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Morgan +4 Forum

What is the correct brake fluid for Morgan +4 manufactured 1962/3 ?

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SJM1 Jan Morgan
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA   USA
I usually just walk mine over to the trough, and let him drink... But he doesn't always want to.

Most Morgans are not driven regularly, as are most collector cars. Most, I imagine, are kept in closed garages, some with climate control. This greatly reduces the amount of water that can be absorbed into the brake fluid, but doesn't eliminate the problem.

We get into our cars, press the brake pedal and the car stops. The pedal feels firm, and the brakes work reliably. So? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
"After all, I don't want to make my wife (friend, neighbor, buddy, girlfriend, dog) have to sit there and pump the pedal for me to flush the brakes... It's a PITA, and the brakes work fine..."." Maybe next time I rotate the tires". When was the last time you rotated tires?

My guess is that none of us have had the brakes go off during a normal drive as a result of bad fluid. Most of us don't hammer the brakes or any other part of the Morgan (except maybe the knock-offs). Overheating of the brakes, or boiling of the brake fluid would be a rare occurrence. Hell, getting the brake fluid warm would be a rare occurrence.
For some rarely driven cars, a stuck brake is a definite possibility. I would be very cautious with a car that has not been driven for a couple of years or more, especially if the service history is not known. My Morgan had a recent replacement upgrade to a tandem master cylinder, so I know when, approximately, the brake fluid was flushed and replaced. It will be due for a flush late this year, or sooner. 'Depends on how the next brake inspection pans out.
Pump those brakes before backing out of the garage to ensure that you have braking. Sometimes, when you back the thing out after a couple of years of non use, you may find that you have no brakes at all.

I flush my systems every 2 to 5 years, depending on what brake service I have been doing. If I replaced the wheel cylinders on the Lotus, I won't be doing the fluid flush for a couple of years or so. I am also doing regular bleeding prior to speed events, mainly because it is pretty easy with the equipment I have in my garage.

So far, my luck has been pretty good, with most of my master cylinders lasting more than three decades (or more), and my brake systems staying rust free, with a solid pedal. This covers everything from my near 30 year old Mercedes, to my 56 year old Lotus continuation and the French car that ran for more than 34 years without replacement of the brake master cylinder.

We tend to defer a lot of maintenance on our collector cars, and this is often problematic when bits that we depend on, such as clutch slave cylinders, go bad, or we have a flat battery, or a bad running engine due to a poor mix of water to fuel in the tank. Usually, only when there is a problem, does a solution become necessary. That's why most collector car owners have a Battery Tender, and why I have a Battery Tender, large charger/starting unit, fluid extractor for oil changes, spare brake and clutch master cylinders, wheel cylinders on the shelf, and a one man pressure bleeder.

The way that we lead our fellow Morganistas to better maintenance is to simply post articles like this one, and to show ways to accomplish the required maintenance with reduced difficulty.

And, my guess is that most of the cars are being cared for properly. Anyone with extensive British sports car experience knows about rusted or leaking rear brake cylinders, sticky master cylinders and other problems with these old design parts. Many owners have had White Post put a stainless sleeve in the master cylinder, or they have learned to service the brakes regularly, or they are replacing brake parts regularly, and are, by necessity, flushing and replacing the brake fluid every 2 to 5 years. Also, we keep our cars in secure, dry storage. This, along with regular enjoyment of our lovely machines on the road is the best maintenance.

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galja2 james g
marseiles, IL, USA   USA
1970 MG MGB
I wholebheartly agree with those comments except I think the 5.1 and Castrol lma are not so toxic to paint which is one reason why i use them.

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