Jump to content

Power brake upgrade ideas needed


Recommended Posts

Hi I'm looking for some power brake upgrades ideas for my 55 special. I have a parts car with factory power that I could rebuild and use but is there newer modern upgrades that I should consider? I'm going to keep the original drum brakes from what I've read I don't see any real need to swap to discs. Thanks Bruce 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The power brakes do not give you better brakes, just an easier "toe".  I would upgrade to Roadmaster drums, shoes and brake plates on the front and rear for more braking surface.  Beyond that, you can adapt '1958 and later aluminum drums on the front hubs for less fade.  If you want to keep the wheel pins, I have special ones made for this, so PM me if interested.  That and keeping them well adjusted makes a huge difference.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Many street rods built around cars from this era have gone to aftermarket master cylinder and boosters that will fit where yours fit now. I imagine that JEGS, Summit Automotive, and Speedway Motors all have something along that line. Try Googling some key words and see what pops up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some street rod power boosters that do fit under the floorboards, BUT from reading Beemon's posts and that of another person in Germany, there are clearance issues under there.  I believe that Beemon ended up with some later model wider drums from a salvage yard on his '56.  There should be some threads in here on that.

 

I'm curious if a GM Hydroboost system might be adapted?  A maze of pressure hoses, that would be hard to hide.  Especially with an existing power steering system!

 

NTX5467

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the responses. I find the braking sufficient on my car I'm just looking for more peddle pressure . I was hoping someone might have experience with a modern booster that fit ,like I said I do have a treadle vac that I can rebuild and use. I'm just trying to weight out using the original braking or if it's even worth while retro fitting something newer. Thanks Bruce 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 55 Century that I just rebuilt the brakes on, every thing is new all the lines and drums shoes, wheel cylinders  and power brake booster and master cylinder. the power unit and master cylinder kit are what I bought from Bobs Automobila in Calif, Phone 805-434-2963. Its easy install and works great fits right where my old unit fit under car comes with  brake lines all ready made. You might give them a call I would recommend it. 

 

SID

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2018 at 8:19 PM, Build4#2 said:

Thanks for all the responses. I find the braking sufficient on my car I'm just looking for more peddle pressure . I was hoping someone might have experience with a modern booster that fit ,like I said I do have a treadle vac that I can rebuild and use. I'm just trying to weight out using the original braking or if it's even worth while retro fitting something newer. Thanks Bruce 

 

I have 3 55's, two with power brake and one with manual brakes.  The braking to me is the same except for the higher pedal on the manual brake car.  The biggest problem with braking efficiency is using over the counter shoes that are too hard, requiring more pedal pressure.  If new shoes are needed have them relined at a brake/clutch shop using softer more aggressive material.

37 minutes ago, Sid Hiatt said:

I have a 55 Century that I just rebuilt the brakes on, every thing is new all the lines and drums shoes, wheel cylinders  and power brake booster and master cylinder. the power unit and master cylinder kit are what I bought from Bobs Automobila in Calif, Phone 805-434-2963. Its easy install and works great fits right where my old unit fit under car comes with  brake lines all ready made. You might give them a call I would recommend it. 

 

SID

Thanks, good to know that they work.  Some of the replacement power masters do not match the original bore, requiring a change in the fulcrum from 1:1 to as much as 6:1.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use this company for all my brake lining needs: http://www.rochesterclutch.com/

 

They offer three grades of fresh manufacture non-asbestos friction material. 1. Typical use  2. performance driving and 3. Stand it on its nose. That's what they told me.

 

I live near so I drop off my shoe cores and drums. I pick up a fitted set when they are done.

 

The main thing is not to skimp on any components- new return springs, hoses, steel lines where needed, little dabs of lubricant - In the end I figure a thorough brake job will cost about the same as two bumpers.

 

Bernie

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the great ideas. The previous owner had redone all the brakes so my plan is to inspect the whole system this winter. Sid I'll have a look at the booster at Bob's , thanks . As for re-lining the shoes I don't know of anyone close by  that does. Thanks for the link Bernie I'll check out the cost of sending them from Canada.

Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do not buy into the aluminum drum idea whatever you do. I've been down that road, it's extremely rare to find a good set out of a junkyard. You cannot use them on your current backing plates and if you upgrade to the Roadmaster 12x2.5" drums on the front, you'll be searching for the more elusive 1957-1960 12x2.5 aluminium drums. You can make the 12x2.25 aluminum drums fit if you have access to a mill and don't feel bad about removing meat from your current backing plates. Otherwise it's a pipe dream. 

 

I don't have much else experience with your setup but if you find a modern system that fits under the floor, your pedal ratio should be ok. Otherwise the stock power brake system is cheap and easy to rebuild and is actually pretty nice. 

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the relining service cost $285, something like that. I checked on getting four done, a pair for the '60 Electra and a pair for the '64 Riviera. He offered a good deal on four, but I can't find his quote.

 

Money to throw away is what you get from selling parts or services to other car hobbyists. It is kept in tin cans, three cans if you are organized.

 

Bernie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...