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Tech Talk with Master Power Brakes

Adding A Power Brake Booster: Do I Have Power Brakes or Not?

Posted by mpbrakes1 on Oct 30, 2015 3:49:11 PM

I recently overheard an exchange taking place at a car show about whether or not you could make drum brakes into "power brakes."

"Aren't drum brakes always manual and disc brakes always power?" the one fellow asked.

"That's right, it's why they have disc brake conversion systems," a second fellow chimed in.

"Whoa - not so fast!" I said, as I stopped to jump into their discussion for a second.

On the one hand, you have brakes that have NO POWER ASSISTANCE TO THE PEDAL (we all call them manual brakes) and brakes with power assist making the pedal easier to depress (aka power brakes). A classic or hot rod car can have manual disc brakes or power assisted drums.

"I thought a power booster was required equipment with disc brakes," said one of my new buddies.

"No, is the short answer. Even though a power booster gives you a good pedal feel, manual disc brakes work fine," I explained.

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Topics: Boosters, brake booster installation, power brakes, power brake booster

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