You May Have Wondered, “Why is your kit a higher price than your competitors?
They sure look the same in pictures.” It’s a fair question and one that we usually respond with, “They do look similar, but it’s the things you can’t see that makes the difference in price.” While we know exactly what that means, it's a vague answer and doesn't tell the entire story.
We recently had a local restoration shop and friend of the company reach out to us with something he couldn't figure out. He had been brought a 1966 Ford Mustang owned by his customer to perform a disc brake conversion that also included a power brake booster conversion as part of the system.
The customer purchased all of the parts himself and was probably one of those people that asked the question above. Unfortunately, he didn’t get an answer that gave him the confidence he wanted so he did the only thing he could and he saved himself some money and went with the less expensive route. Little did he know, he was about to spend a lot more in labor than what would have been the difference between the cost of most kits.
The parts you see below are the parts that were purchased as part of the Power Brake Conversion. It looks simple enough but there is so much that a customer must still do in order to make this work on their car. And at what cost?
Master Power Brakes vs. Competitors
Let’s look at what the customer purchased and then compare that to what Master Power Brakes sells and we’ll show you the rest of the story and give you the reason why.
The first and most obvious thing to notice when opening the boxes up is that nothing from the competitor is assembled. While it may not seem like much of a difference, it is certainly a problem for someone that doesn't know what to do. Worst yet is not knowing what to do and then have to pay someone to figure it out or do it for you. There were so many things that needed to be done before a customer could be ready to install the booster in the vehicle and not a hint of what needed to be done through instructions.
At Master Power Brakes, we completely assemble every Power Brake Conversion Kit to a point where the only thing that needs to be done is to test fit the unit in the vehicle and bleed the master cylinder. Any instruction that are needed to complete the job are sent with it and should leave no question as to what the first step is all the way to the last step.
On the other hand, the competitors power booster conversion kit is completely un-assembled with all of the parts shipped loose. Let's take a look at a few of the things that we found it necessary to do before anything is ready to go in the car.
Power Brake Booster
The brake booster supplied in the competitor's conversion is perfectly adequate for the space available and the application. The problem comes from it simply being a universal brake booster with zero effort put toward making it work.
The bracket set supplied in the kit comes shipped loose from the booster along with a pushrod that is not the proper length. Do you simply thread the clevis onto the pushrod? Does the pushrod have to be cut? If it does have to be cut, where? How far from the back of the booster should the eyelet be on the clevis? Where do these four bushings go? I didn't cut the pushrod and assembled everything and now I can't bolt it up to the firewall? Where are the instructions that tell a customer what to do?
These are just some of the problems that we saw and can't imagine what a customer might think if it scared a group of professionals. As a consumer, you should expect more!
Booster Pin Pushrod
Also shipped loose in the parts was a pushrod that must thread into the front of the booster. This requires the removal of an existing pushrod and then replacing with a longer version. First of all, an installer would not have any idea as to what the pushrod change is even for let alone what the loose part is even used for. Secondly, if you did have an idea, what length does the pushrod thread to? Is there a specific length? What should the gap be between the master cylinder piston and the pushrod? Wait, there is some form of an insert that goes into the back of the master cylinder. Does this get used as well? How does this get determined because again, the customer didn't get any instructions.
Assuming you have managed to figure out everything from above, what are you supposed to use for vacuum hose and how does that get connected to the engine?
And why did I get three different check valves? Are they assuming the customer will break at least two of them of are they saying the quality is bad and these should get you through the next few years. Oh wait, they are actually a different size going into the grommet. Shouldn't they know that already? Again, some instructions and direction would have been nice.
Understand What You're Paying For
The bottom line is before you choose to pay less for parts, understand why you’re paying less. Be aware of the required work and cost of labor might offset the money saved. If this customer was already given a quote for the work, there is no way that the shop could do the job for the quoted price. That leaves some tension between the shop and the customer as the person working on the vehicle can't do it for free.
Ask questions and do research. That is the responsibility that we all have as consumers. As a company, we aren't perfect in the information that we provide. While we may not be perfect, we are here and will do everything we can to make sure you get the provided information that you need to allow you to make the best decision you can make.