Monthly Archives: November 2014

  • Q&A With Simon Woolley - Classic Ford Editor

    classic_ford

    Classic Ford Magazine have been to see us at Motorsport-Tools.com HQ to photograph the Escort project car for the upcoming calendar edition. There will also be some features that we contributed to in the magazine early next year. But we thought we'd take advantage of Classic Ford Magazine editor Simon Woolley's while he's here and ask him a few questions for our blog.

    Simon_Classic_ford_magazine

    1). What's currently in your garage?
    Simon - A 1969 Corsair. It's been there a while and will be there for some time to come. It's being restored by my friend, Jon Hill, but neither of us has much time. Or money, for that matter.

    2). What was your first Car?
    Simon - A 1979 Mini 1000. I was well into 'bikes, but my Dad was desperately trying to keep me away from them, so he told me a Mini was like a 'bike on four wheels, and I fell for it. I soon had it in bits.

    3). What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't editor at classic ford?
    Simon - Honestly, I don't know. I've always been deeply obsessed with cars, magazines and writing, so I've been pretty lucky to combine all three for so long.

    3). Out of the cars you've featured in recent years, which did you really want to take home with you?
    Simon - That's like being asked to choose your favorite child. Impossible!

    4). What cars are in your dream garage?
    Simon - Pretty much all the cars I lusted after when I was a kid: Escort RS1700T, Lancia Stratos, Fiat 131 Mirafiori, Opel Manta 400...

    5). Given a big budget and a lot of time, what project would you build?
    Simon - I wouldn't be happy with just one project - I'd fill a unit with five or six cars, twice as many engines, and have them all on the go at the same time.

    6). During your tenor at Classic Ford, what are some of the parts that have come onto the Ford scene that you have found most innovative or exciting?
    Simon - It's the quality that I'm most impressed by. When I first started mucking about with cars, it wasn't great and you were almost expected to have to modify new parts to get them to fit - these days they pretty much all bolt straight on. We're spoilt, really!

    7). Have you ever fancied a go at rallying?
    Simon - I did some co-driving in the late '90s in a Mini Cooper S on the Rally Britannia. It was daunting, particularly around the Caerwent stages, flat out, weaving in and out of railway sleepers that would've pulverized the Mini if we had hit one. I think I decided there and then that the best way to enjoy rallying was as a spectator!

  • Which Brake Fluid?

     

    braking

    I came to work this morning knowing I needed brake fluid. I was going to order some DOT5, simple! The higher the DOT number the better right? Well if you look at this table of DOT brake fluid standards you'd be forgiven for thinking the same:

    Dry boiling point

    Wet boiling point

    DOT 3
    205 °C (401 °F)
    140 °C (284 °F)
    DOT 4
    230 °C (446 °F)
    155 °C (311 °F)
    DOT 5
    260 °C (500 °F)
    180 °C (356 °F)
    DOT 5.1
    260 °C (500 °F)
    180 °C (356 °F)

     

    But the table above doesn't tell you the full story. Let's have a look at another table;

    Dry boiling point

    Wet boiling point

    Viscosity limit

    Primary constituent

    DOT 2
    190 °C (374 °F)
    140 °C (284 °F)
    ?
    Castor oil/alcohol
    DOT 3
    205 °C (401 °F)
    140 °C (284 °F)
    1500 mm2/s
    Glycol Ether
    DOT 4
    230 °C (446 °F)
    155 °C (311 °F)
    1800 mm2/s
    Glycol Ether/Borate Ester
    DOT 5
    260 °C (500 °F)
    180 °C (356 °F)
    900 mm2/s
    Silicone
    DOT 5.1
    260 °C (500 °F)
    180 °C (356 °F)
    900 mm2/s
    Glycol Ether/Borate Ester

     

    As you can see the DOT standards also refer to what the fluid is made out of. The boiling points listed are the minimum required to meet those DOT standards.

    What you need to know is that Glycol-ether is hygroscopic meaning its water absorbing. It will absorb water from the atmosphere as soon as you unscrew the lid off your shiny new brake fluid bottle. The wet boiling point ratings are based on 3.7% water content. I have seen it said that it takes 2 years for fluid to absorb 3% water but this figure increases when under heavy use, motorsport use!

    DOT5 is made of silicone so its hydrophobic, it does not absorb water. However because it doesn't absorb water any water that finds its way into the system will remain as water 'globules", long term this can cause spongy brakes and in some cases corrosion.

    DOT5.1 is recommended for cars with ABS and ESP due to its "constant viscosity under a wide range of temperatures"

    NOTE: You must never mix DOT5 silicone brake fluid with any of the other Glycol based brake fluids.

    brakefluid_blog_holder

     

    Now let's look at some boiling points for some popular high spec brake fluids:

    Brake Fluid

    DOT Rating

    Dry Boiling Point

    Wet Boiling Point

    RRP / Litre

    Castrol SRF

    DOT 4

    310C / 590F

    270C / 518F

    £57.24

    AP Racing 600

    DOT 4

    300C / 572F

    204C / 399F

    £44.98

    Motul RBF 660

    DOT 4

    325C / 617F

    204C / 399F

    N/A

    ATE Super Blue ( or Type 200)

    DOT 4

    280C / 536F

    200C / 292F

    £18.29

    Wilwood 570

    DOT 3

    300C / 573F

    140C / 284F

    £25.70

    AP Racing Formula 5.1

    DOT 5.1

    275C / 527F

    185C / 365F

    £16.20

    Automec DOT 5

    DOT 5

    260C / 500F

    180C / 356F

    £46.50

    AP Racing 551

    DOT 4

    275C / 527F

    150C / 302F

    N/A

     

    Here are the links to the brake fluid available from Motorsport-Tools.com;

    ATE "Super Blue" Type 200 Dot 4 Racing Motorsport Brake Fluid Boiling Point 280C

    AP Racing Formula Dot 5.1 Performance Brake Fluid Boiling Point 269C 500ml

    Castrol React SRF Racing Motorsport Brake Fluid Boiling Point 310C 1LTR

    AP Racing 600 Brake Fluid 500ml Boiling Point 312C

    Wilwood 12Oz 350ml Hi Temp Racing Motorsport Brake Fluid 570F DOT3

    Automec DOT 5 Silicone Brake & Clutch Fluid 1 Litre 1000ml High Performance

    racing_brake_fluid

    Conclusion

    I am by no means an expert on brake fluid, all of the above information was gathered by searching and reading on the internet, forums, product descriptions, chats with brake fluid manufacturers and Wikipedia.

    I did find some interesting discussion on ATE Super Blue (or Type 200) vs Castrol SRF brake fluid. They are both highly rated by motorsport competitors but have very different price points. The advice in choosing was that if you like to change your brake fluid regularly then ATE Super Blue is very cost effective. But it you really don't change your brake fluid often then the Castrol SRF, because of its excellent wet boiling point rating, can also be very cost effective despite its much higher price.

    I think I'll be taking home some ATE Super Blue for my own car as it's such a bargain but I think we'll be topping up the Motorsport-Tools.com Escort project with the Castrol SRF.

    Please feel free to share your experiences and opinions in the comments section below.

     

     

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