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Old 15-Dec-2005, 10:30 PM
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what grade brake fluid?

can anyone tell me what the recommended brake fluid grade i can use on my 888? dot 3,4,5 or 5.1? don't know what its currently got, can i mix them up?
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Old 15-Dec-2005, 10:44 PM
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You need to use a minimum of DOT 4.
You can mix them tho. I'd suggest refilling the system with 5.1 while you're getting your hands dirty.
Don't use DOT 5 tho. It's silicon based and the seals in your calipers won't like it.
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Old 16-Dec-2005, 11:02 PM
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thanks nelly. good thing i checked, i thought it was the other way around. i was about to top it up with dot5!
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Old 17-Dec-2005, 06:29 PM
Ducman851 Ducman851 is offline
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Heres my brief brake fluid rant.



DOT3



DOT3 brake fluid is the "conventional" brake fluid used in most vehicles. One of the most familiar brands is "Prestone."

Advantages:


DOT3 fluid is inexpensive, and available at most gas stations, department stores, and any auto parts store.





Disadvantages:



DOT3 will damage natural rubber brake seals and should not be used in any vehicle suspected of having natural rubber seals


DOT3 fluid eats paint!


DOT3 fluid absorbs water very readily. (This is often referred to as being hydroscopic.) As such, once a container of DOT3 has been opened, it should not be stored for periods much longer than a week before use.
Since DOT3 fluid absorbs water, any moisture absorbed by the fluid can encourage corrosion in the brake lines and cylinders.






DOT4



DOT4 brake fluid is the brake fluid suggested for use in late model vehicles.



Advantages:



DOT4 fluid is available at most auto parts stores, and at some (but not all) gas stations or department stores.


DOT4 fluid does not absorb water as readily as DOT3 fluid.


DOT4 fluid has a higher boiling point than DOT3 fluid, making it more suitable for high performance applications where the brake systems are expected to get hot.





Disadvantages:



DOT4 fluid eats paint! Small leaks around the master cylinder will eventually dissolve away the paint on your bodywork in the general vicinity of the leak.


DOT4 fluid is generally about 50% more expensive than DOT3 fluid.


Since DOT4 fluid still absorbs some water, any moisture absorbed by the fluid can encourage corrosion in the brake lines and cylinders.






DOT5



DOT5 brake fluid is also known as "silicone" brake fluid.



Advantages:



DOT5 doesn't eat paint.


DOT5 does not absorb water and may be useful where water absorption is a problem.


DOT5 is compatible with all rubber formulations. (See more on this under disadvantages, below.)




Disadvantages:



DOT5 does NOT mix with DOT3 or DOT4. Most reported problems with DOT5 are probably due to some degree of mixing with other fluid types. The best way to convert to DOT5 is to totally rebuild the hydraulic system.


Reports of DOT5 causing premature failure of rubber brake parts were more common with early DOT5 formulations. This is thought to be due to improper addition of swelling agents and has been fixed in recent formulations.


Since DOT5 does not absorb water, any moisture in the hydraulic system will "puddle" in one place. This can cause localized corrosion in the hydraulics.
Careful bleeding is required to get all of the air out of the system. Small bubbles can form in the fluid that will form large bubbles over time. It may be necessary to do a series of bleeds.


DOT5 is slightly compressible (giving a very slightly soft pedal), and has a lower boiling point than DOT4.


DOT5 is about twice as expensive as DOT4 fluid. It is also difficult to find, generally only available at selected auto parts stores.






DOT5.1



DOT5.1 is a relatively new brake fluid that is causing no end of confusion amongst mechanics. The DOT could avoid a lot of confusion by giving this new fluid a different designation. The 5.1 designation could lead one to believe that it's a modification of silicone-based DOT 5 brake fluid. Calling it 4.1 or 6 might have been more appropriate since it's a glycol-based fluid like the DOT 3 and 4 types, not silicone-based like DOT 5 fluid.



As far as the basic behavior of 5.1 fluids, they are much like "high performance" DOT4 fluids, rather than traditional DOT5 brake fluids.



Advantages:



DOT5.1 provides superior performance over the other brake fluids discussed here. It has a higher boiling point, either dry or wet, than DOT 3 or 4. In fact, its dry boiling point (about 275 degrees C) is almost as high as racing fluid (about 300 degrees C) and 5.1's wet boiling point (about 175 to 200 degrees C) is naturally much higher than racing's (about 145 C).


DOT5.1 is said to be compatible with all rubber formulations.




Disadvantages:



DOT5.1 fluids are non-silicone fluids and will absorb water.


DOT5.1 fluids, like DOT3 & DOT4 will eat paint.


DOT 5.1 fluids are difficult to find for sale, typically at very few auto parts stores, mostly limited to "speed shops."


DOT 5.1 will be more expensive than DOT3 or DOT4, and more difficult to find.






General Recommendations:



If you have a brake system that doesn't leak or show any other signs of failure, but has old seals in it, don't change fluid types as a result of reading this article. If it isn't broken, don't "fix" it -- you may simply break it instead!
Flushing of the brake system every couple years to remove any absorbed or collected water is probably a good idea to prevent corrosion, regardless of the type of brake fluid used.



DOT3 is dangerous to use in vehicles with natural rubber seals., except as a temporary "quick fix to get me home" solution. (If this is used as a "get-me-home" solution, bleed the system as soon as possible, and be prepared to replace all your seals.) DOT3 is an adequate brake fluid for use in later vehicles.




DOT4 fluid, for a slight increase in cost, will give significantly increased resistance to moisture absorption, thus decreasing the likelihood of corrosion compared to DOT3. DOT4 fluid has a higher boiling point than DOT3, making it preferable for high performance uses such as racing, autocross, or excessive use of the brakes in mountainous areas. For even greater braking performance, consider going to DOT5.1 or a high-performance version of DOT4 fluid.


DOT5 is a good choice for the weekend driver. It doesn't absorb water and it doesn't eat paint. One caveat is that because it doesn't absorb water, water that gets in the system will tend to collect at low points. In this scenario, it would actually be promoting corrosion!



When changing from one fluid type to another, as a minimum, bleed all of the old fluid out of the system completely. For best results, all the seals in the system should be replaced.



As always, your experiences may vary.

[Edited on 12-17-2005 by Ducman851]
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  #5  
Old 23-Dec-2005, 03:48 AM
loony888 loony888 is offline
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basically excluding the dot5 silicone stuff, the higher the dot rating the higher the boiling point and the higher the performance. the trade off is the higher the boiling point the more hygroscopic the fluid is, that is, the higher the dot rating the rate of moisture absorption INCREASES.
dot 5 silicone based fluid is a good choice if you are paranoid about paintwork(as i am!)also, it does not absorb moisture, rather, any moisture that contaminates the system will gather seperately and when the system is used the water boils and turns to steam. this gives a very spongy feel and if you don't bleed them regularly (much more than glycol fluids) the water builds up and can cause serious corrosion and your brakes may fail. also, brembo seals don't like silicone fluid much (apparently) but i have had no problems.
if you are contemplating changing you should change all seals, though this is easier said than done, considering how parts are VERY hard to get. at a bare minimum you should drain the glycol fluid completely, refil with meths or similar white spirit, flush repeat, leave open overnight to dry. fill with silicone fluid, flush and refill and bleed.
remember to change often.
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