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Aluminum Brake/clutch Fluid Reservoir


heist
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Going to be making a run of aluminum brake fluid reservoirs for the E10 (2002's etc). I'm posting this to just gauge interest and get some input on what you want out of a reservoir. 

 

At this point I'm thinking about offering three variations:

 

1. A base model (most affordable), which will be raw and with no electronics (sensor).

2. A polished model (similar to the prototype photos), but finished.

3. And finally a model with a sensor that will plug into the existing (2 prong) low fluid light sensor. It will function the same as the OEM sensor.

 

These are individually made to what you want and I'm aiming to try and get a pre-order going soon for my first batch. Please feel free to ask questions and give me some input, trying to give back to the community with something I always wanted when I got my 02. 

 

 

Here is the first prototype photos to give you an idea of what I'm creating:

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Coupla suggestions based on the prototype's photos:

 

1.  You need to move the clutch hydraulics feed nipple to the same general location (on the side of the bottle, about 2/3 of the way to the bottom) as on the original bottle.  It's there for a reason:  if you have a leaky clutch slave or M/C, it won't drain all the fluid from your brakes--the light will go on first.   

 

2.  You need to make a version without the second (clutch hydraulics) nipple for automatics...

 

3.  Can you make the bottle so that it accepts the original sensor cap?

 

cheers

mike

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Thanks a lot for the input. 

 

1. In the photos the clutch nipple is roughly in the same position as OEM correct? Little higher, but I plan on lowering it slightly now that I have the engagement points for the sensor worked out. I realize it's placed above for the safety aspect and I plan on keeping it in the same position. 

 

2. Perfect! thanks! I will make sure to have some without the clutch nipple for the automatics. 

 

3. Currently I don't have any realistic options to use the original plastic cap sensor (size and design), but it will plug in with the two connectors just like it would on the normal bottle, so you can interchange it without modifying anything. 

 

When I first thought this idea up I figured the people most interested would want a clean look in the engine bay, so I'm trying to stay away from using the OEM plastic parts. Also, the sensor wires will feed out the bottom of the unit so it can be tucked away easily. Thanks again for the input! 

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the stock bottles have two chambers on the bottom.  this so that if one brake circuit has a break in the line and drains, the other circuit will still have some fluid to stop the car.  your design would allow complete drainage if any part of the brake system fails.  i say this after just getting back from the track where a 2002 experienced a caliper bleeder valve failure and the reservoir completely drained...except for the little chamber for the other circuit.

 

also..while the metal is nice, you can't see through it to check level or color of fluid.  nearly all stock and performance brake fluid reservoirs are clear plastic for a reason.

 

just some thoughts.  polished alum would certainly add shiny bits to the eng compt look if that is the goal!

Edited by mlytle
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very nice any ball park cost sir?

I will post up the estimation once I start a pre-sale. I'm trying to keep it at the top two digit (for the base model) and addition cost for polished, sensors, etc. 

 

the stock bottles have two chambers on the bottom.  this so that if one brake circuit has a break in the line and drains, the other circuit will still have some fluid to stop the car.  your design would allow complete drainage if any part of the brake system fails.  i say this after just getting back from the track where a 2002 experienced a caliper bleeder valve failure and the reservoir completely drained...except for the little chamber for the other circuit.

 

also..while the metal is nice, you can't see through it to check level or color of fluid.  nearly all stock and performance brake fluid reservoirs are clear plastic for a reason.

 

just some thoughts.

 

Thanks Mlytle. The two chamber design is something I will take into consideration. In regards to it not being clear, yes it's not clear and they are made clear for a reason. You will have to open the cap to check the level and color. The sensor will let you know if you're getting low, but I'm targeting this more towards the owners who want a clean engine bay and don't want the yellowed plastic container sticking out in the bay. 

 

Thanks for the input. Hopefully I can work some of these points into the final design. 

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love it when people take the time produce interesting bits for these cars!

Should have more items on the way. I love the 02's and want to give people more options.

