TECH FAQ SECTIONS > Chassis, brakes and suspension.

brake fluids?

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MikeP:
so i got to thinking about my brakes and what i should use seeing as i live in the northeast (more moisture) and i plan on daily driving the jeep up to 60 mph i was told to use dot 5 however there is also dot 3 and dot 4 and super dot 4 dot 5.1 etc now my current brakes and lines probably had dot 3 in it since it was last registered in 1979 but im sure everything is gone from the lines as the pedal has zero resistance whats your guys input

SteveKfl:
From what I've read, you probably should consider flushing the lines and cylinders out with alcohol to remove any moisture and fluid trapped in the lines.  I have also read one should NOT mix types of fluids in a system.  Each has it own purpose, so research and pick to your "needs", is my best suggestion.  PS, brake lines can deteriote from the inside out, unless exposed to salt, etc.  My lines looked good, pedal was tight, then I found the rear line was solid... no rear brakes!!!  Be careful with the brakes if intending daily traffic at 60MPH!!!

Rus Curtis:
DOT 3 will work just fine.  Maintenance is necessary.

As noted extreme care not to mix is necessary for DOT 5.  There are some advantages.

Cost and maintenance should be the driver.

I personally use DOT 3 as it's easy.  I did let the system sit too long (still working out problems keeping me from driving it and retiring/moving/storage) and I needed to rebuild the rear wheel cylinders (with the mindset the same thing will be smart for the front and m/c).  If I'd have kept up with better maintenance (in this case - flushing)  I don't think I'd have had these issues so soon.

mtnman37879:
I use DOT 5 in everything I own. One example is a 1964 Ford Van. It has been sitting for 12 years. The brakes are working fine. I have a harley, 1968 FLH, in my collections that has been sitting for 19 years in the same spot. It has DOT5 and it's brakes are just like new. DOT5 does not attract water it repels it. DOT5 is silicone based. Silicone and water will not mix. All the others are alcohol based and will attract water and eventually will rust the insides of your brake system. Spend the extra few dollars, it's worth it.

Mark W.:
You should only use DOT 5 fuild if everything in your brake system is virgin. MC all lines and fittings all hoses and wheel cylinders.

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