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How do I remove brake booster assembly on a 57? Help!


lancemb

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I am sure some of you long time experts have removed the master/booster assembly and have already either learned from trials and tribulations or perhaps I am missing something here?

I tried with no success to remove the large nut under the dash that holds the booster on - There is no room! The chassis manual calls for use of wrench 6618 - whatever that is! As best as I can tell it is about a 1-3/4" nut, but no standard wrench that large would ever fit in there!

Does anybody know where I can get a wrench to take this nut off? Thanks!

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Guest 40series

Hi Lance,

That nut has to come off. No other way. I did a 58 a few years back and literally had to make a wrench by grinding the outer radius of the head.

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I tried channel locks but by the time I got them up there there was no room to move them. I also thought of making my own as 40series suggested but was convinced there was a better way.

I consulted a 58 expert I know and he said what he has always done is use a long chisel and a heavy hammer to break it loose, after which it comes off easily. So, I went and equipped myself with said tools but haven't had time to sork on it again now. I'll report back with results. In the meantime if anyone has that wrench, I'd love to try that instead!

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Not sure if this helps any, but I have a "Kent-Moore 1957 Buick Essential Service Tools" brochure. It has a picture of tool 6618. I've attached it so you can see what it looks like. It looks like you disconnect the push rod and then slip the wrench over it.

post-44481-143138065131_thumb.jpg

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Guest 57Roadmaster75

Not a fun job. I cursed every 57 Buick engineer that day. Channel locks worked for me. Let me know if you still need to know what size the nut is. I replaced my booster a while back and the replacement came with a new nut. So I still have the old booster and nut at my shop.

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I finally got the nut off using the chisel/hammer method in about 15 minutes and it is 1-3/4". There are a few burrs I need to clean up but the nut will still be fine. However, I think I am gong to try and recreate the dealer wrench for reassembly and future use. I know I will have to do this again at least once as I want to rebuild the other one!

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  • 5 months later...

Even with the dash off my 58, I am having no luck getting this nut off. I am going out to the garage to try the hammer/chisel method. I even had a big pair of channel locks on it, but there is a bracket sandwiched in there that doesn't allow a full grip with the big channel locks. GRRRRRRRRRRRR

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Can't u just use a 1 3/4 socket? I haven't been under my 58 dash yet, but will soon as I have to replace the left wiper assembly, and probably take the speedo assy out. Perhaps I can wish these parts out and back in? LMAO!

PS: Should be able to find the KM tool on EBAY, in the next few 100 years!

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I wish..

The brake booster rod sticks out of the hole about a foot, and won't allow a socket to go over it.

The wiper assembly might not be too bad. It is just under the upper dash. The speedometer/instrument cluster is a bit of a bear. I believe you have to remove the water temp sender from the drivers side head and fish it back through the firewall, since it is permanently attached to the temp gauge. The oil pressure sender is removable from the back of the speedo cluster. There are a thousand wires and bulbs that plug into the back of it.

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I wish..

The brake booster rod sticks out of the hole about a foot, and won't allow a socket to go over it.

The wiper assembly might not be too bad. It is just under the upper dash. The speedometer/instrument cluster is a bit of a bear. I believe you have to remove the water temp sender from the drivers side head and fish it back through the firewall, since it is permanently attached to the temp gauge. The oil pressure sender is removable from the back of the speedo cluster. There are a thousand wires and bulbs that plug into the back of it.

Thanks for the info on the speedo and wiper assembly access. My work is cut out for me! As far as the brake booster, well there may be some weird wrench at some of the hardware and farm impliment stores. I am going to take a gander, perhaps at lunch today.:cool:

Hey, I just noticed that u r in St. Charles, MO. My wife and I stayed there earlier this year while driving the 58 out from Ohio. Next time I go through there I would like to stop and see the limited. (PM me with your info)

You have the variable pitch dynaflow (PNDLR) in it, right? Mine has the original Flight pitch dynaflow (PRNDG) and is still going strong. Still keep on thinking it will shift, but then I remember how it works.

Edited by d2_willys (see edit history)
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Hi,

I have seen similarly formed-steel thin-wall sockets used for hub retaining nuts on axles. The steel sockets are called "Locknut sockets." A Google search for found Axle Nut Sockets and http://www.nextag.com/locknut-wrench/shop-html which show thin wall sockets in various sizes. I don't know what size you need, but maybe this is a good start for you.

