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How to Bleed the Clutch of a 1996 Ford Ranger

by Kyle McBride

Ford Motor Company equipped its 1996 Ranger pick-up trucks with a hydraulic controlled clutch. Applying pressure to the clutch pedal initiates the system. A master cylinder with a fluid reservoir, similar to a brake system, pressurizes the hydraulic fluid (brake fluid). Fluid pressure causes the concentrically mounted slave cylinder to expand, causing the clutch to disengage. If air bubbles form in the system, the clutch pedal feels spongy and results in incomplete clutch disengagement. Bleed this air from the system to restore full clutch operation.

1

Set the parking brake. Lift the front of the vehicle with a jack. Support the vehicle with jack stands.

2

Open the hood. Locate the clutch master cylinder reservoir cap on the driver's side of the engine compartment firewall. Wipe the cap off with a clean rag.

3

Remove the clutch master cylinder reservoir cap by hand. Top off the fluid level in the reservoir with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid.

4

Get under the truck. Locate the bleeder screw in the bleeder port near the top of the transmission on the driver's side. Slide a small, clear rubber hose onto the bleeder screw nipple. Route the hose into a catch pan.

5

Have your helper watch the level in the reservoir and add fluid as needed to prevent the reservoir from running dry as you loosen the bleeder screw with a wrench and observe the fluid coming out. Drain the system until the fluid stream is solid and free of air bubbles. Tighten down the bleeder screw with a wrench.

6

Push the clutch lever all the way down, hold it a few seconds and quickly release it fully. Repeat this process 10 times.

7

Check the reservoir fluid level. Fluid level should be even with the full mark with the cap and diaphragm seal removed. Repeat the process in steps 5 and 6 eight times.

8

Have your helper hold medium pressure on the clutch pedal. Loosen the bleeder screw slightly to allow any remaining air to escape. Tighten the bleeder screw.

9

Repeat step 8 until the fluid is free of air bubbles and comes out in a solid stream. Remove the rubber hose.

10

Check and top off the fluid level in the reservoir. Install the diaphragm seal and cap onto the reservoir.

Warning

  • Do not mix DOT 3 fluid with DOT 5. The fluids are not compatible and severe damage will occur to the rubber components if they become mixed.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

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