When it comes to brake
fluid, bleed the brake system at least once every year. Brake fluid sucks
up moisture from the air, which decreases performance and corrodes brake system
components from the inside out.
If you haven't checked your brake fluid
yet, good fluid should look clear - a light, honey-looking color. Dipping
your fingers in the brake fluid should not produce a slimey fluid - if the brake
fluid is slimey, it's full of water.
If you're looking for just a
consumer-grade fluid and really don't have to worry about any racing, a lot of
folks use the Castrol LMA brake fluid. It is readily available in many
auto parts stores and major department store in the auto parts section.
"LMA" stands for Low Moisture Absorption, so it doesn't absorb water as readily
as other brands. Another popular consumer-grade brake fluid is the
Pennzoil Synthetic brand in the gold plastic bottle. This is a DOT4 brake
fluid that's also relatively inexpensive.
Good, cheap brake fluid can be
bought from any Ford parts counter - yep, you heard me right - FORD. Ford
sells a DOT 3 brake fluid that is labelled "Ford High Performance Brake Fluid";
this used to be called "Ford Heavy Duty Brake Fluid" up until recently, so some
old time racers might recognize the old name. For US$3.00 a pint, it's a
good brake fluid for the price!
On the pricier end of the scale, there are literally dozens of VERY EXPENSIVE
brake fluid brands available. Popular brands are Super ATE (Blue & 200),
Motul, AP (Lockheed), and Castrol SRF. Any one of these racing brake fluids
should be able to handle almost any abuse you throw at it during racing your FC3S.
are rated on their ability to reject moisture. "DOT 3" is currently the
minimum grade acceptable. "DOT 4" is a "higher grade" than DOT 3.
The current top grade for glycol-based brake fluid is "DOT 5.1"; only the top
racing brands of brake fluid actually carry this grade. Do NOT
confuse any of those grades with "DOT 5"; DOT 5 is a special grade for
silicon-based brake fluid. Silicon DOT 5 brake fluid has no place in a
daily driver or race car! Silicon DOT 5 brake fluid is more compressible
than glycol-based brake fluid; this translates to mushy brake pedal feel with
degraded brake performance. Since silicon DOT 5 brake fluid does not
absorb moisture, moisture that does get into the brake system (and it will)
tends to create water bubbles within the brake system. These water bubbles
will quickly corrode the metal brake components from the inside out - moreso
versus glycol-based brake fluid full of moisture/water. Silicon DOT 5
brake fluid was designed for vintage/collector automobiles that see very little
road/driving time. These expensive vehicles need to keep their stock
(brake system) components intact and original as possible due to their
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