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CumminsNut

Best Way to Change Brake Fluid

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Hey Guys I am new to the forum, and I am trying to learn all I can about taking care of my Dodge Ram CTD. I am not really much of a mechanic, but I am trying to expand my horizons with this truck. I was wondering if somebody can tell me the easiest way to change out my brake fluid. I just got this truck, and I really don't know when it was done last. I don't want to get air in the system and have to deal with that. Any recommendations on fluids and change intervals would be great. Thanks!Also I am looking for a hood to replace my damaged one.

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Just dont let it run out of fluid in reservoir, all your doing is letting it drip. Air cant get in as long as it is draining.

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Well I was in the process of building a brake bleed page (Buttom missing)

http://mopar.mopar1973man.com/cummins/general/brakes/brakes.htm

But basically I created a bleeder container to keep the air out of the system. Basically a mayo jar and a piece of vinyl tubing inserted in the lid of the jar to hang down to the bottom of the jar. This keeps the line from sucking air back in the system.

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Yeah that what brake fluid looks like after 30K miles nasty black color.

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This is what fresh fluid looks like after a good change at 30K miles... Use typical DOT 3 Brake fluid and your good to go! ;)

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Thanks for the pics. That looks like a nice easy setup. I am assuming I would need to bleed each wheel to get out all the old fluid? Am I right in thinking I could do this at each wheel and pump the brakes until I get clean fluid at each one? Thanks so much for your help, hope you don't mind my newbie non-mechanic questions :confused:

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Thanks for the pics. That looks like a nice easy setup. I am assuming I would need to bleed each wheel to get out all the old fluid? Am I right in thinking I could do this at each wheel and pump the brakes until I get clean fluid at each one? Thanks so much for your help, hope you don't mind my newbie non-mechanic questions :confused:

Yes... You would have to bleed all 4 wheels to get the system cleaned up. Starting at the rear passenger side, rear driver side, front passenger side and then front driver side in that order. Basically start out with the rear passenger side and pump out nearly all the brake fluid through it. Then re-fill and bleed it till clean the other wheels will go quick after that.

Now there is a problem and short coming to this. This will freshen the the fluid in the system but it does nothing about all the debris that drops in the bottom of every caliper (or wheel cylinder for drums). This debris will remain after the bleeding. So say about every other bleeding (60K miles) you should open up each caliper and wheel cylinder and inspect it for debris, pitting, rusting, piston and seal damage.

Before you start just pull the calipers off and dis-assemble them completely and wash everything in soap and water. Then blow dry with compressed air so metal part won't rust.

Look closely at the seal on the right side and you can see the damage done by debris in the brake fluid.

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Now look at the piston. With the seal out the piston should fall to the bottom of the bore like pictured without pushing. Also pay attention to rub marks or pitting of the cylinders. If not you can slight tune the pistons with a fine grit sandpaper (600) and lightly sand them till the fit by dropping.

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Here with a new seal in place. Mark sure you pre-lube them with fresh brake fluid before assembly.

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I was not aware that air could get in if it where draining. :confused: Thanks for setting me straight :thumbsup

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I was not aware that air could get in if it where draining. :confused: Thanks for setting me straight :thumbsup

JL... Mine is a different setup... You hook up the jar and crack the bleeder screw and pump your brains out. Now your setup you just cracking the bleeder screws and letting it sit there dripping. Now if your to pump the brakes as soon as you let of the pedal the air would suck in a heart beat! It just my setup is quick and dirty method. Yours is just dirty... LOL ;)

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Gravity bleeding will leave 1/2 of the cylinder ( under the outlet port ) not changed.Pumping the pedal will get all of the MC bore.Tipping each caliper upside down and clearing the brake lines and caliper with 10 psi air ( yes use a gauge and regulator) will change all of the fluid but leave the trash.Replacing the rubber parts lets you take the trash out. The sealing surface for brake fluid is the square grove that the square o-ring fits into and the piston, pistons are avail for most. The bellow weather seal to protect the piston is the face that shows rust in the pictures and the grove on the piston. The drain hole on the bellow seal should be to the bottom.I currently advocate changing the MC contents with an oil change, it allows the system contents to mix before the MC contents are changed agin.keydl

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Someone mentioned a need for a hood???.... Try this website for your hood as I just used a random search and found some in your area......... www.car-part.com Hope this helps with that and its too bad your not closer as I have a mint condition hood which came off my 98 Flame Red Sport which I would sell.The cost to ship it would be worth more than the hood going to where you live.......Andy

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Keydl,When you change the master cyl., do you just suck out all the fluid with a pump of some kind? Maybe sort of like a kitchen baster? Then wipe out the junk in the bottom of the res. as moch as possible?Dave

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I don't have that bonus at all... My brake res. cap is small and the res. is large with divider inside... That you just can't even drain the other side in the Res. because of the divider inside...

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Someone mentioned a need for a hood???.... Try this website for your hood as I just used a random search and found some in your area......... http://www.car-part.com Hope this helps with that and its too bad your not closer as I have a mint condition hood which came off my 98 Flame Red Sport which I would sell.The cost to ship it would be worth more than the hood going to where you live.......Andy

Hey Hammer, Thanks for posting that part link. That's a good resource to have. My LF fender is getting rust from the inside. You know those pesky tell-tale bubbles. My truck is fine except that fender. The truck was Ziebarted when new, maybe they missed that inside fender. Or maybe at some point it was replaced & not undercoated like the rest of the truck is! Dave

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A kitchen baster is one of the tools that I use. Plastic tanks usually will remove, spilling the contents into a bag and then either slip back on or alter it to drain.The son's car has a small tube with a float that has a magnet in it and 2 small slits to supply larger chambers. I took it off and washed it with degreaser, rinsed with water, dried with alcohol and blew it out with air. Pulled the sleeve with the float out and cut the slits to fit 1/4 OD tubing that will fit the baster or the vacuum brake bleeder. The first change turned off the brake lightand 6 more ( roughly monthly ) changes left the color a pale amber instead of black at the width of the tank.The used brake fluid makes good paint stripper for most paints, whether you use the pedal to do it, pressure from MC or wheel or vacuum at the wheel. Even gravity drain beats the world out of no exchange, brake hydraulics in the intermountain desert or the high plains often last 20 years where 5 years at sea level is closer to the norm.How ever you do it - ABS brakes need clean dry brake fluid.keydl

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