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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

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

Converting to Power Assisted Brakes Part I:  Why Booster Size Matters

Posted by toby on Jun 25, 2015 10:49:41 AM

Converting from manual to power-assisted brakes is a major upgrade and one of the most common projects that we discuss with customers. Due to the different size requirements for brake boosters and master cylinders, you may need some help sorting out the available options to optimize your vehicle’s brake system performance. That’s where the tech pros here at Master Power Brakes really shine.

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Topics: booster, Boosters, classic cars, converting to power brakes, manual brakes, power brakes, trucks, Vintage Cars

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

Video Learning Series:  Installing Pro Driver Rear Disc Brake Conversion Kit

Posted by toby on Jun 22, 2015 4:35:22 PM

Whether you’re looking to save some dough or craving the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing the job yourself, some folks wonder if they have what it takes to install our brake kits.  All of our front and rear brake disc brake conversion kits are bolt-on solutions—and we’ll gladly send a copy of the installation instructions to boost your confidence.  That said, sometimes there is no substitute for watching one of our pros gets after a brake job.  The latest installment in our Video Learning Series features installation of a Pro Driver Disc Brake Conversion Kit on a 72 Lemans with 17” wheels and a LS2 Engine Swap.

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Topics: classic cars, GM, Master Power Brakes, muscle cars, Vintage Cars, Rear Disc Brake Conversion Kits, Videos

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

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

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

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