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Hawk - Mounting master cylinder & booster on firewall

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  • Brakes: Hawk - Mounting master cylinder & booster on firewall

    From time to time I have seen pictures of Hawks with their master cylinder & booster mounted on the firewall. A member of our chapter (Greater Virginia) would like to convert his '57 Silver Hawk & I would like to convert my '64 Hawk to firewall mount. One contributor to the SDC Forum had posted some nice pix of his converted '62. Does anyone have any advice, instructions, or even a kit for doing this conversion?

    Thanks for any help.
    -Dwight

  • #2
    I have a 1961 Lark, first year (I think) for swinging pedals, I noticed that the Master cyl and clutch pedal are mounted to the left side of the steering column, You might want to look at a 61+ lark for reference.

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    • #3
      Dwight -

      Just curious...
      Why clutter up the engine compartment with brake stuff for...no gain ?

      Mike

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      • #4
        If you are going to do something as radical as that, at least reinforce the Firewall heavily as it clearly was not designed for that much stress.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner



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        • #5
          At the very least use the reinforcing plate from the donor car . May need a little chisel work to get it off once you remove the small sheet metal screws.
          Rob in PA.

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          • #6
            Howdy, this is my '62. I don't find it cluttered, and the gain is a simple change to both power brakes and a dual master, with the bonus of not needing to remove the door sill plate and pull up the carpet to check the fluid.

            IMG_3502.jpgIMG_1065.jpg

            The power booster I used is a generic 7" dual unit. The master cylinder is a 1" bore for a '69 Corvette with MANUAL brakes. My swing pedal assembly is from a Lark, with everything from the steering column to the pedal pivot removed (most modern swing pedals could also be make to work); the actual pedal was made from 2" flat bar to fit the rubber pad from a Cadillac I found in a wrecker and bolts to the pedal arm similar to the stock Hawk one (the one in the pick is Camero I believe, same shape) . I did reinforce the firewall, I've made this conversion several times and usually use 1/8" sheet over the drivers half of the firewall, but on this car I used 1/4" plate across a slightly smaller area, it was what I had at the time (left over from making my trans adapter).
            IMG_0941.jpgIMG_0945.jpg
            I mounted the Lark pedal arm so the pedal was in roughly the same location as the original one was. both pedal arms are in place in this pic, you can see the lark unit is just below the original.
            IMG_0933.jpg

            The Hawk firewall is inclined 12.5 degrees so I made a bracket so the booster/master cylinder would sit level. I have seen many that have been mounted directly to the firewall and are inclined, but that just seems wrong to me. I did do one, years ago, without a power booster and used a master made to mount to an angled firewall. Here's my bracket.
            IMG_0934.jpg
            On this car everything is bolted together. I would normally weld the reinforcement plate in but the firewall here was nicely painted and I did not want to refinish it.

            It's all pretty basic Dwight. 1. Reinforce firewall 2. Mount swing pedal to inside 3. Mount master cylinder/booster to outside.

            This was the first Studebaker I did with a power booster, I'll look around to see if I still have the templates I made for the booster mount.

            Yes, there is somebody out there who sells a plate with clevis ears welded to it and a pedal to mount between them, intended to be bolted into a Hawk to convert to a swing pedal. I'm not sure what if any instruction comes with it, and don't remember who it was.
            Last edited by bensherb; 08-24-2019, 03:45 AM.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Bensherb, I like the finished product, but what a PITA to install! Looks almost as painful as installing a GM transmission. Sure, we all look back on such a project and say, "it wasn't that bad...". But, from start to finish, that looks like a real PITA. Plus, with a 63-64 Hawk, the battery would have to go in the trunk, or maybe the back seat.

              Nice job though!

              Comment


              • #8
                A couple years ago, changed mine to a firewall unit for safety reasons. A little bit of work, but well rewarding.

                DSC03292m.jpg

                Used a dash brace unit from a 63 Lark ( had to be shortened) and a 7" dual diaphragm booster. The MC is an aluminum 1" bore unit ( not the one in the picture, that was during testing). The iron ones tended to be too heavy, even with the reinforced firewall.

                Tried to use the Lark Firewall (Avanti type) bracket but it raised the booster too high. The 7" booster came with an angled bracket that proved perfect.
                Last edited by 64V-K7; 08-24-2019, 09:10 AM. Reason: more info
                64 GT Hawk (K7)
                1970 Avanti (R3)

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                • #9
                  Outstanding! Thanks, bensherb & 64V-K7. I have put your write-up into a Word document and will pass it on to my friend with the '57 Silver Hawk. He did all the restoration on his '57 (except paint and upholstery) and is quite the craftsman.
                  -Dwight
                  Last edited by Dwight FitzSimons; 08-24-2019, 08:32 PM. Reason: additional info

