Share:
Notifications
Clear all

Maintenance Questions (RE: coolant & brakes)  

Page 1 / 2
  RSS
Bimmer-Bob
(@bimmer-bob)
Active Member

Hi, I recently purchased a 2003 MR2 Spyder. If you frequent the other forums, you may have seen my posts at SpyderChat and/or the MR2 Roadster Owners Club. Anyway, I recently became aware of this forum, and although I am a little reluctant to begin participating in a third forum, I think I sort of like the vibe here. Seems much smaller, but tighter, and full of long-term owners that undoubtedly know this car inside and out. I recognize many names from the other forums. Maybe I'll migrate my build thread over here, but I thought I'd get my feet wet with a couple of maintenance questions I had.

First, coolant type and replacement interval:

Regarding type, my 2003 owners manual says to use Super Long Life Coolant, which I thought was the pink stuff, and which one source says wasn't even available until 2004(?). However, I see a lot of people say to use the red stuff, which I thought was Long Life Coolant (this is also supported by my 2003 BGB). I guess it's possible that 2000-2003 cars came with red and 2004-2005 cars came with pink. I'm just confused as to how my 2003 manual can refer to a coolant that didn't yet exist (this is a PDF manual, so maybe not accurate?).

As far as interval, my maintenance guide says every 30K miles, which seems extremely short for SLLC. My '14 4Runner uses SLCC and doesn't get its first flush until 100K miles (and I believe every 50K miles thereafter). I guess if I use the LLC coolant, the interval would be shorter, but is it really 30K? Some sources say 60K, so I'm all kinds of confused...

Also, how much should I need? Capacity is 10.4 liters, but I imagine I won't be getting that much out. Would two gallons of premixed be good, or should I get three to be safe?

Second, a quick question about brakes:

The BGB says you need a special service tool to do the rear brakes, and it calls out the following part numbers: 09719-14020 (09719–00020). The second part number, the one in parentheses, is sort of a T-handled driver. The first part number is a kit, consisting of both the T-handled driver, and a C-clamp-type compressor (itself part number 09719-00010 ).

Now, the kit is stupid expensive, but both parts are actually available individually, and the T-handled driver is not super expensive. The fact that it is separately called out in parentheses, and the fact that the diagram in the BGB only appears to show the use of the T-handled tool, makes me think it is the only piece of the kit that is actually required for the job. Can anyone confirm?

 

Quote
Posted : May 23, 2020 4:36 pm
dev liked
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator

Welcome.

 In regards to your questions. 

 Most of these cars came with the Toyota red long life coolant. It is believed that the 2004 and 2005 came with the pink when the transition  over to the organic technology.  These are backwards compatible but I personally would stay with one or the other.  I have nothing  to base this on but I like the red because it is legendary for lasting much longer then the interval since many older Toyota cars and trucks were abused with service intervals and the Toyota red has held up with cooling systems that lasting hundreds of thousands of miles which is what the mechanics swear by. I believe its more millage dependent then age dependent and I had my coolant tested a few years ago and it test good. I would say 50k miles would be ok but I do not know definitively but its what works for I. 

I believe Coolant change using the red will require two jugs with distilled water. 

As far as the service tool I use a cube that is a little hard to use. This might be better.

https://www.amazon.com/Jecr-Brake-Caliper-Piston-Rewind/dp/B076RZGT89/ref=pd_sbs_263_8?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B076RZGT89&pd_rd_r=0e452dd8-3772-4b2d-ad71-0e18be48e297&pd_rd_w=1wMu7&pd_rd_wg=Nw9Yy&pf_rd_p=12b8d3e2-e203-4b23-a8bc-68a7d2806477&pf_rd_r=7F7K29KA812AX0ZTBPWD&psc=1&refRID=7F7K29KA812AX0ZTBPWD

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 23, 2020 4:59 pm
Bimmer-Bob
(@bimmer-bob)
Active Member

Thanks. I was starting to put two and two together regarding the different coolant specifications, and have settled on going with the red LLC. I found it on sale for $15.95/gal, which seems quite good. I also found Toyota 5W-30 oil for $2.79/qt and Toyota DOT 3 brake fluid for $4.96/bottle, which makes it pretty hard to justify the Red Line fluids I usually use.

