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Power brake booster rebuild...

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So my brakes are requiring a lot more ‘knee grease’ than usual to come to a complete stop. Still stopping just fine though. I’ve been hearing a hiss from them for quite some time. I’m assuming rebuilding the power break booster will bring it back to normal. My question is does anyone know of a source for reliable parts to rebuild the booster? I can find a master cylinder rebuild kit which I will also rebuild in the process but finding the right kit for the booster seems limited. One or two items on Ebay but all old stock. I’m dealing with the Delco Moraine power brake system on a ‘65 Riviera.

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Send it to "Booster Dewey" in Oregon. It will be rebuilt with NEW nec. parts & work like new when re-installed.  Not really worth the time & trouble to locate & try & rebuild it yourself with marginal (because of time & age) NOS parts.

Just my thoughts.

 

Tom T.

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Contact "Booster Dewey" at the Power Brake Booster Exchange fot the parts you're seeking.  Google his name for contact info.  He's old school, no texts, no email, but he's really good. Call him.

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15 minutes ago, telriv said:

Send it to "Booster Dewey" in Oregon. It will be rebuilt with NEW nec. parts & work like new when re-installed.  Not really worth the time & trouble to locate & try & rebuild it yourself with marginal (because of time & age) NOS parts.

Just my thoughts.

 

Tom T.

Tom,

  Where is Dewey getting the parts?

Tom M

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If you're going to rebuild your master anyway, you might consider replacing it with a dual cylinder.  Installing the new line might not take appreciably longer than doing the rebuild, and you'll end up with a safer system.

 

IMHO, NOS rubber parts are a crap shoot anyway when they're decades old.  You might end up back where you started.

 

But before you do anything, you might check the obvious (like the check valve, etc.) to make sure there isn't a simple fix.

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I don't think Booster Dewey sells parts, but I would start there anyway. There is another company called Harmon Classic Brake that stocks basically everything in the way of parts. Sometimes sending it in to Booster Dewey is almost as cheap.

 

I recently had a Midland (Ford) booster rebuilt at Booster Dewey's (by Booster Steve, actually), and the work was top notch. It has been on the road for a few months now. It looks nice, and no issues.

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Posted (edited)

I exhausted every resource I could think of trying to find rebuild parts for a booster because I like doing things myself and avoiding the hassle and cost of packing and shipping and risk of a lost package, and like Tom said, Booster Dewey has to be getting the parts somewhere. I've had boosters apart and they aren't rocket science. I did find it odd that with so many GM boosters across model lineup that are likely the same internals why no aftermarket supplier offers rebuild kits. I thought it was just a matter of not looking hard enough to find one but not so. I contacted Dewey and ask about sending me parts and he would not nor would he reveal where to get them and really why would he because that would mean lost business. I checked with multiple other suppliers such as those for Chevy and Corvette parts as well and came up empty. I finally sent my booster to Dewey.

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)
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Jason, I guess if did give us that info he would put himself out of business. Smart man.

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10 hours ago, Bloo said:

I don't think Booster Dewey sells parts,

 

I asked him when he did my '60 Electra booster. He doesn't sell the parts. I was very happy, got the rebuild and the yellow cad plating.

 

Not selling the parts reminds me of an equation:  Booster Dewey rebuilt my brake booster does not = I rebuilt my booster with Booster Dewey parts. But I have heard that kind of thing when stuff doesn't work out.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, JZRIV said:

I exhausted every resource I could think of trying to find rebuild parts for a booster because I like doing things myself and avoiding the hassle and cost of packing and shipping and risk of a lost package, and like Tom said, Booster Dewey has to be getting the parts somewhere. I've had boosters apart and they aren't rocket science. I did find it odd that with so many GM boosters across model lineup that are likely the same internals why no aftermarket supplier offers rebuild kits. I thought it was just a matter of not looking hard enough to find one but not so. I contacted Dewey and ask about sending me parts and he would not nor would he reveal where to get them and really why would he because that would mean lost business. I checked with multiple other suppliers such as those for Chevy and Corvette parts as well and came up empty. I finally sent my booster to Dewey.

It took me 45 seconds to find a rebuild kit for the 64-66 Riviera. The rebuild kit is available online from Fusick Automotive. The price for

the kit is 109.00 plus shipping.The kit for the 63 Riviera is also available under a different part number.Now that I've located the parts, I might go into the booster rebuilding business under the name Booster Winstey!

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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When I converted my '64 to a dual reservoir master cylinder, I called Dewey and talked to him about O-rings.  He told me because I had a '64, I could just use what I had; if it had been a '63, he told me that I'd have to source a different O-ring.  Apparently there are some subtle differences between the years.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Seafoam65 said:

It took me 45 seconds to find a rebuild kit for the 64-66 Riviera. The rebuild kit is available online from Fusick Automotive. The price for

the kit is 109.00 plus shipping.The kit for the 63 Riviera is also available under a different part number.Now that I've located the parts, I might go into the booster rebuilding business under the name Booster Winstey!

Where is Fusick getting them from?

