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  • Brakes: Adding power brakes

    I've heard of remote vacuum boosters that can be mounted under a car to provide power braking while leaving the master cylinder in its stock location and operated by the stock pedal (rather than having to mount the booster and master cylinder on the firewall and convert to a hanging pedal). I've also heard that they're expensive, but I'm still interested in finding out about them. Does anyone have any specifics on any boosters that could be used in this way? Thanks.

  • #2
    The factory did exactly what you describe before 1961. They are called Hydro-vac boosters. Many don't follow the recommended maintenance and so they got a bad reputation. There are also many other boosters of the same type (Midland-Moraine) comes to mind.
    Bez Auto Alchemy
    573-318-8948
    http://bezautoalchemy.com


    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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    • #3
      The type dstude is looking for are Tiny ones that go UNDER the Floor on Street Rods, the "Performance Car" Parts Co's like: Speedway, Jeggs and Summit Racing should have them.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        I just checked Summit, and the ones they have there are specifically setup for discs up front and drums in the back. Just something to keep in mind. The booster doesnt seem to be powerful enough for discs on all 4.

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        • #5
          Just a heads-up.
          With the correct combination of parts, you don't need to go thru all of the hassle and expense of adding a power booster.

          Do some homework, look into master cylinder piston size. I have four wheel disc brakes on two of my Studebakers. A two toe press is all that's required. Simple and easy to do.

          Mike

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          • #6
            I talked to two suppliers of vacuum boosters today and they both said the same thing, that a single booster is good for a front disc/rear drum setup, but a four-wheel disc system will require two boosters. One of the companies puts the two boosters on a single bracket and the other leaves them separate, so it's a matter of which one you have room for. One supplier pointed out that the boosters will make the pedal pressure much less than without them, but that the brakes will still never have as soft a pedal as a modern car's power brakes.

            I'd be interested in hearing about anyone's experiences with remote boosters of any type. I'm specifically trying to avoid putting the master cylinder and booster on the firewall in order to retain a more period looking engine compartment.

            Thanks.

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            • #7
              dstude
              Get a Turner Brakes front disk brake kit, either keep the single circuit Stude Master Cylinder (1") or better get also from Turner a GM Dual Circuit Master Cylinder (1") w/ Mounting Braket, (mounts on frame rail approx. same place as original). Also a 2 Pound (blue) Residual Pressure Valve (RPV) for front disks and a 10 Pound (red) RPV for rear drums. You can add a Stude Hydrovac "F" Type vacuum Brake Booster just for the front disk brake circuit, mounts on drivers side inner fender. On rear use rebuild Stude Drum brakes, either 9" or 10" diam. A proportioning valve (front/back) comes also w/ kit

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              • #8
                Another possible approach would be to use a Hydra-boost unit as used on some pickups and cars with Diesel engines. Also used on some gasoline-powered vehicles, too. They run off the hydraulic power from the power steering pump, and have an accumulator that will give one boosted stop after the engine shuts down (although manual braking is always available, too). The Hydra-boost is not as bulky as a vacuum-powered unit.
                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                • #9
                  You don't need power assist. Just put bigger rotors and calipers on and be selective about which pad compound you use.
                  Jerry Forrester
                  Forrester's Chrome
                  Douglasville, Georgia

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

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                  • #10
                    Jerry, which pad compound do you use? I've got a Brand X with no power brakes that really needs help.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mrs K Corbin View Post
                      Jerry, which pad compound do you use? I've got a Brand X with no power brakes that really needs help.
                      I don't want to hijack dstude's thread but it is all about brakes. Do a search and read Joe Hall's recommendations. He gives real world experience advice.
                      Jerry Forrester
                      Forrester's Chrome
                      Douglasville, Georgia

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

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