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Power Steering and Brake Fluid


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Use DOT 4 brake fluid. With a boiling point of 500° you won't get brake fade. You will need a quart. Synthetic brake fluid will raise the boiling point a few more degrees but it is not recommended to mix it with regular brake fluid. Synthetic is best used on a well flushed brake system.

http://autos.winnipegfreepress.com/news-article/backyard-mechanic/BACKYARD-MECHANIC-Dont-mix-brake-fluids/id-3296/

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I typically burn through about 3 quarts to gallon of power steering fluid getting the system flushed out. I flush it out till the output line is clear fluid.

 

As for brake fluid a quart is barely enough to load a empty system so I typically get at least 2 quarts. Brake system I pull all 4 calipers and disassemble, clean the calipers, inspect all seals, and weather boots while all 4 lines are naturally draining the system out. Then reassemble and bleed out the system. The only reason I do it this way is if you leave it all hooked up and bleed you just force the dirt to the bottom of the calipers and will cause then to bind out later on. Done this mistake once already.

 

As for fluids I normal just use standard power steering fluid (change every 30k miles) and standard DOT 3 brake fluid (change at 30k miles). Remember being that the power steering is a unfiltered system it you choose synthetic you still have to change it at 30k miles. It's not that the fluid broke down but you have to still flush the debris out of the system. so there is nothing to gain from synthetic use in power steering.

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Brake system I pull all 4 calipers and disassemble, clean the calipers, inspect all seals, and weather boots while all 4 lines are naturally draining the system out. Then reassemble and bleed out the system. The only reason I do it this way is if you leave it all hooked up and bleed you just force the dirt to the bottom of the calipers and will cause then to bind out later on. Done this mistake once already.

 

How difficult is it to break down the calipers and clean them up?

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Great video Mike!  That's the one I looked at when rebuilding mine.  Hardest part was getting the piston back in which wasn't that hard at all.  Also, when hooking the brake line back up to the caliper, it IS possible to put the banjo on backwards.... Yeah.  Anyhow, I got Dorman Part# DORMAN D352885 and have had no issues with them, around $10 shipped for both front sets.

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All Dodge Ram pick ups up to 2002 recquire PS fluid. Some choose to run ATF and say there is no difference, but ATF has friction modifiers that can cause leaky seals in certain pumps. I believe the pumps in our trucks may be susceptible to this because Chrysler released a TSB years ago with a list of vehicles that was acceptable to change over from PSF to ATF and our trucks were NOT on that list. It may be ok, but PSF is so cheap and you use so little of it why not just use the specified fluid.

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All Dodge Ram pick ups up to 2002 recquire PS fluid. Some choose to run ATF and say there is no difference, but ATF has friction modifiers that can cause leaky seals in certain pumps. I believe the pumps in our trucks may be susceptible to this because Chrysler released a TSB years ago with a list of vehicles that was acceptable to change over from PSF to ATF and our trucks were NOT on that list. It may be ok, but PSF is so cheap and you use so little of it why not just use the specified fluid.

 

It's 03 and up that is ATF.

 

98.5 to 02 is all power steering fluid.

 

No you can't use ATF in our steering boxes. Ultimately what happens is the ATF will attack the seal and create leaks. I've seen this on the local trucks around here they get in a pinch and use ATF because their Ford uses it. Well like I said typically the steering box start to leaking and seals start to fail.

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