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Tech Talk with Master Power Brakes

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

Combination Valves

Posted by toby on May 22, 2015 8:33:48 AM

A Combination Valve, sometimes called a Proportioning Valve, is just what the name implies…a valve that does a combination of things. The valves used on front disc/rear drum systems and front and rear disc brake systems include a Proportioning Valve and a Brake Pressure Differential Switch while the disc/drum valves also contain a Metering Valve. If you have ever wondered what all of this stuff does, we have just the video for you....

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Topics: classic cars, drum brakes, Proportioning Valve, Vintage Cars, combination valve, Disc Brakes, metering valve, Videos

Single vs. Dual Reservoir Master Cylinders

Posted by toby on Apr 24, 2015 9:22:56 AM

When it comes to brakes, you need think of a complete system consisting of components working together to stop your vehicle.  As brake systems evolved from 4 wheel drum systems to rear drum/front disc combinations, the design of the various components making up the system changed in order to keep pace with the new technology.  One of the best examples of this is illustrated by the changes in master cylinder design.

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Topics: drum brakes, dual master, single reservoir master, Vintage Cars, Classic Car Brakes, Disc Brakes, master cylinder, Master Cylinder

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

Combination Valves for Classic Car Brake Systems

Posted by toby on Jan 7, 2015 2:15:36 PM

A Combination Valve, commonly called a Proportioning Valve, is just what the name implies…a valve that does a combination of things. The valves are available for both disc/drum and for disc/disc brake systems. Valves for both configurations contain a Proportioning Valve and a Brake Pressure Differential Switch while the disc/drum valves also contain a Metering Valve. What is all of this stuff and what does it do? Read on and we’ll explain…..

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Topics: brake pressure differential warning switch, brake system, classic cars, combination valves, drum brakes, Vintage Cars, Combination Valves, Disc Brakes, metering valves

Reasons to Upgrade to Front & Rear Disc Brakes

Posted by toby on Nov 15, 2014 10:40:21 AM

In previous posts, we have discussed the safety and performance rationales for upgrading to disc brakes.  Unless you have a rare, factory original classic ride that spends most of its time in a museum or the garage, you should consider upgrading to disc brakes.  As a classic car enthusiast, you are sharing the road with cell phone toting, text messaging drivers who drive newer cars that come equipped with disc brakes and ABS.  The rationale for upgrading to disc brakes seems pretty obvious.  The tricky part comes after you’ve made the decision to do the upgrade—should I convert the front end only or both the front and rear brakes? 

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Topics: classic cars, Disc Brake Conversion Kit, drum brakes, front disc brakes, Vintage Cars, Disc Brakes, Drum to Disc Brake Conversion Kits, rear disc brakes

The Classic Car Brake Booster Troubleshooting Guide and FAQ

Posted by toby on Nov 5, 2014 10:38:41 AM

The introduction of disc brakes made vintage cars from the late 60s and early 70s safer, but this technology created a new set of challenges for automotive engineers.   Although disc systems are less susceptible less susceptible to brake fade due to heat or water and they do not drift out of adjustment like older drum brake systems, they operate at high fluid pressures, and without a booster, more foot pressure is required to bring the car to a stop.  Put another way, the new technology created one more component to consider when upgrading your brakes—and another area to include in your diagnostic checklist when things go wrong.  If you are contemplating installing a brake booster or need to troubleshoot an existing booster system, check out the Brake Booster FAQ found in our website’s reference area.

Here are some common questions answered by our Brake Booster FAQ:

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Topics: Boosters, Brake Booster, classic cars, drum brakes, Vintage Cars, Disc Brakes

Detroit Automakers and Standard Disc Brake Offerings: What Took So Long?

Posted by toby on Oct 15, 2014 1:45:39 PM

If you look back at the muscle car era, you’ll notice an emphasis on bigger engines, more horsepower, and the need for speed.  And while Detroit engineers did an admirable job designing faster cars in the late 50’s and 60’s, much less thought was given to bringing these cars to a safe stop.  Being in the brake business, this got us thinking—why did it take Detroit so long to offer disc brake technology as a standard option?

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Topics: classic cars, drum brakes, muscle cars, Car History, Disc Brakes

3 Tips For Better Classic Car Braking

Posted by toby on Oct 3, 2014 11:24:18 AM

Most classic car owners fall into one of two camps.  On the one hand, we have a small minority of owners with rare, museum quality cars.   In most cases, these folks are reluctant to make any changes to their cars because even the smallest modification means losing an important part of automotive history.  On the other hand, we have classic car enthusiasts that modify their vehicles for better performance and safer operation.  In many instances, these owners are willing to look at making a change if better performance is achieved without substantially compromising the appearance of the car.  A great example here is the brake system.  Most classic cars came originally equipped with drum brakes—and even the best drum brake systems of yesteryear lacked in the performance department.  At the same time, classic car owners can make significant improvements to their brake systems without losing the curb appeal of their vehicles.  To improve the performance of your classic, drum brake equipped vehicle, start by asking these three basic questions:

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Topics: classic cars, drum brakes, How To Series, Disc Brakes, Drum to Disc Brake Conversion Kits

Justifying the Cost of a Disc Brake Conversion Kit

Posted by toby on Apr 30, 2014 10:23:45 AM

We recently received a note from the owner of a 65 Mustang asking us to justify the cost and expense of converting his car from drum to disc brakes.  We field this question on a regular basis, so we thought it made sense to share our thoughts with our readers.

Most classic car owners are willing to invest large sums of money on custom paint jobs, new interiors, and re-built or upgraded engines restorations.  At the same time, many of these same owners balk at investing restoration funds on new brakes.  Obviously, we think this is a mistake, but even if didn't sell brakes, we would urge classic car owners to consider swapping out inefficient drum brake systems for disc brake technology. 

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Topics: classic cars, Disc Brake Conversion Kit, disc brake conversion kits, drum brakes, Safety, Disc brake Kit, Drum to Disc Brake Conversion Kits

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