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Spongy brake pedal

Jack Narly

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December 20, 2013
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998
1998 explorer, 5.0 liter V-8, new rotors, new calipers and pads with hardware, new master cylinder,Swapped the HCU from a newer explorer,bled brakes more than ten time,bled the new master cylinder according ro Fords manual,and bled all four wheels starting the the back,replaced a bad wheel hub which came with a new sensor. This is what a Ford dealership told me the problem was,a bad wheel hub and sensor. after changing the hub I bled the brakes again, somewhere round 20 times these brakes have been bled and there is still a soft pedal. I drove on a snow covered street and the pedal was soft,it went close to the floor and I could feel the pedal pulsing. Never have I had such a problem and I may have to put all new lines in and eliminate the HCU? a dealership wants $1500 for a new HCU
 


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fast_dave

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City, State
East Bay - Nor Cal / PRK
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Spt 4.0 OHV 5 spd 4x4
Explorers can be a bitch to bleed trapped air, as I've been there.

No matter what method used to bleed, here is the "Bleed Order" for an Explorer (or any vehicle with the Master Cylinder on the Drivers Side):

1) Start bleed with rear passenger caliper.

2) Then move to rear driver caliper.

3) Then move to front passenger caliper.

4) Finish with front drivers side caliper.

Please advise: What is your method of bleeding?

* "old school" two person style with one person pushing down on the brake pedal while the other person bleeds the calipers

* OR hand held vacuum pump on each caliper

* OR compressed air w/ external fluid tank method

* OR ???
 




drdoom

Explorer Addict
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City, State
VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Eddie Bauer 4.6L 4X4
You have to bleed the ABS by jacking in a pretty good scantool to over-ride the ABS. You have air in the HCU. You can bleed all you want but without the scantool it is futile.
 




lobo411

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Explorer 4.0 OHV
When I replaced my master cylinder, I took it to a shop to have the system bled for this reason. Cost me about $40/10 mins.
 




Jack Narly

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1998
everything was bled correctly, I asked the dealership to bleed,they claimed they had a special tool to do this but I do not believe they did anything, I believe they saw the bad wheel hub and stopped at that point and lied to me about bleeding it. Does anybody have these two special tools that I can buy for a reasonable amount of money?
 




fast_dave

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City, State
East Bay - Nor Cal / PRK
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Spt 4.0 OHV 5 spd 4x4
When I first bought my Ex over 8 years ago, I had a spongy brake pedal. I heard the same thing - "you need a special tool that hooks up to the ABS pump" yada, yada, yada....

Anyways, at the time, no one had the tool readily available for sale, so I went for it via the classic two man brake bleeding method. I went through about 3 quarts of brake fluid to no avail, I still had air in the system. On the advice of a Ford service tech, I bought a hand held Harbor Freight vacuum pump. He swore by them and said you could use them for a lot of things other than brakes so what the hell, I bought one (at the time $30).

Between the Harbor Freight pump and a quart of Valvoline Synthetic DOT 3/4 brake fluid (get it at Pep Boys) total over all four calipers: BINGO - Problem solved. I sucked out a few bubbles of air and the pedal was (and continues to be) riding high and hard.

I can't say enough about this tool, and use it exclusively when bleeding or flushing brakes on all modern brake systems. I also use it to bleed the power steering rack on my Ex after I flush the P/S fluid every year. Check the price on replacing a 4wd Ex P/S rack and you'll learn why I flush the P/S fluid.

The HF Pump is simple and reasonably priced - like $15 - 17 with a HF Coupon. Get it and try it. Pull 25 - 30 inches of vacuum and after the bleeder is cracked don't let it fall below 10 inches. You'll be amazed what you pull out of the braking system.

NOTE: DO NOT allow any brake fluid to get sucked into the pump or it will ruin it. Make a "cradle" for the bottle that the old brake fluid goes into out of a wire hanger and hang it from a suspension part of frame point.

Trick: dab some automotive grease 360 degrees around the outer edge of the brake nipple where it screws into the brake caliper - this will create a positive seal when sucking the air out.

image_2503.jpg
 




02603sec

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August 28, 2018
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City, State
newtown, pa
Year, Model & Trim Level
06 XLT
Explorers can be a bitch to bleed trapped air, as I've been there.

No matter what method used to bleed, here is the "Bleed Order" for an Explorer (or any vehicle with the Master Cylinder on the Drivers Side):

1) Start bleed with rear passenger caliper.

2) Then move to rear driver caliper.

3) Then move to front passenger caliper.

4) Finish with front drivers side caliper.

Please advise: What is your method of bleeding?

* "old school" two person style with one person pushing down on the brake pedal while the other person bleeds the calipers

* OR hand held vacuum pump on each caliper

* OR compressed air w/ external fluid tank method

* OR ???



Or, I set up a long clear tube connected to a half full bottle of brake fluid, I hang from a 5' rack, and set the rack right outside of the driver's door. The tube can reach all four wheels. I also use a 2x4 to keep the pedal fully depressed, as I jump out to tighten the bleed screw. rinse and repeat all four wheels. Been doing this for years.
 




donalds

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Location
Stem
City, State
Nc
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 ford explorer sohc
I use forscan to activate the abs all four calipers
At once......on demand self test.....
Or
Activate each wheel one at a time

Forscan rules
 




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