Tom

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For the cost that Booster Dewey charges, some are $150.00, unless you like experimenting given your expertise is it really worth your time???  

Then after you do it & it doesn't work correctly you have to start over & need more parts??? I took mine apart for other reasons & I was lucky it worked like it should.  IF it didn't I would have sent it to Booster Dewey.

 

Tom T.

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I guess this is as good of a place to post this as anywhere else.  Words of wisdom that came from my father, a full time Buick mechanic in Hutchinson, KS

 

"Cheap labor isn't skilled, and skilled labor isn't cheap!" 

 

Pay the guy who knows what he's doing to do it.  DIY'ing is great if you're good at it and have done it before, AND THERE'S NOTHING TO LOSE.  Otherwise, leave it to a professional.  I'll only mess with something as long as electricity, fuel, or vacuum isn't involved in the equation.  I have neither the tools, NOR the background to waste the time and effort.  

 

Reminds me of my brother when he built a log home.  He spent way too much time trying to save money by doing things himself.  He learned to late that the per diem interest on his construction loan cost him more than what he would have had to pay a crew of professionals to do the work.  Plus maybe five years later, the fireplace would not have fallen away from the house.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Nothing wrong with wanting to do it yourself. There is an old saying that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. It is very true of most jobs on old cars... however...

 

In my case it was going to cost almost as much for the kit (or even just the individual parts that were obviously bad). About $15 difference as I recall. I like to do things myself, and also didn't want to wait, but it needed stripping and repainting too as the lower part had been stripped by brake fluid. I decided to send it off. I was very happy with the result, and it didn't cost any more either (after adding in rattle cans).

 

I am not going to rule out rebuilding my own in the future, but this went so well I probably won't. In any case, don't screw around with NOS parts. Rubber parts are what fail. Harmon Classic Brake has new booster parts for almost anything. Seafoam65 mentioned that Fusicks have Riviera kits.

 

There are several reasons you don't normally see kits. Although it appears the early Riviera uses the same booster in every car for a given year, that is not true of most American cars. Often there are 3 different brands. Often there are mid-year changes. Also, the Midland (Ford) booster I sent off comes apart with a band clamp. Most boosters are twist-lock affairs that are crimped together after assembly. It would be very difficult to get a crimped one apart and back together for a restoration without visible damage.

 

Dewey's turnaround was quick and the booster works great. You can have your original unit rebuilt if you want. I would do it again.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Thanks, everyone for sharing your experiences and resources. I now have many more options to explore than I had just yesterday. I’m curious if anyone has any experience with a company called Prior Brake Products rebuilding their booster unit. It’s just one other option I’m looking into and it seems to be the most economical one.

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You're more than liable to get what you pay for. 

 

Remember, these are your brakes.  They keep you from going through an intersection and T-boning a car with a toddler in it, or not being able to stop at a train crossing, or running under the back of a semi.  Your life depends on them; as well as the lives of your loved ones in your car.  

 

I cannot imagine trying to tell someone's family that their loved one is dead because I wanted to save a couple of bucks on something I had no business working on in the first place.

 

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Just my opinion.

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I've used Booster Dewey for booster work in the past. Several years ago I called to ask about a rebuild on the Hydrovac, as used on my 1955 Studebaker Speedster, and he would not touch it. I was not satisfied with his excuses for not wanting to service the unit. There are other rebuilders out there, so I have taken my business elsewhere.

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On 4/13/2019 at 2:42 PM, Buffalowed Bill said:

I've used Booster Dewey for booster work in the past. Several years ago I called to ask about a rebuild on the Hydrovac, as used on my 1955 Studebaker Speedster, and he would not touch it. I was not satisfied with his excuses for not wanting to service the unit. There are other rebuilders out there, so I have taken my business elsewhere.

His business, his choice.  

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Yeah, I turned down some work the other day from a guy who wanted some custom parts, with ever changing specs.  Never occurred to me that I owed him an explanation as to why, and he probably wouldn't have liked the answer, anyway.

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I can't remember using the quote "If you want something done right, do it yourself". I guess I wouldn't even use another person's idiom.

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If you send your booster to Dewey ( which I think you should) ask him about re-finishing it with the proper finish. My 67 was originally a gold cad/ I let him re-finish the booster. the cap for the reservior, AND the hood latch!! He suggested I throw in the hood latch, and I was really happy.

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Certainly it's "his business his choice," and if he can afford to turn down my business, I have no choice to take mine elsewhere. He did an acceptable job rebuilding the booster for my 1963 Riviera, and since this is a Riviera forum I guess that it should stop here. I was just trying to present a no frills comment on my experiences, for the purpose of  providing some balance. There may be some folks out there that own Riviers, that also own a 50's Cadillac or other GM product that used a Hydrovac. They might like to know Dewey's limitations. 

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I'm sure the next guy who needs a hydro boost repaired will contact you for a recommendation.  Kind of like me going to a proctologist for a toothache.  Hopefully he'll  turn me down and suggest I find some with the proper tools and background to look at my tooth.

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