 

You sir have wonderful timing, when do you anticipate having your pricing? For those who need to have a quick visual check of fluid level perhaps something like this - http://www.mcmaster.com/#fluid-levels/=nf3wlv could be an option. What gauge aluminum are you using?

Some time this upcoming week I hope. I will make sure to announce it on the forums and in this thread. A fluid level can be added if people are interested in this option. I'm using .063" for the time being (weight savings was my initial idea), but the fill cap and barb fittings are heavy duty (thick weld points to ensure they stay in place). If you examine the photos the bottom ones are even welded on both sides to ensure high strength. 

 

Thanks for the interest and input everyone this is quiet helpful!

Edited by heist
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Are you planning on also making an adapter cap available for those who have pressure bleeders. If I ever had a customer car come into the shop for any brake work that needed the system bled I'd have to charge extra to manually bleed it with two people. That and many of us myself included have pressure bleeder setups a at home as well. The cap design on the original bottles is used on a very large number of production cars from VW, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, to Ford, Dodge, to Toyota and so many others. Maybe a bit of research on other racing bottles available would turn up a threaded top that allows the use of the original style cap.... Which brings me to Marshal's point on the two chamber design of the originals as well. I love that guys like you are making things like this and are able to sell them, just that there should be a bit more engineering thought behind the design.

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Currently looking into a one way valve for the cap. At the moment I don't plan on changing the top cap. Maybe if I create another set later on. Here is some recent changes to the design. My internet was down the last few days, but should have some more progress near the end of the week for the pre-orders. 

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Nice work! 

I like to be able to see my fluids at a glance (especially when topping up)... have you considered a sight tube that runs the length of the reservoir? they are available at mcmaster and would look pretty trick in addition to adding functionality. Glad to see you came up with a solution for the split reservoirs. 

 

One bit of criticism... Those welds look fantastic, but the edges being lopsided looks a bit cheap. I understand aluminum is very hard to weld (lord knows I have a burn or two from where some has dripped on me), but you should consider slightly thicker tubing in order to be able to better control the heat and flow to keep the edges more consistant. Either that or grind the edges so they are all flat. Then again, it could just be the lighting in the pictures.

 

I'd be interested in a properly vented catch can for the intake breather if the price is right. 

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Nice work! 

I like to be able to see my fluids at a glance (especially when topping up)... have you considered a sight tube that runs the length of the reservoir? they are available at mcmaster and would look pretty trick in addition to adding functionality. Glad to see you came up with a solution for the split reservoirs. 

 

One bit of criticism... Those welds look fantastic, but the edges being lopsided looks a bit cheap. I understand aluminum is very hard to weld (lord knows I have a burn or two from where some has dripped on me), but you should consider slightly thicker tubing in order to be able to better control the heat and flow to keep the edges more consistant. Either that or grind the edges so they are all flat. Then again, it could just be the lighting in the pictures.

 

I'd be interested in a properly vented catch can for the intake breather if the price is right. 

 

Thank you. Yes the sight tube is an option for the future, but I didn't want to start off with these being very high priced and scare people away. All the add-ons get expensive very quick, the main goal was a sleek looking option for the plastic yellow stained reservoirs. 

 

I know weight savings is a big deal for some owners, so I went with .063, which I may be upping in the future for ease of production. The .063 is very difficult to weld on the seam with tapered edges and get the "dime roll" that is so often associated with a good weld. For the first run I plan on simply grinding it smooth. Thank you for taking the time to point it out. I had a few others comment on it, so the final design will be altered. 

 

Catch cans are something I may be getting into after this. Thanks for the interest! 

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Made the adjustments (lowered clutch fitting, added dual reservoirs split, added new mounting plate)

 

This is how they will look in the "raw" form.

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Due to my car having a completely different brake setup now, I no longer have the oem mounting bracket to test fitment. Is anyone in the Huntington Beach, CA that would be willing to let me do a quick test fit? Thanks in advance!

 

Once I get a test fit and make any changes needed the pre order will be posted.

Edited by heist
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