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1936 Special master cylinder blasphemy or good upgrade?

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I don't know about the US but here in Aus I have found that finding someone that actually knows something about cars AND sells parts is far and few between.

Latest example was I was looking for a rubber boot/gator (??) that goes between the door pillar and the door and carries the speaker wire, central locking wires etc. My model Hilux didn't come with this but the model up did. The guy was totally stuffed as I couldn't supply a VIN number and just wasn't interested in pursuing it further.

Same dope then couldn't sell me a bottle of injector cleaner as the bar code scanner wouldn't scan. Good grief !!!!!!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Well after several delays from FedEx delivering my package to the wrong place, work, emergency shower demolition, and illness I just finally got a chance to try bolting things together today.

It was a serious struggle to try to get bolted in (have I said yet that I sure wish I had a lift?). Tolerances are also extremely tight but it does fit, is aligned, and has full travel.


The donut on the end of the pushrod is a bit wider than the last push rod so I might need to drill another hole in the brake pedal pin to be able to insert a cotter pin.

Plumbing will be the next task. The cylinder has 1/2-20 fittings but it came with 3/8-24 adapters. The residual valves I got also have 3/8-24 fittings. Will it be ok to go from the 3/8-24 adapters at the cylinder, through the residual valve and than to up to 1/2-20 to match up with the rest of the brake fittings? I was disappointed with this at first but then realized that the hole in the bore of the cylinder is probably even smaller so there is already some increase in volume as you leave the cylinder.




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Question. What will you do to the floor pan to aid in filling the reservoirs? I have a '38 Roadmaster and Special and it is frustrating to get fluid into the master cylinders the way the hole in the floor is. I have had to use a funnel and that usually leads to a mess. Fortunately since both cars have DOT-5 I never have to add fluid - but I did have to fill them when rebuilding the brake systems.

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Question. What will you do to the floor pan to aid in filling the reservoirs?

Great question; I wish I knew the answer but I'm still working on that.

For a long time I was going to go the route of remote reservoirs that were designed to work with a wilwood cylinder. That cylinder was ultimately too long and when I gave up on that cylinder I gave up on the remote reservoirs.

This new cylinder sits much higher and has bigger holes to pour fluid into so I don't expect to have as many problems with it as I did with trying to fill my old master cylinder but I still need to be able to get access to it.

I happen to have good access to the cylinder if I remove the entire floor panel under my feet but I'm adding carpet and attaching the carpet such that I can retain that ability is going to be a challenge.

I have two current thoughts.

1) Is to have carpet made that has a permanently installed section from the seat to the back of the compartment. The front section would be attached permanently to the firewall area but from where the floorboards become horizontal would only be attached with something like hook and loop tape or possibly some other modern automotive connector. Doing this should allow me to flip the carpet up to get access to the panel under my feet to fill the reservoir. Unfortunately it makes it difficult to finish on the door jam. I'd probably overlap the back with the front and put the back section under the kick plates and then have the front section bound and have it lie on top of the back section. I'm a little concerned about how this might cause issues with binding and bunching when I move the seat.

2) Is to make the carpet a permanent installation. It is easy to conceive of as carpeting everything and then cutting around the opening for the floor panel. In practice I'd cut the floor portion to overlap into the area the floor panel sits. I'd then capet the panel separately and overlap it to the sides as well. Most likely I'd need to cut the panel a bit smaller to address the overlap but the intent is to make the fit fairly tight so as to keep dust and noise out. Now being able to secure the panel as well as easily extract it is the challenge that I'm working on. I could see adding something like a flush pull that would sit in the carpet and lift up to extract the panel. If I could find something like that with a latching mechanism that I could adapt that would be my ultimate solution.


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I'll be really interested in your eventual solution. My Roadmaster has carpet in the front, and while a royal PITA, getting at the master cylinder to check it, it is possible.

However, for the Special I have one of the reproduction rubber floor mats and I expect that it will be a whole lot harder to deal with when checking fluid level.

I might add, while I do check the hydraulic fluid level occasionally, I have never had to add any since changing to DOT-5.

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