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SLO_Rider

Are All Brake Fluids Created Equal?

19 posts in this topic

It's time to change the brake fluid in my '02 426. Is there a difference between so called "racing" fluids and regular automotive fluid? Does the racing fluid change the braking characteristics or improve stopping power? What are your guy's thoughts...?

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NO, don't use DOT 5. It will mess up the system. DOT4 is best, but you can also use DOT 5.1. But DOT4 is recommended.

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So, is there a difference between say like NAPA brand for $3.99 and Motul Race fluid at $12.00? If the Motul gives better lever feel and stopping power it well worth it, but if it performs the same as the cheep stuff what's the point of spending the extra cash. :thumbsup:

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It's time to change the brake fluid in my '02 426. Is there a difference between so called "racing" fluids and regular automotive fluid? Does the racing fluid change the braking characteristics or improve stopping power? What are your guy's thoughts...?

Going with no expertise but simply experience and what I have recently found out is NO THEY ARE ALL NOT THE SAME

dot4 for is not synthetic

dot 5 is synthetic

dot 5.1 is not synthetic and compatible with dot 4

Now you have boiling point wet & dry

what this means I have no clue, I keep reading it and it just keeps getting more confusing.

All I know is the higher the boiling points the better

I opted for Motul 600 it is a dot 4 boiling point I thank at 567 wet 4xx dry. It just means the fluid can take more abuse and heat then say Belray at a 396/2xx boiling point. BTW I just boiled up Belray in my 426 and it sucks, brakes faded or locked up and ate my new pads.

What I found is you can use a dot 5 silicone fluid in a NEW system by do not MIX dot 4 or dot 5.1 with dot5.

Anyway Thats about all I know :thumbsup:

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So, is there a difference between say like NAPA brand for $3.99 and Motul Race fluid at $12.00? If the Motul gives better lever feel and stopping power it well worth it, but if it performs the same as the cheep stuff what's the point of spending the extra cash. :thumbsup:

Personally, I notice a big difference. I'm not so sure about lever feel, but I notice a huge difference in stopping power. I replaced the fluid in my SIL's Buell and she couldn't believe the difference either.

And, if you're riding agressively, or racing, a lot, change it frequently.

Merf

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i use valvoline synthetic(automotive) good for mixing with or replacing all dot 3 and 4 systems. works great no fade and the lever feels stiffer than before. hey does the feller in the picture shop at mo hotta mo betta? :thumbsup:

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Personally, I notice a big difference. I'm not so sure about lever feel, but I notice a huge difference in stopping power. I replaced the fluid in my SIL's Buell and she couldn't believe the difference either.

And, if you're riding agressively, or racing, a lot, change it frequently.

Merf

Merf, so what type (brand) are you using?

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hey does the feller in the picture shop at mo hotta mo betta? :thumbsup:

That's what happens after a big bowl of my famous chili! :devil:

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[quote

Merf, so what type (brand) are you using?

Motul 5.1 I've tried HiPoint and BelRay and none seem to work as well for me as the Motul.

Merf

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The primary difference with DOT 4 compared with DOT 3 is that 4 has a high silicone base and a higher boil point. DOT 3 can be used in DOT 4 systems, but will boil far sooner and cause loss of stopping abilty as a result. Using DOT 4 in system built for DOT 3 will normally cause poor pedal feel and possible seal damage resulting in brake failure.

DOT 5.x fluids a another step up in heat tolerance, and Mr. Lorenz's reply is correct as far as I know.

I use DOT 4 in both my YZs with no complaints.

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Do not use 5. That is synthetic and the brake systems are not designed for it.

So you have 3, 4 and 5.1 . You can go by all the specs, but the higher the number, the higher the dry boiling point.

What makes a difference from a $3 bottle and a $12 bottle is the brand, but what you should be looking at is the WET boiling point. Many cheap fluids even with 3% moisture absorbed in the fluid, will lose up to 100* off the boiling point.

Keep in mind that many of the best racing fluids are only rated DOT3. The Ford inhouse brand is a very good one. Castrol LMA is a very good one with a great price - what I recommend for the money.

Here is a link if you want some more knowledge:

http://www.shotimes.com/php-bin/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0&sid=59

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Do not use 5. That is synthetic and the brake systems are not designed for it.

So you have 3, 4 and 5.1 . You can go by all the specs, but the higher the number, the higher the dry boiling point.

What makes a difference from a $3 bottle and a $12 bottle is the brand, but what you should be looking at is the WET boiling point. Many cheap fluids even with 3% moisture absorbed in the fluid, will lose up to 100* off the boiling point.

Keep in mind that many of the best racing fluids are only rated DOT3. The Ford inhouse brand is a very good one. Castrol LMA is a very good one with a great price - what I recommend for the money.

Here is a link if you want some more knowledge:

http://www.shotimes.com/php-bin/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0&sid=59

Thanks Matt, that is a great article! I had to do a search on the Castrol SRF fluid, it has both the highest wet and dry boiling points but at $60 per liter :cry: I think I'll pass.

Has anyone had better luck with bleeding the brakes from the bottom, or is it a pretty simple process. Any tips on the actual bleeding process???

SLO

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just so happens that last month's Transworld MX magazine has an article about keeping your brakes in good working order. Right down to tips for extracting old fluid and filling with new clean fluid. [that would be the September issue]

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IGNORE the boiling point that is prominetly printed on the container. Look at the fine print for the wet boiling point. You will find that it is much lower and nearly equal among most brake fluids except for synthetics, which as already stated should not be run in our bikes. As SOON as you open the container you are dealing with the wet boiling number because brake fluids (except for synthetic) are hydrophillic and absorb water. The water is what boils, creating gas bubbles in the line, causing poor brake feel. Use a name brand and change it yearly or more often and save some $. Brake fluid has the amazing ability to absorb moisture even in a closed system. The moisture is also what destroys the components in your braking system. By the way synthetic in a non synthetic system causes seal swelling which has the nasty habit of locking brakes on once they are applied. I have personaly experimented with all types and brands of brake fluids in race cars for several years where we really abuse braking components. So for what it is worth I thought that I would share what I have learned from experience.

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how long does this "swelling" take to happen? i've been running the valvoline syn now for 5 months, no drag on the cylinders :cry: says its good for 3 and 4 systems. :cry:

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I don't know if the valvoline is pure synthetic or not, but I don't think it is. If it has not caused a problem yet it probably won't. In our cars it usually took a week or so before the brakes would start to drag. Then during hot laps it would lock a caliper. Going back to a standard dot four and replacing all the seals in the system fixed it. It always seemed to affect the calipers more than the master cylinder for some reason. :cry:

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i think it does say "blend"on there somewhere so is it the dot 5 pure synthetic that causes the probs? cuz i sure would hate to find out the hard way with the 3 and 4 syn blend! guess its too late now anyhow. anyone else use the valvoline syn? :cry:

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