it removes any air in system. A Ford trained tech may have the answer.
  4. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,724

    I think with the Ford IDS you can get it to cycle the abs system and use that to help you bleed the brakes.
  5. oldbluehairhemi

    oldbluehairhemi Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    You need the scan tool to finish the job. I had the same problem on my dodge, took it to the dealer they bled it with the scan tool and it was better then ever.
  6. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,396

    These aren't the brakes of the old days, the scan tool is needed to cycle the abs channel's.
  7. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I have 5 vehicles in the Family fleet. This is the only vehicle I am not happy with the pedal.
    I am starting to think the master cylinder is going over the edge. At 86,000 I think I will get a new one and know it's been replaced. Then go the scan tool route.
  8. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,562

  9. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    I was just talking from experience. Blew a brake line on my 02 F250, replaced the line, bled the brakes and back on the road in an hour. And I stand by my statement that a scan tool can't bleed brakes. Where does the air get trapped that required the abs to be cycled?
  10. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,750

    just asking,,,,are all the calipers free and moving?
    if you have a caliper binding, it will act like air in the system.
  11. Khowie644

    Khowie644 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 93

    The ABS "scan tool" doesn't scan, it cycles the ABS while bleeding your brakes.
    Effectively "pulsing" your brakes causing the air bubbles to come out of all the little spots they like to hide. I'm betting in your new caliper is the culprit, either buy another bottle of brake fluid and keep bleeding while tapping them with a rubber mallet, or take it to the dealer and pay to have them do it.
  12. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Finally an entertaining thread on Plowsite.....

    As one of my best managers once said, "you can learn alot from a dummy"
  13. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,396

    Wow, we all should well educate from some of these posting, thanks plowsite and briddseedd!!
  14. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I tap all the cylinders or calipers I bleed with a small ball peen. I go down a brick road near me that is all bumps. I pump the brakes as I go over the bumps. I go back to the house and do another bleed. This why I think there is another trick to getting a great pedal with an ABS system. I am going to pull the backs and lube and look at them. Gotta be something going on. The front side looks good, but maybe the backs are froze up.
  15. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Scan tool to bleed the brakes WOW

    Must be true Its on the internet or at least on the Plowsite
  16. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I did that few times This past winter laying in the snow never used a scanner to bleed the brakes
    Now maybe on the new stuff might be that way From 06 back on FORD is all I seen and fix never used a scanner to bleed system
    Few times had to use a vacuum to suck the brake fluid when I'm by myself
  17. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    BUT Micki is talking about a ford, not a dodge.
    you do not need a scan tool to bleed the brakes on a ford super duty.
  18. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,724

    Froze up slide pins can make the brakes feel goofy. They may be bled fine but the pedal feel will be similar to that of having air in the lines.
  19. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,396

    In case it is air, this is from the ford procedure manual relating to a 1999 F 250 LD

    If equipped with the 4 wheel anti-lock brake system and the Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU) has been replaced or is suspected of containing trapped air; bleed the brake system using the procedure below. Conventional brake system bleeding cannot remove the air trapped in the lower portion of the HCU,if a spongy brake pedal is present and air in the hydraulic control unit is suspected, use the following procedure:

    1. Bleed the brake system as outlined in the conventional bleeding procedure.
    2. Connect a New Generation Star (NGS) tester or equivalent scan tool, to the serial data link connector below the instrument panel as though retrieving codes.
    3. Make sure the ignition switch is in the RUN position.
    4. Follow the instructions on the NGS screen. Verify correct vehicle and model year go to the "Diagnostic Data Link' menu item, choose ABS Module, choose "Function Tests", and choose "Service Bleed."

    5. Bleed the right-front wheel as follows:
    ---A. Open the caliper bleed screw and pump the brake pedal for 3 seconds. Repeat the procedure again.
    ---B. When the fluid runs clear, begin the program and continue to pump the brake pedal.
    ---C. Continue bleeding for approximately 1 to 2 minutes after the program ends and then tighten the bleed screw.
    6. Repeat the bleeding procedure to the left-front, left-rear and finally the right-rear wheel.
    7. Remove the pressure bleeding device and adjust the brake fluid level.
    8. Road test the vehicle and check for proper brake system operation.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  20. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,396

    to bad we aren't talking about a super duty