The brakes on my truck are all stock. A safety upgrade is on my short list of items that need doing. When I pulled her out of the barn, I threw on new wheel cylinders (old completely frozen up), bled the brakes, and the old system now seems to be working fine (just a little pull to the passenger side). I'm very tempted to just drive her around like this for a while ($ is starting to add up), but I do have some things taken apart at the moment, and am wondering if I shouldn't just do it right away....
When I do the brakes I'm contemplating getting a disk brake conversion kit and maybe a power brake booster conversion, both from mid-fifty.
Here are my questions:
(1) Any strong opinion one way or the other about power booster v new dual master cylinder w/o power? I was planning on new master with no power, but have been recently told that I "need" to do the power booster too (by an old car guy, but not necessarily an old ford truck guy).
(2) In order to do a master cylinder swap, do the gas tank and front running board support need to come out (seem attached to the other side of the frame in the same location)?
(3) All new brake hard lines at the same time?
(4) Any general advice about conversion kit selection and installation would be much appreciated
Point to consider...drum brakes fade rapidly when hot. Drum brakes on these trucks were not designed for modern day driving. If you leave the drum brakes on the truck and then add a power booster, all you are doing is making more pressure on the brake shoes against the drums...this equals more heat -> more fade. Get some disk brakes on the front axle and then you will benefit most from a power booster.
... Get some disk brakes on the front axle and then you will benefit most from a power booster.
Thanks, Charlie. My post probably wasn't clear. At this point, I am definitely planning on the front disk brake conversion from mid-fifty. It is such a given in my head, that I didn't make too much note of it in my questions.
It really depends on what you're wanting in the end. Non power brakes will easily stop your truck. But if you want to stop with light foot pressure then the power booster is the way to go.
As far as what needs to be removed, Before you buy call MidFifties and ask them. I've installed several kits and IIRC have never had to remove anything but the old brake & or clutch parts. Be sure to buy the right kit if you're keeping the clutch. Also, a trap some (including myself) have fallen for is make sure when pricing your kit to be sure that it includes proportioning valve, its lines and bracket as well as residual check valves (some masters have them built in). These additional pieces may make a cheap kit more expensive if you have to order them separately.
Absolutely replace not only the steel but the rubber brake lines. It's not that expensive and do you really wanna trust 60 year old brake parts with your or someone else's life? You can flare your own lines (PITA) or use pre flared lines from the local parts store. Just remove your old lines, get a rough measurement, and buy the closest thing to the length you need.
Don't forget to order a new brake light switch too!
...Also, a trap some (including myself) have fallen for is make sure when pricing your kit to be sure that it includes proportioning valve, its lines and bracket as well as residual check valves (some masters have them built in)....
Thanks, BJ. Very helpful. In looking at the proportioning valve, is there any real advantage to a separate adjustable proportioning valve?
I've never installed an adjustable porportioning valve. The one's I've purchased all seem to work fine with our trucks. I'm not talking about getting one at the local Pick & Pull I'm strictly talking purchased for our trucks.