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  #1  
Old 09-07-2017, 06:56 PM
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Location: Deary, Idaho
Posts: 158
Brake fluid boner... some help with flushing needed

Well, I finally got to installing my new rear calipers my W210. Didn't seem like a bad job at all... fairly straightforward. I did however pull a major boner when I was done and mistakenly followed advice on using DOT 5 fluid. A big bummer as I discovered afterwards when I was googling about trying to evacuate the air from the system. In short, I began bleeding the right rear caliper... got that lovely purple color, then nothing but foam! @$#%!

I now know the error of my ways and would like to know how to properly (if possible) flush the DOT 5 out of the system. At this point, I believe it's only at the rear right caliper (where I began bleeding) and the reservoir.

I've read of some preferring the DOT 5, but still recommend flushing beforehand. I'd like to return to DOT 4 and my thought is to evacuate the reservoir, pull the calipers off, then flush the system with some denatured alcohol. Does anyone have any experience with that? I've read on some other forums that folks have successfully flushed their systems with alcohol (including calipers, etc.,) but they don't give much in the way of specifics.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

-l-

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  #2  
Old 09-07-2017, 07:39 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,644
First of all, the foam isn't the fault of the fluid, it's the way you're bleeding. The reservoir has two chambers, but the rear chamber doesn't fill until the front one it overflowing. So the way you work this is to fill the fluid to the brim and keep it there until you're done bleeding. I've always flush with the engine running so that the booster helps me push. For some reason, folks here torture themselves by trying to push it through without boost.

Dot 5 works fine. The only problem with it is that it isn't always on the shelf in the parts stores, so Dot 4 is more practical on the road. That, and if you mention it here you will be scolded. If you want to get rid of the Dot 5, you can just flush it with a lot of Dot 4.
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2017, 07:41 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 7,515
Pretty much just run regular fluid through the system bleading the RR caliper until the fluid is clear / amber. You can also bleed the others as it is a good idea to refresh the fluid anyway.
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2017, 07:59 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Deary, Idaho
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Thanks much for your replies Mxfrank and 97 SL320. This is my first brake job on a car... most experience has been on motorcycles and this is my daily driver in the winter, so I'm a bit sheepish about getting it right.

MX, So DOT 5 is OK with ABS? I've read some ditties lately that led me to assume it was not which is why I decided to go back to DOT 4. At this point, with all the horror stories (taken with a grain of salt, of course!) I'm leaning on going back to DOT 4 specs.

97', I though of running DOT 4 through until it ran amber, but I saw a video that showed DOT 5 floating on DOT 4... I imagine it would be difficult to get all the DOT 5 out if it's lighter... perhaps not?

Thanks for your help!

-l-
__________________
'84 300d turbodiesel (83K miles)
'96 300d (226K miles)
------------------------------------------------
other fine diesels...
'99 Polaris diesel (Fuji Heavy Industries single)
'01 Diesel Trail gator (Yanmar triple)
'95 John Deere 970 (Yanmar quad)
'11 BMW 335d
'12 VW Jetta TDI

****************************************
'00 BMW K1200LT
'02 BMW R1150RS

'15 BMW R1200GSA

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  #5  
Old 09-07-2017, 09:53 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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If it would float on Dot 4, it would float on alcohol.

I'm not sure about ABS, that would take some research.
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2017, 04:24 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: bristol,tn
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I have heard abs is a pain.I saw some where you have to activate the computer to bleed.

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