Brake fluid (for Landcruisers etc)

Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 01:16

Charles Jenkinson

Hi to the wonderful members of this forum.

I am going to be bleeding my brakes in the next couple of days in my faithful '91 Landcruiser 80 series GXL (no ABS) HDJ80R running the 1HD-T motor.

Searching through these forums showed a thread (16763) from 2004 where a member stated that DOT 4 brake fluid could not be used in 100 series Landcruisers because the seals are not compatible, and you risk damaging your master cylinder.

This point was not agreed upon in the forum, and searching the web has not been fruitful for me in this respect. I have purchased Castrol Super DOT 4, which I believe is similar composition to DOT 3, but has better specifications. The literature from Toyota (in many forms) specifies SAE J1703 or FMVSS NO. 116 DOT 3 for my braking system, however my reading suggests that DOT 4 was not as readily available (to the point of superceding DOT 3 in most applications) in 1991, let alone in later model Landcruisers/other 4WDs for that matter.

Has anyone ran DOT 4 brake fluid in either an 80 or 100 Series Landcruiser? Any problems?

I can't think of a logical reason why DOT 4 would be a problem, given it has better performance characteristics, and is not silicone based (like DOT 5), but thought I would defer to your collective wisdom first.

Might be a good article topic, perhaps? I couldn't find an article on brake servicing...

Many thanks,

Charles

_______________________________
Charles Jenkinson
Perth, Western Australia

Gracie "The Grey Ghost"
1991 Toyota Landcruiser GXL (HDJ80R)
4.2L 1HD-T Turbo Diesel
358,864 km and counting!
Charles Jenkinson
Perth, Western Australia
Gracie "The Grey Ghost"
1991 Toyota Landcruiser GXL (HDJ80R)
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AnswerID: 422055   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 06:33

Member - Allan F (Gold Coast) replied:

Hi Charles, If Dot 3 is specified then it is best to use Dot 3. Dot 4 is not a better or updated brake fluid it, it has different additives to be used in the systems it was designed for.
I am a mechanic with 37 years experience and have discussed with with oil company people and yes the different fluids are compatible with different brake system components.
Hope this helps cheers Allan
Working to live not living to work
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AnswerID: 422056   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 06:54

Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) replied:

G'day Charles. I too am a mechanic with similar years in the industry. I use Penerite Dot 4 in all Toyotas but only because Penrite garrantee their product is compatable with the Toyota brake systems. If Castrol will give you the same garrantee then all will be OK but I would seek their assurance first. Regards,Bob.
How True. Courtesy of the Breakwater.Port Maquarie
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AnswerID: 422063   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 07:49

Member - lyndon NT replied:

My Toyota Manual says Dot 3
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still
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AnswerID: 422071   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 08:56

Member - Leigh (Vic) replied:

I reckon a quick call to the local toyota dealer should give you confirmation. The consequences of a wrong choice I believe could be risky and even costly (if you survive the subsequent brake failure). Cheers
Len Beadell
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FollowupID: 692487   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 17:31

Peter Horne [Krakka] posted:

You serious? I wouldn,t ask my local Toyota dealer for the time of day cos they would stuff that up as well, honestly.
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AnswerID: 422085   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 12:31

Glenndini replied:

If it says use DOT3, you can readily obtain DOT 3, there is no benefit from using anything other than DOT 3 and you risk having a brake failure if you don't use DOT 3, why would you choose not to use DOT 3?

Do you put unleaded in your 1HDT?
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AnswerID: 422095   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 13:23

Member - Phil G (SA) replied:

The seals can swell if you use DOT 4. Doesn't happen immediately, so people don't associate the problem with a fluid change.
I buy mine from Toyota - only costs me $10 a bottle - very cheap insurance.
Have you read this article?
2012 VDJ200 Landcruiser
2003 TVan
2008 VW Tiguan TDi
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FollowupID: 692494   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 19:20

Member - Leigh (Vic) posted:

Yep I'm with you Phil. Buy the supplies from the local yota shop, line up the three toyotas and do them once a year in summer. Just so easy and no conflict about what to buy. Cheers Leigh
Len Beadell
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FollowupID: 692519   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 23:14

Charles Jenkinson posted:

Thanks Phil G, this is exactly the reason why I asked the question. That informative article provided the "official" reference to the topic in the thread I referred to.

Really appreciate it!

