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1949 Chrysler Town & Country with what looks like factory power brakes? Can this be???


Pete Phillips

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I am having brake release problems with a 1949 Chrysler Town & Country. Brakes will not release after pedal is applied. I have rebuilt the master cylinder and all wheel cylinders. Problem is with all four wheels, so cannot be a brake hose. After jacking up the car and looking around, I am amazed to see what looks like a power brake booster system on the car, under the left rear floor pan. I thought Chrysler didn't have power brakes until 1951. Am I wrong? Is this a factory system? This is NOT one of the early disc brake cars; the car has drums on all four wheels. I am thinking this power booster system is the cause of the brakes not releasing. Will try to post photos. Pete Phillips, Leonard, Texas

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Chrysler started the power brake boosters in actually the 30's. But your 1949 C46 T&C car has the stock Vacu-ease booster on it, although it appears to be a 1950-54 unit which bolts right in place as did the "earlier internal" style of booster (1949) cars only. The 1950 T&C and the 145-1/2" WB Crown Imperial cars had four wheel "Ausco-Lambert disc brakes factory installed on them.

Your brakes are locking up most likely because of a leaking diaphram. Booster Dewey in Portland can rebuild it.

Bob

Edited by c49er (see edit history)
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I had a 52 New Yorker with drum brakes and the same remote booster. Evidently they were available in 49. You have the same clearance bump in the floor boards which suggests it is a factory planned installation (not aftermarket).

Some luxury cars had power brakes in the late 20s or early 30s. I don't know when Chrysler adopted them but I would not be surprised if they had them years before your 49 was built.

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Check your master cylinder. It sounds like the pressure release port is blocked. This is a hole about 1/16" dia that lets fluid back out of the cylinder into the reservoir. The brake cylinder must back off completely for this to happen. Therefore, there must be clearance between the master cylinder and pedal rod. If the rod is adjusted too tight the brake pressure will not release, just as you describe.

If the pedal clearance is OK, perhaps the cylinder was assembled incorrectly. Or if it was sleeved they may have forgotten to drill the hole .

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Guest bofusmosby

I remember reading a thread here a few years back, where the same problem was experienced. The problem turned out to be the new master cylinder was put together incorrectly.

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A quick way to test if the booster is causing the brakes to drag is to disconnect the vacuum supply hose at the intake manifold and plug the manifold fitting and drive the car with the booster disconnected.

Oddly about 35 years ago I was working on a black 49 T&C that was doing the same thing. The early type of booster had a hole in the diaphram and the brakes were dragging!

Reading the 1949-50 chrysler factory shop manual explains the testing of the two styles of boosters.

Bob

Edited by c49er (see edit history)
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I had the booster on my New Yorker rebuilt because it did not work. Afterwards it still did not work. Turned out there was a mud dobber nest in the vacuum line where it went in the manifold. I suppose at some time the hose was left off and the wasps got in . Once the line was cleared and vacuum supplied the brakes worked fine.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest cben09

The following cars I had ,,had power boosters

1925 Mercedes,,33/180/K 7,6 litre I think

1928 Pierce-Arrow,,series 36 coupe, orig owner H,T,Clarke/Columbia/nyc

1929 Packard series 645 Dietrick Victoria,,orig owner,,H,H,Davenport/Boston/Metropolitan Ice

Several Packard 12s,,1932,33,34,36

These early ones did not have a balest tank,,and relied on a closed throttle,for vacuum,

which was ok til the engine stalled because a sudden open boost valve made it lean

and stalled it,,,Been there done that,,Gotta use em to get to know em,,

Cheers,,Ben

P/s,,the Davenport car was in daily use from 1929 to 1954 when it got traded on a 1954

patrician,,he had bought it off the Boston auto show hall in 1929

Brakes were important to him as his first wife was killed in a 2wheel brake car some years before,,He was pleased that the new Packard had power brakes,,

Cheers,,Ben

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  • 5 years later...

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