View Full Version : 54 Hardtop brake upgrade

Tim O
11-23-2006, 06:07 PM
Looking for suggestions on mounting a master-cylinder/booster on the firewall on my 54. The car currently has decent disc/drum set-up. Firewall has been stiffened & has sufficient room for assembly.
I am considering the MPB (Master Power Brake) or Pirate Jack (same unit) universal unit. It includes 1 bore m/c, 7 dia. dual diaphragm booster & adjustable pedal assy .

Does anyone have any idea's or experience with an OEM unit from a different application???


1954 Starliner Hardtop

Dick Steinkamp
11-23-2006, 06:21 PM
I can't help, but I've got to ask...why? There must be some advantage to a hanging brake pedal, but I can't figure out what it is.

The under floor MC (IMHO) makes for the shortest, strongest, most direct, least flexing, pedal to MC linkage. It also keeps the engine compartment clean of all that semi unattractive brake stuff.

I guess the MC is easier to check and fill with a hanging pedal. What else am I missing?

Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

11-23-2006, 07:00 PM
I'm with Dick. Why mess with a good thing?

11-23-2006, 07:29 PM
Even adding fluid wouldn't be a problem if a remote resevoir(sp) (like on disc brake 63'&64' Hawks) were added....real simple addition.;)
Dan Miller

Road Racers turn left AND right.

Tim O
11-24-2006, 10:27 AM
Thanks for your feed back guys.

The original m/c has been removed & replaced with a larger unit(extends up into the passenger compartment)which is mounted to a piece of fabbed steel angle. The pedal assy. has also been re-worked extensively( improper geometry, does not work).
My thinking is to repair this I would have to cut out the angle, replace the m/c & pedal assy and still NOT have power assist brakes.

From what I read on the forum, I am not too impressed with hydro-vac's either-they suck:D

1954 Starliner Hardtop

11-24-2006, 10:33 AM
Jim Turner sells a more elegant dual master cylinder conversion then the home made version on your car. It won't stick into the passenger area.

Arnold Md.
Studebaker On The Net
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11-24-2006, 06:45 PM
That's one thing I'm glad I have on my Daytona; it came originally with a dual master cylinder. ;)


Matthew Burnette
Hazlehurst, Georgia
'59 Scotsman PU
'63 Daytona HT



Dick Steinkamp
11-24-2006, 08:15 PM
I should have recognized your name...but I do recognize that picture :(. I still can't help any with the hanging pedals, but you might evaluate the cost and time of doing that vs bringing your's back to a stock set up so you can still use the underfloor system. My guess is that the later might be easier and better. If you want power brakes, you can use a Midland remote booster or something like this...


You may not need a booster if the system is engineered correctly. Talk to Jim Turner.

Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

Dan White
11-24-2006, 08:47 PM
The discussions on this forum regarding the Hydrovac are typically from those in which the units were not properly maintained. Hydrovacs work fine if they are serviced per the manual. They do not suck if you do what is supposed to be done, as with any brake component!!!!! Hydrovacs were used for many years by many manufacturers, including Mercedes, Ford, Jeep, Chevy, Cadillac, etc. In fact Ford used the Hydrovac on their trucks and certain cars through '79, maybe beyond, including Lincoln! Lamborghini also used the hydrovac units as well. Get a rebuilt unit and make sure you mount it properly and it will work just fine.

Dan White
64 R1 GT
64 R2 GT

Tim O
11-25-2006, 12:47 AM
Thanks guys,
this forum is awsome for getting different perspectives
Dick, you have made a solid argument, for sticking to the oem location.
I will re-consider.[^]

1954 Starliner Hardtop