Dot 3 contamination in brake system

Posted in the Rolls-Royce Forum

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Max Dement

Washington, DC

#1 May 21, 2006
Hello,
I have discovered that dot3 brake fluid has contaminated at least 1/2 of my brake system. The car is at the mechanic now and has been extensively bled. A small pump over the passenger rear axel area has been rebuilt (5 o rings) as it was leaking badly. I know this contamination is very serious and I was wondering if there was something I could use like a gasket reconditioning solution to re-seal the gaskets. Am I crazy or should I just go ahead and spend the $ to fix it? I do think I got it all out but is this really possible. Does anyone know any "tricks" that might save me.
Thanks everybody,
Max Dement
mdement21@msn.com
keith pearson UK

India

#2 Oct 28, 2006
Max Dement wrote:
Hello,
I have discovered that dot3 brake fluid has contaminated at least 1/2 of my brake system. The car is at the mechanic now and has been extensively bled. A small pump over the passenger rear axel area has been rebuilt (5 o rings) as it was leaking badly. I know this contamination is very serious and I was wondering if there was something I could use like a gasket reconditioning solution to re-seal the gaskets. Am I crazy or should I just go ahead and spend the $ to fix it? I do think I got it all out but is this really possible. Does anyone know any "tricks" that might save me.
Thanks everybody,
Max Dement
mdement21@msn.com
are you still there? you didn't say which model it was. If it is the older shadow. it may have a system that according to the manual, uses castrol RR363. Now, this special mixture is Dot 3 based, and anyone who says it can be "contaminated" by dot 3 is an idiot. Only the later ones that use Mineral oil canm be contaminated. On a Shadow, ALL the seals and rings should be renewed on the big service at aroung 95,000 miles.
Jan Forrest

Bradford, UK

#3 Apr 29, 2007
Hail fellows, and well met (as the Bard put it). I've just purchased a 1976 Silver Shadow and I go to collect it on Tuesday March 1st. The hydraulic fluid seems a little low in one of the reservoirs: It's the one that takes only half a litre from 'low' to 'full'- whichever that may be - and it's about half way between the two. Can I assume that it's OK, this once at least, to add a small 250ml bottle of DOT3 fluid to bring it up to the full mark?
A response before 4:00pm GMT (if possible) would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
zarrad makram

Tunisia

#4 May 1, 2007
zarrad makram

Tunisia

#5 May 1, 2007
mrrci voire
www.beautycar.com.tn
Jan Forrest

Bradford, UK

#6 May 3, 2007
While we're talking about the hydraulic/braking system on the Shadow 1 ...
Does anyone know the UK price for a full set of pads and discs for one? I'm more than reasonably certain that my Shadow needs new front discs (a bit of juddering and snatching under heavy braking) and the pads will have to be replaced at the same time. While I'm doing that it would seem prudent to change the rear set as well.
bobby pound ride ny

AOL

#7 May 13, 2007
i have a 67 rolls what other brake fluid can be used besides rr363
Max Dement

Gaithersburg, MD

#8 Jul 17, 2008
God Bless- IT was a FALSE alarm. No leaks, tight as a drum.
Thank you EVERYBODY!
Max
Jan Forrest

Enfield, UK

#9 Aug 12, 2008
bobby pound ride ny wrote:
i have a 67 rolls what other brake fluid can be used besides rr363
As has been mentioned previously: A small amount of DOT3 fluid is OK for one or two top-ups but otherwise you're looking for LHS Red as used in early Citroens (They use the same hydraulic suspension).
Another alternative is to mix DOT3 fluid with 10% pure castor oil. This mix is almost identical to RR363.
DO NOT be tempted to use DOT4 or 5 as these fluids are not miscible with DOT3 and can cause seal failure!
Max Dement

Chantilly, VA

#10 Dec 15, 2008
DEAR EVERYBODY:
It was a FALSE ALARM (Thank GOD)!
I had 2 leaking nitro orbs ad when I replaced 1 and the drippig continued, I jumped to conclusions.
She is running BETTER than ever ad I stuck $3000 in the brakes to re-build ALL the calipers and I put a $300 kit on the fluid res. to make sure this NIGHTMARE does not occur.
THANK EVERYONE for your VERY HELPFUL comments!
:-0 Max
Taleda Young