Charles

_______________________________
Charles Jenkinson
Perth, Western Australia

Gracie "The Grey Ghost"
1991 Toyota Landcruiser GXL (HDJ80R)
4.2L 1HD-T Turbo Diesel
358,864 km and counting!
Charles Jenkinson
Perth, Western Australia
Gracie "The Grey Ghost"
1991 Toyota Landcruiser GXL (HDJ80R)
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AnswerID: 422112   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 17:32

Peter Horne [Krakka] replied:

Yep, I use Dot 3 too, as Phil said, it is easy to buy and you have the correct fluid.
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AnswerID: 422144   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 22:27

mechpete replied:

why don,t you ring the toyota dealership .or the owners handbook
don,t you think they would know
mechpete
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Reply 8 of 11
AnswerID: 422156   Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2010 at 23:24

Charles Jenkinson replied:

Thanks everyone for your replies. I was at the Toyota dealer purchasing oil filter/fuel filter etc today, so picked up some factory genuine DOT 3 at the same time. Will see if the DOT 4 is useful for one of the other vehicles lying around here, or just take it back for a refund.

I rang Castrol, who advised me to use a different product for my Toyota (apparently all Toyotas including sedans use DOT 3 - even current release).

I'm with several members here - I do not trust what the salesperson at Toyota says on face value alone. There is a lot to be said from choosing your solutions from the collective opinions of a group with considerable background and experience.

With these issues, I think that discussion and debate is worthwhile - the manual for the 1HD-T was written two whole decades ago. Many of the specifications/recommendations may have been superceded with better products - ie: asbestos brake pads for one example. Never hurts to check what other people are doing!

Just re-packing wheel bearings today - probably a little overdue. The brake fluid will come in handy when I reconnect the brake lines tomorrow! (After a trip to find a 54mm socket or other appropriate tool for tensioning the pressure and lock nuts...)

Once again, I really appreciate your help! It's great that we have such a constructive forum to sound ideas/questions off.

Charles

_______________________________
Charles Jenkinson
Perth, Western Australia

Gracie "The Grey Ghost"
1991 Toyota Landcruiser GXL (HDJ80R)
4.2L 1HD-T Turbo Diesel
358,864 km and counting!
Charles Jenkinson
Perth, Western Australia
Gracie "The Grey Ghost"
1991 Toyota Landcruiser GXL (HDJ80R)
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Reply 9 of 11
AnswerID: 422162   Submitted: Saturday, Jun 26, 2010 at 08:07

Cruiser 2091 replied:

Quoted from Castrol "Castrol Response Dot 4. Reccommended for use in all cars and light comercial vehicles that require a Dot 3 or Dot 4 product and operate under everyday driving conditions. Suitable for both disc and drum brakes, including modern vehicles fitted with ABS"
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Reply 10 of 11
AnswerID: 422166   Submitted: Saturday, Jun 26, 2010 at 08:31

Member - John B2 (VIC) replied:

Castrol website recommends Dot3

Do a search in their Lube Guide
http://www.datateck.com.au/lube/castr_au/default.asp

VALVOLINE TechTalk PDF
Brake Fluids
If you are working on Toyota’s make sure that
you use the right kind of fluid. Toyota specifies
a DOT 3 brake fluid for use in their brake systems.
Valvoline’s Heavy Duty DOT 3 Brake Fluid is
suitable for use in Toyota’s ABS brake systems
and provides a minimum boiling point of 260°C.
Consider that the standard minimum boiling point
of the Australian/NZ DOT 3 specification is 230°C,
and our Super DOT 3 more than meets the
task. Valvoline Heavy Duty Brake Fluid has
been dyed

Cheers,
John
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Reply 11 of 11
FollowupID: 692621   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 12:27

Cruiser 2091 posted:

Yes John I realise that Dot 3 is recommended.

My reply above which is also quoted from the castrol website is simply saying that Castrol Dot 4 can be used wherever Dot 3 or dot 4 is specified.

I think where problems are encountered is when mineral oils are mixed with synthetics. Obviously in the case of castrol Dot 3 and castrol Dot 4 the two are compatible both with each other and with the seals.

Regards Cruiser.



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FollowupID: 692632   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 27, 2010 at 13:52

Member - John B2 (VIC) posted:

Cruiser,

I was putting forward my findings not having a go at you personally.

You are better off checking what product they actually state
to use.

You would have noticed I put Valvolines warning to use Dot 3

I use Dot3 in my Toyota's

Cheers,
John
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