I've heard about the cube, mostly that it's a giant PITA. What is that tool that you linked to? The Toyota T-handle piston driver is available online for $34.61, which is of course expensive for what it is, but not exactly terrible. Looks super simple to use. But I wouldn't want to pay $163+ for the full kit, if that's what is needed.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 23, 2020 5:21 pm
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator
Posted by: @bimmer-bob

Thanks. I was starting to put two and two together regarding the different coolant specifications, and have settled on going with the red LLC. I found it on sale for $15.95/gal, which seems quite good. I also found Toyota 5W-30 oil for $2.79/qt and Toyota DOT 3 brake fluid for $4.96/bottle, which makes it pretty hard to justify the Red Line fluids I usually use.

I've heard about the cube, mostly that it's a giant PITA. What is that tool that you linked to? The Toyota T-handle piston driver is available online for $34.61, which is of course expensive for what it is, but not exactly terrible. Looks super simple to use. But I wouldn't want to pay $163+ for the full kit, if that's what is needed.

I like the Toyota brake fluid but for motor oil I would go synthetic. My preference based on research would be pennzoil ultra platinum 5w30 which should be fine. I use their 0w-40 SRT oil for my 2ZZ and like it because it has low evaporation losses. 

Here is a better link to the tool. 

Rear brake tool

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 23, 2020 5:49 pm
Bimmer-Bob
(@bimmer-bob)
Active Member

If I go with synthetic, I will probably stick with Red Line 5W-30, since that's what I use in my BMW and I can just stock it by the case in the garage. Might do an oil analysis with Blackstone if I go that route to determine OCI, but I suspect I'll stick with my usual 7.5K/12M (which I guess beats 5K/6M with dino oil, although at $2.79 a quart you could change the oil every 90 days if you wanted, lol).

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 23, 2020 7:03 pm
dev liked
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator
Posted by: @bimmer-bob

If I go with synthetic, I will probably stick with Red Line 5W-30, since that's what I use in my BMW and I can just stock it by the case in the garage. Might do an oil analysis with Blackstone if I go that route to determine OCI, but I suspect I'll stick with my usual 7.5K/12M (which I guess beats 5K/6M with dino oil, although at $2.79 a quart you could change the oil every 90 days if you wanted, lol).

Redline is a good choice. The reason why I suggest synthetic is not for the change interval but more for the cleaning properties of the oil which is very important for any VVT based engine that is sensitive to varnish build up in tight passages especially between the vanes in the actuator. Also one of the things that is known to increase oil consumption especially in the early engines is occlusions in the piston drain holes. Using synthetic in these modern engine design is a must. I’m not against Toyota engine oil as I used to use the highly praised 0w-20 synthetic in my Lexus which has shown some of the best UOA compared to others but I have switched to Pennzoil ultra since people have reported as good of UOA but with better cleaning properties.  

As for transmission fluid  Amsoil GL4 has been a community favorite. It makes shifting nice and I strongly believe it saves the transmission from input and output bearing failure. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 23, 2020 8:03 pm
nocoolname
(@nocoolname)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @bimmer-bob

I've heard about the cube, mostly that it's a giant PITA. What is that tool that you linked to? The Toyota T-handle piston driver is available online for $34.61, which is of course expensive for what it is, but not exactly terrible. Looks super simple to use. But I wouldn't want to pay $163+ for the full kit, if that's what is needed.

Here's my personal experience with the cube.  I used it once.  I figured I would save $20 over buying a caliper service kit at the time.  After using it on the first caliper, I had already exhausted the $20 saved by being frustrated, angry and generally pissed.  But I had finished one side, and I would be damned if I wasn't going to do the other.  I wasn't going to let a little piece of metal get the best of me.  I finished the other side with more frustration and anger than when I started it, but it was finished.  I drowned my sorrows in an extra $20 worth of celebratory beer that evening I'm sure, so overall the money saved was a wash at best.

