This past week I accomplished my January maintenance schedule, lube, oil and filter and this time I changed my brake fluid. I used NAPA 10W-30 oil, a NAPA 1060 Gold Filter and Valvoline High Temperature grease.
I have recovered what appears to be about 2.5L of brake fluid
Since my son was around to help me with the LOF, I went to WalMart* and bought 4 quarts of Prestone DOT3 Brake Fluid. Departing the Walmart* and going home I recall per Oemy that we needed a turkey baster and I was determined to find one however finding one in the off Holidays wasn't at all possible. I wanted to go to the Dollar store or something like that and buy an inexpensive one and then not feel guilty about throwing it away. Well no such luck. We did take the time to stop at the Auto Zone and pick up a 3ft piece of 1/4" ID black hose.
This is a closeup of the 3rd bottle from L to R of the sediment in the bottom of the container. Even in this dark of fluid you have no trouble making it out.
When we got back to the ranch I looked around for a solution to draw fluid out of the Hydro-Max and I found it sitting right on my shelf in the garage. A while back I obtained a vacuum pump from Blackstone which I was unable to use. The draw tube will not go down the dip stick tube because it's about 1/16th of inch too wide. The tube only goes down so far and it gets hung up on a land or ring inside the tube and goes no further. Using the draw rod and pulling it back, it drew the brake fluid up from the master cylinder and into the sample bottle. It was time consuming but one bottle at a time got the job done. It was very frustrating that the vacuum pump didn't work as advertised for my engine oil but I kept the pump anyway.
This is some what more transparent fluid however the contamination in the bottom of the bottle is prominent.
After filling an entire 2 liter bottle (full dark battle) and beginning another one, the booster was finally vacuumed dry. It was indeed essential to draw all the old fluid out since it would have had to be flushed out of the bleeders and would more than likely have used way much more fluid than the 4 quarts I had.
This is a closeup of the debris that separated out of the fluid.
We began on the left rear and proceeded through a pre-determined pattern to bleed the brakes. I pumped the pedal and Tim was on the bleeder with 7/16" wrench. The black 1/4" ID hose worked very well by the way and Tim was able to observe the fluid entering the bottle. As soon as it was clean flowing we moved on to the next bleeder.
This fluid was recovered toward the end of the brake flush on the rear caliper.
We finished up all 4 bleeders and that was that. Finally "Clean Fluid
" and I am so relieved. Looking at the recovered fluid I can not begin to tell you how disappointed I was in the color and composition of the fluid.
When I had the calipers changed about 18 months ago apparently the fluid replacement was over looked by me. First of all I take full responsibility however that said when a service center changes 4 calipers, a fluid change is mandatory. Make sure when your calipers are changed that the fluid is completely flushed.
I am facing West with the sun directly behind the bottle on the horizon. Note the sun is completely blocked out.
About the fluid - there's a story that can be told by observing the recovered fluid. After I had just recovered the fluid I observed what appeared to be micro particles in the fluid which might have been suspended water globules. Some of the fluid I recovered was too dark to ID the suspended particles. The darkest fluid that was recovered came from the rear calipers and the front calipers. The fluid that was recovered from the Hydro-Max was also very dark in appearance.
Closeup of more debris in the bottom of the recovery bottle.
I let the bottles of recovered fluid sit on the shelf for 4 days or so and all the suspended particles fell to the bottom of the bottles. I can see that this is also the same event that happens to your pistons while the vehicle is sitting for a few weeks. In the pictures you can clearly see the contaminants which have fallen out of suspension and pooled in the bottom of the containers.
In a few of the photos I took. I placed the bottle on a step ladder and shot facing west with the sun being low on the horizon and directly behind the bottle. Let me tell you, some of the fluid I had completely blocked out the sun.
This was a bottle that I shook and photographed facing West toward the sun which is directly behind the bottle.
I have been stating over and again to change your brake fluid, it's important and you need to do it. Well, I just got around to doing it. In the future, I'll be flushing out the old fluid at minimum of every 2 years according to the new recommendation.
Flushing out the system every year would be ideal and not all that expensive. It cost less than $5.00 for a quart of DOT3 and $20.00 out the door. This is very inexpensive insurance for sure and you can fully expect that I have learned my lesson and I will be flushing my fluid more often.
I opened 4 Quarts of fluid. I replaced about 3 qts and a couple of ounces to complete the job. I did spill some fluid however the next time I'll have something more professional that won't let me waste any fluid. I just about completely filled the master cylinder and then I pulled out about 1 to 2 ounces of fluid from each side which brought the fluid down to where it should be. I fully expect that w/o spills I can do this job using 3 Quarts
One can not state how much caution one needs to observe and how clean and contaminant free this process has to be when you're filling the master cylinder. When bleeding, the expansion rubber will come out and needs to be gently pushed back with a clean tool. The next time I do this job, it'll go by a lot quicker.
I still have my Oemy Speed Bleeders
in the packages however when I have the campaign performed on my rig, I don't want to take a chance and loose the Speed Bleeders. Additionally there's a paint on the bleeders that I want to leave in pristine condition so when I install the bleeders on my new calipers there won't be any need to restore the coating.
So that's it from South Carolina -- Thanks for reading!