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Old 07-15-2011, 08:37 PM   #1
gman
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Default Parking Brake/ Brake warning light on

waring light came on after i hit a big pot hole, i checked the master cly, full parking brake off, (never use it cuz its broke) pedle feels fine. can some one tell me what else to check, or assure me its probally all fine mechincaly and just a wiring problem
thanks
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:06 AM   #2
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You can trace down the ebrake switch and unplug it and see if the light goes out.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:22 AM   #3
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Follow the brake lines out of the master down to a block with a switch on the end of it. There is a floating piston connected to the switch that tells you if you lose pressure front or rear. T center the switch have someone push on the brake pedal while you crack the fittings on the master going down to the block. Allways tighten the fitting before you let off the brake pedal. first do the front then the rear and while pressing on the pedal watch the light and as soon as the light goes out quickly tighten the fitting. Then pump up the brakes and see if the light stays off. be sure and catch as much of the fluid as possible with a rag and rinse with soapy water when your done. Brake fluid tends to eat stuff up.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:56 AM   #4
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you might be able to pull/clear your abs codes (if equiped)
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:35 AM   #5
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while last night it got stranger. I pushed the ebrake to the floor, the brake light got brighter and then the ABS light came on too. I pulled the ebrake release and the brake light went off, but the ABS light stayed on. So then is turned the truck off and restarted it and both lights went away. I went for a drive and within 2 miles the brake light was back on. So when i got home i did the same thing i did before except the brake light stayed on this time. Im really puzzled now.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:39 AM   #6
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Also Im not really shure what your refering to kimcrwbr1 I recently replaced my brake lines and all they do in front is go from the master to the left caliper hose then from there to the left caliper hose, the right one has a in and out line. I think the back ones just go from the master to Rear ABS box to the flexable line that goes to the axle, is the fitting your talking about the one on the top of the axle?
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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if your lines go directly from the master, to the calipers, you've got a massive problem... you should have a proportioning valve between the master and all of the wheels...

did you bleed your lines fully at all 4 wheels after replacing those lines also? that might be your problem...
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:03 PM   #8
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if your lines go directly from the master, to the calipers, you've got a massive problem... you should have a proportioning valve between the master and all of the wheels...

did you bleed your lines fully at all 4 wheels after replacing those lines also? that might be your problem...
MMmmmmmm not so fast. If it's a 1993 Ranger as in his vehicle description, then there is not a proportioning valve (Ford calls it a combination valve) as kimcrwbr1 described. There is a valve that modulates the rear brakes to the front brakes -- it's the RABS II Electro-Hydraulic Valve. One good reason to keep the RABS II system operational -- it's your front/rear proportioning system.

I've verified this in the factory service manual as well as looking under the hood of my truck. No proportioning valve. I am familiar with those valves in other applications though.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:35 PM   #9
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while last night it got stranger. I pushed the ebrake to the floor, the brake light got brighter and then the ABS light came on too. I pulled the ebrake release and the brake light went off, but the ABS light stayed on. So then is turned the truck off and restarted it and both lights went away. I went for a drive and within 2 miles the brake light was back on. So when i got home i did the same thing i did before except the brake light stayed on this time. Im really puzzled now.

It sure seems to me like an electrical problem. The intermittent nature of the problem leads me to say this. My caveat being, that I have not inspected the truck in person, so I cannot say definitively.

Do you have an ohm meter or a multimeter? It would help considerably in troubleshooting this problem. If not, I'd recommend getting one, when you have one it's amazing how many uses you find for them. And they are not that expensive.

The red brake warning light serves 3 funcitons.
1. The parking brake is on
2. The brake fluid is low
3. The brake hydraulic system has failed (on cars with a proportioning valve. On this model Ranger, it seems that when you run low on fluid is soon enough to tell you the brakes have a hydraulic failure)

There are 3 ways the red light turns on:
1. When you are starting the car, the brake comes on with the starter so you can verify the bulb is working. Check this, does the light come on when the key is in the start position?
2. When the parking brake is set.
3. When the fluid is low in the MC.

You checked the brake fluid level, so it's not 3.
You set the parking brake and the light got brighter. I think that's significant in that if there's a short somewhere, it might be a high resistance connection and be letting the light on, but when it has a good ground (parking brake set) more current can flow and the light comes fully on.
Let us know if you are seeing the brake light on when the key is in the start position.

If I was to take a shot in the dark, I'd say look at the bottom of the MC reservoir. There is a gray plastic plug on the passenger side with three wires going into it. Unfortunately, while Ford did a good job making most of the electrical connections under the hood weather resistant, they missed this one. (at least they did on my truck) There is a black wire (goes to ground) a dark green/yellow stripe wire (goes to the diode/resistor network for the brake warning light), and a Tan/light green wire (goes to the RABS control module and the ingnition switch). If either the dark green or the tan wires are shorted to ground it will light the brake warning light. Check these wires to see if one of them is loose or the connection is corroded and the wire has pulled out. If it has, the connecter can be dissassembled pretty easily. I'm going to be checking my Ford dealer tomorrow to see if the plug and pins are available. Will let you know what I find.

The service manual lists the following for a brake warning light on:
1. Brake fluid level low.
2. Wiring between Diode/Resistor network and module is shorted to ground.
3. Worn or damaged RABS II module.
4. Worn or damaged brake fluid level switch.
5. Loss of pressure in brake circuit (Aerostar only).

The last one is because the Aerostar actually does have the proportioning valve kimcrwbr1 mentioned, the Ranger does not. So by extension, if a Ranger looses pressure in a brake circuit, the brake warning light will not come on. Or if it does come on, it will be triggered by a different element.
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