View Full Version : How would I upgrade brakes to a dual system?

07-06-2006, 08:23 PM
My '63 Lark Standard came with a single-reservoir master cylinder, but I've read that dual-pot systems were available for this year.

What all would I need to update my car to a two-reservoir system? Besides a new master cylinder, of course... and who do you guys recommend for the parts?

Clark in San Diego:

Proud new owner of a '63 Lark!

07-06-2006, 10:44 PM
Check with Jim Turner at Turner Brakes.


Pine Grove Mills, Pa.

07-07-2006, 04:59 AM
Is this a power brake car? If so, then you can use the Mopar master
that the Avanti used. I think that it will actually fit manual also,
if memory serves, we used one on my brothers 64 Lark that way.

As for the lines, its pretty easy, you just split the system front and
rear, and then on the Lark you add a manual spot light switch to the
swinging pedal, the provisions are already there. The Mopar master
doesnt have a hydrualic stoplight switch, but the electical ones are
a better design anyway, one less possible leak point. The lines you
can get from Napa.


"NAPA/United master cylinder 36307 (or Bendix 11515; this unit fits a variety of '71-'75 Mopars, but a specific model to nail it to is a '71 Dodge Polara, 360 ci V-8)"

I had a rebuilt rear wheel cylinder blow out on my Hawk years ago, and
it turned out that the rubber cup had an air bubble in it, luckily I
was able to get the car to stop with minimal damage. I upgraded my
Avanti the next day!!!!! This is a VERY worthwhile upgrade, too many
people neglect the brake systems & they are really the most important
part of your car. If you cant safely stop your car, you shouldnt be
driving it. Good luck with the upgrade!


07-07-2006, 04:18 PM
I think that some are assuming that you have a factory disc brake car. They may not realize that for 1963, besides disc brake cars, all Standard models had single master cylinder brakes where all other '63s had split/dual master cylinder drum brakes. If you have drum brakes, I believe that all that you need are the dual master cylinder from any other model '63 Studebaker drum brake car and perhaps the actuation/push rod. Of course the brake lines have to be separated at the master cylinder for front and rear.

Gary L.
1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

07-07-2006, 10:42 PM
I was assuming that it might be a disc car, but my brothers 64 was a
drum car, though I believe it was a dual master (its been many years).
When we converted it to Stude disc, we upgraded the car to a booster
and the newer Mopar master. The booster we got from a Jeep, it was
identical to Stude (sorry dont remember what year). I didnt realize
that the Standard was that Standard.;)

I remember trying to drive that car without power assist and discs, I
had done that on my Hawk for a couple years with no trouble. The Lark
was impossible to stop, no doubt due to differences in pedal leverage.


07-14-2006, 01:36 AM
One Small Problem I ran into was choice of MC. Jim Turner in his instructions gives you a list that work fine. I optd for a Jeep MC. I had a choice of re-mmanufactured or OEM. The re-manufactured ones have a higher cover profile, and the OEM's had a flat cover. I had to go with the OEM, as the rebuilt would not mount in.

Also instead of drilling a new hole, I suggest cutting a piece of the floor open to allow you to flip the snap shut clamp from above, and it makes it easier to refill as the hole that is in the floor is off center to the two resivoirs. Then take a piece of sheet metal and drill four holes and use sheet matal screws to fasten down.


Proud owner of the Hawk from Hell...... aka as a tow truck queen

07-14-2006, 05:15 PM
Bill - That is fine for a Hawk, but the poster is asking about a '63 Lark which has a firewall mounted master cylinder. The Standard model came with a single brake system and he just needs the parts from most any other '63 Lark or Cruiser to modify his to dual brake system. This assumes that he has drum, not disc brakes on the Standard.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY
1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

07-15-2006, 09:17 PM
Sorry guys, I've been on vacation :)

Gary's right; my Standard is just "that standard" (funny line, Tom!). I've got drums all around, non-power-assist single-pot MC.

If, as Gary says, all I'd need is the dual-system MC and to split the brake lines, that would seem to be a fast and easy solution. In looking at the shop manual, there appears to be no proportioning valve; is it the actuation sequence of the pump that takes care of this, or am I missing it?

So next question: where can I find a new/rebuilt dual MC?

Clark in San Diego:

Proud new owner of a '63 Lark!

07-15-2006, 10:00 PM
I did the same thing with one of my wagons.

There is a union about three feet down the brake line from the fire wall. It's about midway on the drivers door along the inside of the frame. you can disconnect the rear brakes there. The thing's a real bugger to get loose. Use vice grips and be patient.

The line then needs to be disconnected from the union directly below the master cylinder on the frame. Plug this opening.

Then all you have to do is run a line from the forward pot to the mid-union I mentioned earlier.

If you're not afraid of using parts from a junk car, this line can be found. Just clean it out thoroughly. The necessary plug can be got from the same car.

It's a simple change over. I've had both boosted and non. I prefer the non-boosted brakes. Unless I'm towing. That Mopar system sounds like a good idea though.;)

Rotsa ruck!:D

Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith

07-16-2006, 02:02 AM
No proportioning valve should be required. If memory serves Studebaker
sized their wheel cylinders to balance the system.


07-17-2006, 04:21 PM
I was considering disc brakes once for my '64 Lark type but a friend said 'why go to all that trouble when all you really need is a booster'. I took his advise and got the booster/dual master cylinder from an Avanti II. It bolted right on. It's the only thing ever that just bolted right on for me on a Stude without modification of some sort. And now I stop just fine, even with that 650 lb. V8. I really like it. I would advise it for any Stude with hanging pedals.

07-17-2006, 05:29 PM
Well ... to be fair, there is much more to disc brakes then the ease
of stopping. A booster will help you stop once, but get them wet, or
try stopping repeatedly and you will find out why every car since the
70's has front disc brakes. A good working drum brake setup will be
just as good (for the most part) as a comparable sized disc brake one,
but it wont have the resistance to fade that you get from disc. I have
experienced drum brake fade, and its quite scary.[:0]

(heck, I have experienced some 4 wheel disc brake "fade":D[8D], or at
least the anti-lock failure from overheating them)


07-17-2006, 05:38 PM

I can't make up my mind if it would be fun to ride with you or not. You scare me. ;)

07-17-2006, 08:06 PM

Well, let me put it this way, if you think that I am bad, my wife
is that much worse. She warped all 4 rotors on her 95 Z28, also blew
up her transmission (at 135k, I told her to go easy on it!) racing a
BMW at speeds I wont mention. She also blew the head gaskets on her
old 86 IROC racing a Mustang. When I asked her what she was doing
driving the car that fast, when it WASNT running right, she replied,


For the record, I still have the factory rotors on my 93 Camaro Z28,
and thats with 223,000 miles - never been turned, no pulsating pedal.