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1956 Plymouth Savoy Rear u-joint,Trans filter, DOT 3 or DOT 5 Brake fluid

Discussion in 'Other classic cars' started by Dad-Par, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Dad-Par

    Dad-Par Member

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    Good Morning, hope 68RT and 71 Charger-fan avail for this thread. 68RT provided inf for C/V joint behind park/emerg brake drum at rear trans (much appreciated), but I am still unable to find inf regarding u-joint at rear end.
    Other than PowerFlite trans pan gasket, cannot find anything Trans filter. In my 64 Belv 3 speed Torqueflite been using most recent Dexron trans fluid. Both vehicle org inf states Type A (and I remember this years ago and did find off-wall brand still avail), can I assume Dexron for '56 Powerflite?
    And I've always used DOT 3 in past. If I purchase this '56, obviously, will be going thru brake system Had thought 'bout going to DOT 5 Silicon vs DOT 3. Do you have any experience DOT 5?
     
  2. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    U-joints are B&T and repair kits are still available, although the rubber seal is sometimes a bit harder to find. They are far more reliable and sturdy than the newer styles.
     
  3. Dad-Par

    Dad-Par Member

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    Thx again GaryS
     
  4. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, Dexron III is usually recommended for the older transmissions, but Mercon is often used. All of my Mopar transmissions are newer and I use the latest versions of Dexron available without problems.
     
  5. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

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    I don't know about the '50s units, but I've had good luck with Type F in my 727's. I still need to address the u-joints in my '55. They're still readily available from Bernbaum (oldmoparts.com). I thought the front and rear were the same assembly on these cars. The service manual only shows an exploded drawing of one u-joint with no differentiation between front and rear as far as service.
     
  6. Dad-Par

    Dad-Par Member

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    Thx 71Charge_fan for info from Bernbaum. Bytheway I'm really liking that '55 Plaza. You 'Go' Charger!
     
  7. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    Some vehicles back then had ball and trunnion both ends and some had a standard cross style at the rear. You just have to look. In the earlier picture, you will see a spring pushing on the center of the shaft. It was originally designed to center the shaft front and rear. Not needed with a standard rear u joint. It will still be there.
     
  8. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    I know you don't mix silicon and regular fluids. May need different cups. Not sure on that. I would stick with original style fluid.
     
  9. Dad-Par

    Dad-Par Member

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    Will keep that in mind 68RT. Will see if diff cups necessary. Have '39 Ford , hydraulic brake required beginning in 1939, safety improvement, but first year hydraulics for Ford. Needless to say not the best in design, 'juice brakes' not self-adjusting or self-energizing (these '50 series mopars are similar). But this '39 Notorious for air (and moisture) getting into system. MC questionable design. Stainless sleeve the best. I've owned since 1968. Used silicon last time I went thru MC and Wheel Cyls. Cups now soft. Brake fluid did not get all 'gunky', just evaporated. Early Ford Club tend to be purists, so difficult for unbiased opinion. Can't tell you how many times over the years I've either rebuilt/replaced MC and W Cyls. I used standard DOT3 '64 Belv couple years ago when I went thru it, but a daily driver, not unusual to take trip to lake house (125 mi each way). Maybe it's non-use.
     
  10. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Never tried DOT 5 brake fluid, but what I've read its fallen out of use in all applications except Museum show pieces.

    The Silicon is compressible, so you'll get a spongy brake pedal.
    The Silicon doesn't absorb water, which sounds good but in reality its not.

    DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 do absorb water, which sound bad but in reality its good unless you never change the brake fluid.

    Water will get into the brake system, its absorbed right through the rubber hose and seals. Perhaps a museum car in an air conditioned sealed building might not absorb enough moisture to be a problem for the brake fluid. But when water does get into the brakes, DOT 5 doesn't absorb it, so it all collects at the lowest points in the brakes and proceeds to rust out the line from the inside out, meaning one day you'll press the brakes and the pedal will go to the floor. DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 will absorb the water and prevent it from collecting and causing rust in the brake system. Of course if it collects too much water the boiling point will drop lower, that's why its a good idea to change your brake fluid every couple of years.