 

The tool Dev linked is like this kit.  I don't have the exact one I linked but I picked one up years ago at Harbor Freight, they're sold under a bunch of names, pick the color of the case you like and get that one.  It's a life saver on the spyder rear calipers compared to that damn cube.  You can also rent the kits from most auto parts stores too.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 23, 2020 9:29 pm
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator

That’s hilarious. I’m going to retire my cube. I had it at a time when the service tool was very expensive or you rented it from Autozone. Now that it’s cheap from Amazon it’s the way to go. 
The trick with the cube is to hold the caliper between your knees and use the force until it turns. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 23, 2020 9:59 pm
RIA
 RIA
(@ria)
Eminent Member

@dev i've got the tool you linked. Got a kit off amazon for pretty cheap, has all sorts of different heads for different wind back calipers. Very easy to use, just need to practice a little. I found the trick was to not over compress while winding, the compression force will lock up the thread if too much. Once you figure it out winding back the read calipers only takes a few seconds. The cube tools are a pita. 

Also, make sure to release the parking brake and chock any wheels still on the ground.

As for coolant, consider doing yourself a favour and picking up some new pvc tubes for the bleeding procedure. My factory original tubes were dried out, kinked, and crusty.

This post was modified 3 days ago by RIA
ReplyQuote
Posted : May 24, 2020 10:58 am
dev liked
dblotii
(@dblotii)
Trusted Member

I have done some research on coolant, and based on the SAE paper that Prestone published a couple of years ago, their coolant labeled "Corguard" is an excellent substitute for the Toyota coolant.  They even compare it in the paper.

 

Dave

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 24, 2020 11:39 am
dblotii
(@dblotii)
Trusted Member

@dev I think you will find that the main advantages of a good synthetic oil is not the level or quality of the detergents, but the resistance to oxidation and coking on the hottest surfaces inside the engine (like the ring-pack),  along with the better very low and very high temp viscosity behavior.  Overall, a good synthetic is much more stable at high temps than conventional.  Oil circulates throughout an engine, and while most of the wetted surfaces are at or below the coolant temp, certain areas like top of cylinders and pistons and near the exhaust valve guides and ports are much hotter, and this is where the oil "cooks".  A long time ago Mobil 1 had an add where they compared putting their oil and a synthetic in frying pans and showing how much more quickly the conventional oil turned black (due to oxidation).  The most heat-resistant oil should clog up the small oil passages in an old 1zz piston ring groove more slowly than a conventional oil.

 

Dave

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 24, 2020 11:50 am
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator
Posted by: @dblotii

@dev I think you will find that the main advantages of a good synthetic oil is not the level or quality of the detergents, but the resistance to oxidation and coking on the hottest surfaces inside the engine (like the ring-pack),  along with the better very low and very high temp viscosity behavior.  Overall, a good synthetic is much more stable at high temps than conventional.  Oil circulates throughout an engine, and while most of the wetted surfaces are at or below the coolant temp, certain areas like top of cylinders and pistons and near the exhaust valve guides and ports are much hotter, and this is where the oil "cooks".  A long time ago Mobil 1 had an add where they compared putting their oil and a synthetic in frying pans and showing how much more quickly the conventional oil turned black (due to oxidation).  The most heat-resistant oil should clog up the small oil passages in an old 1zz piston ring groove more slowly than a conventional oil.

 

Dave

 I agree. Its not just the detergency but also the quality oil base and higher heat stability to prevent varnish formation. It is also the way the oil has been formulated so the additives and impurities do not become the source of the deposits  from the oil.  The Pennzoil product has shown to not only reduce oil deposit formation, it will also clean up previous deposits better then other synthetic oil according to their literature and advertising.  I would not normally believe the marketing but they have run objective tests against their competitors oil and used that as part of their marketing hook which they can be taken to the FTC  if not true which has happened in the past with competitors filing claims and suing for damages. When I used conventional oil for about 60k in my Honda and then changed to the Pennzoil Platinum (not ultra) which also made these claims but to a lesser extent  I observed the difference when peering under the oil cap  seeing all of the burnt yellowing from the conventional oil melted away.  Marketing is not the best way to judge an oil but I do not believe Shell would purposely make such a bold claim without retribution if it wasn't true.  Also on UOA trends owners have notice that their products seem to show very good result compared to what they were previously using.  In the not to distant future other oil manufactures will play catch up and there will be a new kid in town and although most synthetic oils are sufficient I want the best oil for the money since all of them are competitively priced. 

