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  #1  
Old 03-27-2003, 05:11 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 58
450 SL Brake fluid

I am gettting ready to do a brake job on my 75 450SL. It sat for many years with little use. I was told that since it had sat so long that the brake fluid more than likely collected moisture and that is what cause my cylinder to freeze up on one rotor. So it sounds like I should completely change the brake fluid while I have things torn apart. Does anyone know how much fluid it would take to replace what is in there? FastLane sells it by the 3/4 liter or 5 liter. Is one 3/4 liter enough or should I get two of them.
Thanks
Doug
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2003, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 445
what's wrong with generic brake fluid

I own a 1972 450SL with 200k miles, lots of city driving. It's been in our family since 1976 and I've used generic brake fluid (mostly Castrol I believe) for all these miles and years. During this time I have had to replace the master cylinder once, all the rubber break hoses once and rebuilt the rear calipers once. Somehow the front calipers never needed replacing. I do have repair kits for them as I plan to do them on the next front break job. I should tell you though that it's generally not recommended for a backyard mechanic to rebuild a MB caliper.

I've always completely replaced the fluid in the front or back brake system whenever I'm doing a brake pad job since the fluid is so cheap and it takes me little extra time to do it. I don't want the brake lines on my old daily driver rusting through from inside out. Handy to have a turkey baster to pull out the fluid from the reservoir before adding new and bleeding. My Mityvac with the cheap brake bleeder accessory is good for spousal relationship. Somehow she does not enjoy pumping the brakes.

Bottom line: Can someone tell me if I should change over to Frontline's brake fluid as the first post suggested he would? I like the convenience of getting stuff at a local store rather than mail order for consumables like motor oil, ATF and even coolant. I have always used the special MB stuff though for wheel bearings and for lubing my 300D's sun roof (don't use generic grease, lithium or otherwise here!)

back to your question: I recall needing about 2 pints of brake fluid to replace the whole system since you need to bleed (and loose some). Better to get two containers as it's good to have some spare arround. Someone once told me that a bottle of brake fluid that's been opened (seal broken) will contaminate because it is so hygrophilic (absorbs water). I must confess that I did not follow that recommendation and just make sure to cap it tight. If you want the exact brake fluid capacity I can look it up tonight at home in my 450SL shop manual.

Good luck

Last edited by erubin; 03-28-2003 at 01:21 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2003, 08:03 AM
LarryBible
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You won't need 5 liters, but you will need more than 3/4 liter. 1 1/2 liter should be enough. The reason you need so much is that you need to THOROUGHLY flush the system after such a long time.

Once you have everything sorted out, flush your brakes with plenty of fresh fluid annually and your brake hydraulic problems will likely go away virtually forever.

Good luck,
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2003, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 58
450 SL Brake fluid

Thanks for the advise, info, and help.
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2003, 04:27 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 445
Doug,

Now that you know how much you need could you tell me what's so special about this mail order brake fluid. Is it OK to use DOT compliant fluid from the local parts stores?
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2003, 04:42 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 58
450 SL Brake fluid

I honestly have no idea. I am in the middle of NE and there are no MB dealers within 300 miles so I have to order the parts anyway. As FastLane is a sponser of this site, I feel it only right to help them out by ordering from them and giving them what business I can. One gentleman advised me some time ago that the orginal MB parts seemed to work better and last longer than the normal parts store stuff, so I am also going along with that advice (I have never gotten bad advice from this site and everyone is ready and willing to share what they know). I feel I have a car (MB) that most people only wish they could have, and yes it does cost a little more to maintain, but it is worth it so I will use as much orginal MB parts as I can. I realize I got a little long with the reply, but take it for what it is worth. I know there are other good brand names products on the market and they may work just as well.
Thanks
Doug
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2003, 04:58 PM
Steve Gutman's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 492
Any DOT 4 and 800 cc each

Use any DOT4 brake fluid and the manual says to start at the furthest caliper and bleed 800 cc of fluid then go to the next furthest.

I change my fluid every year as recommended in the manual.
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1985 Mercedes 500SL Euro (Gray market)
1995 BMW 520i Euro (Gray market)
1992 BMW 525it Wagon
1994 Honda Del Sol Si
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