    DOT 5.1 is NOT silicone, but it has the boiling points and higher as the silicone. Its super expensive, so just not worth it.
    DOT 4 has higher boiling points, but absorbs water faster than DOT 3.
    DOT 3 may have lower boiling points, but absorbs water slower, SO, if the specs call for DOT 3, then DOT 4 is not an upgrade, you're absorbing water in the brake system faster, just to get higher boiling points you'll never need. Stick with DOT 3.
     
    Bearhawke likes this.
  11. Dad-Par

    Dad-Par Member

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    Rick Anderson, Wow! and Wow Again! We've got members really current on 'what's up!' Really and I mean really appreciate the info. I'll stay w/DOT3 if I buy this '56 and DOT3 on the '39, (had already resigned myself next time I'll will be replacing MC and Wheel Cyls bcause boots and cups are soft, more than likely from Silicon last time (it's been at least 10 yrs). Speedway has MC w/stainless sleeve readily avail now for this '39, (flat head roadster/street rod group).
    71Charger_Fan, I will keep that pair of NORS front shocks in mind if I buy that '56. Thx.
     
  12. dlfenner

    dlfenner Member

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    I used DOT 5 silicone fluid in my 1941 Dodge pickup when I completely rebuilt the brake system (and everything else on the truck) . I installed a dual bore master cylinder, with 7" diameter booster under the floorboard, as the pedals are not the hanging type. Anyway, that was in 1994 and I'm still on the road with it, after 33000 miles. Same wheel cylinders, same master, - rebuilt booster as the diaphragm blew out. I suspect it was related to the brake fluid, but may not have been, - anyway, it has worked well. But, if I had to do it over again, I'd stick with the DOT 3; I have not moisture problem or rust as I live in SW USA, and keep truck indoors. Just more recent research supports the move away from it, in drivers.
     
  13. Dad-Par

    Dad-Par Member

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    Thx dlfenner, another vote for DOT3!
     
  14. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind, when the Manufacturer recommends the brake fluid will last the life of the vehicle, they think the life of the vehicle is 100k miles or 8 years. And it was 50k miles or 4 years for the vintage vehicles of the 70's and earlier.

    So while I totally agree with the adage, "Stick by the manufacturer's recommendations", but for brake fluid change (and any fluid they claim lasts the life of the vehicle) I have to disagree.

    While its good for brakes that the fluid absorbs moisture, eventually the fluid will get saturated with moisture. Its more of a case of brake fluid that doesn't absorb moisture cause more problems. And that is what causes the gumming, deposits, etc, too much moisture in the fluid. As well seals break down a bit, I wonder if moisture in the brake fluid contributes to it.

    Anecdotal, but I change my brake fluid (Bleed it till it flushes the color of the new fluid) and I have had almost no hydraulic problems with brakes on all my vehicles that most are pushing 300k miles before I junk them.

    The brake fluid starts getting very dark, or 2-3 years since the last change, I change the brake fluid.

    And the quality of the brake fluid makes a difference. They all may be the base stock Glycol, but there are different additives to achieve the desired characteristics. Cheap brake fluids use the cheap additives that absorb more moisture and break down faster. Quality fluid uses the better and more expensive additives that don't absorb moisture as quickly or break down as quickly either.

    I used to use Castrol GT LMA (LMA=Low Moisture Absorbing) fluid, but its really hard to find now, so I've been using Valvoline Syntec Brake Fluid. Both these fluids rate themselves and claim they are DOT 3 and 4, because they meet and exceed all the specs of DOT 3 and 4. There is lot more than dry and wet boiling point, but simply, these fluids have higher dry boiling points than DOT 4 and higher wet boiling points than DOT 3 and 4 (I forget which has the higher wet point). And they absorb moisture slower than DOT 3. So its really the best of both worlds, except price, but we're talking a couple of dollars more. Plus I've noticed using these fluids, the brake goes years longer before darkening as dark or as quickly as the OEM or cheap brake fluids.

    Yes, don't be fooled by "Synthetic Brake Fluid" advertising, all brake fluid is "Synthetic", so is all anti-freeze (including Organic Acid, the organic means its has carbon and hydrogen in the molecule, not that it comes from a living substance). But all Brake Fluids are NOT equal, some are cheap using the cheap additives, others are quality using quality additives. That is how you get a Castrol GT LMA or Valvoline Syntec that exceeds every spec for DOT 3 and 4 and much higher boiling points and slower moisture absorption.

