Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
  • Sponsored Links
wbhick
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Chilliwack, BC
Motorcycle: 1982 Honda Goldwing Aspencade 1100
1999 Honda Goldwing 1500 SE

Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby wbhick » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:42 pm



I was just checking my clutch fluid on my 99 gl1500 se and noted it a bit low. I went to buy DOT 4 fluid which the manual calls for and can only find "synthetic". I'm reluctant to use this unless I am sure it is compatible with what's already in the cylinder. I've looked all over the web and can find very little to help me. It "appears" there is such a thing as non-synthetic DOT 4 but nothing seems to answer whether it is OK to mix with what I've got. I'd be happier if I could find NON-synthetic DOT 4 as I'm guessing that is what's in there now. I also can find some that claim to be DOT 3/4. There is a TON of opinion on this on the web and a serious shortage of facts it seems.

Can anybody give me an answer? I'm heading out on a long ride tomorrow morning for a week and don't want to leave with the level as low as it is.

Thanks to all,

Brian



User avatar
Metal_Bob
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 8:23 pm
Location: Bourbonnais, IL
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500I Interstate

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby Metal_Bob » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:17 pm

regardless what the cover says (mine says the same) I do believe the clutch (left) fluid is NOT brake fluid. I don't remember what the correct fluid is, but don't put brake fluid it in until someone else responds.

User avatar
ct1500
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:09 pm
Location: Glastonbury,CT
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
Contact:

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby ct1500 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:31 pm

DOT 4 is brake fluid and does belong in the hydraulic system of the clutch.

Synthetic labeled brake fluid is a marketing gimmick as all brake fluid IS synthetic.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

wbhick
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Chilliwack, BC
Motorcycle: 1982 Honda Goldwing Aspencade 1100
1999 Honda Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby wbhick » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:13 pm

Thanks so much for your replies. Don't you just get tired of marketing gimmicks? I figured as much but wanted to be sure. I actually looked up the word "synthetic" in the dictionary and basically concluded it had to be as it certainly isn't "naturally occurring."

Thanks again,

Brian

User avatar
Uncle Fester
Posts: 1003
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby Uncle Fester » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:39 am

One warning : Once the bottle is open, DO NOT Transport it in your trunk or saddle bags ! I did, had the lid on TIGHT , the bottle tipped over and I now am looking for a new left side saddle bag. :oops:
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

Image

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:33 pm

Uncle Fester wrote:One warning : Once the bottle is open, DO NOT Transport it in your trunk or saddle bags ! I did, had the lid on TIGHT , the bottle tipped over and I now am looking for a new left side saddle bag. :oops:


Don't let brake fluid get anywhere near your plastic, even just a splash! You might wipe it up quickly, but the plastic will grow brittle and crack. It is also very effective at removing paint.

User avatar
Uncle Fester
Posts: 1003
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby Uncle Fester » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:42 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Uncle Fester wrote:One warning : Once the bottle is open, DO NOT Transport it in your trunk or saddle bags ! I did, had the lid on TIGHT , the bottle tipped over and I now am looking for a new left side saddle bag. :oops:


Don't let brake fluid get anywhere near your plastic, even just a splash! You might wipe it up quickly, but the plastic will grow brittle and crack. It is also very effective at removing paint.


YES YES YES ! My left saddle bag, the floor is chipping away just by hitting a bump in the road now. I was hopeful I could make a fiberglass tray, but it looks like a new bag will be better and cost effective repair, even with cost of having a shop paint it.
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

Image

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:54 pm

Uncle Fester wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:
Uncle Fester wrote:One warning : Once the bottle is open, DO NOT Transport it in your trunk or saddle bags ! I did, had the lid on TIGHT , the bottle tipped over and I now am looking for a new left side saddle bag. :oops:


Don't let brake fluid get anywhere near your plastic, even just a splash! You might wipe it up quickly, but the plastic will grow brittle and crack. It is also very effective at removing paint.


YES YES YES ! My left saddle bag, the floor is chipping away just by hitting a bump in the road now. I was hopeful I could make a fiberglass tray, but it looks like a new bag will be better and cost effective repair, even with cost of having a shop paint it.


You might try cutting out the floor of your saddlebag, leaving a lip of maybe 3/4" to 1", then cutting a piece of ABS plastic to fit the cut out area. Cut it so that it lays on top of the lip, and then bond it in place using ABS solvent/cement. I'd probably use reasonably thick ABS - I don't know what the thickness of the existing ABS is, but something close to that. From there you could start forming the areas to fit the bracketry to mount it to the frame. You wouldn't need to repaint it, and it would be just as strong as the original piece.

User avatar
Dusty Boots
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500Aspencade

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby Dusty Boots » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:51 pm

To the OP

DOT 4 Brake fluid is what you use, from a fresh, unopened container. (good time to flush your clutch and brake system if it hasn't been done in the last two years!!)

DOT 4 is compatible with DOT 3, just has a higher boiling point (good thing)

It is not compatible with DOT 5, which is a Silicone based brake fluid, which is not compatible with any other, lower numbered DOT brake fluid, as it won't mix. Stay away from DOT 5 !!

User avatar
redial
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Brake Fluid - DOT 4 Synthetic / Non-Synthetic

Postby redial » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:49 pm

Not only does it like paint and plastics, but it also likes to take in as much water as it can get. That is why the instructions say "Use from a freshly opened container" because otherwise water has already started to build up through the air (humidity) if nothing else. That is a good reason to replenish your brake and clutch fluids every other year so that you dont get the build up of water in your systems. Water causes rust, and that is what can happen to wheel and master cylinders = big bucks to repair.


Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.


Return to “GL1500 Information & Questions”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: flyinrob, Mh434, Up&Downer and 4 guests