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59 Silver Hawk power brake information sought by non-mechanical type

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  • Brakes: 59 Silver Hawk power brake information sought by non-mechanical type

    Hi Everyone.

    As the title of this thread suggests, I am a novice when it comes to mechanical aspects of our beautiful rides. So I am here to ask some for some help with the brake system used in the 1959 Silver Hawk I own, but have not put on the road, as the power brakes do bot seem to be working.


    CURRENT STATUS
    I do have basic brakes, but they are very "stiff" and do not offer the quick stop one would expect.
    They are not "spongy" and need to be pumped, but rather, are "stiff", if that helps explain the concern.
    I've attached photos of what I believe is the brake booster...


    QUESTIONS/CONCERNS
    I have been told that mine is a Bendix, but of course I don't know if that is right and would love anyone who knows to give me a low-down on the system and what the problem here could be.

    Is it correct that it is likely that the booster is the cause of the problem and that it needs to be taken out, sent somewhere (any suggestions?) to be rebuilt, then re-installed?

    I have heard that people sometimes take these out and use newer boosters for more reliability? If so I would not mind doing this to avoid the delay on the rebuild, keeping the original part should a future owner wish to keep it stock.


    THANKS
    If anyone has some suggestions for someone who is not a gearhead, and who is out in the country without access to mechanics well versed in our older rides, I would REALLY APPRECIATE IT.



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  • #2
    Yes, this a Bendix Hydrovac. I suggest you start by the simplest thing. They need to be lubricated once a year with neatsfoot oil. If you never did it. It's time to.
    The engine must be stopped and the brakes relased.
    As always, the shopmanual is your friend there.
    Best of luck and nice day to all.
    Attached Files
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Studebaker International has new boosters, or contact Booster Dewey for a rebuild, or bypass the unit and enjoy that Beautiful Hawk.Wife's 57 Silver Hawk has manual brakes and does just fine stopping. Luck Doofus

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      • #4
        Best thing is to lose that stupid Bendix booster. They don't work and they are dangerous. If you change to manual be sure to change the pedal and linkage!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
          Best thing is to lose that stupid Bendix booster. They don't work and they are dangerous. If you change to manual be sure to change the pedal and linkage!
          If you go with manual, you 'll have all those cables and rods to adapt to your car. I'd go with modern hydraulic brakes. American cars haven't used manual brakes in almost 100 years, well 70 at least.
          Jerry Forrester
          Forrester's Chrome
          Douglasville, Georgia

          See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

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          • #6
            In my 61 Hawk I went with Turner Disks on the Front and a modern firewall mounted power brake booster. This eliminates the under the floor master cylinder and the unreliable power brake booster. I can send you photos if you would like them.
            Don Watson
            61 Hawk

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            • #7
              As usual on this forum you will get all kinds of opinions and stabs at humor but not to many straight answers to your question. The hydrovac boosters have been in use on many cars and large trucks and for the most part work pretty well. As suggested be sure to oil the booster with 1 ounce of neatsfoot oil applied through the 1/4 inch plug on the back of the booster. You can test the booster by pumping the brakes several times to evacuate the vacuum with the engine off. Hold the brake pedal down and start the engine. If the booster is working you should feel the pedal go down slightly. If the booster is the problem Studebaker International sells a new replacement (made off shore unfortunately) that has no warranty. I have one on my 61 Hawk and so far it has worked fine.

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