Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Adding "factory" power brakes to a '55 President (Ultra Vista) 4 door

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Brakes: Adding "factory" power brakes to a '55 President (Ultra Vista) 4 door

    I need to add power brakes to a '55 President because the "older" owner doesn't have enough leg strength to feel he can make a panic stop safely. I know I can find the Hydrovac booster and the necessary hoses, but I would like a couple of pictures of the attaching brackets and the installed Hydrovac unit. Thanks in advance.
    Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
    '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
    '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
    '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

  • #2
    I believe there's a pretty good illustration of this setup in the '55-'58 Studebaker body & chassis manual.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Ed. I did look at the illustration, but I'll take another look.
      Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
      '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
      '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
      '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

      Comment


      • #4
        If needed i have a vacuum can,NOS , for the project if needed PM me. Luck Doofus

        Comment


        • #5
          Also, the brake pedal p/n is different for non-power brake versus power brake cars. I cannot tell you exactly what the difference is on a '55, but in the '50s/early '60s at least some Studebakers had different brake pedal ratios for power versus non-power brake cars. For example, my '62 GT with hydrovac has a totally different brake pedal with a different mounting point to the frame than a non-power brake C-K.
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

          Comment


          • #6
            It would NOT be a good idea to install a (short) power brake pedal to a car with a Hydrovac. The standard brake pedal works fine with the H-vac and affords a level of safety in case the H-vac decides to take a vacation....
            64 GT Hawk (K7)
            1970 Avanti (R3)

            Comment


            • #7
              The difference is more than just pedal height from the floor. There is also a leverage/ratio difference between power brake pedal linkage and non-power brake linkage. Adding power brakes while keeping the original pedal linkage may lead to brakes that are too touchy/sensitive, particularly if the driver has less sensitivity or control in his/her legs.

              Just something to be aware of.
              Last edited by RadioRoy; 04-22-2016, 11:31 AM.
              RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

              17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
              10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
              10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
              4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
              5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
              56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
              60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

              Comment


              • #8
                That IS true, the Factory did not go to all the trouble and a lot of expense to Design, Blueprint, Parts Catalog List and Mfg. a Special Pedal for the very few Cars with Power Brakes for no reason.

                Find yourself a '55-'60 parts car with Power Brakes.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  The factory designed the short pedal so women could use the car without showing too much leg with the brakes. History has shown that a bit of redundancy with a longer brake pedal is a great idea...

                  It's always better to have more than you need than less....
                  64 GT Hawk (K7)
                  1970 Avanti (R3)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    here are picture of manual and power brake pedal assemblies had power brakes on 57 Golden Hawk I use to own the pedal effort was not as easy as most older cars with power brakes. MY clipper had a newer rebuilt booster which I removed to add dual master cylinder for added safety .
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by acolds; 04-23-2016, 06:13 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I prefer the longer pedal, even with the 12" disc brakes on the 56J and the 62GT. I was thinking the shorter pedal did not come out till 62, but could be wrong. Or maybe it is only used on automatic equipped cars. My 62 was originally automatic, but I swapped the short pedal over to long pedal many years ago. The extra leverage is helpful, with drums or discs.

                      If staying with drums, it would be helpful to take the old shoes to a brake specialty shop and have them relined with modern material that really works, i.e. good initial grab and fade resistant. The relined shoes commonly sold nowadays by vendors must be made out of recycled newspaper or something. With minimal initial grab, and rapid fading, they are almost useless as brake material.

                      That's another reason to convert to DB, so you can easily find modern pad material. I use Hawk brand HPS (Hi Performance Street) pads. With the HPS pads, 12" discs, large GM calipers, and long pedal, the Hawks stop like Volvos, and they do not have power assist.

                      Our third Hawk, I also swapped a long pedal into; it has power assist, with the early version of Turner discs, with calipers forward of the king pins; 1990s vintage. The only drawback with forward calipers is frame clearance, but I addressed that by notching the frame. Whoever installed them in the first place had no idea what they were doing, and its a miracle someone was not killed in that car. I have the caliper mounts for 12" discs, and plan to swap it over to 12", as soon as time permits, and get rid of the power assist. It is simply not needed with the 12" setup.
                      Last edited by JoeHall; 04-22-2016, 09:11 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just read Joe's response, recommending switching to the longer brake pedal. I couldn't disagree more and here's why. I have been driving C/K cars since I was 16 years old, almost exclusively 1953-55's. At 6'2" tall I have always found the driver's position to be rather cramped. The close dash and almost horizontal steering wheel geometry coupled with the large steering wheel gave really little room for my right leg and size 11 1/2 shoes. The position required that the only comfortable driving position was with my right leg splayed out to the right, so that my upper leg could clear the bottom of the large steering wheel. The longer pedal made it almost impossible to apply the brakes without occasionally getting my right foot caught under the pedal. In 1964 I started driving my 1955 Speedster, which has the shorter shaft. It now became a much easier task to just move my right foot latterly the few inches to cover the BP. I also much preferred automatics in my C/K's because of the same lack of clearance on the clutch pedal side. I was reminded of the problem, when I was asked to drive a stick shift C/K recently. No longer a flexible, 180 pounder the job became a real PITA!

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X