ABS Bleeding Alternative? - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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ABS Bleeding Alternative?

I'll be replacing rotors, calipers, and soft lines at all four corners next week. I know if I were just purging some air I could bleed the brakes like normal, but since I also want to flush as much of the old fluid out as possible I might need to bleed the ABS valve assembly as well. From what I understand, you need a special tool from the dealer. Is this still the case, or has someone figured out a way to activate the solenoids without it? Truck is a 2004 4wd Excursion.

If one must use the dealer/specialty tool, I have a backup plan I figured I would try based on a TSB I read and some (hopefully) common sense. Without the tool, I would have to activate the ABS manually. According to a TSB, this can be accomplished by putting the truck up on a frame lift, put truck in 4wd, "drive" truck up to 40MPH and lightly apply brakes. The variation in speed between wheels should activate the system. Well, if I first purge the system of old fluid, I will still have some left in the ABS. So, I purge, do the ABS activation to swap out the fluid in that, and then purge again until only clean comes out. At that point I swap the caliper and soft line at one corner, being sure to block off the hard line with saran wrap and a zip tie so no excess air gets into a hard line. I then purge the air and do a final bleed on that corner. I then repeat with the remaining three corners. SHOULD give me a complete flush and proper bleed.

What does everyone think about this method? Or does someone have an alternative for what I'm trying to accomplish?

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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 04:09 PM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

I have never once had a problem with air getting stuck in the abs solenoids. I also don't use 2 people to bleed. I either use a pressure bleeder, or a mightyvac to suck it out through the caliper. Gravity bleeding works well too, but takes longer. Just stick the brake fluid bottle on top of the master reservoir and bleed it anyway ya want.

If you do get some stuck in there, just go make some abs stops in some dirt or something, then bleed it again. Highly doubt it'll be a problem though.

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 04:14 PM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

And it's not a special tool, it's just a scanner that can activate the abs pump and valves. You can do the same thing by activating the abs when driving.

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 04:31 PM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

I see, I should have read it closer. I thought you were replacing the master and abs unit.

You're not going to have a problem. No air is going to get into the abs unit unless you run the master cylinder dry. So don't do that. Prop the brake pedal down with something before you open the system. This will have the same effect as plugging a straw and taking it out of the water. The water stays in the straw, right? Same thing here. It'll keep all the fluid in the system.

Once finished, just flush all the fluid out until it's clear coming out of the calipers and you're done.

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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 10:08 PM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

He is trying to get all the fluid even the stuff in the ABS labyrinth cleaned out

i wouldn't worry about cycling anything I have the ability but have never even tried it ( flushed twice )


but to answer the question other than IDS or Auto Enginuity I don't know of a Hack

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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 03:42 AM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

Yeah I gathered, eventually. It's a good thing to do too. Can't tell ya how many times I've seen fresh brakes installed and the fluid is black.


Definitely don't worry about it. All fluid runs through the abs at all times, even under normal braking. I suppose there's a small pathway inside the unit from the dump valve back to the pump, if it even has a pump, that won't get flushed, but it's a non issue. It'll get clean fluid too once it's driven.

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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 07:10 PM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

I hate when people hijack threads, but this is along the same lines, so I apologize to the OP, and anyone else who may be insulted

Another shop sent me a truck they failed to fix. New calipers all the way around, bleed, etc.
They replaced abs sensors, rotors, and vss.
Told the owner it needed a master cyl. There are no codes, The 3rd brake bulb was out, so I replaced it.
I was skeptical, ended up replacing 2 bad rubber lines, and 2 rusted steel lines.

Eventually running a full gallon of brake fluid through the system, I replaced master cyl. Pedal still creeps to the floor holding brakes like at a stop light.

At this point, customer wants to replace abs pump and module with a known good unit.

Do I just power bleed the system after the module change just like when I put the master cyl in?

I have clear brake fluid coming out now.

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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:15 PM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

..

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:18 PM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustybumpers View Post
I hate when people hijack threads, but this is along the same lines, so I apologize to the OP, and anyone else who may be insulted

Another shop sent me a truck they failed to fix. New calipers all the way around, bleed, etc.
They replaced abs sensors, rotors, and vss.
Told the owner it needed a master cyl. There are no codes, The 3rd brake bulb was out, so I replaced it.
I was skeptical, ended up replacing 2 bad rubber lines, and 2 rusted steel lines.

Eventually running a full gallon of brake fluid through the system, I replaced master cyl. Pedal still creeps to the floor holding brakes like at a stop light.

At this point, customer wants to replace abs pump and module with a known good unit.

Do I just power bleed the system after the module change just like when I put the master cyl in?

I have clear brake fluid coming out now.
Key off, pump the brakes until the assist is gone and the pedal gets hard, does it still sink to the floor? If so, and you're convinced there are no leaks and it's not the master cylinder, then I suppose a dump valve could be just slightly stuck open, if that's the case, a few abs stops may un-stick it. I've yet to ever see this happen though.

But we're getting ahead of our selves.

And yes, you would bleed it exactly the same as you normally would. If air does get stuck, which it probably won't, activate the abs a few times while bleeding.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:56 PM
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Re: ABS Bleeding Alternative?

I am sure no leaks. Went so far as to even replace the copper washers on line that is good, but I suspected a leak. I have been through it, and am confident I have all the leaks solved.
I think I will take it for some good windshield kissing trips tomorrow, then get back to you. Thanks for the help

Charlie
"A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely fool proof, is to underestimate the ingenuity of a complete fool."
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