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How to Bleed the Brakes on a 1997 Ford Ranger

by Don Bowman; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • 4 Jack stands

  • Set of line wrenches

  • Drain pan

  • Dot 4 or better brake fluid

Bleeding the brakes on a 1997 Ford Ranger should only be necessary if one of the components in the brake system has been removed and replaced or there is a serious leak. There is no way for air to enter the system otherwise. If no components were replaced, every effort should be taken to isolate and repair the leak before proceeding. Nothing gets better with time on an automobile. Leaks can result in loss of brakes, usually with extremely poor timing.

Raise the front of the truck and support it on jack stands. Raise the rear of the truck by the differential and place jack stands under the axle tubes. Lower the truck onto the jack stands. Place the drain pan under the passenger-side rear brake.

Open the bleeder screw on the back of the wheel cylinder about two turns and leave it open until brake fluid is steadily draining from the wheel cylinder. At this point close and tighten the bleeder screw.

Move to the driver’s side front wheel. Place the drain pan under the caliper. Open the bleeder screw on the top of the caliper and leave it open until a steady drip of brake fluid is seen. Close the bleeder screw and tighten.

Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir and fill as necessary. Move to the driver’s side rear brake and then the passenger side front and perform the same procedure as outlined in Step 2. Fill the master cylinder to the proper level.

About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).

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