Chicago, IL

#11 Mar 23, 2009
Hello,
I recently took my car to have my brakes checked because I heard some grinding noise when I hit the brakes. I wanted to prevent a costly brake job involving my rotors. Well, to my surprise I was told that my brake system was contaminated because the master cylinder cap gasket was swellen within the brake master cylinder cap. It was explained to me that I needed to replace my whole brake system (to include 4 rubber brake hoses, 4 calipers, 1 master cylinder, front pads, rear pads, 4 rotors, and a complete brake flush. Now get this, I was told that I had to change all the rubber parts in my brake system because of the contamination. When I asked how could this happen when I take my car for all repairs they suggested that the oil place where I last had work done was responsible for putting oil in my brake reservoir by mistake. I have since gotten two brake inspections and provided the oil repair shop a copy. My question is this, who would be resposible for the contamination since I personally do not touch my car and relied on professionals to do the work they were paid for.
I wish there were some legal recourse for this. As it stands now I am looking at possible $1600.00 for parts and labor. I am not a happy camper.
Jan Forrest

Enfield, UK

#12 Mar 24, 2009
The most probable cause of the contamination is that the sytems were topped up with the wrong type of hydraulic fluid.
Early cars' systems need to be filled with "RR363" or "LHS Red", both of which are vegetable oil based fluids.
Later cars require "LHM Green" mineral oil based fluid.
In each case all the 'rubber' components are designed specifically for use with the relevent fluid and will quickly degrade in contact with the incorrect fluid.
If the contamination was caused by the so-called 'professionals' then there should be a record of what was used for topping up purposes (possibly on a detailed invoice under "Materials Used" or similar). With this record you should be able to sue them for the damage they caused!
If the braking system has been contaminated then it is likely that the hydraulic suspension has also been contaminated and will need flushing and refilling with the correct fluid ASAP to prevent deterioration of the many seals involved.
Larry

Sea Cliff, NY

#13 Jun 23, 2009
Information about brake pads, and availability can also be found here:

http://mutley.hypermart.net/RollsSubstitutePa...
rdunn

Colorado Springs, CO

#14 Jul 12, 2009
my breaking system is contaminated with power steering fluid. it has affected my breaking, will do any good to flush the system or should i just go ahead and replace every rubber part.
Jan Forrest

Enfield, UK

#15 Jul 12, 2009
Flush with 100% DOT3 and pray - hard!
If you have to replace all the seals in the brakes it won't be cheap. If you have to do the same for the suspension it will be horrendously expensive: In the order of $$several 100's$$
Who put the fluid in the reservoir?
Jan Forrest

Enfield, UK

#16 Jul 13, 2009
My mistake! I forgot to ask which precise model of Shadow you have. If it's a Series 1 or an early Series 2 it will require RR363/LHS red for all the hydraulics for day-to-day driving. Only the later Series 2's require LHM green in them.
If the latter then just flushing with LHM green may (no guarantees) cure the problem with little or no damage to the seals.
The use of mineral oil (LHM green) in RR363/LHS red (a vegetable-based fluid) cars will cause all the seals and flexible hoses to rot from the inside with the obvious results!
Depending on how long the contaminant has been in there you may just get away with flushing it out as follows:
Drain the reservoirs by removing the lid and (if fitted) the mesh in the top; syphon all the fluid into an empty container and dispose of safely; replace the mesh and lid and fill with DOT3 or 4 brake fluid; starting at the rear, flush the brake systems (engine running and wheels securely chocked!!!) one at a time while topping up with more DOT fluid until you see a colour change in the fluid being pumped out then move on to the next brake system; now you can do the same for the self-levelling hydraulics.
If the system returns to normal with no obvious braking problems over the next 500-600 miles/1000 kilometers then you can consider replacing the DOT fluid with RR363 or LHS red. It doesn't matter which as they are essentially the same thing and only the price may change dependent on what is being charged by your local supplier(s).
Good luck.
Mantis

Saint Louis, MO

#17 Aug 28, 2009
Where can I buy the cork gasket for the brake reservoir (72 shadow) and the mesh outlet filter. I'm in the US. Thanks
Rolls Royce brake parts

Liberty, TX

#18 Jun 5, 2010
We stock just about everything for Silver Shadow and Silver Spur brake systems and are located in Houston Texas.

www.britishcarpartscompany.com

Scotty
Rolls Royce parts

Liberty, TX

#19 Jun 5, 2010
Opps, our web address is www.britishcarpartsco.com
We supply all manner of Rolls Royce and Bentley parts for cars built from 1955-2010.
Scotty
Marty

Portland, OR

#20 Jul 25, 2011
I have 79 rolls Royce when I start the car the wheels didn't turn as if the the brakes have stuck

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