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Tech Talk with Master Power Brakes

Picking the Proper Vacuum Hose For Your Brake System

Posted by toby on Sep 4, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Because we are gear heads, we take every chance to look under the hoods during car shows and swap meets.  One of our guys just got back from a big show and he was surprised by how a mistake he saw so many times. 

To use his words, “How could something like this be wrong on so many vehicles?”

Since we are in the brake business, we notice more things when it comes to a vehicle’s braking system than most classic car enthusiasts. Kind of like the house painter that can’t walk into a room without checking the paint line between the wall and the ceiling.

So what was it that our resident gear head noticed? About half of the vehicles he saw had a power brake booster with the wrong type of hose going from the engine vacuum source to the brake booster.

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Topics: brake systems, brakes, classic cars, How To Series, vacuum hose, Vintage Cars

Adding Horsepower?  Don’t Neglect Your Brake System

Posted by toby on Jul 30, 2015 2:51:35 PM

Make no mistake about it, most classic car enthusiasts like to go fast.  We spend countless hours in the garage figuring out ways to go faster.  Adding more horsepower guarantees you’ll impress your buddies and have a blast every time you pull away from a red light, but that extra giddy-up can cause some problems too.  Every time you play a little at a red light, the next stop light shows up faster than it used to.  You could try cruising in a different part of town, but where’s the fun in that?  The bottom line is simple—that extra horsepower may require a brake upgrade to maintain safety.

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Topics: brakes, Brakes for Classic Cars & Hot Rods, classic cars, drum brakes, rotors, Vintage Cars, Disc Brakes

Can I Use DOT 5 Brake Fluid With My New Brake Kit?

Posted by toby on Jun 24, 2015 9:31:48 AM

The owner of a 55’ Ford Sedan just sent us a note asking why we don’t recommend using DOT 5 brake fluid with our brake kits.  Chances are good some of you are asking the same question, so this post is designed to clear up confusion about the different types of brake fluid.

If you cruise over to the local auto parts store, you’ll see all kinds of brake fluids in the aisle.  DOT 3 is always the cheapest option—DOT 4 is about 50% more expensive than DOT 3 and DOT 5 is about two times more expensive than DOT 4.  Some owners mistakenly assume that the higher cost of DOT 5 equates to better performance, but this is not always the case.  In fact, sometimes the exact opposite is true.  To get a better handle on why we don’t recommend DOT 5 for our brake kits, we need to take a crash course in chemistry.

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Topics: brake fluid, brakes, classic cars, DOT 4, DOT 5.1, muscle cars, Vintage Cars, DOT 3, DOT 5

Calculating the Right Brake Pedal Ratio

Posted by toby on May 21, 2015 11:10:24 AM

Whether your vehicle has power or manual brakes, pedal ratio is important.  If you are experiencing a hard pedal you should check your pedal ratio if you have converted from the vehicle’s OE set up.  As a general rule, your pedal ratio should not exceed 6:1 for manual brakes with a 1” bore master cylinder and 4:1 for power brakes with a 1-1/8” bore master.

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Topics: brakes, classic cars, How To Series, pedal ratio, Vintage Cars, manual brake pedal ratios, power brake pedal ratios

Rear Brake Caliper Adjustment

Posted by toby on May 21, 2015 9:34:47 AM

One of the most common calipers used in the aftermarket today in many companies disc brake conversion kits are the exact same General Motors based calipers we use in ours. It is a very good caliper that will work for many different applications.

There is a drawback though. Many people in the classic car/hot rod don’t use the emergency brake. I can say this from previous guilt on this subject. In fact, some people don’t even have the emergency brake hooked up. You might ask “If you don’t need it and therefore don’t use it, why is that a drawback or a problem?”

When the pads wear and material is removed, the pads then become further away from the rotor surface. The calipers use a “one-way clutch” or “sprag” inside the caliper piston.  When the parking brake is applied, the sprag will recognize when there is 0.030” or more clearance between the friction material and the surface contact area on the brake pad.  When the distance is 0.030”, the sprag turns inside the piston adjusting it outward and keeping the rear brakes properly adjusted.

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Topics: brakes, classic cars, How To Series, parking brake, rear brake caliper adjustment, Vintage Cars

Troubleshooting Common Classic Car Brake System Problems

Posted by toby on Apr 16, 2015 4:55:37 PM

If you have ever spent a frustrating weekend trying to figure what’s wrong with your brakes, we feel your pain.  It’s not uncommon for the average weekend garage guy to take on brake system woes, but the trouble starts when you tackle the project without a plan.  For example, you might be quick to assume that your soft pedal is due to an aging master cylinder, but before going there, you need to start with a vacuum test and a hydraulic test (in that order) first.  Being systematic with your diagnostics will save you time and money replacing parts that aren’t the root cause of your problem.

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Topics: brakes, classic cars, diagnostics, How To Series, trouble shooting, Vintage Cars

Picking the Proper Vacuum Hose For Your Brake System

Posted by toby on Apr 16, 2015 4:41:05 PM

Because we are gear heads, we take every chance to look under the hoods during car shows and swap meets.  One of our guys just got back from a big show and he was surprised by how a mistake he saw so many times.  To use his words, “How could something like this be wrong on so many vehicles?”

Since we are in the brake business, we notice more things when it comes to a vehicle’s braking system than most classic car enthusiasts. Kind of like the house painter that can’t walk into a room without checking the paint line between the wall and the ceiling. So what was it that our resident gear head noticed? About half of the vehicles he saw had a power brake booster with the wrong type of hose going from the engine vacuum source to the brake booster.

Read More

Topics: brake systems, brakes, classic cars, How To Series, vacuum hose, Vintage Cars

2015 MP Brakes Catalog Now Available

Posted by toby on Mar 20, 2015 9:49:51 AM

Attention Fellow Gearheads—

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Topics: brakes, catalog, classic cars, Master Power Brakes, Vintage Cars, 2015, Brake Component Catalog, Disc Brakes

The Most Famous Classic Car Chase Scene Ever?

Posted by toby on Mar 17, 2015 4:29:33 PM

The other day, I was flipping through channels looking for something to watch on TV and I stumbled upon the 1968 classic, Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen.  This film features one of the coolest car chase scenes ever.  Almost fifty years later, viewers get worked up by the powerful engines and cool lines of the cars in this movie, but remember, the clip could have never been made without brakes!

In case you have never seen the film, or you don’t remember the chase scene, here is a link below:

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Topics: 68 Mustang Fastback, brakes, classic cars, 68 Dodge Charger, Car History

Disc Brakes versus Drum Brakes: Friction, Heat, and Selecting the Best Brake Upgrade Option for Your Classic Car

Posted by toby on Jan 22, 2015 1:08:40 PM

Most of our customers own cars that came with drum brakes as original equipment, and sooner or later, they need to make a decision about upgrading to disc brake technology.  If you own a very rare, museum quality classic car that is 100% original, you can make a reasonable case for leaving things alone.  That said, most of us are not driving factory original classics, and there are certain areas of the typical daily driver (e.g., air conditioning, suspension, brakes) that merit upgrades.  You probably understand disc brake systems are safer and more efficient than drums, but do you know why?  And, assuming you are looking for a disc brake conversion kit, should you upgrade front and rear, or the front end only?

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Topics: brake fade, brakes, classic cars, drum brakes, Vintage Cars, Disc Brakes

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