    In Short;
    I'm sure a quality DOT 3 will be great for your '56 Plymouth. BUT, you should bleed/flush out all the fluid in it now to replace it with brand new DOT 3. Then bleed/flush every 3 years or when the fluid turns very dark, to keep the brakes in tip top shape. Better yet, use something like Castrol GT LMA or Valvoline Syntec Brake fluid, that is higher quality, exceeds the specs and absorbs moisture slower and resists brake down much better than most generic brand 'ol DOT 3 brake fluids on the shelf.
     
  15. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Its occurred to me, I may be getting a bit confusing.
    Silicone fluid is bad because it doesn't absorb moisture.
    DOT 3 is good because it does absorb moisture.
    DOT 4 is not better than DOT 3 because it absorbs moisture faster.
    And some brake fluids are worse than other because they absorb moisture faster.

    So which is it? Yea, ok I can see how that's confusing.

    So, the worst is to get water into the brake system and it isn't absorbed. That is what happens with Silicone fluid. It collects at the lowest point and you have steel brake line with standing water constantly in it, it will rust out a hole in the line.

    Glycol, DOT 3/4 brake fluids absorb moisture, they literally suck moisture out of the humidity in the air. So that's not good to have your brake fluid sucking up moisture like a sponge out of the air.

    But in the case of getting water in the brake system, it has an advantage, the fluid will absorb it and suspend it and keep it from doing any damage.

    So, ideally, you want your brake fluid to absorb some moisture, but not absorb moisture so readily that its sucking moisture out of the air into your brake system.

    Thus you should change your brake fluid if it has absorbed too much moisture. And, a reason why so many people have good things to say about the higher quality fluids that claim (and their claims seem to be true) that they absorb moisture but much slower than most brake fluids.
     
    #15 Rick Anderson, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  16. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    A similar scenario.

    People used to loath Silicates in Anti-Freeze in the 70's, how those silicates used to coagulate and form gunk and blockages, etc....
    Then they saw GM DexCool with no silicates, and how much rust it caused or bad chemical reactions it had.

    Silicates coat the cooling system and protect it, its good to have the "right amount" in the anti-freeze. But the silicates get too old and start to break down, or you have too much, then it cause problems. The answer wasn't to get rid of silicates all together, it was to use the right amount of silicates and change your anti-freeze regularly.

    So silicates in anti-freeze is a double edge sword, they can be good or bad, but like wielding a double edge sword properly, using silicate anti-freeze properly comes out very well for the user.

    The same with brake fluid. People loath brake fluid absorbing moisture and the negative things it caused when the brake fluid became to saturated with moisture. Everyone thought Silicone Brake fluid would be the rage, the old glycols were dead. Now thirty years later, silicone brake fluid still hasn't caught on, and some people report disasters when they got water in their brakes when they were using silicone brake fluid.

    So DOT3/4 brake fluid moisture absorbing ability is a double edge sword, used properly its will come out very well for the user. IMO, despite manufacturer's recommendations, you have any doubt there is too much moisture in your brake fluid, you should change it with fresh brake fluid. And I have used some of the slightly more expensive low moisture absorbing brake fluids, and I have to say in my amateurish way of measuring it seems to add years to the life of the brake fluid before it shows signs that it may be wise to flush it and replace it.
     
  17. Dad-Par

    Dad-Par Member

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    Well, Rick Anderson, Wow once more. I didn't know there was that much variance in quality level of DOT3s. Auto parts stores have name brands and their own house brands, but will definitely look for the above-listed Castro and Valvoline brands. Thx again!
     
  18. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

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    By the 2nd brake fluid change, where you fully flush out every slight remnant of the original fluid, and there is nothing but the Castrol GTLMA or Valvoline Syntec brake fluid in the system. I notice after 3 or 4 years, the brake fluid has barely darkened to more than an amber color. While OEM or generic DOT 3/4 fluid in a year or two is very dark, if NOT black in color.
     
  19. Meester Beeg

    Meester Beeg Active Member

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    If there is water in your brake system it will cause corrosion no matter which type of fluid used.
     

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