--Tom

Edited by trp3141592 (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Guys, this is a tough situation but not undoable, I've done it several times...

* No matter what, you have to unbolt the brackets for the brake pedal from the firewall. Probably even if you have the KM tool. * Take the entire brake pedal assembly off. There are a couple more bolts than the firewall ones, but they are obvious when you look at it.

Go get a 1-3/4" socket from Sears. Grind either hex or oct flats on the small end.

Now, you WILL have to remove the yoke, by loosening the jam nut, from the shaft. Not hard to do though. Once this is off, you can slip the socket onto the shaft and hopefully get enough leverage to get the nut off. You should.

Either use vise grips, channel locks, or for a really slick way - if you ground hex flats, you may be able to slip a long impact socket from HF onto there and clear the end of the shaft to get it off with true leverage from a socket wrench, using the right adapters. You can stack sockets this way for extra depth. Some eyeball bench grinding required, but it's easier than you think.

I have made many tools like this using Harbor Freight impact sockets which are very cheap compared to Sears. In fact, use one of the HF 1-3/4" impact sockets instead of Sears.

I prefer to do this in a situation where the dash is off. But it doesn't have to be. It just turns it into an upside-down operation if the dash is not off.

Mark

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  • 1 month later...

Hmm, I wonder if a wrench for removing water heater electrical elements would work. That is about 1 1/2 inch. They make those in sheet metal like the picture of the GM shows. I bought a socket that size to get out a really stubborn heater element.

I am taking apart my 57 Super parts car and I'll have to face this task soon. I'll be interested to hear how this all comes out.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest SupRiv56R

Hello to all. I have been read-only the forums on this site for a long time and decided to join to pay you all back for the tips and info I have received here by providing some info myself on this subject.

I just went through the power booster replacement on my '57 and provided the mechanic who was doing the work with all the various tips and methods of dealing with the large nut and its removal. I picked up the car last week and asked him how it went with the removal of that nut. He said it went fine. Their solution was to remove the pedal linkage and disconnect the shaft/rod then remove the nuts from the air housing under the hood. With that done and the brake line and vacuum pipes also removed, he was able to grab the booster/MC turn the entire unit to loosen the big nut. Once loose, he reached up under the dash and removed it the rest of the way. That what 30 years wrenching cars will do for you! A very elegant solution!

--Chris

1957 Buick Super Riviera 2DR

46,000 true miles

Owned since 1975

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Chris: How was he able to turn the booster/mc and loosen the big nut inside by doing that - did he have a wrench or socket on it from the inside before turning the booster/mc by hand? I would not think you could get that much leverage by just grabbing the booster/mc and giving it a spin. This guy must be a gorilla or he used a pry bar against it maybe?

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I have done this a couple of times. Generally, the nut is not that tight, so a couple of sharp blows against the nut with a hammer and punch to break loose the rust and dirt. Then a good twist on the vacuum chamber will loosen the nut enough that channel-locks will do the rest.

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Guest Rob McDonald

What a truly awful job. My knuckles bleed just reading about it. No wonder it's been ages since we've heard from Adam on his own thread - the language he's using these days can't get past The Moderator.

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Guest SupRiv56R

Hi David, On my car, the firewall inside was very clean. The nut had just a minor coating of oxidation on it and the threads on the booster was clean. He told be he removed all the pedal linkage under the dash and then grabbed the booster/MC, gave it a turn and then went back under the dash and unscrewed the nut the rest of the way by hand. There were no marks on the booster housing or master cylinder to indicate he used anything (like a pry bar) to turn it... a good thing as it had to be returned for my core charge refund and they probably wouldn't have taken too kindly to seeing misc. dents or scrapes on it.

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Guest SupRiv56R

I should also add that I feel paying my mechanic to replace the booster instead of doing it myself was a good decision. Over many years of doing most jobs on the car myself, I aquired an eye for recognizing the "over my head and skills" jobs. For me, this was one of them. The worst part of the job would have been trying to twist myself into the right "shape" to work upside-down under the dash and reaching up under there to disconnect and remove everything.

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