Pennzoil
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ and Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology are proven to keep pistons cleaner.1 The proof is in the performance. A standard V6 engine ASTM Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30 showed that:
With Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™, pistons were:
· up to 25% cleaner than with Mobil 1
· up to 35% cleaner than with Valvoline® Synpower®
ReplyQuote
Posted : May 24, 2020 1:09 pm
Bimmer-Bob
(@bimmer-bob)
Active Member
Posted by: @dev
I agree. Its not just the detergency but also the quality oil base and higher heat stability to prevent varnish formation. It is also the way the oil has been formulated so the additives and impurities do not become the source of the depots from the oil.  The Pennzoil product has shown to not only reduce oil deposit formation, it will also clean up previous deposits better then other synthetic oil according to their literature and advertising.  I would not normally believe the marketing but they have run objective tests against their competitors oil and used that as part of their marketing hook which they can be taken to the FTC  if not true which has happened in the past with competitors filing claims and suing for damages. When I used conventional oil for about 60k in my Honda and then changed to the Pennzoil Platinum (not ultra) which also made these claims but to a lesser extent  I observed the difference when peering under the oil cap  seeing all of the burnt yellowing from the conventional oil melted away.  Marketing is not the best way to judge an oil but I do not believe Shell would purposely make such a bold claim without retribution if it wasn't true.  Also on UOA trends owners have notice that their products seem to show very good result compared to what they were previously using.  In the not to distant future other oil manufactures will play catch up and there will be a new kid in town and although most synthetic oils are sufficient I want the best oil for the money since all of them are competitively priced. 
Pennzoil
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ and Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology are proven to keep pistons cleaner.1 The proof is in the performance. A standard V6 engine ASTM Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30 showed that:
With Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™, pistons were:
· up to 25% cleaner than with Mobil 1
· up to 35% cleaner than with Valvoline® Synpower®

I think you've persuaded me to give the Pennzoil UP a closer look. It's actually a little cheaper than the Red Line, even before any rebates (which obviously Red Line never offers). I started with the Red Line because the differential builder that I used for my BMW requires their gear oil be used for warranty purposes, and their products are generally very well regarded, at least in the BMW community. I sort of like just getting all of my fluids from one source, but that is not really rational. I do also like supporting a smaller American company rather than a multinational petrochemical conglomerate, but I think all of these oil companies are linked anyway (just checked, Red Line is owned by Phillips 66).

One stupid question that I have that I'm almost too embarrassed to ask, but has ben troubling me for years: How do you guys estimate oil fill with these 5-quart bottles? I always use individual quarts because it's so much easier to eyeball fractions of a quart that way, but it's a PITA dealing with so many bottles (7 for the BMW, I guess it would be just 4 for the MR2). Plus it's just so much more wasteful buying individual bottles, and usually cheaper to buy the greater volume container. But I seriously question my ability to accurately measure a 3.5-3.7 liter fill out of a 5 quart bottle, lol! I know you can just add most of it, and then little by little top up based on dipstick readings, but I've heard the dipsticks on these cars are awful and unreliable. And my stupid BMW doesn't even have a dipstick, lol.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 24, 2020 2:24 pm
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator

Redline makes good oil however its not necessarily the best oil for the money.  Redline is reported to have higher zinc in their formulations but the high zinc levels might not be good for the catalytic converters. Also although it shows good UOA its not necessarily the best in all applications. 

 

The PUP is top dog for now and before this it was the Euro Castrol. Mobil does have one excellent product that they revised which is their Euro 0W-40. 

 Our engines are not hard on oil but what they are sensitive to is varnish build up.    

 With the five quart bottles that have the window I just fill in 3 1/2 quarts and check with the dip stick. I then fill in another half quart and see how much oil is on the dipstick and keep adding until its at the full mark. 

Redline is a car enthusiast favorite for transmission and diff fluid. Amsoil is also and I highly recommend their GL4 for the transmission over Redline MT90. 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 24, 2020 5:26 pm
DesertWanderer
(@desertwanderer)
Estimable Member

@bimmer-bob I just pour off a quart, add the 4 quarts to the car, and check.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 24, 2020 5:50 pm
dev liked
Page 1 / 2
Share: