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MG TD TF 1500 - Brake fluid

I am working on a '53 TD that has sat for 21 years. I'm going to be going over the brake system soon. How do I determine if the fluid is silicone or regular fluid? The fliud as I look at it in the master cylinder is crystal clear.

Mark Strang

mark, if it removes paint it is not silicon..if the car has been untouched for 21 years...i'm not sure DOT 5 was around then. i just did a google search, but i could not find anything definitive. regards, tom
tom peterson

I put Dot-5 in my TD 25 years ago. Also my 77 Vett at the same time.

Jim B
JA Benjamin

Drain some out of the system into a small glass bottle. Add an equal amount of water then shake. If there's no separation into two distinct liquids within seonds then it's NOT silicon.
Gene Gillam

Thanks Guys,

This should be enough to figure it out.

Mark Strang

I would /think/ that if it's crystal clear after 21 years it's probably not glycol, but Gene's test should tell you.
Rob Edwards

I would not worry about what was in there. 21 year old brake parts probably need at least rebuilding (I would be very leary of 21 year old rubber parts that had been setting dry all that time). If the system was not filled with silicon brake fluid, you are likely to find a good amount of corrosion and potentially some corroded in steel pistons in the wheel cylinders.

You are also going to want to flush out all the lines to assure there are no pinholes from rust.

So clean the lines, replace all rubber and fill with DOT 5 silicon and you should not have to worry about brake issues for a long time I am somewhere around 20 years on my last brake system rebuild.
Bruce Cunha

This thread was discussed between 07/08/2012 and 08/08/2012

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