by Don BowmanUpdated on November 07, 2017
Bleeding the brakes on a 1997 Ford Ranger should only be necessary if one of the brake system components has been removed and replaced or if there is a serious leak. Otherwise, there is no way for air to enter the system. If no component was replaced, every effort should be made to isolate and repair the leak before proceeding. Nothing gets better with time in a car. 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 rear brake on the passenger side.
Open the bleed screw at the rear of the wheel cylinder about two turns and leave it open until the brake fluid constantly drains from the wheel cylinder. At this point, close and tighten the bleed screw.
Move to the front wheel on the driver’s side. Place the drain pan under the caliper. Open the bleeder screw at the top of the caliper and leave it open until you see a steady drip of brake fluid. Close the bleed screw and tighten.
Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir and fill as needed. Engage the rear brake on the driver’s side and then the front on the passenger side and perform the same procedure as described in Step 2. Fill the master cylinder to the proper level.