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  • No Brakes 63 GT Hawk.

    My drum non-powered brakes died. The pedal goes to the floor. Tried to get to the rubber cap under the rug on the drivers side to check for fluid. Whoever did the new interior on this car went and fastened the carpet with no way to get to the underside rubber plug. It's all hard fastened to the floor. Cannot raise the car in my driveway to get to Master Cylinder. Will not cut a hole in the rug. Anyone else have a better idea to check the fluid level before I tow to my local garage and let him do it on a lift. Also, how bad is it to convert to a dual master cylinder in the engine compart instead of under the floorboard ? Thx for any help.

  • #2
    Sooner or later, you'll have to pull up the step plate and roll the carpet aside to get to the master cylinder inspection hole so you can check the fluid. It really can't be done effectively from under the car; it was never intended to be serviced that way.

    Make a provision to check the fluid through the carpet and buy a Turner Brakes dual-piston master cylinder conversion kit that will reside where your original master cylinder resides.

    The under-hood idea sounds great and has been done, but it's a lot of unneccesary work, really. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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    • #3
      You also may be able to mount a remote master cylinder reservoir on the firewall. I've seen it done on some of the local hot rods, very nice set up; I'd like to do it to my '52 eventually.
      Dylan Wills
      Everett, Wa.


      1961 Lark 4 door wagon
      1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
      1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
      1914 Ford Model T

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      • #4
        Let's take a brief moment to examine this reluctance to "cut a hole in the carpet." You are not the only one who has brought this subject up. Some have posted with the fact that floor panels had been installed without an access hole and cover made for the master cylinder. All of my Studebakers have had floor mats placed to protect the carpet. So, what's the big deal about making a neat incision in the carpet for access to the master cylinder? I once had a '62 GT with an OEM carpet in place. Right over the master cylinder was a hole in the carpet and removable cover for access to the master cylinder. Unless you picked up the rubber floor mat...you never saw it.

        Before I would limit my ability to check my brake fluid and take a chance on wrecking my prized car, endanger my life and others...I would rip all the #$%*$&%$ carpet out of all my Studes and burn it. Use a razor cutter, make a neat cut, and get some good floor mats. The peace of mind is worth more than all the expensive carpet you could cram into the car.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          It is possible to jack up one side of the car and remove the master cylinder cap from underneath. You can then check the level with your finger. To add fluid, use a big horse syringe and fill to the top. I don't recommend it, but it can be done.

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          • #6
            Studebaker had a remote reservor for the firewall for the late cars. I have one on my Speedster.
            Klif
            55 Speedster/Street Machine
            63 Avanti R2
            64 Convertible R1

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            • #7
              If you lost all the fluid, it is time to fix the problem. It needs a new or rebuilt mc and most likely wheel cylinders. If the carpet is glued down, I would try some judicious heat from a heat gun and a putty knife to pull it up. You're going to need proper access to bleed the brakes when you're done rebuilding the brake system so you might as well fix it right, even if it means a new, properly installed carpet.

              Comment


              • #8
                I installed a Turner brake M/C kit in my car today, It was easy for me with the body off.
                Turner makes a first rate kit with everything you need included.
                Really makes things easy, And comes with excellent tech support too.

                Dean.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've had three '62 GT's, all of them had a round vulcanised steel plate that covered the m/c inspection hole, I just excepted it. They also had the plate that covered the tranny oil dip stick). I don't think anyone over a period of 30 years ever asked what it was. If it bothers you use the old adage - If you can't hide it, make a feature of it. It's inevitable you will have to either cut or roll back the carpet, either while you are repairing the current problem, or to fit a remote fill point.
                  Matt
                  Brisbane
                  Australia
                  sigpic

                  Visit my Blog: http://www.mattsoilyrag.blogspot.com.au/

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                  • #10
                    agree with mr. clary, and others above: carpet or brakes? hmmm...

                    sharp razor, keep the cloth remnants to patch the area if necessary, while you're there, upgrade the brake system...

                    am i missing something???
                    Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                    '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                    '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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                    • #11
                      I posted this on an earlier, similar thread, but I have had no problem checking and adding fluid to Studebaker under floor MCs from UNDER the car (with the car supported on jack stands). In fact, I have found in many occasions that it is easier to remove the cap to the MC from under the car if it has been put on tightly. You can get a wrench on it from under the car but need an uncommon big socket to remove it from the top.
                      Dick Steinkamp
                      Bellingham, WA

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                      • #12
                        I nominate this one for Thread Of The Year.
                        Last edited by mbstude; 01-07-2012, 09:24 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by geojerry View Post
                          My drum non-powered brakes died. The pedal goes to the floor. Tried to get to the rubber cap under the rug on the drivers side to check for fluid. Whoever did the new interior on this car went and fastened the carpet with no way to get to the underside rubber plug. It's all hard fastened to the floor. Cannot raise the car in my driveway to get to Master Cylinder. Will not cut a hole in the rug. Anyone else have a better idea to check the fluid level before I tow to my local garage and let him do it on a lift. Also, how bad is it to convert to a dual master cylinder in the engine compart instead of under the floorboard ? Thx for any help.
                          Sorry this make no sense. You have no brakes, therefore you have no brake fluid. Why not cut the carpet above the M/C hole slightly smaller than the rubber cover (available at all vendors if you don't have one) which are about 1/2" bigger than the hole in the floor board. Just remove the two screws for the rubber cover, slip it through the cut out portion of carpet, and then put the rubber cover on top of the carpet replace the two screws. If your Hawk is set up with the remote reservoir you will have to remove the rubber cover sooner or later to remove the M/C cover anyway. Maybe it is not the M/C at all, instead it could be a leaky wheel cylinder. I would hate to have to fill the M/C from under the car especially when bleeding the brakes since that reservoir is small to begin with. Sand/dirt will fall in there in no time and screw the entire system up.

                          Cut the carpet....that how they came from the factory anyway.

                          Best of luck

                          Allen
                          1964 GT Hawk
                          PSMCDR 2014
                          Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
                          PSMCDR 2013
                          Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

                          Victoria, Canada

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                          • #14
                            OK, they can be checked from under the car; sheesh.

                            It's not advisable because you can't see into the master cylinder to note any crud in it and it's easier to introduce dirt when working from underneath ('can't clean around it as effectively although, yes, you can clean around the opening from underneath), and it's more difficult to pour fluid into the master cylinder from beside it, rather than above it, and it is certainly more difficult to "see" when the cylinder is full and thus not spill any fluid, and it involves raising the car, requiring additional time, equipment, and some element of risk no matter how safely it's done, and, as I said earlier, it was never intended to be done that way.

                            Nonetheless, despite "all the above," agreed; it is not impossible.

                            Now, in the subject case, the owner will likely need to be doing quite a bit of work with the master cylinder, so it is still advisable to work from above, through the hole in the floor "as advertised." BP
                            Last edited by BobPalma; 01-08-2012, 03:37 AM. Reason: added rasing the car as another reason agin' the underneath check
                            We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                            Ayn Rand:
                            "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                            G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I now own my 3rd 63 GT. All of mine have had disk brakes with the remote firewall mounted reservoir. If you don't want to cut the carpet. It seems to me you could find this type of system and use it with drum brakes.
                              Neil Thornton

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