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Hi all -
Now that my Alfa repair confidence is on the upswing, it seems like a good time to change my brake and clutch fluids based on the fact that they look like what Jed Clampett saw when he was 'shootin' at some food'.
I've looked around the site, but can't find specifics on what to use (they're the same fluid, right?)

Any input - technical and/or procedural - would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.:001_smile:
 

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DOT 4 brake fluid (yes the clutch also uses the same stuff).

Use an old turkey baster or syringe to suck out most of the old fluid from the reservoir. Then add new brake fluid, put ~ 12" length of tubing on a bleed screw with the other end in a clean jar, open the bleeder ~ 1/2 a turn and have your trusted assistant press the brake (or clutch) pedal while you watch the old fluid being expelled. Don't let the reservoir run dry - that'll allow air into the system which can be hard to expell. When you see fresh, clean fluid coming out the bleeder, close it (snug but don't break it...) and move to another brake & do it again. It won't take as much fluid to get to the new because you've already flushed the master cylinder & some of the brake lines. Remember - don't let the reservoir run dry!

One caveat - you'll be pushing the brake master cylinder's seals down into untouched areas. It is possible there might be some debris there that can damage the seals. If the system is generally clean with just old fluid needing to be flushed out the risk is slight. After you finish flushing the brake system test it carefully in a safe area. Brakes are high on the 'important they work right' department.
 

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generally recommended to also start with the wheel that is farthest away from the master cylinder and work your way closer. For example, pass rear, driver rear, pass front, driver front in that order (assuming you have a left hand drive car) then do the clutch and slave. ciao, chris
 

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when you drain the reservoirs with a turkey baster, before filling with new fluid, clean out any sediment as best you can with a clean cloth, as you don't want that pulled thru the system.
when bleeding the clutch at the slave, bleed nipple needs to be at 12 o'clock.
 

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Good post, I'm about ready to change my brake fluid soon. Do I want to remove as much fluid from reservoir as possible? Wipe it clean? Refill with clean fluid as I under stand it. Then bleed each? Would i expect some air bubbles, or that only happens if I remove a brake line or something else?

I don't have a lift, so I will jack rear up first, use the two stands I got and do the back ones first. Safe I hope...

I think I have a sticking caliper too, based on wear evidence on rotor. Rear pass-side. Any way to fix it while I'm in there? Cleaner or something easy? Can't seem to find a replacement caliper for this 1990 spider.. May attempt to rebuild it, but May wait til later. idk yet. Thanks for any input or reference links on rebuilding rear brakes. Rotor next mission...

Jeff.
 

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I would also add that having a power brake bleeder makes changing the fluids a one man job.

Here's what I use: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mvp-0090?seid=srese1&gclid=CNfC7M7vorkCFYl_QgodvGEA_A

After you have cleaned out the fluid reservoirs as stated above, you fill the bleeder with extra brake fluid, screw on the bleeder cap to the reservoir (make sure the reservoir has new clean fluid), pressurize the system to 10 lbs and then let the magic happen by draining each line until the clear fluid is seen (and no air bubbles).

Flushing the brake lines takes a bit longer and you need to make sure that you don't run the reservoir dry. Not having to have a helper press the clutch/brake as you flush the lines is a big win in my book.

Cheers!
 

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Ok, I like this. To clarify, if I'm just changing brake fluid, I don't need to press clutch too right? Now the tube from the. Brake bleeder has to go into a clean jar I've read. Does the end of the tube need to be submerged in clean brake fluid for any reason (ie.. Vacuum effect).
 

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Dear Scarab02. Does the cap fit the reservoir of the Alfa 1990 spider. Is it universal or something? Ready to buy. Also see these at IAP for like $20 more. I don't see the cap on the one you posted. :confused1: will I need some other cap fitting or something else? Thanks for reply

Jeff
 

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The cap provided with the pump fits both the brake and clutch master cylinders on my 86 (although I have not tried this on a 90, I can't imagine they would be differen). One of the few good things that manufactures have done is standardize the stupid caps! I originally purchased the pump for my E39 BMW and it works fine.

With the pump you don't need to use the brake or clutch pedal to clear the system - that's what the pump does (pressurize the system).

Regarding your earlier question, you will "fill" the pump with brake fluid before pressurizing the system. There is a small tube at the bottom pump reservoir that will pick up additional fluid as the main reservoir drops. That said: I think it adds more air to the line that it's worth. Keep an eye on you brake or clutch reservoir as you drain each line. My method: drain one brake line until clean fluid flows. Close the bleeder. Check brake/clutch reservoir - check pump pressure. Repeat on next line until finished.

There is no vacuum effect. Connect a clear piece of tubing (can't remember the I.D.) to the bleed nipple and drop the other end of the tube into a catch pan/bottle/whatever.

IMPORTANT: Do no pressurize system above 10- 15 lbs. Too much pressure will damage master pump seals.

Have fun!
 

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Ok, thank you. I think I have all the info to do this now. I'll order the speed bleeder and give it a go... I'll let you know how it goes, maybe post some pictures too.
 
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