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Hydraulic Cruise Control?


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I am reading the article in the latest Collectible Automobile about the '67 to '70 full size Buicks. In it, they mention that the LeSabres got a new hydraulic cruise control option for '67, while the other full size cars kept the electric cruise control.

Hydraulic cruise control?

I've never heard of that. Of course, I never heard of hydraulic windshield wipers, either, and Lincoln used those in the early 60s.

Anybody have one of these hydraulic cruise control equipped LeSabreS?


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Lincoln did use power steering fluid to run their windshield wipers for a few years in the 1960s on Continentals. Ford also boasted "fluidic control power steering" in a 1970 Ford sales brochure I have.

Hydraulic cruise control would take a huge amount of plumbing under the hood, even more than HydroBoost power brakes. In an engineering environment where costs were highly critical, such an arrangement would have been highly costly to design and install. In the GM cruise control transducers, it's magnetic speed input (via the speedometer cable) that modulates manifold vacuum to run the vacuum servo on the motor.

Many of the earlier GM cruise control kits were based on the Dana/Perfect Circle system of an electric stepper motor running a manual throttle linkage to the carburetor. I saw a dealer add-on GM system for a '65 Impala and it mounted the servo motor on the core support, then had a loooong rod that went to the front of the carb. Others mounted the servo motor on the fender well and used other types of linkage that interfaced with the existing carb linkages.

1967 was about the time that vacuum-servos started running the throttle linkage on GM and Ford vehicles (Chrysler used a one-piece servo/transducer and cables, starting in '68, typically). On these sytems, the vacuum servo was mounted near the back of the intake manifold (on V-8s) with a ball/chain linkage to the carb.

Unfortunately, I have noticed some incorrect information (somewhat rare situations!) in some "Collectible Automobile" articles. I suspect the "hydraulic cruise control" might be one of them--just my gut suspicion.



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After working on Buicks for fifty years, and needing my brakes gone over on my low milleage (44,000 miles) '85 Riviera, I learned something new about power brakes. Mine has 4 wheel discs and the Hydroboost power brake unit rather than the typical vacuum assist system. It's hydraulically 'pumped' off the power steering pump. In going through the brakes, I replaced the leaking Hydroboost unit, master cyllinder, and rebuilt the calipers, also replacing pads and all hoses. Lines were good as were the calipers, even though I rebuilt the calipers as a precauctionary measure.

It showed me that experience is forever but an old dog does learn something new at times!


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My prior post reminded me of another great??? innovation, the vacuum wipers driven off the oil pump on '57 & '58 Buicks. There was probably a lot of 'head scratching' when backyarders were faced with wipers not working properly and were ready to go to the fuel pump to fix things.


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