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Hey everyone. I'm a new fan and owner of a classic Dodge pickup. I needed a good truck to haul my girl's horse trailer and I think I got One now! Motor runs great, other than that I'll be working my way through her but by but.

First question if I may?
I pulled off the brake fluid reservoir and the front One was empty. I added some non synthetic fluid. I need to bleed the brakes now. Do I have to stick with the old kind of fluids in the brakes, motor, power steering, tranny and transfer cases?
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Synthetic brake fluid dot 5 is fine. I'd same the same for minus the engine. I found on my rebuilt 360 Magnum motor that the much thinner synthetic oil was getting consumed faster than if I just use conventional. Since it was a new motor I broke it in first with conventional oil and then when I switch to the synthetic fortunately I checked the oil a few weeks later and it was significantly lower so apparently it's getting by the ringlands on the Pistons so I just switched back to conventional. I had the same exact problem on the mother-in-law's 02 Accord it was manufactured to use conventional but we were always used to running amsoil so I did a switch and sure enough it was consuming it faster than so we went back to conventional. You got to think that when our trucks were built they were designed around using conventional oil where as all the much newer stuff is designed around using synthetic.
Brian

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Synthetic brake fluid dot 5 is fine. I'd same the same for minus the engine. I found on my rebuilt 360 Magnum motor that the much thinner synthetic oil was getting consumed faster than if I just use conventional. Since it was a new motor I broke it in first with conventional oil and then when I switch to the synthetic fortunately I checked the oil a few weeks later and it was significantly lower so apparently it's getting by the ringlands on the Pistons so I just switched back to conventional. I had the same exact problem on the mother-in-law's 02 Accord it was manufactured to use conventional but we were always used to running amsoil so I did a switch and sure enough it was consuming it faster than so we went back to conventional. You got to think that when our trucks were built they were designed around using conventional oil where as all the much newer stuff is designed around using synthetic.
Brian

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Okay, so motor stick with the older type but everything else is okay to go synthetic? Is it true if I'm going to put synthetic in my brake system that I need to get all the standard fluid out First so they don't mix?
 

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According to Richard Ehrenberg the total guru on Mopar stuff
He has been using synthetic brake fluid for decades and it is mixable. I don't know how well that truck has been maintained but if it's new to you it's probably a good idea to flush everything have all nice fresh fluids in there so that you know you've done your due diligence. If the truck's been sitting for a while and hasn't been on the road then I would definitely be changing the fuel filter checking the plugs etc. I would also do like an engine flush with amsoil or something else. Typically you put it in the crank case and then let it run for 15 minutes and then do your oil change

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Ah, is that a for sure thing? The guy is bought it from had it about a year and only drove it Once every Three Months. Somebody told me I can't put any synthetics in these older rigs?
Generally if you're losing fluid from the rear circuit with a drum system that's where they're going. It's an old wives tale, it's not that you can't put synthetics in old rigs. The problem is if you have any old or brittle enough gaskets that were ok with conventional oil, the synthetic will find it and start to leak, for example LA small block valve cover gaskets, especially if they're old cork.
 

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Yes I agree with you Hemi Lonestar. It basically boils down to clearances within the engine on all levels. All my experience has been on my personal vehicles and I know that there weren't any physical leaks it was being consumed internally and neither vehicles had excessive mileage or internal wear. Easiest thing to do is put some in there and see how it works out. End of the day the engine just needs oil and a pump to push it around.

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Lack of regular use is not good at all for wheel cylinders or calipers. But calipers as on your front brakes are more capable of lasting while the rear wheel cylinders like to leak.

A quick visual check of the backing plates under the truck will soon tell you whether or not that's the problem, but I'd be fairly sure it is. Unless it's the line, I had a rusted out rear brake line on my '75 when I first bought it.
 

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Which indicates leaky rear brake cylinders. Which is why I love discs lol.
I'm 66 years old and do my own work. I have never owned a car or truck with rear discs, and have had maybe 2 or 3 rear wheel cylinders leak in all these years. None were enough of a leak to cause problems before I got to them in normal maintenance. There's nothing wrong with rear drums. They are cheap to maintain, or in the case of my '04 Neon, free to maintain for 168,000 miles so far, but they are due for a refresh soon.
I just recently found a dry rear reservoir on a 70 Plymouth I had stored for 14 years. Pulled it out to sell it. No sign of leaks anywhere in the front in this case. Added fluid and pumped them up enough to put it on the trailer. The new owner has been driving it and hadn't seen the need to bleed them when I last asked him about them, and still no leaks.
I agree she needs to look for leaks, but it could be hoses, or fittings as well as possibly a wheel cylinder, or just a bad cover gasket or bent hold-down on the master cylinder cover and neglected fluid level checks. Always use extra care with the brake system. Valvoline DOT 3&4 synthetic seems to be good and reasonably priced, the best I have used is Castrol GT LMA but I couldn't find it in quarts anymore the last several times I looked. It works in all systems including Girling (British cars) and the LMA means low moisture activity. Brake fluid is an alcohol and attracts moisture so keep it sealed up tight. With the Castrol I had very little or no pitting in the brake systems after many years in service. It's nice to be able to kit the 4 corners and the master rather than buying crappy remans or poor quality new parts. It pays to flush your brake system in high humidity areas between brake jobs.
As far as lubes, the other replies pretty much cover it. Make sure what you use is correct for what you have, Mobil1 is my choice for Synthetic oil. It's all thats been in my Neon and 04 Ram from the first oil change. If the rear is limited slip, don't just put regular lube in there. Let us know if you need to know how to check for limited slip.
 
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