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Best brake fluid?

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  • rockne10
    replied
    In addition to silicone fluid finding all possible leaks, it is not hygroscopic. Hygroscopic fluid allows moisture to disperse evenly throughout. Hence, it won't freeze but you need to flush it from time to time.

    Silicone, without hygroscopic properties, should moisture find its way in to the system, it will collect in the low spots. How many years, or decades, would it take to accumulate sufficient moisture to create a frozen "plug" in the line? In New York state, who knows? Hopefully, you should live so long.

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  • Bud
    replied
    I've been using DOT 5 fluid in my Studebakers since the stuff was first sold and have had very good luck with it. It will find leaks faster than DOT 3 or 4, but the life of the metal parts in the brake system is almost infinate. I have had problems with the brake light switch in my Avanti, but the switch in the 62 GT Hawk hasn't failed in 15 years. Get ready for sticker shock if you decide to use DOT 5 fluid. Bud

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  • 53k
    replied
    quote:Originally posted by bams50

    I'm doing a brake job, everything new- all 4 wheel cylinders and dual master conversion, all new lines and hoses. What's the preferred brake fluid for an all-new system?
    I know there are plenty of old threads on this subject, and different opinions. But these things sometimes evolve, so I'm wondering what's the LBS (latest, best science) on the subject.
    What do you say?
    Like Skip, I have had silicone in two of my cars for a LONG time with no brake light switch failures. However, I have had problems with leaks (silicone fluid can find smaller "holes" than DOT3). On one Avanti (since sold), I had trouble with leaks at the fittings on the caliper cylinders and on bleeder valves. On my '53 I have had wheel cylinder leaks. I had all the wheel cylinders sleeved by White Post (in brass) and they recommend against using silicone. I already had silicone in the system so I ignored their recommendation. Also, silicone seems to be harder to bleed (get out all the air). As expensive as it is it is painful to seemingly waste a lot.
    FWIW, I bought a gallon jug of DOT 5 for $25 many years ago and I'm still using from it.




    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Daytona convertible, '53 Commander Starliner, Museum R-4 engine, '62 Gravely Model L, '72 Gravely Model 430

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  • Rerun
    replied
    The DOT-5 eliminates the need to periodically flush the system or to sleeve the cylinders. However, be ready for "sticker shock" as the DOT-5 is typically about $40 for a quart. Well worth it in the long run, though.

    Jim Bradley
    Lewistown PA
    '78 Avanti II

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  • Swifster
    replied
    If you flush your brake fluid at regular intervals, Ford's Heavy Duty brake fluid is great. It is DOT 3, runs about $6 a can (you'll need 2). I've always used this in my race car and never had a problem.

    I flush the fluid in my vehicles at least every 30K or two years, whichever occurs first. I've never run into rust problems, wheel cylinder failures, etc. Clean fluid is the key.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tom - Mulberry, FL

    1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2125.60)

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  • sweetolbob
    replied
    Put my vote in for DOT 5 Silicone. I've used it in all my old cars since the late 70's and have had no switch failures, leaks or gelling of the fluid.

    It's in the SBC powered 39 Ford Standard Coupe, 1961 Austin Healey 3000 and the 54K I currently own. Also used it in others that I've since sold. Spitfire GT6, Fiat 850 coupe, 1972 Ford Bronco.

    Every one had new lines and cylinders installed, I value good brakes.

    By the way, if you spill it, it won't eat the heck out of your paint.

    Bob

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  • fmarshall
    replied
    I use dot 4, flush the system every two years, and have all stainless lines. The next brake job will get brass sleeves in all cylinders, calipers and MC.

    ========================
    63 Avanti R2, 4-Speed, 3.73 TT
    Martinez, CA

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  • bams50
    replied
    Yes, I'm thinking longevity. I have a young guy that's working with me, and he was shocked when I pulled back the boots on the wheel cylinders and a big pile of rust/powdered piston fell out[:0]

    Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
    Parish, central NY 13131





    Leave a comment:


  • Rerun
    replied
    For an "all new" system, I would definitely go with DOT-5 silicone fluid. The standard DOT-3 fluid is hygroscopic and will entrain moisture, leading to rusted and stuck cylinders. This is particularly important for a vehicle that may sit unused for months at a time.

    I used DOT-3 on my first total brake rebuild on my '63 Avanti. Three years later, I had to do it again. The second time, I used the silicone fluid and the system was still fine when I sold the car about 10 years later. Don't worry about the stoplight switch. There are DOT-5 compatible switches readily available.

    Jim Bradley
    Lewistown PA
    '78 Avanti II

    Leave a comment:


  • Skip Lackie
    replied
    I've had silicone brake fluid in a couple of vehicles for more than 30 years with no problems whatsoever. Some people have reported that they've had a higher brake light switch failure rate with silicone, but that has not been my experience.

    Skip Lackie
    Washington DC

    Leave a comment:


  • bams50
    started a topic Best brake fluid?

    Best brake fluid?

    I'm doing a brake job, everything new- all 4 wheel cylinders and dual master conversion, all new lines and hoses. What's the preferred brake fluid for an all-new system?

    I know there are plenty of old threads on this subject, and different opinions. But these things sometimes evolve, so I'm wondering what's the LBS (latest, best science) on the subject.

    What do you say?

    Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
    Parish, central NY 13131





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