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Tech Talk with Master Power Brakes

How to: Diagnosing a Hard Brake Pedal

Posted by rick on Sep 18, 2017 11:28:21 AM

Do you have a brake pedal that feels hard to press?

You may have a bad booster, booster hose, or check valve. In this 'How To' post, we offer a simple checklist to help you diagnose potential causes of a hard brake pedal.

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Topics: diagnostics, hard brake pedal, hard brakes, how to, How To Series

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

How To: Diagnose and Fix Brake Drag

Posted by toby on Jun 5, 2017 4:20:00 PM

Whether you’re installing new brakes on your classic car or working on an existing system, brake drag can be a frustrating and challenging thing to diagnose and locate. On a positive note, the problem is usually a pretty simple repair once you find the culprit.

What Is Brake Drag?

Brake drag happens when the brake pads or shoes don’t release completely when the brake pedal is released, and is typically a result of mechanical issues or hydraulics. It is highly recommended to fix the dragging brakes as soon as possible, because it can lead to overheated parts and potential damage to the braking system, or worse yet, an accident.  

Referring to the checklists below will help you identify and repair your brake system’s brake drag woes so you can get back out on the road.


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Topics: brag drag, brake hose, classic cars, how to, How To Series, hyfraulic brake drag, master cylinder, mechanical brake drag, metering valve, repair

Bench Bleeding a Master Cylinder

Posted by mpbrakes02 on Feb 28, 2017 1:48:10 PM

Bench bleeding your master cylinder is not necessarily all that complicated, but if we can make it even easier for you…we will. What is bench bleeding a master cylinder you might ask and why should I do it? It’s a process done before starting the process of bleeding the brakes on the rest of the vehicle. Typically done on the work bench (hence the name), this will remove the air from the master cylinder which then speeds up and makes bleeding the rest of the system much easier.

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Topics: How To Series

Fixing a Power Brake Problem Using An Electric Vacuum Pump

Posted by mpbrakes1 on Feb 16, 2017 10:32:50 AM

One of the greater luxuries for classic musclecars with nose-heavy big blocks is power brakes. While some would rather have the full feedback of a manual brake pedal, the soft touch of a power booster-assisted master cylinder is sometimes more of a blessing than a luxury.

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Topics: aftermarket vacuum pump, How To Series, classic car electric vacuum pump

Print Your Own Wheel Bolt Pattern Guide

Posted by mpbrakes1 on Jan 18, 2016 3:45:20 AM

During a recent phone conversation with a customer, the question was asked, "What is the bolt pattern of your wheels?" After several back and forth questions with the customer, we realized that people might not actually understand how to measure a 5-lug wheel bolt pattern. So we thought it might be a great idea to both explain how to take wheel stud measurements, and also provide a simple tool so you don’t need to worry about getting measurements correct going forward.

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Topics: How To Series, printable wheel bolt pattern guide, wheel lug patterns, wheel bolt patterns

Bedding In Brake Pads and Rotors

Posted by toby on Jul 30, 2015 10:23:35 AM

We just received a question from a customer asking about the proper bedding procedure for his new Rallye Series front disc brake conversion kit.  Regardless of which kit you select, it is a good idea to bed or burnish the brakes to transfer an even layer of friction material to the rotors.  Taking this step will ensure smoother, quieter braking and enhanced stopping power.  If you bring the new pads and rotors up to temp too quickly and/or botch the cool down period, you may experience glazing on the pads and poor performance.  Proper bedding ensures a uniform coating of pad material is applied to the rotors.  So, how do we properly bed in new pads and rotors?

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Topics: bedding, Brake Pads, burnishing, classic cars, How To Series, rotors, Vintage Cars

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

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