Ford equipped its 1996 F-150 pickup trucks with a two-part brake line system for the front brakes. Metal brake lines carry pressurized fluid from the brake master cylinder to a connector mounted in a bracket inside of the wheel well. Rubber lines with threaded fittings connect the metal lines to the caliper, and contain the pressure of the brake system. The flexibility of the rubber absorbs vibration and movement of the caliper. Age, impact damage and contaminated brake fluid can cause the rubber line to fail and require replacement.
Replacing the Brake Lines
Locate the mounting bracket inside the fender well where the rubber and metal lines come together. Hold the fitting with a backup wrench and remove the metal line fitting with a flare nut wrench. Use caution to avoid bending the bracket or the metal line.2
Grasp the U-clip holding the rubber line fitting into the bracket with a pair of pliers. Pull the clip out to release the rubber line from the bracket.3
Remove the rubber line from the caliper. Back out the banjo bolt that holds the rubber line fitting onto the caliper with a wrench. Remove and discard both of the crush washers on the fitting.4
Install the new rubber line onto the caliper. Place a new crush washer on the banjo bolt. Insert the banjo bolt into the rubber line fitting and slide on another new crush washer. Thread the banjo bolt into the caliper and torque it to 17 to 25 ft. lbs. with a 3/8-inch torque wrench.5
Insert the hose fitting into the mounting bracket and slide the U-clip in, by hand, to lock it in place. Thread the metal brake line fitting into the female rubber line fitting. Hold the rubber line fitting with a backup wrench and tighten the fitting securely with a flare nut wrench.
Bleeding the Brakes
Wipe off the master cylinder reservoir cap with a clean rag. Remove the reservoir cap and diaphragm by hand. Top off the fluid in the reservoir with new DOT 3 brake fluid.7
Install a small rubber hose onto the brake caliper bleeder screw. Route the hose into the catch pan8
Have a helper pump the brake pedal three times, and then hold it down with moderate pressure. Open the bleeder screw a bit to allow the air to escape and fluid to fill the system. Tighten the bleeder screw when fluid or air flow ceases to come from the bleeder.9
Repeat Step 3 until the fluid escaping the bleeder is solid and free of air bubbles. Check the fluid level in the reservoir frequently. Add fluid as necessary. Do not let it run dry.10
Top off the fluid level in the reservoir. Install the diaphragm seal and cap by hand.