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                  • #10
                    Bensherb - I am favorably impressed by your engine compartment, from the brake system to the brand X power steering cover to the A/C compressor mount/location.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                      ... with the bonus of not needing to remove the door sill plate and pull up the carpet to check the fluid.
                      When did Studebaker start tucking the carpet under the sill plate?
                      In my '51 and '53 it just lays on top. And there is a flap sliced in to the carpet above the master cylinder access cover.
                      Pulling the carpet up on these models would involve pulling it over the pedal shafts as well. Maybe that's the reason Studebaker switched to hanging pedals instead of bringing them through the floor.
                      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                      sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
                        When did Studebaker start tucking the carpet under the sill plate?
                        In my '51 and '53 it just lays on top. And there is a flap sliced in to the carpet above the master cylinder access cover.
                        Pulling the carpet up on these models would involve pulling it over the pedal shafts as well. Maybe that's the reason Studebaker switched to hanging pedals instead of bringing them through the floor.
                        1953s, at least C/K models, originally had the carpet under the sill plate. When the carpet was replaced, usually with thicker carpet, it was normally placed on top of the sill plates. Reference: Page 124 of John Bridge's book.
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
                          When did Studebaker start tucking the carpet under the sill plate?
                          In my '51 and '53 it just lays on top. And there is a flap sliced in to the carpet above the master cylinder access cover.
                          Pulling the carpet up on these models would involve pulling it over the pedal shafts as well. Maybe that's the reason Studebaker switched to hanging pedals instead of bringing them through the floor.
                          Bensherb has a GT, and GTs tuck the carpet below the sill plates. But an OEM rubber access pad can be located on top of the carpet, above the hole already in the floorboard, which is to access the original MC. Simply elongate that hole a bit, for access to both reservoirs on the tandem MC. However, with the 62GT and 56J, I check and refill them from below the car. I check the level with fingertips, and refill/top off with a syringe and u-shaped 3/8" copper tube attached with a short piece of fuel line. Working below the car avoids possibility fo spilling brake fluid inside the car. Our 63GT has a firewall mounted reservoir, plumbed to the tandem MC, with a 5/6" hole drilled through the wall which separates the tandem reservoirs. Much easier all around, especially when bleeding all four wheels.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
                            Bensherb has a GT, and GTs tuck the carpet below the sill plates. But an OEM rubber access pad can be located on top of the carpet, above the hole already in the floorboard, which is to access the original MC. Simply elongate that hole a bit, for access to both reservoirs on the tandem MC. However, with the 62GT and 56J, I check and refill them from below the car. I check the level with fingertips, and refill/top off with a syringe and u-shaped 3/8" copper tube attached with a short piece of fuel line. Working below the car avoids possibility of spilling brake fluid inside the car. Our 63GT has a firewall mounted reservoir, plumbed to the tandem MC, with a 5/6" hole drilled through the wall which separates the tandem reservoirs. Much easier all around, especially when bleeding all four wheels.
                            Interesting. Some ideas I hadn't thought about. Thanks,
                            -Dwight

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
                              Bensherb, I like the finished product, but what a PITA to install! Looks almost as painful as installing a GM transmission. Sure, we all look back on such a project and say, "it wasn't that bad...". But, from start to finish, that looks like a real PITA. Plus, with a 63-64 Hawk, the battery would have to go in the trunk, or maybe the back seat.

                              Nice job though!
                              True, with the heater assembly used in the '63/4 GT the battery would need to go into the trunk. Even with the '62 it gets real tight on the right side if you still have the Stude engine. Our '53 has GM power and there's lots of room on the right for the battery.

                              Actually, the only PITA about the install was getting around the steering shaft with the reinforcing plate. There are several ways it can be done, but I plan to change the steering to a R&P and the steering shaft would need to be removed from the box anyway, so I just cut it and reconnected it with a U-joint then added a bearing between the shaft and column tube and mounted the bottom of the column tube to the reinforcement plate.

                              Also, I found swapping to a GM AOD trans to be quite easy; and I made my own adapter plate that incorporates rear engine mounts and flexplate adapter too. With "store bought" adapters it should be a "piece of cake". There again, this stuff is normal to me. I put a Ford FE/C6 and 1975 Ford suspension, in my '54 Chevy wagon; the drive train from a '75 Monte Carlo, along with a gear splitter from a Step Van, in my '79 Land crusier; a 4.3 Liter GM V6/TH350 in my '54 Chevy sedan; built both my Model A (FE/C6) and T (Ford 200ci inline 6/C4), both have 3 carbs, from the ground up; not to mention the drive train in the '53 Coupe....etc, etc. When I worked for a living, part my job was to make stuff that wasn't made to fit together, fit together.

                              Originally posted by studegary View Post
                              Bensherb - I am favorably impressed by your engine compartment, from the brake system to the brand X power steering cover to the A/C compressor mount/location.
                              Thank you Gary.
                              sigpic

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